Friday, May 1, 2009

Naples - Sanibel

The Naples’ Saturday Farmers Market provided us with fresh fruits (local strawberries and papaya), vegetables (tomatoes, green beans, zucchini & red peppers) plus a treat of stone crabs. This was heard on NPR the other day. “The majority of wealth is in the hands of those who are 55 and older and we can live the rest of our lives on fruits, vegetables, pasta, olive oil and wine, plus yearly doses of sock and underwear”. Yes, it was a male speaking! Our sail to Ft. Myers was swift – 15 to 20 knots of east wind with gusts to 25. The main was reefed 50% and we had 2’ seas abeam. It took only 5 hours and 45 minutes in contrast to the 7 hours of March’s southbound trip, when we motored against the wind. St. Charles Yacht Club, one of our favorite friendly stops, gave us the chance to visit with old friends Bill and Toni Hitchens and make new friends, Don & Virginia Sink from Tampa Yacht Club, plus have an address to which our bank could Fed Ex new credit cards. The Club held a Members’ Art Show and reception, Wednesday evening. For a small 120+ member club, there were many very talented painters, potters, photographers, jewelers, a wood turner and a gentleman who creates beautiful fly fishing lures. Last night, Thursday, we anchored off Sanibel Island’s Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge. By dingy we explored the mangrove shorelines and ventured into the bayou to watch cormorants, herons, ospreys and pelicans fishing and drying their wings on the weathered gnarled snags. With 10-knot SE winds it has been a comfortable and peaceful spot. This weekend we'll be at Captiva Island Yacht Club. The fire we spoke about in our last blog post began ten days ago in the drought areas of Big Cypress Preserve. It closed I-75 “Alligator Alley” from Naples to Miami for over a week. We were still getting a fine coating of ash during our stay at Ft. Myers. Can you see Iggy among the leaves in this photo? Our friends Carol and Pete have been supplementing his diet with broccoli stocks and collard greens.Iggy is a wild iguana living at Boca Chica.

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