Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Stuart to Cocoa

While we were at Sunset Bay in Stuart, we were fortunate to visit with two special couples . . . .

Sep and Lydia from Atlanta, GA who just purchased a new boat . . . .  

. . . .  and Woody and Lucy from NY who, in 2013, traveled on the Erie Canal with us!!

With the opening of this bridge, Spiritus officially starts her northbound journey up the east coast.

An unexpected gem in Vero Beach: The marina at Grand Harbor!  A delightful 2 night stay!

We took advantage of their loaner bikes and rode the beautiful trails through the golf course community.

You have to admire a community with "duck crossing" zones!

It was a pleasant 7-hour cruise from Vero to Cocoa.
Many of the channel markers were adorned with osprey nests!

What the First Mate is cleverly trying to tell the Captain is, "We're entering the Banana River"!

A swing bridge at the mouth of the Banana River opens for Spiritus.

Manatee Cove Marina at Patrick AFB is home to Spiritus for a week.
This is the view of their Tiki Bar from our flybridge.

Yes, the crew frequented the Tiki Bar (like daily!).
In fact, the bartender had our drinks memorized by the time we departed!

The Captain rolls the dock cart filled with provisions toward Spiritus.
We were so fortunate to be walking distance to the base commissary and BX.

The highlight of staying here was being within a short Uber ride to visit cousin Janne . . . . 

. . . . AND our dear Aunt Edith!

Pelicans . . . .

. . . . and dolphin provided constant entertainment in Manatee Cove Marina!

And we savored these beautiful sunsets every evening!

Friday, March 2, 2018

Ft Myers to Stuart, FL

After another beautiful week in Fort Myers, it's time for the crew to prepare for their voyage east.

The Cruise Director switches Waterway Guides as we plan our route.
"Farewell" Gulf of Mexico and "Hello" Atlantic Ocean!

We can't depart Ft Myers without one last stop for ice cream at "Scoops on First"!

Our 7:00 a.m. departure was quite foggy . . . .

. . . . but it soon lifted and we enjoyed the peaceful, rural countryside.

Along Florida's heartland waterway we saw lots of horses, cattle . . . .

. . . . and were surprised to see brahma bulls!!!

We entered 5 locks along the Okeechobee Waterway.
Three locks lifted us up to Lake Okeechobee and two locks dropped us down from Lake Okeechobee.

At the end of the first day we tied up to the dock in front of Moore Haven's City Hall.
Spiritus had another Looper boat, Meraki, join her.

The next morning we were underway at sunrise, hoping for a smooth cruise on Lake Okeechobee.
Lake Okeechobee is the second largest lake contained entirely within the United States.

The cormorants are soaking up the early morning sunshine.
The cypress trees line the canal leading into Lake Okeechobee.

 The First Mate is on "Gator Watch", determined to spot a gator.

We spotted not one, not two, but THREE gators!!

Our wish came true . . . a perfectly smooth crossing.
We were able to drink our Kona coffee without spilling a drop!

We arrived safely to the mooring field at Sunset Bay Marina in Stuart, FL.

We snagged a perfect mooring ball for Spiritus . . . . 

. . . . conveniently located about 100 yards from the dinghy dock.
Our dinghy, Blondie, is the grey one!

The "Dinghy Captain" doesn't even need navigation aids to find his way back to Spiritus!

Just when you don't think it could get any better, this guy gets out his guitar and starts playing & singing!

Toasting to a beautiful Okeechobee crossing and our first sunset on Florida's east coast!

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Punta Gorda to Ft Myers, Feb 12 - 27

We enjoyed our month at Laishley Park Marina in Punta Gorda.
But it's time to pack up our memories and set sail across Charlotte Bay.

Spiritus is ready to depart the dock at Laishley Marina and take her crew to Burnt Store Marina.

The Charlotte Harbor dolphin provided entertainment as we cruised!

While at Burnt Store, we were delighted to have Mary and Fraser join us for a day of cruising.
We anchored at Pelican Bay, one of our favorite anchorages on Florida's west coast.

The guys "skillfully" launched the dinghy so we could go ashore to explore the beach at Cayo Costa State Park.

Once ashore, our first stop is the Ranger Station to select a Klondike Bar.
You gotta' have a lick of energy to hike all the way across the island to the beach!

Beach Buddies take a break from serious seashell hunting!

And, yes, we decided to end our beach day just like we started it ... with another Klondike Bar!

Cruising back to Burnt Store Marina, we watched the sun melt into the ocean off the stern of Spiritus while toasting to the best day ever!

We enjoyed a fabulous 6 hour cruise from Burnt Store Marina to Fort Myers Yacht Basin.
We fueled up Spiritus before settling in for Valentine's Day and the second half of February.

Valentine's drinks and dinner atop the iconic Firestone Restaurant with Mary and Fraser.

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Wet Hen Sisters . . . . Jan Maiocco drove from Naples to share the day with us!

And sweet daughters, Lisa & Lauren, joined us because they LOVE Henpecker Eddy!

We rode our bikes almost daily along the streets of "The City of Palms".

The delicious homemade "Scoops on First" is a much too convenient walk from Spiritus!

Having sis and bro-in-law, Mary & Fraser, in nearby RV Parks has been such a blessing.
We will miss all the fun we've shared together but look forward to connecting again somewhere up the east coast! 

We never tire of watching spectacular sunsets right from our Fort Myers dock!!