Swing Set

Oct 21, 201209:27 AM

Swing Set: Cruising Full Time

Finally in Cape Coral

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We left Englewood only an hour into high tide, and I was a little worried that we wouldn't have enough water to get out to the channel, but I changed the course that I took coming in to our anchorage and found a much deeper route, so we had no problem.

The clear water soon gave way to a brackish brown as we neared Charlotte Harbor but again cleared up once we crossed the Boca Grande Pass. We were impressed with all of the recreational boat traffic that we began to see as we slipped by Pine Island, Captiva Pass and Sanibel Island. We were half-heartedly looking for an anchorage for the night, as we thought that we'd wait until our friends Gary and Judy were home for at least one night before we showed up and started disrupting their lives, but once we saw Fort Myers and turned up into the Caloosahatchee River, we decided to go ahead and anchor in Bimini Basin for the night.

We entered Bimini Basin about an hour after Gary and Judy arrived back at their condo, nearly six months since they traveled up to St. Louis for the summer. We hadn't seen them since our Bon Voyage Party in May.

We called them on the phone and invited them to come to Swing Set for dinner once they got settled. We found a good spot in the anchorage, fired up the grill and put on a nice, big pork tenderloin. It's rare that we have an entree on the boat big enough to feed four people, so it was lucky that we had taken the meat from the freezer that morning.

I picked up our friends at the appointed hour in the dinghy. Their condo is just a stone's throw from where our boat was anchored among 10 sailboats or so. We had a nice dinner, adding some canned asparagus and rice to the pork. We sat around and caught up on all the news from back on the Mississippi River, staying up long past our normal bedtime.

It was late for us when I took Gary and Judy back to their condo in the dinghy, and I was making one last check on Facebook, trading jabs with our friend Don in Lake of the Ozarks, when the phone rang. It was Don, and we talked for nearly an hour, at one point using the Facetime feature on our iPhones. It was strange seeing someone on the phone as I was talking to them, and using this feature will take some getting used to.

The next few days where a blur between shopping trips, not only for us but also for Gary and Judy, as they were setting up housekeeping and we had put off some purchases and business until we arrived here in Cape Coral.

On Wednesday, we got some news from our real estate agent: A client that had viewed our condo 10 days ago wanted to see it again, and we received a notice that is was being shown  that evening. We have since gotten a report that the client was still interested, but as of this writing, we have not received an offer yet.

Our spirits were high, though, when we took the dinghy over to the condo and met Gary and Judy to go to a sports bar nearby and watch the Cardinals play. They had beaten the Washington Nationals in the NLDS and were playing the Giants in the NLCS.

We had fun at Laskos until a rain delay put a damper on things. After waiting it out for a reasonable amount of time, we headed back to the condo and then we weaved back to Swing Set. The game resumed way too late for us to see the end, and it wasn't until the next morning when we learned that the Birds had beaten the Giants and were up three games to one in the seven-game series.

While not involved in shopping sprees with our friends, we were piddling around on the boat and taking the dinghy out, sightseeing and meeting our fellow boaters at anchor here in the basin.

The first person we met didn't offer their name when we introduced ourselves but seemed fairly friendly, if not a little outspoken. "Kim," as we found out from another boater, has been at the sailing lifestyle for over 19 years. During several conversations with her, we found out some things about the surroundings, and our boat, that we didn't know. First, we found out that it was important to lock our dinghy when tying up to the public dock at the nearby park, a good tip to know. We also got lessons on the interests of community governments in regard to free anchorages, plus advice on how to shirk the boat registration laws in the state of Florida. We found out that our wind generators were not only useless, but dangerous as well, and it would be best to dismantle them and go with solar energy. Our anchor was not sufficient, we found out. I asked her if she had even seen our anchor, and she said that she had not. Once she found out that our anchor was as large as hers, and we have a smaller boat, she mulled that over for a while before asking how much chain we were using. Once she learned the length of chain on our rode, we of course were told that we need much more. I wonder how long we will have to do this before some folks will not consider us beginners.

A couple more folks  were not as opinionated, all of them full time cruisers, some of them in vessels in a little better shape than others, but all very friendly.

Judy and Gary hauled us to the license office one morning and we got Swing Set registered in Florida. We'll have to go back to get the dinghy registered, as I needed the original title, not the copy I had provided. We also got our Florida driver's licenses and our fishing licenses, too. We opted for the five-year option on the fishing license, saving some money. Our driver's license is now good for eight years, and we still don't know how long we'll be in Florida.

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