Conditions: Mostly sunny, warm. Winds light and variable.
Time underway: 3 hours
Average Speed: 9 knots
Max Speed: 17.3 knots
Fuel used: 38 gallons
It was time to touch The Gulf. Before purchasing OLOH, when this entire adventure was just a fantasy, one of the original thoughts was, “let’s get a boat, comfortable enough to live on for long periods of time and keep it on Florida’s Gulf Coast year-round.” Fast forward to our journey-without-an-actual-final-destination getting underway back in October and we probably would have told you then that we might not actually make the Gulf Coast as our thinking had started to change. We were becoming more and more enticed by the idea of jumping over to the Bahamas and bringing OLOH north again after the winter. It truly wasn’t until we were laid-up in Stuart for a week when we made the decision to “turn right” and fulfill at least part of that original idea. And we’re glad we did.
The trip from Fort Myers to Captiva is straight-forward. You complete the last stretch of the Caloosahatchee River and cross over to Pine Island Sound which is protected from the Gulf Of Mexico by Sanibel Island. Just to the north of Sanibel is Captiva Island, home to the spectacular South Seas Resort (it’s worth clicking on that link – their pictures tell the whole story). We had been to South Seas back in 2011, shortly after taking delivery of our last boat in Sarasota, so it has special memories for us. And it is a special place. The marina is in a protected basin, nestled among soaring palm trees and just steps away from the soft sand lining The Gulf. Dockmaster Charlie and his entire crew – Oksana, Frank and Rob – are a team of friendly professionals who know how to bring in and settle in a boat and always have a smile on when you pass them by. As it is not an inexpensive place to stay, many certainly come here with justifiably high expectations. They are not disappointed. And yes, there were treats for Jasper in the office.
After settling OLOH in it was time to touch The Gulf. We walked over to the beach and then it really hit us. We did it! While every leg of this adventure has represented an accomplishment, there was something extraordinarily poignant about reaching this moment and actually touching the water here. It was palpable and even a bit emotional. And to see Jasper digging his paws into the sand just made everyone smile.
Now we have the happy problem of figuring out what’s next. We’ll be making our way south to Key West but will settle in this relative area for at least a few weeks to visit with friends, get some projects going and to just let it all soak in. It’s been a long-time coming. See you out there…
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