West Coast Florida

Valt & Sandy
Thu 30 May 2013 19:52

May 29, 2013
We are enjoying uneventful travels since our trip from Key West. Three days at a mooring ball in Ft. Myers gave us time to rest up, do laundry, grocery shop, wash the boat and more. We swapped out the 65 pound bent anchor for its twin. The best part of the stopover is that we met up with friends from 40 years ago. We have a huge memory file in our hearts and minds of the many experiences we have shared over the years.
The trip to the grocery is always an adventure. We dinghy down a tiny unmarked channel and tie up to a tree at the end. Tide was low, so the sloping bank was muddy. When we returned tide was even lower, the bank even muddier, and the dink nearly aground.
Heading north inside the ICW due to higher winds and waves outside, we ran 45 miles before anchoring in Lemon Bay near Englewood Florida. The anchorage was pleasant and we passed a good night. Next morning we continued north to Venice. As we tied up to the dock, men on a nearby sailboat grabbed our lines to tie up. They were heading to the Bahamas. At Rum Cay they would meet up with the Captain's son. Oddly enough, we'd met the young man while we were in Rum Cay. The boating community is a very small world.
In Venice we met up with more long-time friends, these from Valt's childhood. We shared our fresh caught mahi mahi with them along with many stories and laughs.
But next morning we were pushing off the dock at 7:00 going to Treasure Island. The run was short and sweet, all anchored in by 3:00pm. But there was a fly in the "paradise ointment" once again.
If the anchor seemed heavier than usual, it was. When we got it to the surface, it was covered in some mysterious debris. A sunken dinghy, its tubes full of stinking mud was our prize this morning. The boat hook was useless in freeing it. Finally we lassoed one end and hefted it off one fluke. Then the other. It was 9:30 by the time we motored back to the ICW to Clearwater.

JPEG image

Remains of wrecked dinghy.