Made Ft. Myers this afternoon. When we
called the Matanzas Inn for a mooring ball assignment, Shawna said we could
take whichever we wanted. And she was right, there was no one here.
Where did all the boats go? Many were laid off from town jobs and moved
on. Maybe some found dockage for the same price in the off
season. So we motored up to a good spot and I grabbed the mooring
ball painter with my boat hook. Once grabbed, I attached our line to it
and pulled it aboard. Tied to a bow cleat, we were secure. Valt came
out to tie the anchor off. Since we use the same cleats, the anchor tends
to abrade the mooring line. Too tired to go in to pay our fees, we
informed the girl we would stay a few days and come tomorrow to square up.
She agreed. Tomorrow we would do chores. Thursday we would
meet up with old neighbors Mike and Mary Lancaster for a beach day and to catch
up on old times. Ft. Myers is always a fun stop for us. We chased
away the last of the mosquitoes and flies and it was good to be stopped for a
few days. We enjoyed our evening. It was good to be secure and in a
Next morning, the mooring field guy, Boo-ka, stopped by
to see if we'd registered our vessel. We explained we'd called Shawna in
the office yesterday, and would go in today to pay. He looked at the boat
and asked her size. "Wow, that is too big for this mooring field."
You'll have to move." To where? " The ball right next
door. " He said, "If someone ties to the ball behind you, you will be
in their space and have to move." In this empty mooring
field? So I explained that tying to a mooring ball has some danger to it,
and we'd like to stay where we are. He finally agreed. Seems he
enjoys being on an authority trip.
After doing a little dinghy maintenance, we went to
register and do some laundry. Compared to a minimum $4 wash and $4 dry in
the Bahamas, this laundromat seems free. At $1.25 each, it was a
deal. We'd dinghy up the river to the local Publix grocery store,
too. Then walk the little town and enjoy a dinner out. Ah, to be in
the civilized world again.
Imagine our surprise that evening when a 40' sailboat
motored into the mooring field and picked the exact same mooring ball that
Boo-ka had warned about. Would we have to move? Weren't we here
first? The sailor settled down and turned off the lights. Next
morning by 8am he motored out of the field. He'd come late and left before
the staff even knew he was there. Saved himself a whopping $13.50 in the
Mike and Mary arrived at the dinghy dock at 10am.
We brought them to the Amber Isle where we caught up on the events of
our lives. By noon we moved chairs, umbrella and cooler to the Ft. Myers
Beach. We enjoyed a grouper sandwich lunch at the tiki bar nearby, then
went for a dip in the sea. The water was murky, even muddy looking.
We could not see bottom in 1'. But many folks were enjoying the cool down,
so we waded in and sat in 2' of water. The day was a hot 93 degrees, so it
was refreshing. As usual, we enjoyed the day together, and in no time they
had to leave to pick up grandkids from school. We hoped we could see them
again tomorrow, but when we checked the weather forecast for our upcoming Gulf
of Mexico crossing, we decided we had to leave. Great conditions were
forecast for Sunday and Monday. Since this is the longest distance we cross over
open water, we try to pick perfect weather. This means we would have to be
in Clearwater by Saturday. Two short days to cover 150 miles.