Thursday, February 2, 2017

Life in Fort Myers

Since our last update we traveled west across the Okeechobee Waterway to Fort Myers as quickly as possible. Our cruising days looked like this:

  • St. Mary's, GA to Amelia Island, FL
  • Amelia Island to St. Augustine, where we spent 3 days waiting for good weather
  • St. Augustine to New Smyrna Beach, where we met Mark's cousin Jane and her husband Fred, visiting from Colorado 
  • New Smyrna Beach to an anchorage near Vero
  • That anchorage to Stuart where we turned west on the Okeechobee Waterway - we  spent the night tied to a dolphin at the Mayaca lock.
  • Mayaca  lock to a private dock near River Forest where we were reunited with our buddies Pam and John on "Short Vacation" 
  • We drove to the Stuart Boat Show with Pam and John and met up with Coletta and Tom from "Greek's Folly."
  • Our Guttenberg neighbors Al and Tammy cruised with us from River Forest to Fort Myers  
Tied to the dolphins at Mayaca Lock

We arrived in Fort Myers on January 14 and have been making the most of our 2-month stay here. Our first visitors were Bob and Karen from Des Moines.

Karen and Bob with us
Next up were Guttenberg friends Ken and Jane- unfortunately I wasn't in picture-taking mode yet.

Then Mark's brother Bill spent a few days with us. He and Mark took in the Muscle Car Museum and the Ford-Edison estates, and checked out Sanibel. Bill also joined the Looper lunch crowd at Ford's Garage.

Pam and Becky at the Looper lunch 

Mark and John

Our next reunion was with Kathy and John from "Serenity," who were in town by car. Then it was lunch with the crews of "Serenity," "Sea Horse," (Dan and Angie), and "Radiance" (Ray and Linda.)

We met more friends for docktails during the next few days- Rob and Glenda on "Monterey," and Mandy and Jim on "Shell Bell." Friends from 2 years ago- Pam and Eric on "Pier Pressure" joined "Short Vacation" on their dock, so we  got to see them again. And still, my camera did not made an appearance!

And the other day who should turn up on our dock? Dan and Sarah from Guttenberg/Muscatine! Is anyone left on Esmann Island??

At least I remembered to pull out my iPhone when these folks came on board :

Kent, Jan ("Follow That Dream"), John ("Short Vacation"),  Peggy ("Aqua Vitae"), Mark

Mark, Hans ("Aqua Vitae"), Pam ("Short Vacation")

Larry and Shirley ("We Wine A Lot")

Mark and Becky with Susan and Foster ("Quo Vadimus") and Glenda and Rob ("Monterey")

It hasn't been all play and no work by any means! We have been working almost every day on getting "Mara Beel" in tip top shape. Mark started sanding the teak rail last year and has hired Wyatt to finish sanding and bleaching. Now he's assisting Wyatt with the varnishing- 2 coats are on so far, 1 a day. Several more to go.

The rail looks sooo much better after only 2 coats.

Our forward heat/air conditioner died, so we are having that replaced- which means that the interior of Mara Beel is a mess. This is (hopefully) a 2-day project.

The dead unit

I have organized and inventoried my pantry- thanks to John Scott for building these shelves in the forward hanging locker! I also cleaned out every cabinet, locker and drawer on the boat. Good thing we have our van here to transport things to Goodwill! Now I am cleaning/polishing every wood surface in this boat- and there are a lot of them!

I actually know what provisions I have on board now!

We will be flying home soon to welcome our fourth grandson, who is due to make his appearance in a couple weeks! We plan to start cruising again in mid-March.

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