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What a Week!

December 26, 2021 (Updated January 2, 2022)

Allenicks, Milgroms and Rosenbergs

Friday, December 16th, Hedy and Michael Milgrom and Frank and Beth Rosenberg stopped on their way to Naples and we had a beautiful afternoon sail. We love sharing the sailing experience with others so we enjoyed the beautiful weather and sail as much as they did.

Hedy and Sheila

Don Pedro State Park is our favorite beach and Cape Haze our favorite overnight anchorage. Saturday around noon when the tide began to rise, we took off for Cape Haze. It felt so good to get away from the dock. The young couple across the dock, Russ and Jamie, were also going for an overnight and we encouraged them to come with us-which they did. We were able to sail about a third of the way across the harbor before the wind died. We arrived at Cape Haze around 3:30, got in our dinghy and headed out for the beach. A few minutes into the dinghy ride, Bob noticed that there wasn’t any cooling water coming out of the motor. We had just paid for a mechanic to replace the impeller (and teach Bob how to do it for the next time) but had not tested out the motor before we left (our bad). Thankfully, Russ and Jamie were right there with us so we returned to the boat and they agreed to be our taxi service for the next two days. Bob eventually forund the blockage in the cooling passage and solved the problem.

Don Pedro sunset

We went to the beach, found some shark teeth (Jamie’s first) and saw an absolutely beautiful sunset before going back to the boats for dinner. Interestingly Cape Haze has always been a very quiet anchorage. But the holiday spirit was in the air as the surrounding residents were partying in a not so quiet way.

One day shart teeth find.

Then this past week we were preparing for strong winds on Tuesday. Tuesday morning I was on the phone with Karen when Bob called me to help him in the cockpit. When I exited the cabin I was hit in the face with 20 plus knot winds. As the wind picked up our spring line stretched and the anchor which hangs off the bow (front) of the boat was hitting the dock box. We fought, with our dock neighbors help, to push the boat back so that we could take an extra rap around the mid-ship cleat. We then proceeded to examine our neighboring boats. The winds picked up and we along with about 6 others began the process of securing or reinforcing the lines on others boats on the dock. It was an invigorating feeling watching our dock neighbors work together, along with Jaret from the marina, making sure that none of the boats got damaged. We later found out that gusts reached more than 60 miles per hour and three boats in Punta Gorda sank in the wind storm. There really wasn’t much rain – just lots and lots of wind much stronger than what had been forecasted.

Guys on the dock inspecting how the boats were tied up.

The next day we were in the cabin in the am when all of a sudden I heard a yell, “I need HELP”. We ran out of the cabin and found our dock neighbor in the water fighting to maintain control. Apparently he slipped on a mat which was on the dock while boarding his boat and had fallen in the water between the dock and the boat. Thankfully he did not hit his head and seemed relatively unharmed. The only ladders from the water up to the dock are at the very ends of each long dock. His boarding ladder was obstructed by his dinghy hanging off the back of his boat. So, the only quick way to get him out of the water has to lift him up onto the swim platform. We gave him a line to wrap around his chest and then Bob and two others pulled him up. Thankfully he didn’t need medical attention – just warm dry clothes.

Celebrated Rachel's birthday with her and the David Allenick family.

After the weekend, we set out once more for the beach. We anchored Tuesday night at Cape Haze, went to the beach for sunset and Wednesday morning set out in our dinghy for Stump Pass. While plotting our course I noticed that Dee and Lisa Simmons live right along our path.

Dee Simmons and his new Catamaran.

We met Lisa and Dee last year and they had since taken delivery on a brand new Seawind 39 foot catamaran that we were curious to see. So we called to see if they wanted company and were greeted with a warm come on down. About two miles north on the ICW, we turned into their channel and immediately saw the catamaran sitting in the water. We stopped to talk for about an hour and had a tour of their beautiful new boat. Unfortunately, they are having trouble resolving warranty issues (which we know is very common with new boats) and have not had a chance to sail the boat since its original delivery back in the spring. We hope that the last of the issues will be resolved quickly and we will see them out sailing in Charlotte Harbor and beyond. In the meantime we invited them to come sailing with us – which I hope they will do.

Her Diamond on anchor before the fog.

We continued north on the ICW and beached the dinghy on the south side of Stump pass. Big mistake! Although the southern side was closer which meant we didn’t have to cross the inlet, the north side is much more protected from the waves and motor boat wakes rolling in the inlet and next time we will go the extra distance to the north shore. We stopped and had a picnic lunch before heading back to Cape Haze. Once back, it wasn’t long before we saw Captain David arrive with his teaching boat and the two couples that were his students for this week. Shortly thereafter Thomasina (Sue and Lawrie) arrived. It was nice to be able to share the anchorage with friends. Sue and Lawrie went with us by dinghy over to the beach to see the sunset and find some additional shark teeth (of course) and then we came back to grill a delicious dinner. After dinner we joined Captain David and his crew for amazing Key Lime Pie that they had made. It as a delightful day!

Her Diamond on anchor in the fog.

The next morning Bob took time to make water with the water maker to ensure that it still was in working order and it was! We had not used the water maker since May when we left Florida. We pulled anchor, made the noon Boca Grande Swing Bridge and were on our way back. There was some heavy fog but while motoring south in the ICW we were able to see Thomasina right behind us. Once we turned east to cross Charlotte Harbor, Thomasina completely disappeared. We had a course charted on the tablet which we felt comfortable following, but the fog was so think we could barely see the bow of the boat. Then all of a sudden, the sun broke through, the wind died and we could again see Burnt Store off in the distance. It took a while before Thomasina was again visible, as they had gone a bit father south before making the turn for home.

After about 20 minutes of no wind, we turned on the engine and motored the rest of the way home. Funny that on the way out the wind was way stronger than forecasted and on the way back, it was much lighter than the forecast. I don’t even know why I check the forecast anymore.

We got back right in time to do laundry and grocery shop for New Year’s Eve.

Tina and Paula at the New Years party at the pool.

Twelve of us gathered at the patio by the pool to have a pot luck dinner and welcome the New Year. Good music, way too much food and good friends (some brand new), and of course blowing the conch at midnight, made for a lovely evening.

I am due to fly home on Thursday – United Airlines please don’t cancel my flight!!

More to come….



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