Friday, March 22, 2019

Time Flies

March 22, 2019

Jim and I both enjoy the "Doc Ford" series of books written by Randy Wayne White.  Probably the main reason is that they all take place in the area that we are beginning to become familiar with:  The Everglades, Marco Island, Ft. Myers Beach, Sanibel, Captiva, and Cabbage Key.  We have mental images of most of the places he describes.  In honor of that we decided to walk to Doc Ford's Bar and Grill for lunch.  It is about a mile over the famous blue bridge to Ft Myers.  En route we had a great view of the Mooring Field and if you zoom in far enough you can see our boat - the farthest one out and just behind a sailboat with a black hull.  (Don't bother, I can't see it either!)

Mooring field as seen from the Ft. Myers Bridge
Ft. Myers bridge as seen from our boat

Feeling a need to explore a little, we headed south on the trolley to Lovers Key yesterday.  It is a 1,616 acre State Park south of Ft. Myers Beach.  It is a perfect spot for canoeing, kayaking and hiking.  It is also a great chance to discover just how out of shape we are!  However, we did a little hiking, a lot of watching kayakers, had a picnic lunch and then headed back. 

A word of caution

Typical of the kayaking waterways
One of the most enjoyable spots was a shallow area that was apparently also a favorite of the manatees.  We had a chance to watch a mom and baby as well as two "adolescents" enjoying themselves in the shallows. The mom had a series of white scars on her back from a run in with a propeller.  The manatees are hard to see in the water and altho there are numerous signs for boats to be careful, it is likely that powerboats don't even know that they have gone over one.  Almost all of them have scars of some sort. 

The manatee with mulitple white scars is the mom, baby is right by her

We knew traffic was tough on Estero Blvd (the only thru road in town) but we had no idea that it would take us three hours (instead of one) to get home.  Construction turned much of it into a one lane road.  It was a good spirited group on the trolley (a large number were headed to the main section of Ft. Myers Beach for a Pub Crawl and advertized it with their bright matching chartreuse t-shirts).  No grumbling, but many of us were tempted to get off and walk - it would have been faster, but it was too far for our endurance level.

Arriving back at the dinghy dock, Jim was concerned (and I was terrified).  The wind had picked up to 17 mph plus and the floating docks were bouncing to the point that walking was nearly  impossible.  There were the usual large number of dingys and they, too, were bouncing and looking as if they were trying to fling themselves onto the dock.  The current running through a normally quiet area was powerful and the winds were crazy.  By sitting on the dock we were able to safely scoot into the dinghy and Jim managed to back out without hitting either other dinghys or any of the concrete posts covered in barnacles.  The ride back to the boat involved surfing swells as they rolled in from the Gulf.  They lifted us up and then passed on by.  As we got closer to our boat, at the back of the mooring field, things calmed down - thank goodness for the protection of distance and other boats.

Just in case you may have thought we left Mr. Wiffles behind -  We did not, but we haven't been dragging him around with us.  He has been here before.

Mr. Wiffles taking it easy

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