Good Bye Fort Myer Beach, Amazing Dog and a Walkabout

2-8-20 This morning we say goodbye to Fort Myers Beach. It’s been great but definitely time to leave, Karen and I have itchy feet. We restocked our groceries, filled with water and fuel. The Super Bowl was viewed at the Liki Tiki while eating hot wings and BBQ brisket. A birthday celebration in honor of ML from S/V Fracas was enjoyed at Nervous Nellie’s. Weather during our time here was all over the place from very cool to wonderfully warm and almost always usually windy. Thursday evening we had storms move through that were forecast to have winds in excess of 40 knots, fortunately these winds didn’t materialize as 30 knots was tops. We did receive buckets of rain along with lightning and thunder. Last Mango stripped of canvas awaiting the  storm.

Today we leave headed to Marco Island which is a short sail of just over 30 miles. Karen and I started Mango’s motor just after 7:30 AM to warm up in the chill of the 49 degree temperature. We contacted Fracas and they elected to delay their st…

Watching the wind blow

1-21-20We departed Fort Myers Yacht Basin at 9 AM on 1/15 and arrived in Pelican Bay also known as Cayo Costa State Park 6 hours later. Since that time we’ve been wrestling with weather, more exactly strong winds. We moved Mango to a new more secure anchorage Saturday anticipating strong north winds and I’m glad we did as winds have since touched 30 knots. We had thought to move down to Fort Myers Beach however according to reports there is no room available due to the weather issue, so here we sit safe and secure. Mango has faired well in the new anchorage and so has her crew since there is considerably less swell.

Yesterday the wind fell midday allowing the crews of Mango and Fracas to visit the beach for a walk. After exiting the dock which was crowded with departing Boy Scouts the beach was deserted due to cool temps and strong winds. It was nothing like last week when I couldn’t wait to swim in the water to cool off from the 87 degree heat.

Late last night the temps dropped into th…

A Fort Myers Month

1-10-20 Sober January lasted only 10 days as it came crashing down on my body the following day. It all started off so innocently as Karen wanted to try a place called the Skybar which is an open air bar located atop a 5 story building in Fort Myers. The weather seemed to be cooperating and we mentioned that we were going there and our boat neighbors asked if we would mind their tagging along. They are a very interesting couple, Doug is from Colorado and Kayleen is from Guatemala. They apparently met down there when Doug was cruising and the rest is history. Doug spent 17 years cruising the Caribbean and Central America and since has sold his sailboat and currently living aboard a 45 foot Hatteras but misses the sailboat.

Once the elevator delivered us to the rooftop there was a group of elderly people attempting to extricate themselves out of the low couches that the Skybar uses near the roof top ledge. We were fortunate to quickly grab the now empty seats. Doug recommended the “Pain …

Beginning of the 2020 Cruising Season

1-1-20     I want to wish a Happy New Year to everyone. Since splashing Last Mango back on December 11 Karen and I have had our good days as well as bad. Karen quickly learned to embrace what the boating gods give and accept it. When it comes to matters like this I tend to be stubborn or stupid, you make the call. There are times that I have recognized that certain issues are out of my control and I roll with it. I’ll give you an example. Our trip west on the Caloosahatchee was going perfect, white cotton ball clouds dotted the otherwise bright blue skies and depending on the winding of the river the breeze cooled the 84 degree temperature. Mango passed through Franklin Lock without any delays and the bridge tenders lifted the bridges with cheerful wishes for Christmas. Mango quietly slipped through the water towards our last bridge of the day and the happy tender squawked on the radio to make way near the bridge and he’d be ready for Mango to pass under the raised spans. Karen had be…

The end of another season

4-15-19Today is Tax Day and also what Karen and I consider the beginning of the end of the cruising season. While doing any sort of manual labor you quickly learn that it is time to leave Florida, it’s getting hot and the sun will burn even well tanned skin. Each of the last several years we venture aboard Last Mango up the Caloosahatchee River stopping in little town of Labelle to strip Mango down to her summer hurricane wear. It’s no easy task as she gets a new coat of wax which this year actually started earlier in Alva Florida, meanwhile Karen washes and oils all teak down below and gets everything organized to store and unload for the trip north. We both work to remove and wash her sails, dismantle and remove the solar panels, wind generator, wash and stow the dinghy and remove all running rigging so hopefully everything is as hurricane proof.

While discussing this past years cruising season I mentioned to Karen that it seemed somewhat uneventful. Uneventful can be a good thing. I…

Leaving the Bugs behind in FMB

1-5-19     Karen and I first want to wish everyone “Happy New Year”. Hard to believe next year will be 2020. I still remember Prince partying like it’s 1999. For as long as we’ve owned Last Mango Karen has been obsessed with the idea of getting bugs onboard, specifically roaches. We have rules, no cardboard stays onboard, most cardboard won’t even make it out to the boat, all books that come aboard are quarantined in zip lock bags for a few days and backpacks and bags are not set on the ground. Certainly everything is shaken out and picked through before it comes aboard. Needless to say many precautions are taken to prevent bugs coming aboard. This year we have been beset by bugs, the good news is that they are not roaches. Our little Yanmar motor, the Honda outboard for the dinghy and the water pump that supplies water to the faucets and shower have begun to give us problems. We think we have exterminated the bugs with a new fuel pump in Mango’s motor a new spark plug in dinghy motor…