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Ten Thousand Islands

We left Marco Island mid morning, music blaring, sun shining with a song in our hearts as we sailed down to Ten Thousand Islands through the inter coastal. It is only about a 3 hour trip to our favorite anchorage at Tiger Key. The seas were calm ahead for now but were set to pick up soon. We were just about to reach our destination when we received a call from my mom-in-law to say that Shaun’s dad was about to go into hospice care. Shocked and feeling desperate in the middle of the ocean we had to decide what to do. We had to anchor right away at Tiger Key because of the approaching weather and as it would turn out, had to wait the 2 days until early Saturday morning before we could make our way out at sea and back into the channel to go back to Marco Island. The marina being full, we anchored in the bay, rented a car and drove the 3 plus hours as safely as we could to make it up to see our dad, the whole family together, to bid him farewell. He knew we were there and squeezed our hands. We were so blessed to be able to get there in time and we fell into bed absolutely exhausted that night feeling the stress of the past few days. We decided to make our way back to Tiger Key to wait out a weeks bad winds ahead, as nature would have it, instead of sitting in a basin in Marco Island before we could continue

We arrived with a sigh of relief at a closer anchorage called White Horse as the ocean was raging and it was very rough out there. We would normally not sail in these angry seas but if we did not make this 30 minute trip on the outside, we had no chance in the days that lay ahead. We were back in solitude with all the privacy and space we so need at this sad time to sort things out in our hearts and minds and the ocean is the finest place to do just that.

We took our morning coffees to the beach to walk and talk, had light lunches up on the helm, and quiet sunset dinners at night, then watched the stars in all their glory. Dad was safely home

We stayed at our white Horse anchorage for 4 nights and moved back to our favorite Tiger Key at daybreak on the Thursday when there was a gap in the wind

This would be our home for the next 2 weeks now. We were planning on heading home to help mom, but she decided to go on vacation with Shaun’s sister to get away for a while. With no need to rush back, we had to settle down

We had our lunches on our private beach every day, lounged in our hanging hammock chair and listened to music when we wanted to. We collected shells and driftwood for the art projects I needed and had cocktail hours every evening, either up on the helm or on the beach watching the sunset. We made dinners for each other and sometimes together. I love setting the table at least once a week to make our date nights as we do back home

On the first Saturday, we took our dinghy up between the islands to Everglades City for lunch at the Rod and Gun Club. We went to the store for a few supplies before making our way back. Because we had a big lunch, we had a sunset cheese and wine on the beach for dinner. it was just lovely as we watched approached storms around us.

Sunday was mothers day and we spent it on the beach after making all our calls to our moms in the morning. We made a tiny fire in the sand and made jaffles on the open flames. It was so nostalgic as we listened to 80’s music too. That evening we walked the beach, had baths and dinner up on the helm

We spent our time discovering new little islands with gorgeous beaches all to ourselves. It is quite indescribable tp experience solitude like this when you need it. In a world filled with noise and stuff coming at you 24/7, the peace felt like a big warm hug

Because we needed to be back in Tampa for Jax’s 7th birthday on the coming

weekend as well as making funeral arrangements for grandpa, we started to make our way back towards home. We left Tiger Key and our very special beach for Marco Island on Monday morning to refuel etc at Rose Marina, stayed overnight and made our way on the outside up to Cayo Costa then on to Sarasota the next day to moor there until the weekend

As with boating, we never know what life brings our way but can adjust the sails. Although this was a challenging time to be away, we feel truly blessed to have been able to share this time together and being on the water is the best medicine for the soul for sure. We all need some Vitamin sea!