We are now well into a daily routine of sailing and motoring south along the Inter-coastal waterway which has been dredged to join up lagoons on the land side of a series of long narrow mangrove islands. Some of these islands are left natural with lots of birdlife, and some are developed by dredging channels to form classy home sites with a yacht at the foot of every lawn. Swinging bridges connect these islands to the mainland and we must blow our horn (like a little trumpet - the girls hate it as it makes people look at us and at their age this is embarrassing.) to get them to open for us.
Bill seems to be always working on the boat: completing our simple electrical system for example or trying out our new sails for the first time. Once we were sailing toward a bridge and blew the horn and the bridge did n`t open. We were moving fast! Gaaak! The engine started first pull and stopped us just before we passed under and our mast did not!
Woke up in the little harbour at Englegrove. Bill and I walked to a Marina close by to buy charts and were startled to hear ‘Rudolph the red nosed reindeer’ on the radio. It just does n`t seem like Christmas somehow.
Continued down the waterway until we reached the last bridge at Placida and found that it was broken. Some kind people in a motorboat showed us a shallow passage out to the open Gulf and we put up the yankee jib as well as the staysail and travelled in grand style along the coast of Gasparilla island. At the southern point we reentered the waterway through the Boca Grand Pass.
Our destination: a marina at last! With showers and a laundromat! Cabbage Key. This has been the first really warm sunny day and we all enjoyed it very much. Elaine and Anne sunbathed on the deck and Heather even seeking shade behind the sails. Heather.
We all woke up thinking we should go back to bed. Clumsy! Sleepy eyed! People telling me to eat quick or no food at all! Soon Anne and Elaine went to the showers (not the greatest). Mom came back from doing the laundry and then me and mom got to have showers. I got back and the tent was down and Dad and Anne were trying to figure out the mainsail and put it up for the first time. They bumped their heads a million times on the boom. We then had lunch and left at 12:30.
So we travelled towards Fort Meyers but stopped at a little Key instead to stay the night. It had a neat little beach. And after we anchored for the night mom went out to fish ( In ‘Hippolyta’, our yellow inflatable dinghy. Hippolyta: Queen of the Amazons.- paddled like a hippo but was lighta) but we made her come back `cuz that wind was too strong. She picked up Anne, Elaine and me to bring us to the beach. We stopped off there collecting shells. The shells are really pretty here and strange. Mom went back and got Dad and food. After watching the sunset we went back to Amazon and had a delicious supper and Anne went back out to fish and caught herself! Mom got the hook out and so we are now going to bed. I know this is a boring journal today, but mom wants the light out. Good Nite!!!! Gwyn.