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Month: December 2018

Good Bye Em

Good Bye Em

December 29, Saturday Cape Harbour Marina, Cape Coral, FL   0 nautical miles.

26°32’45.1″N 82°00’28.3″W
26.545857, -82.007861
Elevation: 0 ft

Emily left today 🙁 Mary and Dale vegged out the rest of it. (Mary caught up on blog notes for the past week. )

Along the Way

French Press coffee shop – Today’s home made gelato flavor is ‘Sandbar’. I love the brightly colored chocolate shells.
Another poor choice. I once again ordered coffee instead of the gelato.
Enjoying morning coffee at the marina
Wedding boat and whole ant farm of other boats trying to get through the marina lock.
Bye Emily. Travel safe. By the way you forgot your Kindle.


Pull out your old calendars!
Previous years with same starting weekday and equal number of days to 2019: 1991, 2002, 2013
Next year with same starting weekday and equal number of days to 2019: 2030

2 in 1

2 in 1

December 28, Friday Cape Harbour Marina, Cape Coral, FL   0 nautical miles.

26°32’45.1″N 82°00’28.3″W
26.545857, -82.007861
Elevation: 0 ft

A two fun things in one day. We started the morning dingy down and exploring the Cape Coral canals. In the afternoon a bike ride about town to the Cape Coral Beach.

Dingy Down!

Cape Coral has over 400 miles of navigable waterways, more miles of canals than any other city in the world. Even more than Venice Italy.

Bike about

Safety Joe and Disney Princess

‘Safety Joe’ is a John Prine song. Emily is a avid bike rider. She was aghast at her parent behavior riding a bicycle on the side walk, even with no one coming, because it is against the rules. I guess she prefers to die being hit by a car.
And then there was the Disney princess drama by another family member (not Emily). “I don’t care. I’ll do whatever I want.”

Cape Coral Boat House – Emily
Cape Coral Beach to the north
Cape Coral Beach House to the South – Lace cover up didn’t do much for the thong.
Cape Coral Boat House – Patron using one of the many ‘Oh shit’ handles hanging from bar ceiling (like on a city bus)


When was the thong invented?
New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia ( 1934 to 1945 ) ordered the city’s nude dancers to cover themselves and the thong was invented to just barely do the job. Fashion designer, Rudi Gernreich has been credited with introducing the first thong bikini in 1974.

Good Company

Good Company

December 27, Thursday Cape Harbour Marina, Cape Coral, FL   0 nautical miles

26°32’45.1″N 82°00’28.3″W
26.545857, -82.007861
Elevation: 0 ft

Mary’s niece Anna, husband Justin and daughters June and Zoey came to visit. They live in Miami and had spent Christmas Day at Justin’s parents in Naples, FL.

It was really fun to see them. Mary finally got a cup of gelato that she has been drooling over since we came to the marina at the French Press cafe. Zoey, 13 months, showed her how to eat gelato with her fingers.

Hanging out at Cape Harbour Marina – Zoey, Justin and June
Hanging out at Cape Harbour Marina – Dale, Anna and Emily
June at the helm
What’s a holiday without lutefisk and a little white lye?
Hostess gift dish cloth from Anna and Justin!!!! Thank goodness it wasn’t the real stuff. They also brought some Swedish cookies but they were eaten before it could be included in the picture.


Scandinavians rarely eat lutefisk. Far more lutefisk is consumed in the United States, much of it in church and lodge basements. In fact, the self-proclaimed “lutefisk capital of the world” isn’t in Norway but in Madison, Minnesota.
– Smithsonian Magazine

Toe the line

Toe the line

December 26, Wednesday Useppa Island, FL to Cape Harbour Marina, Cape Coral, FL   25.8 nautical miles.

26°32’45.1″N 82°00’28.3″W
26.545857, -82.007861
Elevation: 0 ft

Off to an early start for breakfast at the Cabbage Key Inn and then back to Cape Coral/Fort Meyers for Dale’s follow-up toe appointment.

Dingying in for Breakfast at Cabbage Key Inn (Cabbage Key is the location where the toe injury occurred)
Breakfast at Cabbage Key Inn

Toeing the line to Cape Coral

Intercoastal Boat Ant Farm – WHEW. The boats are on the predictable side of the channel.
Intercoastal Boat Ant Farm – This pontoon boat just cut sharply right in front of us from the portside. Under navigation rules we had clear right of way. Ya always have to be diligent and watchout!
Inter-coastal Boat Ant Farm. YesDear needs to be on the left side the green to be in the channel. Water is really skinny here. Some of the little boats can navigate out side the channel but it is too shallow for us.
Intercoastal Boat Ant Farm – Our mission is to make it between the red and green daymarks without going out side the channel or hitting anyone.
Intercoastal Boat Ant Farm – No where to go and still remain in the channel! In this whole mess of ants there is a sail boat under sail!!! Boats under sail have higher right-of-way presidence due to their limited navigability. We had to get out of the WAY and NOT HIT any ants. The frightening thing is most of the little boat skippers don’t know/follow rules.
Intercoastal Boat Ant Farm – Tour boat captain running for cover outside channel markers. Water was really skinny in this area of the inter-coastal right outside of Pine Island. This tour boat pontoon was running for cover to get out the way of crazy boats. It should have been on the other side the red day mark to be in the channel. Luck for him pontoons don’t draw a lot of water.
Nice custom job. Pixelated
Niiiiice boat
Nice boat
Future Darwin Award Recipient commemorating those who improve our gene pool–by removing themselves from it in the most spectacular way possible.
Plowing sand through a BIG sandbar. Either this guy doesn’t know how to read tide tables and charts or doesn’t pay attention.
Intercoastal waterway – Little rough for a full pontoon. Notice how deep the front tips of his pontoons are.
Intercoastal waterway – It’s amazing how many pontoons you see out in the middle of no where in rough water.

Each bird has an assigned day mark and are expected to be in their
assigned location when tourist boats go by.

Whew. After all this to get back to Cape Coral, next step is Toeing the line to the podiatrist (only after self-medication at Fathom’s bar)

Mary and Dale left Emily in the company of other people with the promise to find her with them at the Tiki Bar when Dale’s appointment was over. Bad parental move.

Toeing the line back to the boat

Start of the Pub Crawl….

Tiki Bar. It’s filled with little dog people. Someone here recommended Ralph’s for a good dive bar.
Ralph’s dive bar is somewhere in this mall
Smile Dale! (Not Ralph’s dive bar, but it was near by)
CarWash DogWash Cape Coral, FL. Of course, never having seen a CarWash DogWash we had to explore; DogWash side anyway.
CarWash DogWash – Instructions
CarWash DogWash – Vending selection
CarWash DogWash – Warning
Ford’s Garage
Ford’s Garage – Ladies Room sink
Ford’s Garage. Dale liked the porter. Mary liked the label. Notice the metal surface between the blue lights. It’s chilled and keeps your beer warm.

We also stopped a Big Blue Brewing company.

Mary quit at 2 drinks and then drank water and she was the only one with a hang over the next day. Go figure.


Toe the Line – Most likely derived from putting one’s toe to a line, mark, or seam on a naval ship as a form of regimentation or punishment.
– wiktionary

The idiom meaning “to do what is expected” or “to follow the established rules”

Edison & Ford Winter Estates – In 1886, inventor Thomas Edison purchased land along the Caloosahatchee River in Fort Myers and constructed a winter home. Wanting to spend the winters with the Edison’s, their friends Henry Ford and his wife purchased the adjacent property in 1915 and built a bungalow-style house.

Today these estates are museums

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

December 25, Tuesday – Cayo Costa Key State Park, FL to Useppa Island, FL  3.3 nautical miles.

26°39’30.5″N 82°12’57.0″W
26.658460, -82.215838
Elevation: 0 ft

Merry Christmas to Family and Friends. Missing you all and loving you all. It was nice to have Emily here to spend Christmas with us and we loved the phone calls with Sarah and Jake.

Along the Way

Cayo Costa State Park – Tradition was not broken. Mary making Christmas breakfast.
Cayo Costa State Park – Mary and Emily out for a dingy cruise. This was the first time Emily had driven a boat in several years. Dale passed on this cruise as he was taking care of his toe. 🙁
Cayo Costa State Park – All set for tram ride to Gulf side the key
Cayo Costa State Park – Yes, that is an alligator

Emily and Mary spent the most part of the day collection shells. Rather than collecting the largest they could find, they collected the smallest they could find. Just as amazing but takes up much less room.

Cayo Costa Key miniature shell collection

Just before sundown we decided to go to the Cabbage Key Inn for breakfast tomorrow morning. Tomorrow’s low tide is around 7:00 am and expected to be a low, low tide making it hard for us to get out of the bay early in the day. We pulled anchor and with navigation lights on we headed out for the 3 miles to the chosen anchorage.


In Germany, Poland, and Ukraine, finding a spider or a spider’s web on a Christmas tree is believed to be a harbinger of good luck. According to one legend, a spider wove a blanket for Baby Jesus, according to the other – a spider web on the Christmas tree turned silver and gold once the sunlight touched it. One way or another, decorating a Christmas tree with artificial spiders and spider webs will inevitably bring you luck and prosperity!

Mary is NOT German, Polish or Ukrainian. The Scandinavians do NOT believe this crap.

Abbreviating Christmas as Xmas does not take Christ out out Christmas. X is the Greek letter “chi” which is an abbreviation for the word “Christ” in Greek.


“They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters;
These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep.”

― Bible, Psalms 107:23-24

Holy Moly! What star is that?

Holy Moly! What star is that?

December 24, Monday – Cape Harbour Marina, Cape Coral, FL  to Cayo Costa Key State Park  3.3 nautical miles.

26°41’12.3″N 82°14’35.9″W
26.686743, -82.243301
Elevation: 0 ft

Woo Woo! What better way to spend Christmas than at Cayo Costa Key State Park. The amount of Christmas Eve day boat traffic was surprising! It was also a little surprising that there were about 10 boats anchored for the night at the Key. None of them had a Looper flag.

Along the Way

Christmas Eve Day traffic
Emily dolphin hunting
Dophins bow surfacing-both sides at same time
Storm leftovers pine needs and sea grass. Lots of it.
Draining the dingy before we can put it down. We had forgotten to unplug it last time we lifted it and it rained.


Christmas Eve Star – HA! It was the light on top of a sail boat mast. The night was so dark and still it was impossible to readily tell what it was other than a star.

In defense, there have been some nights we have actually seen a planet this big on the horizon line. Jupiter when we were crossing the Gulf was the biggest ball of light we have ever seen. The Big Dipper is often phenomenal. But not tonight.


Rudolph’s red nose is probably the result of a parasitic infection of his respiratory system. According to Roger Highfield, the author of the book “The Physics of Christmas: From the Aerodynamics of Reindeer to the Thermodynamics of Turkey” the world’s most famous reindeer has a red nose due to a parasite. However, Rudolf’s relationship with his parasite is symbiotic: after all, the red nose illuminates the path through the winter night for the whole reindeer team.

Happy Festivus Day

Happy Festivus Day

December 23, Sunday –  Cape Harbour Marina, Cape Coral, FL  0 nautical miles.

26°32’45.1″N 82°00’28.3″W
26.545857, -82.007861
Elevation: 0 ft

WOO WOO! Our daughter Emily arrived about 11:00 PM tonight! More on her tomorrow. I’m going to bed.

Today the new anchor went on!  WOO WOO! But the anchor saga continues. Mary accidentally double wrapped the chain and broke a piece off the anchor windlass. Stripped the screws straight out. Festivus Day grievances by Dale were not aired over Mary’s screw up.

New Anchor Vulcan25 – the baptism
New Anchor Vulcan 25. All 55 pounds of it.

Along the Way

We went in search for a Sports Bar to watch the Vikings play.

Cape Coral Fl power pole. The power line literal went down the center of the sidewalk????? I love the little curve around it on the inside.
Vikings Fans of all kinds – Vikings beat Detroit Lions 27 – 9


Cape Coral Marina – Dog Neighbors. A LOT of them. It must be a requirement to own a little dog if you want to live here.
Cape Harbor Marina Business Manager Stacy delivering mail. People here are so friendly and nice.

From the prior Poet Laureate – Tom F

Vi…olent night, ro….olly night.
All’s not calm……
Things aren’t right….

‘Round yon harbor ..
The waves …breaking high…
Lines won’t hold..
Despite how hard we try…
Christ this surfs getting ooo..old this surfs getting old

You… could be here…
With froze in Yes dear…
Cold to the bone…
Water like stone..

Not seeing sun for like …ever it seeems.
Just to feel warmth is like .. everyones dreams
So we all read, how each day unfo… olds
And hope..that your new… anchor holds.

Merry Christmas you two
Peace on earth and good will to aqua men
(and spiderwomen)

Tom! I think this was your best poem yet!


An “angel” is another term for an anchor kellet or sentinel. This is a weight that is suspended from the anchor rode some distance down from the bow to lower the angle between the lower part of the rode and the sea bottom, thus increasing its holding power while also providing slack to absorb the strain caused by gusts and waves, especially when there is not room to let out sufficient scope.

With our new anchor plus the 120 feet of chain, hopefully, we will never need to sink an “angel”. If the wind is too strong, skip that! I’m going to a marina.

The lizards are out today

The lizards are out today

December 22, Saturday –  Cape Harbour Marina, Cape Coral, FL  0 nautical miles 16+ statute miles.

26°32’45.1″N 82°00’28.3″W
26.545857, -82.007861
Elevation: 0 ft

They’re baaaaack … Spiders. I hate spiders! This spider was exterminated about 6 seconds after its picture was taken.

The little lizards, like Mary and Dale, were out and about today, running around. It was a tad chilly but the sun on our backs was wonderful as we biked around Cape Coral. Dale’s broken toe doesn’t slow him down much. I promise no more pictures 🙂 .

Along the Way

Dale and Mary both took pictures today.

Cape Coral Yacht Club Community Beach (Mary took this picture) The beach was nice but Mary’s a bit spoiled from the beach at Clearwater Beach.
Cape Coral Yacht Club Community Beach (Dale took this picture.) HA. He preferred this beach to Clearwater Beach
Cape Coral Yacht Club Community Beach – Santa stopped by. (Mary took this.)
Cape Coral Yacht Club Community Beach – Santa stopped by (Dale took this.)

Things in people’s yards

Cape Coral, FL – Things in people’s yards – Burrowing Owl (Mary took this picture) Burrowing owls capture prey by hovering over open areas or by running along the ground to chase prey down. They are quick and can even snatch flying insects from mid-air. LOL Burrowing owls collect mammal dung and put it in and around their burrows.
Cape Coral, FL – Things in people’s yards – Bathtub Mary, a truly weird American tradition – HA. This was in the same yard as the burrowing owl. (Dale took this picture.)
Cape Coral, FL – Purple fire hydrants????? Cape Coral has 800 or so purple water hydrants. Water in the purple hydrants is non-potable. They are on the city’s irrigation system, fed by fresh water canals and the two reclaimed water treatment plants. (Of course Mary took this one)


The Florida Keys are the only place in the continental U.S. where one can, on foot, watch the sun rise and set in the ocean.

Bump and Grind

Bump and Grind

December 19, Wednesday through December 21, 2018 Friday –  Cape Harbour Marina, Cape Coral, FL  0 nautical miles.

26°32’45.1″N 82°00’28.3″W
26.545857, -82.007861
Elevation: 0 ft

Bump and grind all night long for two nights and days in a row. We are really glad we are in a marina and not on the hook. Wave height in the Gulf from Tarpon Springs to Naples is 20+ feet.

Yesterday it rained for most of the day with 20+ mph wind gusting to 48 mph. Today has not been as rainy but the wind is still forceful. Fenders are deployed and monitored. Docklines are checked and rechecked. The wind gusts keep forcefully slamming YesDear against the dock/fenders, bumping and grinding away. The wind is kinda like that old high school bully that keeps walking by and giving you a solid shove; but about every 10 seconds to 2 minutes all day and night long. Some of the shoves are pretty hard! Still, I’d rather be tied up (to the dock than at anchor).

Speaking of anchors ….

The anchor saga continues from December 9, 2018. Gary, one of the Cape Harbour Marina employees, was kind enough to let us borrow his SUV to go West Marine and exchange our anchor. Yes, we did order a bigger anchor. Boat spec = Vulcan 25 Anchor (55 lbs) mfg spec that is intended to provide an anchor adequate for use in most all conditions based on 50 knots of wind, associated surge, and poor holding bottoms. If this anchor doesn’t hold, YesDear goes for sale!

Along the Way

Cape Harbour Marina – High tide on the dock, lapping along the top. I’m not really sure why the water level is so high as the water level in the marina and surrounding neighborhood is controlled by a small lock. All the rain? High storm surge over lock level?
Both. We went over to the lock and checked it out. The lock is completely open from both directions with a strong ebbing current even though it was not yet high tide.
Cape Harbour Marina – Neighbors and wind. Shortly after this picture was taken the umbrella and table blew completely off the balcony. You can also see the furniture and the Christmas tree in the other balcony askew.

Walk About

Cape Coral Marina – Walk about – Looking Up – Thee diversity of the palm trees was interesting (and the flowering tree). Mary found two coconuts that had fallen to the ground. She is going to try to open them later.
Cape Coral Marina – Walk about – Looking Down. All the little chameleons are in hiding today because of the cold, rainy wind.


There is a Royal Navy superstition that whistling on a ship can summon strong winds. Traditionally, the only person allowed to whistle is the ship’s cook, as it means he’s not eating the food. 

I’m not whistling Dixie…..

Heebie Jeebies

Heebie Jeebies

December 18, 2018 Tuesday Cape Harbour Marina, Cape Coral, FL  0 nautical miles.

26°32’45.1″N 82°00’28.3″W
26.545857, -82.007861
Elevation: 0 ft

Today’s the day Dale got to see Dr Howard the podiatrist! Yes he gets to keep the toe, but not all of it.

Along the Way

Derek from Lyft picked us up for our ride across town to Doc Howard’s. In route Derek told us interesting stories about alligator hunting. You need a licence to alligator hunt.  You can only hunt on private land at night when its dark. Scarry. You can’t just shine them and shoot them. You need to shine them, snag them, drag them up to the boat and put a bullet in their head.

In a nutshell, Derek and two friends snagged and shot an alligator in the head with a 44 mag. Unknown to them, all it did was knock the alligator out as the shell didn’t totally pierce the skull. On their way back to the marina with their prize 12+ foot alligator tied to the gunnel of their 30 foot bass boat, the alligators eyes opened and it started to look around. The three of them grabbed it and tied up its mouth and legs! WHEW.

Doc Howard’s

It’s the busy season at the podiatrist. Cape Coral is a community of newly weds and nearly deads. They don’t see many of the newly weds. All the snow birds are back in town. Dale was the youngest person they had seen all day. With all old people around here the orthopedics and the podiatrists in this area world class!

Before the good Doc could determine if surgery was merited she needed to see under the big toe nail.  OFF WITH THE NAIL!!!!!!!

Dale battled hard to do the toe nail removal procedure the old fashioned way but Doc Howard was fresh out of Jack Daniels and leather boot straps.

Surgery is NOT needed. WOO WOO!

Another round of antibiotics and the good doc wants Dale back in one week.

Good Night

From the prior Poet Laureate – Thanks Tom F!

DT that’s for damaged toe not Dale Tobin:
Aquaman has busted his fin
I can’t imagine the pain he’s in
Right now I bet what would come in handy
Is knowing a guy with “post OP candy”
But if he’s selfish, keeps it all to his self
You’ll probably turn to the liquor shelf
With spiderwoman mixing you some killer mangrias
Don’t start wandering around the marinas
Or taking on more than you really should handle
And get a damn bumper on that orthopedic sandle

Dale I feel bad for ya buddy. I can’t imagine. Good luck.
That’s got to suck.


Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage.

Toed In

Toed In

December 17, 2018 Monday Cape Harbour Marina, Cape Coral, FL  0 nautical miles.

26°32’45.1″N 82°00’28.3″W
26.545857, -82.007861
Elevation: 0 ft

Toed In.  Dale’s toe appointment is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon. We will be staying here in the marina until Jan 01, 2019, and maybe bit longer.

Along the Way

Monday was salsa lesson day at the marina pool about 50 yards from our boat. LOUD salsa music. It started at 10:00 AM and went on forever (till noon, but it felt like forever). It was just the instructor and about 5 old ladies.

The condos bordering the marina are easily worth a million and some much more than that. We can’t afford to live like the owners but we can enjoy the same views and eat in the same restaurants. We had breakfast at the little marina coffee shop The French Press. Our abligurition at the cafe is a way of life for some of the locals. (Actually the prices were reasonable.)

The French Press – Home made gelato and Mary ordered breakfast.

Dale’s catch of the day.

Ugliest duck contest winner

Good Night

Cape Harbour Marina – Sunset


Water going down a drain swirls counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere. So just put some water in the galley sink and watch after you pull the plug. This is called the Coriolis effect, which also influences ocean and wind currents.

Check out this link:
(Thx Dan H for this link. It’s a great illusion)

Abligurition – spending an excessive amount of money on food and drink.

Stay at home day

Stay at home day

December 16, 2018 Sunday  Cape Harbour Marina, Cape Coral, FL  0 nautical miles.

26°32’45.1″N 82°00’28.3″W
26.545857, -82.007861
Elevation: 0 ft

The next few days are going to pretty mellow and slow just like today since Dale hit the deck with his toe. The two big events for today were: Mary biked to go pick up Dale’s RX (pain killers and antibiotics for the toe) and VIKINGS WIN beat Miami 41-17.

Along the Way

 We wandered over to a local restaurant to watch the Vikings game. Dale is supposed to use his crutches to get around. He’s not.

A couple of local vehicles:

Mustang Golf Cart



There are more than 400 miles of canals here, making Cape Coral the city with the most miles of navigable waterways in the world. Take a look at it in Google Maps satellite view. (start by pasting in the coordinates where we are  26.545857, -82.007861)

Add that to your gelato and eat it, Venice!

You ever hear anyone complain ‘You’re a pain in my great toe’?

You ever hear anyone complain ‘You’re a pain in my great toe’?

December 15, 2018 Cabbage Key, FL   to Cape Harbour Marina, Cape Coral, FL  22.9 nautical miles.

26°32’45.1″N 82°00’28.3″W
26.545857, -82.007861
Elevation: 0 ft

The morning started early at 4:00 am. Dale stubbed his toe. We had planned to anchor out a Captiva Island to night but MOM (Mean Old Mary) said NO. You are going to the doctor…. read on.

Along the Way

Weekend traffic Ft Meyers to Cabbage Key. For most of our journey it felt like we were headed down a freeway going the wrong direction. With all this coming at you, skinny water – 1 foot of water out each side the channel, where does a 45 foot boat go????

Cabbage Key to Fort Meyers – Parasail boat with a customer in tow shooting right down the middle of the GICW waterway, in and among the traffic because the water outside the waterway is too shallow.

Cabbage Key to Fort Meyers -This old fart had to speed up to get in front of us at a waterway intersection. Once in front of us, of course, he had to slow down. He then proceeded to put his boat under autopilot and walked around his boat sightseeing.

Cabbage Key to Fort Meyers – Stone Crabber – you can see him tossing the crab back in the water. Only the pincher claw is harvested and the crab is tossed back. The claw regrows and can can be harvested in about 2 years.

Cabbage Key to Fort Meyers – Stone Crabber – Blow up of other picture.

Ft Meyers, FL – Jasper Bait Shop at Marker 96. The people on the upper deck are really mannequins. You can only get here by boat.

Cape Harbour Marina, Cape Coral, FL

Cape Harbour Marina, Cape Coral, FL – and your little dog too. This guy paddles ups grabs his little dog by the handle of its life jacket like he is carrying a purse, and walks off to the restaurant.

Cape Harbour Marina, Cape Coral, FL – Lock Entrance to the marina. We barely fit in it.

Cape Harbour Marina, Cape Coral, FL – Lock. The lock stabilizes the inland water.

Put your best foot forward

Dale got up this morning about 4:00 am to use the forward head and only used 3 of the four steps. He stubbed his toe big time. Lots of blood all over.  MOM said you are going to the doctor.

Once the boat was docked at Cape Harbour Marina we took a Lyft to Med Express Urgent Care.

Dale’s new best friend Juan, Radiologic Technology at Med Express Urgent Care. Thanks Juan!

Dale’s new best friend Juan fitting a Nike sandal after the toe had been X-rayed and carefully bandaged. Crutches were provided to stay off the foot. A heavy dose of antibiotics was administered to Dale’s lower cheek. Diagnosis was an open compression fracture.

Discharge papers said to to go directly to the Lee Memorial Medical Center ER as they are the only hospital with an on-call podiatrist.  WHAT??  Open compression fractures usually require surgery within 48 hours. WHAT?

We took another Lyft to Lee Memorial Medical Center about 20 miles away. The med staff was a little dismissive about a broke toe until they took the bandage off. Then they perked up!!!! (Toe injuries they generally don’t do anything for.)

Lee Medical Center – Bandage was take off to look at the open compression fracture.  Amy G this picture is for you because I know you like these gruesome ones.

Open compression fractures happen when you squash something so hard a bone breaks and the skin blows up, kinda like putting a apple in a vice.

Lee Medical Center – They put Dale on a gurney in the hall of the ER and started an IV (minor injury compared to those in the rooms???? – scary hospital).  HA! We think the is the same gurney in the same location our friend Larry W was on a couple months ago.

After a lengthy consult with the on-call podiatrist Dale’s toe was re-bandaged and he was sent home with instructions to call the podiatrist first thing Monday morning. He must go in.

Another Lyft ride back to the boat.

Bonus material from yesterday 😊

Dale liked this boat and Mary forgot to put it in yesterday’s blog. All the boats we saw today were baby boats compared to this one. 

Cabbage Key Inn – Stopping in for dinner – detailing right down to the color of the antennae.

Cabbage Key Inn – Stopping in for dinner – 4 x 400

Cabbage Key Inn – Stopping in for dinner – as long as you have the other two pictures you might as well get this

It’s not lions, tigers and bears

It’s not lions, tigers and bears

December 14, Friday  Cabbage Key, FL   0 nautical miles

26°39’24.1″N 82°13’20.2″W
26.656700, -82.222272
Elevation: 0 ft

The main reason we are in the marina today is that there was supposed to be a big storm today. There wasn’t.

Nature Walk

Cabbage Key nature walk – Back side the restaurant – [Steve] banyan trees

Cabbage Key nature walk – Infrequent alligator sightings???????

Cabbage Key nature walk – mother-in-law’s tongue. We kept getting wafts of skunk on both Cayo Costa Key and here on Cabbage Key. Turns out that is exactly what the mother-in-law’s tongue flower smells like. Some of these leaves were over 4 feet in length.

Cabbage Key nature walk

Cabbage Key nature walk – cactus – From a distance the ground look like some one had dumped several bushels of long string beans on the ground.

Cabbage Key nature walk indigo snake – Oh great. Longest snake? How long is that?

A ways up the trail a Rat Snake sign advised Snake bites are generally not serious.    ?????

It’s not lions, tigers and bears. It’s alligators, indigo snakes, black snakes and rat snakes!!! There were a lot of little lizards but I’m not generally worried about things that can’t get their mouth around my little toe.

Cabbage Key nature walk – spoon bills.  Trunk of a cabbage palm at the right side curve in the trail.

Cabbage Key nature walk – strangler fig around palm tree

Cabbage Key nature walk – burls – Jeff F this picture is for you. What beautiful things could you make out of these burls!

Water Tower

The wooden water tower on Cabbage Key is ~ 60 feet high, holds 6,000 gallons of water and was built in the 1930’s.  All of the other water towers on the nearby islands have been blown down by hurricanes.

Cabbage Key nature walk – water tower – Century Plant (Agave) and tops of cabbage palms.

Cabbage Key nature walk – water tower – island canopy with cabbage palms

Dock Walkers

The guys below stopped in on their boats for lunch at the Cabbage Key restaurant.

Cabbage Key – WOO WOO Minnesota Men!!!!!   (two Canadians and a Cheese Head)

Good Night

Cabbage Key Inn – Sitting here in Adirondack chairs watching the world go by.

Cabbage Key Inn sitting in Adirondack chairs watching the world go by – Ducks stopping by for fresh water. Shortly after this some spoon bills stop by.

Cabbage Key Inn sitting in Adirondack chairs watching the world go by – Turtle on a mission. About 15 minutes latter he trudged back. Go figure.


The abundance of cabbage palms, also known as Sabal palmetto, are from which this key got its name. The cabbage-like terminal bud has been eaten as hearts of palm. The bristles on the sheaths of young leaves have been made into scrubbing brushes. The trunks have been used as wharf piles.

After returning from the nature walk I looked up Florida snakes.

I really wish I wouldn’t have done that.

We can’t stop grinning

We can’t stop grinning

December 13, 2018 Pelican Bay, Cayo Costa Key State Park to Cabbage Key, FL   4.1 nautical miles

26°39’24.1″N 82°13’20.2″W
26.656700, -82.222272
Elevation: 0 ft

For all the weather crappy days we have spent on the Loop, today was GOLD! Today was everything we are on the Loop for. Neither Mary or Dale could stop grinning all day!

Cayo Costa Key State Park

This morning we took dingy around the shoreline for a little ways and then to the park If you ever go to the park you gotta take the tram from the park entrance to the gulf coast. It’s an easy walk but take the tram because it’s a fun ride.

Dingy Ride

Cayo Costa Dingy Ride – Among the mangroves

Cayo Costa Dingy Ride – Among the mangroves

Cayo Costa Dingy Ride – Among the mangroves

Cayo Costa Key – Fish Crows – One thing that has amazed me is the amount of murders of crows and the number of birds in the murders in Florida.  There was easily over fifty birds hanging out on the tops of the dead trees in the little bay we were in

Overnight Facilities

Cayo Costa Key State Park rental cabins – Some have screen porches and some don’t

Cayo Costa Key State Park rental cabins – The inside of these cabins look just like the inside of a Lake Mille Lacs, Mn winter ice fishing houses …….. triple level bunks all the way around. Quite primitive. No running water. No electricity.

Cayo Costa Key State Park rental – restroom. Notice the outdoor shower on the side of the building by Dale!

Cayo Costa Key State Park tent campground

Walk about

Cayo Costa Key State Park

Cayo Costa Key State Park -We were merrily ambling down a path and ran into this sign. After a good chuckle we wandered over by the water.

Cayo Costa Key State Park – The chucking and goofing around suddenly stopped!!!!!!!!!! Al BIG alligator. No wait! Two big alligators and they are NOT in the the zoo. Quiet voices and tip toeing over the next section of trail. Mary made Dale lead. Tippy toe. Tippy toe.

Cayo Costa Key State Park – The next sign

Cayo Costa Key State Park – Another view of the alligator. The alligator was HUGE. We are certain it was over 12 feet.

Cayo Costa Key State Park

Cayo Costa Key State Park – Dale waiting for Mary

Dead Things

Cayo Costa Key State Park – Dead Turtle 🙁  It was about 4 feet in length.

Cayo Costa Key State Park – Dead Crabs (except for the one in the lower right. Mary tossed it back into the water)

The main reason that Mary posts so many pictures of shell is that she can’t collect them all and bring them on the boat.

Cayo Costa Key State Park – Shelling

Cayo Costa Key State Park – Shelling – mixed bag – full clam, sponge and lovely shell

Cayo Costa Key State Park – Shelling- Score! We tossed a couple of these back cause the critter was still alive inside.

Could it get better? Cabbage Key

We went to Cabbage Key Marina to weather out the predicted incoming tomorrow storm. Cabbage Key is an ice age sand dune. According to geologists, the island has not flooded completely since the last ice age.

Josh the bar tender at Cabbage Key. Housing is provide for the the full time staff.The place is cool. Mary applied for a job and they said they would take her. Too bad we have plans for the coming month ☹. (Dale is relieved.)

Cabbage Key residents – Gopher turtles. Four of them!!

Cabbage Key residents – Gopher turtles

Cabbage Key – Fresh water stop

Cabbage Key – Fresh water stop

Good Night

Cabbage Key Marina Restaurant – Wall papered in $$$$$ (Good Food)

Cabbage Key Marina – Yes Dear …


A group of crows is called a “murder”. There are several different explanations for the the origin of this term, mostly base on folk tales and superstition.
– Crows are an omen of death
– Crows are scavengers associated with dead bodies, cemeteries and battle fields.
– Crows circling in the are are a omen that someone will die soon

The fish crow is known to forage in flocks of several hundred, and roosts can contain upwards of 45,000 individuals. Fish crow has a nasal “nyuh unh”,”ark-ark-ark” or a begging “waw-waw” call.

In a sweet spot today

In a sweet spot today

December 12, 2018 Englewood Beach, Lemon Bay, Manasota Key, FL to Pelican Bay, Cayo Costa Key State Park   18.2 nautical miles

26°41’14.3″N 82°14’29.4″W
26.687314, -82.241486
Elevation: 0 ft

We are in a sweet spot tonight. We scored a perfect anchorage in Pelican Bay at Cayo Costa Key with 4 other Looper boats. Thanks to Looper boat THE BLESSING for hosting docktails on their boat.

Tonight is night six in-a-row on the hook.

<<<<<Warning>>>>>  Mary was picture happy today and too lazy to edit.

Along the way

Englewood just south of the Bay Bridge – Today we ventured through the most perilous waters we have traveled through yet, low tide and heavy shoaling right next to and into the channel. A fair amount of the time we had to navigate out of the day-marked channel to stay in water deep enough for our draft.   Crab pot on a shoal close to the channel.

Half of Mary and Dales conversation each day is ‘Holy crap! Look at that house!’.  However, this is not a big house picture. It is a roof picture. Mary loved the red roof picture.

personal water craft – hadn’t seen one like this before

Placida Harbor Docks – 26°50’20.3″N 82°16’44.1″W
                                            26.838960, -82.278913

Englewood, FL Gulf Bvld – Palm Island Transit Ferry


Gasparilla Island Causeway Bridge – new and old

Cayo Costa State Park

The Cayo Costa State Park is a natural Florida eco preserve.  It is just north of Captiva Island and only accessible by boat or ferry. We walked along the shore to the north end the island then cut back on a path through the middle of the island.

Cayo Costa Key State Park – Gulfside Beach – natural shoreline

Awesome shelling beach

Cayo Costa Key State Park – Shelling

Cayo Costa Key State Park – Shelling

Cayo Costa Key State Park – Shelling – We were a little late to the shelling. We met a woman who had about 10 of these 5-inch shells in perfect shape.

Cayo Costa Key State Park – Shelling – sea urchin

Cayo Costa Key State Park – Shelling

Cayo Costa Key State Park – Shelling – Sand dollar

Costa Key State Park – Shelling – Sea urchin

Cayo Costa Key State Park – Shelling – Sand dollars

Cayo Costa Key State Park – Snowy Egret with a fish (Mary’s favorite because she love their yellow feet)

Cayo Costa Key State Park – What are these? Dale said petrified fish poop.

Palms Pines and Oaks – through the middle of the island

Cayo Costa Key State Park – North end of the beach

Cayo Costa Key State Park – Through the middle – palm and oak trees

Cayo Costa Key State Park – Through the middle – oak tree

Cayo Costa Key State Park – Through the middle – palm and pine trees

Cayo Costa Key State Park – Through the middle

Cayo Costa Key State Park – Through the middle

Cayo Costa Key State Park

Cayo Costa Key State Park – Cemetery

Cayo Costa Key State Park – Cemetery

Good Night

Dingyed in for Docktails with HEARTBEAT, CECIL KAY and LOW PROFILE hosted by Looper Boat THE BLESSING


Your true colours
Ships would often carry flags from many nations so that they could deceive nearby vessels into thinking they were allies. The rules of engagement however required that all ships hoist their true nation’s colours before firing upon someone. Thus, it was common to hoist an enemy ship’s colours and hail them; once near, show your true colours and fire upon them.

Three times a charm

Three times a charm

December 11, 2018 to Blackburn Bay, FL to Englewood Beach, Lemon Bay, Manasota Key, FL 15.3 nautical miles

26°55’11.3″N 82°21’15.3″W
26.919815, -82.354239
Elevation: 0 ft

Dale hates Sea Hawks. They beat the Vikings last night. 21 -7

Sea Hawk with sheepshead fish. I couldn’t get him to look my way no matter how hard I tried.

Tonight night five in-a-row on the hook.  Still smiling but getting a little stir crazy for shore. We are a little uncertain about the anchor and this anchorage is a tight anchorage with a lot of wind.  There seems to be no break from the wind. Ever.

Along the way

Venice, FL Albee Bridge – Three times a charm. Third time through this lift bridge. First time today though. I wonder if the Bridge Keeper remembers us.

Venice, FL Snake Island.

Venice, FL – Do you think these neighbors know each other and are friends? Hang out around a barbecue?

Venice, FL – Murals on back side of buildings

Venice, FL – Security patrols directly across the canal from each other

Venice, FL, Circus Bridge – Canal waterway about 4 miles long between Venice, FL and South Venice, FL. We saw manatee in this canal. They are even more camera shy than dolphins.

South Venice, FL – Lemon Bay Docks. Just to be clear …. this is a picture of docks, not houses.

Lemon Bay, FL Fishermen

Lemon Bay, FL – Thanks for the wake captain!

Our Anchorage

Lemon Bay, Manasota Key, FL – Neighbors. Dan H this bird picture is for you.

Lemon Bay, Manasota Key, FL reflection

Florida has a problem with permanently anchored boats. Almost all of the good anchorages we have encountered have permanently anchored boats. It’s easy to tell which are permanently anchored boats by the condition of the boat. Almost all of the permanently anchored boats do not have live-aboards on them to tend them and appear to have anyone monitoring what going on with the boat.
The anchorage we are in tonight must have over a dozen permanently anchored boats. In addition, a bunch of private mooring balls have been dropped with no boats attached. This makes it a challenge to anchor out. Besides the permanently anchored boats in the water there are a few that permanently grounded boats. It is not uncommon for the owner of the permanently grounded boat or permanently anchored boat to remove all identification from the boat and abandon it rather than deal with it.

Lemon Bay, Manasota Key, FL grounded boat

Lemon Bay, Manasota Key, FL grounded boat

Lemon Bay, Manasota Key, FL grounded boat

Unattended boat

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

The wind laid down so we dingyed to shore.  We were going to walk around the community a bit was too dang cold. 45 degrees

Lemon Bay, Manasota Key, FL – Santa – We dingyed in to the White Elephant Pub to use the free internet and get a bite to eat.

Lemon Bay, Manasota Key, FL – Getting ready for the Friday Boat Parade

Lemon Bay, Manasota Key, FL – Getting ready for the Friday Boat Parade

Lemon Bay, Manasota Key, FL – Getting ready for the Friday Boat Parade


Above Board
Pirates would often hide much of their crew below the deck. Ships that displayed crew openly on the deck were thought to be honest merchant ships known as “above board.”

Turned tail and headed North

Turned tail and headed North

December 10, 2018 Monday Little Sarasota Bay, FL to Venice, FL back to Blackburn Bay, FL 15.3 nautical miles

27°09’13.7″N 82°28’51.8″W
27.153815, -82.481043
Elevation: 0 ft

We took our time today and slowly motored to Venice, FL, around 13 nautical miles from where we anchored last night. There was no room to give a wide berth in any of the anchorages and we weren’t quite ready to pay $2.50 a foot at the cheapest marina that had availability. Heading further south at 2:30 PM wasn’t quite an option as the waterway becomes a 4-5 mile long canal section with no anchorages. We turned tail, I mean stern, and headed back north to find an anchorage.

Tonight is night five in-a-row on the hook, just Mary and Dale. Marriage counseling is still not necessary.

Unfortunately this anchorage has no place for Dale to watch the football game.

Top o’ the Morning

This is what a good night’s sleep anchorage pattern looks like.

A good night’s sleep anchorage pattern. We pulled the anchor rode catenary straight just to make sure that anchor was SET! (Navionics screen print)      

Anchor Rode Catenary – Curvature of the anchor rode from the boat to the sea bottom due to the weight of the chain/rope and conditions (e.g. wind and current).

Along the way

It’s really a good thing Mary is getting desensitized on mansions and screen rooms or you would have had at least 20 more pictures of them again today. Never the less, they are still mind boggling. Think about. How many million million-dollar houses do you think there are in Florida?  This area has to be Kidsville compare to the Boca Raton and Miami area.

New topic: Shrubbery (Dale said ONE picture only. Make it good!)

Shrubbery – Manicured Mangroves

How many people do you think get bitten by a snake while trimming the shrubbery each year?


The next two bridges are the narrowest points we have encountered on our trip so far.  Both were within several miles of each other.

Blackburn Swing Bridge, FL – This was almost a disaster ….. The first time we approached the bridge we were merrily approaching, not reading our charts, then WAIT! Our antennas are up! Dute-todo dute-todo WAIT! This bridge has only 9 feet clearance! We slammed into reverse then called for a swing.

Albee Road (Casey Key) Bridge, FL – HA! We saw this bridge two times today, once headed south and once headed north. We will see it once again tomorrow when we head south again.


<<content deleted because it was once again mega mansions 🙂 >>


Nautical Idiom  Give a wide berth 
– To anchor a ship far enough away from another ship so that they did not hit each other when they swung with the wind or tide.

Practice for Bahamas

Practice for Bahamas

December 9, 2018 Sunday Downtown Sarasota, FL to Little Sarasota Bay, FL 6.7 nautical miles

27°14’20.2″N 82°31’14.2″W
27.238940, -82.520608
Elevation: 0 ft

Rainy windy last night and today.

Sarasota, FL anchorage about 11:00 am this morning

It’s calm here at our  tonight at 8:00pm.  We are testing our skills to see if we can really manage to anchor out in the Bahamas for an extended period of time. Tonight will be night four in-a-row on the hook.

Top o’ the Morning

This morning didn’t start well. Our wonderful new anchor set at a 5:1 scope dragged about 30 feet in a 12-17 mph wind during the night.

We rechecked scope calculations when we weighed anchor this morning just to rule out a math error.

  • ~ 15 feet = 8.6 ft water depth + 5 ft bow to water line + 1 ft based on time and next flood tide
  • 75 feet anchor rode = 15 ft * 5 scope

Calculations were correct. 85 feet of chain had been paid out, with a 3 strand nylon anchor bridle, when we set the anchor yesterday.

Sarasota, FL – Navionics screen shot of anchoring / boat drift pattern

Now what? We hate to think we need to have set a 7:1 scope 17 mph wind. What will happened if it is really windy? > 25 mph????  Both Dale and Mary think our original anchor would have held. Does that go back on?

Along the way

Rainy day hangout on a protected island. It looked like someone had drawn a big circle around the island, not outline the edge, with rocks.

Rainy day hangout – inside the rock barrier

Screen Rooms – Prices vary, but pool screen enclosures typically cost $6-8 per square foot. Based on that, you can expect to pay several thousand dollars at minimum to screen in an average-sized inground swimming pool. Jul 12, 2016

Stickney Point near Siesta Key, FL – Fishing village


Little Sarasota Bay Neighbors

Little Sarasota Bay Neighbors. There must have been about 7-8 groups of dolphins. They are sure hard to catch on camera.


A modern aluminum 15 pound anchor, when properly embedded, will provide the same holding power as a 1.5-ton block of concrete.  ref: The Complete Anchoring Handbook, by Poirand, Ginsberg-Klemnt and, Ginsberg-Klemnt

Weigh anchor – A nautical term indicating the final preparation of a sea vessel for getting underway. Weighing anchor literally means raising the anchor of the vessel from the sea floor and hoisting it up to be stowed on board the vessel.

Mary’s not done obsessing about anchors yet……

So why did our anchor fail?

Our best guess is a poor holding bottom, muddy clay. The anchor and chain had a lot of sticky mud when it was pulled this morning. Directional changes in wind or current/tide can also cause and anchor to break loose from the bottom.  We don’t think this is the case as the anchor drag direction was constant throughout the night. A different weather site Dale looked at said wind was gusting higher than 17 mph. This could be another factor.

We thought the anchor might have broken loose again around 9:00am. Wind or current could have been a factor then coupled with the poor holding bottom.

We need another windy day in an open area to check our theory out. Then again, there is always heavier anchor or more scope.

I think a lot of people from Minnesota might like to sit right here

I think a lot of people from Minnesota might like to sit right here

December 8, 2018 Saturday DeSoto Point, Manatee River, Bradenton, FL to Downtown Sarasota, FL 25.1 nautical miles

27°20’00.1″N 82°33’07.3″W
27.333353, -82.552018
Elevation: 0 ft

I think a lot of people from Minnesota might like to sit right here where we are anchored. Maybe some Wisconsin cheese heads too.

Along the way

Manatee River, DeSoto Point – Leaving this morning’s anchorage

I really need to re-read the Florida nautical guidelines and regs to find out if there are different regs/rules for locals vs transients.

Optional No Wake Zones?

Cortez Bridge, Bradenton Beach, FL – Will we make it?

Cortez Bridge, Bradenton Beach, FL – Will we make it? We made it buy about a foot.

Sunken Boat.

Sarasota, FL across Sarasota Bay looking south

On the Hook

Sarasota, FL – Neighbors – COG 170 degrees magnetic 90 degree bearing (starboard side). This guy really looks like a full time live aboard.  Note the sailing regatta in the background.      [COG Course over ground]

Sarasota, FL – Neighbors – COG 170 degrees magnetic 270 degree bearing (portside)

Sarasota, FL – Neighbors – COG 170 degrees magnetic aft view. Looks like they haven’t had a hurricane here for a while. All the trees are pretty much the same size and they all have their tops. Did you notice we got a new flag?

Around Sarasota

Excursion started at Marina Jack’s dingy dock….

Sarasota, FL – Marina Jack Dingy Dock. We are about the 10th dingy down.

Sarasota, FL – Marina Jack – Dingy storage

Sarasota, FL – Waterfront.

Sarasota, FL Ugly sweater crawl contestants. For real. There is a contest tonight.  We don’t even know these people. Mary just took their picture …

Sarasota, FL – Art Bikes – The guy who created them moves around to new locations every Sunday morning.

Sarasota, FL – Cross Walk

Good Night

In the beginning there was sunset …….

Sarasota, FL sunset


Sarasota, FL Parade goers

Sarasota, FL Parade goers. There were easily over 100 boats in the water to watch the parade. The city park the boat pass by was packed with people who had started getting seats around 3:00 PM.

Sarasota, FL Holiday Light Parade – We sat on our boat where we anchored and watched this. The fire truck, off course, was the last boat in the parade. It was followed by a couple of police boats.

Mary was really bummed they didn’t throw candy in the parade. She hasn’t had any chocolate since Bruce and Perky left.

Dale made Mary take these pictures

Dale made Mary take this – Yes we uses recyclable bags

Dale made Mary take this – Ugly helmet guy. Why have a nice bike and an ugly helmet?