Swing Set

Nov 27, 201208:09 AM

Swing Set: Cruising Full Time

Keewadin and Little Marco Islands

We've found a good spot here just inside the Little Marco Pass, between Keewadin and Little Marco Island. The beach on the southern end of Keewadin Island has a lot of beachgoers, even on a Monday when we thought it would be deserted around here.

On Sunday afternoon, there were plenty of boaters around. We took a walk along the crowded beach with Holly, and she learned to jump over the anchor lines as we walked along the water's edge. A familiar looking boat caught my eye; it was a 1997 Formula 330SS with the same color scheme that our 280SS had. Upon closer inspection, the boat wasn't in very good condition, unlike our old boat that a friend wound up buying eventually, keeping it in pristine condition.

When we got back to Swing Set, a boater came by and hailed us saying, "Hey Swing Set, my buddy follows your blog every day! He's from St. Louis and knows someone that used to work at the brewery with you." I told him to bring his friend back on Monday and we'd have a beer.

At night, we can hear the waves from the Gulf hitting the shoreline just outside the pass, but inside where we are anchored, it is very quiet and the water is smooth as glass. The boat trades ends with the tidal current twice a day, but we are anchored out far enough to avoid grounding when this occurs. We were all alone in here on Sunday night, just us and the fishes that come up to the swim platform when we turn on the spoiler lights.

We were waiting for the morning chill to burn off on Monday and watching boats file in for a day of beach activity, when the fella that hailed us on the previous day came by. He had Mark Wood with him, the guy from St. Louis. Fritz and Mark introduced themselves after tying up. I didn't recognize the name of the friend of Mark's that was retired from the brewery, but it's a big place. We talked for quite a while, and we were able to learn a few valuable things about the area. Local knowledge is always better from residents as opposed to a book or guide.

Mark's wife, Terry, was concerned about Holly, and he wanted to know if we needed the name of a vet, given our experience with the last veterinarian in Cape Coral. We told him to assure his wife that Holly was doing fine. We were additionally surprised when Mark brought out some "presents" for us and Holly. He passed over two six packs of Bud Light Platinum, a bag of pretzel sticks, a Christmas tree ornament and some dog treats! We could stand some more loyal blog readers like this.

Mark and Fritz said their goodbyes, leaving us to our intended chores, which I was in no hurry to accomplish. But we were approaching slack tide, so it was time for some barnacle scraping. Mark might come back later this week with his wife Terry. We hope they do.

There was no getting around it. I donned my wetsuit and gathered my tools. Rosie manned the Hookah Snorkel System, and I got under the boat. The barnacles were not as bad as I had anticipated, but I didn't do as thorough of a job as I would have liked. The visibility was not as good as I thought it would be, especially once I started clouding up the water with debris from the boat bottom. For the most part, I accomplished as much as I needed to do for the present. I'll give it another go in a week or so.

We sat in the cockpit and watched the boaters file past as they went back to where they had come from, and by sunset, we were all alone again. We had leftover fish fillets from The Dock in Naples, Rosie made some potato pancakes from some leftover mashed potatoes from Thanksgiving, and we rounded out the meal with leftover baked beans from our BBQ in Cape Coral with Gary and Judy. What a great dinner! The only leftover still in the fridge is turkey, and I hope we never run out of that.

We had moved the boat just a little from the previous night, and the difference in TV reception was remarkable. We watched some favorite shows until 10 o'clock, late for us, then it was time for a few minutes of Kindle reading.


We had gotten some mail at St. Brenden's; some we shredded, but one important document that arrived there was our vessel documentation certificate. We had to find a location to have the mail forwarded to, but we couldn't find a post office or other similar facility in Marco Island to have the letter sent to. I wound up calling a local marina, and we arranged to have the letter sent there in care of the nice girl who worked there, even though we had no intention of staying. In a couple of days, we're going to need to take on water, so that will require us to motor over to Marco Island proper. Our letter should be at the marina by then. We are amazed at how accommodating people are when you talk very nice to them. I should have been using this method a long time ago.

Today, we plan on doing some waxing, something that we'll always need to do. Tthe ongoing chore to keep Swing Set looking nice isn't an easy task. We hope we can stay on top of it. After that, we're going to take the dinghy over to the beach. There is a "burger boat" that pulls up every day, and we're going to have our lunch from there today. We learned from Fritz and Mark that this anchorage and beach is "the place to be" in the summer months, something we'll keep in mind if we decide to get a slip somewhere next summer, when it gets too hot and we need to plug in to shore power for air conditioning.

But it's too early to decide these things. Every place we go to seems better to us than the last place, so who knows where we'll wind up by next summer? Right now, this is the place we want to be.

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