Marco Island

Thursday (8/28/14)

Although we enjoyed our time in Naples…

Naples, Italy, with Mt. Vesuvius towering over Pompeii in the background.

Naples, Italy, with Mt. Vesuvius towering over Pompeii in the background.

… No, not that Naples (although we have been there)… It’s nice to be at San Marco.

San Marco Basilica in San Marco Square, Venice, Italy.

San Marco Basilica in San Marco Square, Venice, Italy.

No, not that San Marco (although we’ve also been here as well)… but Marco Island, named “San Marco” by the Spanish Explorers after one of the Gospel writers, St. Mark the Evangelist.

Today was hectic. We awoke this morning to have a quick breakfast before a busy day of boat work and preparations to leave Beatitude for eleven days. After returning the laundry room key – and “room” is a slight misnomer as it was a closet behind a door with a stacked washer and dryer – I made arrangements to have a marine air-conditioning repairman to come at 2 pm to repair our salon AC which has not been cooling well since just before we left Regatta Pointe.

Our Rental Car for the next two weeks - Dodge Avenger.

Our Rental Car for the next two weeks – Dodge Avenger.

We were picked up in a driving rain storm by the Hertz Rental Car guy and taken to the Hertz office in Marco Island. The 10 to 15 minutes of rain for the entire day just happened to coincide with the moment that we had to walk to the front of the marina. Soaking wet after the trek to the pickup-car from our slip, we were given a red Dodge Avenger to drive for the next couple of weeks. We then paid a visit to that great money vacuum called West Marine to pick up some line for boat fenders and also for line to raise and lower our dinghy on its davits. One of the existing lines twists so tightly that we are only able to raise it only with great difficulty. From West Marine, we paid a lunchtime visit to McDonald’s, mainly for the wifi.

Buying line at West Marine.

Buying line at West Marine.

I also realized, just last night, that our boat insurance expired yesterday. So, I called our agent, who had been trying to contact me but had the wrong number, and arranged for continued insurance. That meant that today I had paperwork to do and questionnaires to answer. One must have a “named-storm” plan written out in great detail to be insured if a named storm causes yacht damage.

Shortly after 2 pm, the air conditioning guys showed up and discovered the salon AC unit has a freon leak. It had lost about half of its freon, which they replenished. They give me a quote on replacing it, around $2200.00. I will likely wait and see how slow or fast the leak is. It may last me for several months. We’ll see. After they were finished, I replaced the two lines on the dinghy davits and placed extra fenders along the starboard side between Beatitude and the floating dock. I then placed additional lines for added security.

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The new (untwisted) line supporting the dinghy

The new (untwisted) line supporting the dinghy

A Casualty of Work - Patellar Contusion. (Good thing there's a doctor on board!)

A Casualty of Work – Patellar Contusion. (Good thing there’s a doctor on board!)

My fender assistant (We left the camera out in the rain the night before. Moisture in the camera made this a little cloudy.)

My fender assistant (We left the camera out in the rain the night before. Moisture in the camera made this a little cloudy.)

After a victory over Cindy in “Shut the Box,” we drove to Pelican Bend Restaurant on the Isle of Capri…

The Beautiful Isle of Capri, Italy.

The Beautiful Isle of Capri, Italy.

… No, not that Isle of Capri (although we’ve also been here). The restaurant was a little place off the beaten path, recommended to us by our friends, Roger and Carey. The food was good and reasonable priced, and we were stuffed after our dinner. Once we returned home, I took care of some financial/business items while Cindy packed for our upcoming trip to Lakeland.

Florida's Isle of Capri.

Florida’s Isle of Capri.

Dinner at Pelican Bend

Dinner at Pelican Bend

A Piece of Rainbow amidst the Storm Clouds

A Piece of Rainbow amidst the Storm Clouds

Naples to Marco Island

Wednesday (8/27/14)

Today's passage

Today’s passage

Not wanting to leave right at low tide, we slept a little later this morning and released our mooring lines around 9 am. Today was another gorgeous day to sail (motor). The morning sky was without a cloud and there was a light zephyr out of the east at around 6 knots. We slipped from the mooring field with only one minor complication. Our mooring lines were so tightly held by the twisted loop on the mooring ball, I had to make a quick dinghy trip out to the ball to release one of the lines. The other was then retrieved without difficulty.

Mooring lines attached to the mooring ball

Mooring lines attached to the mooring ball

Mooring lines held tightly by twisted mooring loop

Mooring lines held tightly by twisted mooring loop

We made our way back down the inside passage and exited Gordon Pass before turning southward to make the 14 nautical mile trip to Rose Marina in Marco Island. Once on the gulf, the winds picked up a little to around 10-12 knots from the east. We had minimal waves coming from the ENE which could hardly be felt aboard Beatitude. After a little over an hour in the gulf, we turned to enter Capri Pass. I called Sea Tow on the VHF radio prior to entering to request any local information about the pass. This was the first time I had done this. The reason was because my chart plotter said that their was a lot of shoaling in the area and one should obtain local knowledge prior to attempting a passage. Sea Tow was quite friendly and happy to offer help. Their advice: Stay within the markers and you’ll be fine. And they were right!

Leaving Naples Bay

Leaving Naples Bay

Beautiful home on the channel

Beautiful home on the channel

Gordon Pass exiting into the Gulf

Gordon Pass exiting into the Gulf

Admiral and Captain at the helm

Admiral and Captain at the helm

Marco Island in the distance

Marco Island in the distance

I’ve heard several say that the entry into Capri Pass is quite tricky… and it would be if one was not paying attention or had not looked at the charts before hand. The channel splits almost right away, so you have to be ready to follow the correct markers. Thankfully, we had no problems getting into Factory Bay, which is where Rose Marina is located. I certainly would have had trouble entering into Factory Bay and Rose Marina, however, if it were not for the dockmaster at the marina who instructed me to pass Snook Inn and hug the sea wall all the way to the marina. This was not at all apparent on my chart, so I was thankful for the information. Beatitude made her way in without a problem.

Cap'n

Cap’n

We pulled into our slip, a side tie slip on floating concrete docks. This is our first experience on floating docks. I’m thankful that we have them since we will soon be leaving Beatitude by herself for a couple of weeks. I’m especially thankful during hurricane season. In our old slip at Regatta Pointe, the docks were fixed and Beatitude would rise and fall on the tides in relation to the dock. Here, Beatitude rises and falls along with the dock. The dock rides up and down on concrete pilings approximately 10-12 feet high. If there is a storm surge, Beatitude and the docks will ride the surge as it comes. Enough of this talk about tropical storms and hurricanes, however!

Beatitude secured to the floating dock

Beatitude secured to the floating dock

Beatitude docked next to a 41' 1999 Lagoon Catamaran

Beatitude docked next to a 41′ 1999 Lagoon Catamaran

After securing the lines and hooking up to shore power (It is so nice to have shore power again 🙂 ), we checked in at the ship store, which is the largest and most well stocked ship store I’ve ever seen at a marina. Rose Marina also has free wifi which is nice, although at this point it hasn’t been the most reliable. We did a few boat chores in the afternoon, including cleaning strainers and locating and documenting our thru hulls.

This was followed by a dinghy ride to Snook Inn, which has been a Marco Island fixture for over 40 years. Before its present name, it was called Snook Hole, because of the abundance of snook which could be found just off the dock. I enjoyed some of the best seafood of our trip this night. We arrived back at Beatitude just in time to climb atop the bimini and photograph the sunset. This was followed by two loads of laundry and an otherwise quiet relaxing evening tied to the dock… and air-conditioning running.

Snook Inn

Snook Inn

Sunset on Marco

Sunset on Marco

I love this sky!

I love this sky!

And this.

And this.

Laundry closet

Laundry closet

Docked at Rose Marina, Marco Island

Docked at Rose Marina, Marco Island

Old Friends, after 35 Years

Tuesday (8/26/14) Naples

Today was our last day in Naples. Tomorrow, we throw off our mooring lines and make a short trip further south. Today was a good day.

This morning we arose a little later than usual. Cindy spent the morning cleaning the interior of the boat, while I spent it studying for board recertification. Before we knew it, the clock had stricken noon. We went for a walk to the third shopping and dining district of Naples within walking distance of our boat – Tin City. Tin City is a section of town which was built back in the 1940s as a working dock. It is now a waterfront dining and shopping establishment.

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We decided to have some seafood for lunch at the Riverwalk Restaurant. We ate waterside, watching the boats come and go, mostly of the pleasure variety transporting tourists on sightseeing trips. After finishing our delicious lunch, we spent a few minutes rambling through the different shops along the waterfront. Our big purchase of the day was some chocolate walnut fudge for dessert. We then walked the just under a mile hike back to the City Dock.

Riverwalk Restaurant on the Water

Riverwalk Restaurant on the Water

We had made plans to meet up with some old friends tonight – Roger and Carey Locke. They arrived at City Dock just before 5 pm. We dinghied over and had dinner together at The Dock Restaurant adjacent to – what else? – the dock. They then had the adventure of a short dinghy ride over to Beatitude in the mooring field to see our home. We showed them around, sat on the front deck talking and enjoying the breeze, then settled in around the table in the cockpit for more conversation and a game of “Shut the Box” (won handily by Cindy. She is on a roll!).

Cindy, Carey, and Roger relaxing on deck with a cool breeze

Cindy, Carey, and Roger relaxing on deck with a cool breeze

We know Roger and Carey from the late 1970s. Roger, Carey, Cindy and I were all in the same class at Apostolic Bible Institute in St. Paul, MN. We all graduated in 1979 and had not seen each other since. It was so wonderful to touch base again after all these years. We really enjoyed spending the evening with them and are so glad they came to visit. Whatever else came from those years at ABI, Roger and Carey found each other, and I and Cindy found each other. They were married in the summer of ’79 and we were married in the fall of that same year. Thirty five years later we’re all still happily married.

Old Friends

Old Friends

We saw this boat named, not after one's mother, but after her money

We saw this boat named, not after one’s mother, but after her money