We left Venice and headed for Cabbage Key. Little traffic on the water. After learning via phone that dogs were not welcomed, we headed up Charlotte Harbor to Burnt Store Marina ,about an hour off the intracoastal. When we entered the marina, it was windy. I took the helm and waited for a boat to leave the gas dock.....then pulled us in for a pump out. After that, I maneuvered the boat into our slip. We then went up to the restaurant for late lunch. While we waited for our food, a lady came up and tapped me on the shoulder and said, my husband and I watched you maneuver that boat and we were really impressed that it was a woman driving. She went on and on....needless to say, my head swelled so much that I could barely get back on the boat through the aft door! We called Norm Astwood to see if he could meet us since his boat was nearby....only to find out that he had returned to Peoria. Sorry we missed him.
4/3/12. We retraced our course back to the intracoastal and headed for Ft.Myers beach. There was a lot of boat traffic as we got closer to Ft.Myers. Duke hates boat wakes that toss us from side to side, so he was disgruntled. We followed the channel to Ballard Marine for fuel because we had heard it was cheap. We paid $4.09 per gallon with no tax added on....and we only needed 84 gallons! Nearby was Salty Sam's Marina with a pirate ship, boat rentals and two restaurants? There was great music in the evening as we sat on the bow and watched people walk the docks.
Since we got an offer on the Illinois condo, we got off to a late start. After several phone calls to our realtor, we pulled out of the slip about 9:40. We left the Ft.Myers inlet, entered the gulf and laid out a course to Naples. It was a beautiful day on the water, but we needed to be vigilant as we darted between fields of crab pots. Toward the end of the trip, the gulf got pretty bumpy. We wound into Naples Harbor and then to my high school friend Susy Warren's house. We tied up to Susy and Pat's dock and admired their 6600 square foot home. They just sold this property and will be moving mid month. They've purchased a delightful home in the historic district, but this one is not on the water. While waiting to go to dinner, we received a signed contract for our Illinois house... Closing is mid May. So it's official
.....we are permanent Florida residents. We had a lovely dinner with Pat and Susy at Campiello's, a perfect outdoor setting in historic Naples.
After having breakfast with Susy, we headed for Goodland along the protected inland waters. Depending on weather, we may head for Everglades City tomorrow, and the Keys on Monday. Happy Easter to all!