Swing Set

Dec 7, 201210:13 AM

Swing Set: Cruising Full Time

Five Days In Marco Island

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Smokehouse Bay is in the heart of Marco Island. If you're coming up the river from the Gulf of Mexico, there's a small channel on the south side of the river that leads into Collier Bay. Smokehouse is past Collier Bay as you weave your way through the well marked channel in this no wake zone. The Esplanade, shown in the picture, is a resort and condominium complex on the east side of Smokehouse Bay, and sitting right out front is the Esplanade Marina. They don't have services or fuel, but they do have some transient dockage. We anchored just a bit away from it, right in front of a small city park.

After our fun day spent with Bert and Renee on Sunday, we wanted to just take a breather all day Monday, so we did. On Monday night, we decided to watch some TV, but in spite of being right in the heart of Marco Island, we couldn't get any reception, so we made plans to move the next day out into the bay a little further.

Rosie had decided on Monday that she didn't really want to do a "spa day" on Tuesday, that she would rather spend the whole day with me. You'd think she would be over that by now. Instead, on Tuesday, we took the dinghy over to the small dock right behind the nearby Winn Dixie and walked to West Marine. I bought an "oil extractor," a device that creates suction by pumping a handle, and with a hose inserted into a dipstick, will suck the oil out of an engine. I wanted to use it to change the transmission oil in each of our transmissions. (The device worked as advertised, but I couldn't get the plugs out that house the oil filters on the transmissions, so I had to install new oil without cleaning the filters. Next time.)

We also bought some new swimwear for me, and a couple of warm-up suits for Rosie. We got back to the boat, and Rosie went to unzip the top of one of the warm-up suits and the zipper pull broke off, practically disintegrating in her hand. So now, we had to walk back to the store to make a return. Stores in tourist areas don't mind selling you junk because they know you won't be around to return it when it breaks.

We moved on Tuesday afternoon and got a better view of the sunset, plus better TV reception in the bargain. There are two other boats anchored over where we moved to, and during one of our dinghy trips we stopped by to say "hi" to one couple in a trawler. They just retired a few months ago and have traveled from Houston, Texas. Thy're heading in the same direction as we are, but first they have to keep their boat at a marina here in Marco Island and go home for a month or so. They also have plans to ship their boat overseas and cruise around Turkey, an ambitious plan for sure. They're very nice, and we'll make it a point to keep up with them.

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