PUNTA GORDA

Here we are at Burnt Store Marina, staying for 2 nights. Last night we had dinner at the restaurant here at the marina. Food was quite good and the dessert was about a pint of vanilla bean ice cream. Oh boy did I just love that. Been so long since I’ve indulged in that vice of mine. Today we engaged a real estate agent and looked at three available villa’s in the complex. There are several styles of living here from condos to stand alone s. I prefer the villas, they are just the right size and have a big one car garage, enough room to fit a golf cart as well as your car.
they come furnished or not and the prices are affordable. The amenities are many, golf, tennis, bocci, marina, 2 restaurants and a breakfast cafe. The town of Punta Gorda is about 8 miles away as well as Cape Coral 8 miles in the other direction. Love the little downtown of Punta Gorda, especially fisherman’s wharf. We are checking out marina’s in the downtown area for future trips. Who knows this might be the place. Tomorrow we head up to Sarasota and may take a yeear’s lease at the marina there if we can get in. We are considering so many options at this point. Loving this trip and the west coast. The water is so clean you see dolphins and follow them underwater still in site. Life on the water is wonderful and I am having the time of my life with this terrific captain of mine. God bless, love to all. Did I mention we are between Fort Myers and Sarasota without all the traffic, but close enough for the arts, etc.

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DECEMBER FIRST

Hi all. well, we finally made it to the west coast of FL. 2 days after leaving Stewart we have arrived. And what a journey it was. There are 5 locks between the east and west coast along many waterways, starting with Okeechobee Canal. You cannot imagine me hooking up to what they refer to as dolphins. They are actually 5 or 6 telephone poles driven into the water bed with kleets (where you tie up the rope) attached. Now, these kleets are in the most precarious places. Nothing easy and you have to loop the tie rope in a big circle and try to lasso the kleet. Then very quickly you have to grab the end of the rope and tie that up to the kleet on the boat. Think you’re done, NOT you have to do it all over again a the other end of the boat. So you have aft and bow tied up to the dolphin. Sounds like a foreign language, huh, well imagine doing it and at night at that. Not to mention going through the locks. Went through locks in Holland, however, I was relaxing in a beautiful lounge chatting with other passengers. This time I was working the ropes. Again, you go into this big box on the water with ropes hanging off the sides. You get your hook and then reach for the ropes. Very carefully you bring this rope to you and tie it up to the kleet on the boat. You guessed it got to catch the other end so off you go to do it again. Don’t think there’s any one at the locks to help you, you’re on your own. Then the water either fills up of drains down. When you see the gates open you get off the ropes and off you go. Never in a million years could I have imagined myself doing anything even close to this. But, got to admit it’s been stimulating. Do I look forward to doing it again never, once is more then enough. Most of the waterway going across is desolate, but, there are some beautiful properties in the middle of nowhere. Last night we found this darling little marina and here we are about 15 miles from Fort Myers. Spending 2 nights here to clean up the boat from all the bugs along the canals. Tomorrow we will head up the gulf of mexico. So excited to make this trip. This is the first for us and the NOMAD in the gulf. Beautiful day today but must get on with moping and glowing, washing cloths and cooking a good supper. Love to all.

LEAVING VERO BEACH

The time has gone by too fast and we lifted anchor this morning and headed south. Currently at a marina in Stewart, FL. Beautiful facility with great showers and a good size changing room. Our last week in Vero was hectic to say the least. Monday evening we spent with Maureen & Bob. Don and I went shopping for the ingredients for Premavera sauce and mushroom ravioli’s which Don made for dinner with a nice shilled bottle, actually two of a good white. Next morning we had breakfast with them and then headed back to the boat. On Wednesday we rented a car and drove to Clermont, Fl to tony and zoe’s (Don’s brother’s) for Thanksgiving. Zoe as usual put out an incredible meal for 18. I think I’m still full from having to taste every thing she made. We stayed with them for 2 days and then headed back to Vero. On Sunday we drove down to Juno to see Peggy’s new digs. Her place is lovely, an independent living facility called Waterford. Got to see Ken’s apartment too and ended up spending the day with them, lunching at the facility. Very good food and the company was lovely. So good to see all my long time friends during this time in Vero Beach. Now we are headed west to the other coast of Florida. We think it will take us 2 days to cross the Ocachobee Canal and then north to Clearwater for a month or 2. So much to explore on this coast never having sailed the golf before. Will keep you posted on our progress and we mosey along. Peace and God Bless.

MIDDLE OF NOVEMBER

Here we are at 6 weeks and counting living on the “HOOK”. Life is certainly an unexpected event almost every day. Today for instance we beat the storm back by a second. You never know in FL when the sky will open up and drown ya. We did however, get soaked on the way to the dinghy dock, waves were quite big for the inlet and going over them caused water to splash all the F over us. By the time we got to the dock we were both pretty wet. Had to go in for distilled water for the batteries. Got to keep them little suckers happy they are our life line for the generators which run the electricity. Went to Toojay”s Jewish deli for lunch the best sandwiches in Vero. Hit my favorite TJ Max and then food shopping. Back on the boat enjoying the sound of raindrops on the roof. Better then on my head. We had the best luncheon at Maureen & Bob”s, Sunday. Linda, John, Peggy and Ken joined us for a great time all around. Everyone is looking terrific. So good to be with them, laughed our asses off as usual. Linda summed it up pretty well “we still find each other hilarious”. Don is happy making sauce so it will be pasta for dinner. He makes a great sauce, uses sausage, something I never did. My sauce has meatballs and pepperoni love it both ways. Maybe his better because I don’t have to make it. We still have 2 weeks left in Vero and it will be sad to leave here, especially Maureen & Bob. Got to spend so much time with them and looking forward to another stay over before we leave, that will be next Monday. Then we are off to Don’s brother Tony for Thanksgiving. We’ll rent a car and drive, stay over through Saturday and then plan to visit with Peggy and Ken on Sunday before we return the car. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. Love, hugs and kisses.

NOVEMBER 4th FORT PIERCE

We ran out of water last night, have you ever brushed your teeth with beer “the breakfast of champions”, another unique experience living aboard. Vero Beach has no open marina slots so we boogied down to Fort Pierce for a night of luxurious living, electricity without the noise of a generator, lights and wifi. How about that folks, we will spend the night here and head on back to Vero tomorrow. Did I mention this marina has a pretty good restaurant, no buses required. Ah the lap of of easy living. I for one am not getting on another bus while we are here, I don’t care what we need, this is my time of rest. We’ll eat in the restaurant and have a few martini’s, no dingy, no bus, get a buzz on. Then it’s back to living on the hook. We’ve been at this for over a month and I am happily surprised that I am still enjoying myself. It was questionable at first, not really knowing how long I would last without missing my home. The boat has become home and I am really happy to be having this delightful experience. You never know what the day will bring. Surprises all around and playing dolphins to entertain us. Life is good.

RIVERSIDE THEATER

What a magical night we had last evening. We got tickets to see a Hank Williams
review at the theater in Vero. Dinghied over to the dock at the Riverside Cafe. I had crab cakes and Don had ahi tuna expensive but so worth it. We each had a cocktail before dinner, not curtain time yet, so we imbibed in another after dinner.
They make an excellent martini by the way so if you ever find yourself in Vero stop in and enjoy. I was a little nervous about getting on the dingy at night with Don’s help I managed. This was not a good dock, the fingers(boards you tie up to) we’re very narrow. You felt like one misstep and in the drink you’d be. It was a beautiful night with stars everywhere, the sky a sight to behold. They call Vero Beach Velcro Beach because so many boaters come here by boat and end up buying. Real estate is do able but more then we want to spend because we’d want to have nearby access to a marina. The free bus is a god send and we are out and about everyday. We’ve met so many other boaters living on the hook from all over the country, Canada and New Zealand. This is a wonderful adventure my friends, so happy to be able to share it with all of you on my blog. With love, hugs and kisses to all, I’m signing off

NOVEMBER 4th – FORT PIERCE

We ran out of water last night, have you ever brushed your teeth with beer “the breakfast of champions”, another unique experience living aboard. Vero Beach has no open marina slots so we boogied down to Fort Pierce for a night of luxurious living, electricity without the noise of a generator, lights and wifi. How about that folks, we will spend the night here and head on back to Vero tomorrow. Did I mention this marina has a pretty good restaurant, no buses required. Ah the lap of of easy living. I for one am not getting on another bus while we are here, I don’t care what we need, this is my time of rest. We’ll eat in the restaurant and have a few martini’s, no dingy, no bus, get a buzz on. Then it’s back to living on the hook. We’ve been at this for over a month and I am happily surprised that I am still enjoying myself. It was questionable at first, not really knowing how long I would last without missing my home. The boat has become home and I am really happy to be having this delightful experience. You never know what the day will bring. Surprises all around and playing dolphins to entertain us. Life is good.