Friday, February 2, 2018

Ft. Myers - a Reprieve

02 February 2018

Catching up.....

We arrived at the Matanzas Pass mooring field at Ft. Myers Beach with the luxury of knowing that we could stay for a week and just explore.  No repairs, no injuries, no drama!!

Times Square is a hub of restaurants, ice cream parlors, shops with all manner of beach equipment and souvenirs, live music and just general high energy tourism.  It seemed like the right occasion to have my one drink a year!  I don't like the taste of alcohol but this was a rum drink with strawberries, mango and banana and tasted like an icy fruit punch.  I suspect it could become habit forming!!

We were on the same mooring ball as last time and we like it because it is on the very end of the field and we don't have the sense of being with a lot of other boats.

View from the mooring field looking east

Thanks to a neighbor boat we learned about the Matanzas Pass Preserve which is a part of the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail.  It is 60 acres with 1.25 miles of trails, with transitional wetlands, maritime oak hammock and mangrove forest. It became our favorite place to get some exercise altho we had to dock our dinghy in a rather "sketchy" area to get there.   (We decided it was the hangout for the down and out who may have been homeless but still had a dinghy.  They were always friendly and despite the warning from the office not to dock there we had no problems.)

Entering the Preserve

Hardly need the Trail Map with the Boardwalk

Typical section of boardwalk

End of the trail

The cold caught up with us, but was motivation for Jim to bake Tucker bread.  We are lucky to have an Argentinian "niece-in-law" who lives in Australia and I think she must have creatively combined Argentinian and Australian cooking.  It has become one of Jim's specialities.  He tried to transcribe her recipe (difficult since she is of the "pinch of this, two pinches of that" persuasion) but I think finally has it down.

Getting ready to roll out the dough with his thermos bottle

2/3 traditional recipe, 1/3 peanut butter and jam

Ready for baking

Done and Yum!

Apparently baking the Tucker Bread did not heat up the boat as much as we would have liked!

Sunrise at Matanzas Pass just before we left
When it was time to leave (after waiting out some nasty weather) we left early in the morning, refueled, filled the water tanks and headed up the Intracoastal Waterway to one of our favorite stopping off spots:  Cabbage Key. 

After hiking their short trail around the island, we actually stopped for a "hamburger in Paradise"!

This little guy was ever hopeful for some handouts!

Looked like a weeping willow succulent!

Spanish Moss gave the pathway an eerie atmosphere

We headed off to Hog Island, our usual stopover spot where we stage for going through the lock.  We waited until a few hours before high tide and proceeded to the lock entrance about 4:30pm.  Still ran aground but because it was a rising tide we finally floated off and went through the lock with no problems.  It was approaching sunset but we managed to arrive at Safe Cove before dark and tie up along the dock.

Safe Cove visible in the distance

Our last sunrise while at the dock was lovely and despite much heavier winds than we like to maneuver in we were able to back into the "well" and the pros here lifted us out and moved us into our new spot where the boat will be for the next 10 months or so!

Sunrise from the boat before haul-out

And now off to Panama ......