Thursday, December 20, 2007

A star is born.

The last couple of days have had their share of events.
As we were leaving Venice, we managed to swamp the dingy (don't ask, long story) and had to stop and bail it out. In the process we got the tow line caught in the propeller which stalled the engine. So we had to hurry and set the anchor, during which process the anchor got bent. What a comedy of errors.
After 45 minutes of scrambling around trying to fix things, we finally got under way and made it to a lovely anchorage at Englewood Beach. It was a very well protected spot and we had a very quiet night. The mangrove island that set the anchorage off from the bay was teeming with osprey. We watched them circle overhead. As we sat on deck eating dinner and watching the sunset, a pod of dolphins swam by. This whole area seems to be swarming with dolphins. All the next day we saw dozens of them. Some actually swam under the boat.
We stopped in at the marina in Boca Grande to see if we could buy a new anchor. They had to order it and have it overnighted, so we stayed here for the night. Our new friends, Paul and Laurie from Verkennen were anchored in a little cove just north of here and we all went for a bike trip downtown and to the lighthouse. While we were downtown, Bev spotted a sign outside a tiki bar that said "Open Mike." We dashed home, had a quick shower, grabbed the guitar and went back.
The open mike event was hosted by a very talented guy named Chakulla who did a few songs and then turned the mike over to the guest performers. The first was a very talented young woman. She writes her own songs and sings great. She kind of reminded us of Alanis Morrisette.
Then it was my turn. I did the standard 3 song set, then the host asked me to do one more. Later, after everyone had a chance to do their thing, he asked my to come back up and do another set. It was a great night.
Today we're just going a few miles (after the anchor gets here) and anchor out. We will be making our way toward Naples. Naples is a bit tricky because there is a stretch of about 30 miles or so that has to be done on the outside, in the Gulf. We need a good weather window to make that crossing. Once in Naples, we have an offer of free dockage from one of Bev's friends. We will wait there for the big jump to Key West. We're still not sure where we will be for Christmas, but it will probably be an anchorage.

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