We will take this week to retrace our path back home to Tampa. Leaving Key West was bitter sweet...yes we LOVE being there, but being forced to stay in one place for ten days when we had others to go to, left us wishing we had more time out on the hook. We left Saturday morning and made our way back to Johnston Key. It is one of our favorites now because of the stunning clear aquamarine water and white sands.
As soon as we anchored, we dropped the dinghy and went to swim on the shallow bank right next to us that we had just passed coming in to anchor. It was waist deep, stunning and cool. As we got back onto the dinghy though, a large shark swam right past us! The tide was at a low and so in the evening, we took our sun-downers into the water to enjoy as we watched the sun begin to end the day. I can't explain the calm, peacefulness when we are out like this. All alone with just the sound of the water lapping and birds chirping. It truly is priceless to us. We took a bath up on the helm with the sunset. it too, was one of the finest we've had as it is rare to have it drop cleanly below the ocean without land and building interruptions.
In the morning, we left at 9 to navigate the shallow channel out to sea to make our crossing to the mainland at Shark River. It is a perfect day for crossing; winds just right, water like glass, sun baking and the music lulling us along. We took about 5 hours to make the crossing and anchor. There is no signal at Shark River so it was a welcome break for us to have no technology or phone calls for the next 2 days. We watched the sunset, had a cheese an wine to end the day.
Notorious for the bugs at night, we woke to thousands of some sort of bugs up on the helm that resemble love bugs but weren't. We sprayed them with an outdoor repellent, left at 6.30 am and then it took me a good hour while we were underway to sweep, vacuum and get rid of the bodies!
Gorgeous on water does not even describe it. It was glassy and perfect and it honestly is my favorite part of this boating life, to be underway. Of course we had our usual dolphins come and escort us too. I go down and video them with excitement every single time. I think they are such a gift to us.
After anchoring at West Pass, another favorite anchorage now, we dropped our paddle boards right away and headed over to the beach for a swim. We enjoyed relaxing in the hammock, a beer and collecting shells.
We woke to a stunningly beautiful day again and left mid morning for Marco Island. On the way in we stopped at the four dome house ruins off the point of Cape Romano. These concrete igloos were built in 1981 by a millionaire but have been reclaimed by the sea. Secret cults to aliens have been rumored to have been involved, who knows, but we had to drop the dinghy to take a closer look. We pulled up onto the sand and had a quick dip before heading on back to Marco Island.
We anchored at around 3, went to the beach for a while and had dinner at Snook Inn again right on the water overlooking Happy Wife
Got an early start to Ft Meyers where we will refuel and carry on to anchor at Cayo Costa for the night. Anchored and went back to Cabbage Key for dinner as it is so close by dinghy and we both didn't feel like cooking anything.
We set sail just after 7.30 and spent a stormy day at sea which was actually super calm with a trailing sea behind us pushing us along and it was surprisingly pleasant after the short rainfall. This is an 8 hour straight shot over, so by the time we anchored, we decided to visit our other local favorite, the River house Reef and Grill for an early supper.
We had an early night, got our Happy Wife ready to go in the morning and make the short 3 hour trip home to our Westshore Marina. Going under the Sunshine Skyway Bridge is always so lovely and I always take photos going through.
What a gorgeous time we have spent away together. We have learned that you need so little in this life....just each other, some dental floss, a bikini and a sarong! We loved every moment together. I think we disagreed only once over a business issue in the entire time we were away.
The ocean is such a part of us both and even more so now. We have loved having dolphins with us daily (swimming with them at the research center was of course unforgettable) traveling mornings, lazy afternoons, sunsets, sun-downers dinner and more. Each day living on board is different and I am reminded of Maya Angelou's quote...Today is a beautiful day, I've seen one like this before!
I am filled with gratitude for all that we have and all that we get to share. My Boat Babe motto is...On a mission to live life to the fullest. I feel like we doing just that!