Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Daydream Crosses Her Wake and Goes Gold!

This blog will chronicle our (Pat and Patty Anderson's)
cruising adventures on the Great Loop!

DAY 226 - November 13, 2017

November 13, 2017, was Patty's birthday, and she got the birthday present she was really hoping for - for us to have crossed our wake and to see Daydream on the trailer ready for the long drive back to Birch Bay!

Daydream on trailer and ready to roll!

  • Start date: April 1, 2017 at Ortona Lock Boat Ramp
  • Crossed wake: 9:54 a.m. November 13, 2017 at Ortona Lock Boat Ramp
  • Total days on Loop: 226
  • Non-travel days: 89
  • Locks transited: 108
  • Statute miles traveled: 5,428
  • Engine hours: 844.5
  • Outboard maintenances performed: 4
  • Fuel used: 1,114 gallons
  • Cost of fuel: $4,200
  • Nights in marinas: 82
  • Boat cards collected:75
Ortona Lock Boat Ramp, where we launched April 1, 2017, and crossed our wake November 13, 2017

Jonathan Arthur and Rosa Cross in Florida. Jonathan allowed us to stay at Honest John's Fish Camp for a few days, and loaned us his car to go shopping. And for stopping to say hello each time they passed us on the Loop!

Benton and Ann Blalock in North Carolina. They hauled Daydream out, let us crash their family gathering, fed us and put us up, took us shopping, arranged a grooming for Baxter, and showed me how to do the engine maintenance.

Charlie and Sally Vinroot in Virginia. They gave us refuge from a storm, fed us and put us up, took us shopping, and took us sightseeing.

Mary Israelow in New Jersey. Mary put us up, fed us, took me to the eye doctor, took us shopping, and took us sightseeing.

Bob and Maureen Clark in New Jersey. They put us up and fed us and took us sightseeing.

Evan and Jeanne Chiligirs in Chicago. They took us shopping and took us out for the best Greek meal we have ever had.

Bob and Marie Austin in Pensacola. They had given us all their Loop guide books before we started the Loop, and on the Loop they put us up and fed us and took us sightseeing.

Marc and Anita Grove in Apalachicola. They helped us in many ways! They took us on a river cruise, allowed us to use their slip at Battery Park Marina, and loaned us their golf cart. Marc and the crew at Wefings made it their mission to get Daydream able to plane and run fast enough for a short crossing of the Big Bend (and succeeded).

Cecil and Danny Hazen in Cape Coral. They put us up and fed us, repositioned our truck and trailer, and took us sightseeing.


The iPad mounted on a RAM mount at the helm. It was our main chartplotter with Garmin Blue Chart Mobile, our access to weather information with SailFlow, and our FaceTime connection to the grandchildren!

Skipper Bob books and Active Captain via Garmin Blue Chart Mobile. We consulted these resources daily, and often multiple times per day. Don't leave home without them!

The ARB freezer and Pelican cooler. We kept a frozen gallon of water in the cooler and swapped it daily between the ARB and the Pelican cooler. The ARB kept us well stocked with frozen food and most importantly, ice for our drinks!

The Coleman one burner propane stove for when we had no shore power, and the NuWave induction cooker for when we had shore power.

The Verizon Jetpack MiFi. Our T-Mobile iPhones had no service most of the time, and the Jetpack gave us both internet and cell phone connectivity.

Our iPhones. They were our cameras, our calendars, our backup chartplotters, and everything else an iPhone can do, including  being used for phone calls! They would have been useless most of the time without the Verizon Jetpack, but WiFi calling worked great whenever the Jetpack could connect to the Verizon network.

Our Chromebooks. The blog photos were edited on the Chromebook, the blog text was written on the Chromebook, and the blog was published on the Chromebook. We used the Chromebooks for paying some bills online, email, web browsing, online shopping, and news. I have Ubuntu Linux on my Chromebook, which really extended its capabilities.

Our Kindles, Patty downloaded many books from the library and read her Kindle almost every day, me less so but I read my Kindle quite a bit too.

The Camfrano 12 volt fans, one fixed mount, and the other one portable.

The Endless Breeze 12 volt box fan. We put this on a little folding table aimed into the vee-berth, opened the vee-berth hatch, and that was almost always all the cooling we needed.

The Sea Eagle kayak. This was a great substitute for a traditional dinghy. Much lighter and easier to get on and off the roof. Baxter approved!

The Airhead composting toilet. Never needing to pump out was a huge benefit.

The Helio shower. This is a little marvel that lets two people shower. We heated up some water and added it to cold water in the Helio tank until it was the right temperature. The foot pump pressurized the tank and the 7 foot long line to the shower head worked great.

The Magma grill. Sometimes you just have to grill something - a steak, some fish, bratwurst sausage, Polish sausage - we did not use it every night of course but when we needed it, it was just the ticket. We also used it to bake tortilla pizzas!

8" and 10" cast iron frying pans and a 2 quart stainless saucepan. These were the only cookware we used.

The stainless French Press and stainless Thermos vacuum bottle. These items made that wonderful morning coffee on the cockpit possible.


The Coastal Explorer laptop and AIS. Coastal Explorer was unusable with the USB monitor I had originally mounted. Then I discovered Duet Display and was able to use the iPad as the monitor for the Toshiba laptop, and Coastal Explorer was usable, But it did not give us anything that the iPad and Garmin Blue Chart Mobile also gave us except AIS. The AIS was somewhat useful when encountering tows on the rivers, but even when it was not turned on, we  did fine dealing with the tows.

The butane stove. It got used occasionally when we had no shore power and didn't want to cook on the cockpit, but those times were few and far between.


The inside curtains for the camperback. We thought we needed privacy curtains, but as it turned out, we really didn't care if anybody saw us shower!

Our ukuleles. We brought them but never took them out once, and they just used up valuable storage space!

Cat carrier. Don't know what we were thinking! Lucy never got off the boat once!

Stainless cookware set. We bought an expensive set, but only used the 2 quart saucepan. The rest of the set used up valuable storage space.

The air conditioner.  We bought it in St. Augustine and carried it around the Loop but only used it three times.  Of course, we would have used it more if the weather had been hotter, which it certainly might have been.

The 7 gallon Aquatainer with emergency water, We made it just fine with the 20 gallons in our fresh water tank. The Aquatainer just took up space and added extra weight.

DeLorme In-Reach. With Facebook, we really did not need the In-Reach, and never activated it.

DJI Phantom 3 Standard Drone.  DJI changed the control program so it no longer worked on my iPhone 5. I got a new control program called Litchi, but I was reluctant to fly until I could do tests over land instead of over water!


Chicago, without a doubt, but Mackinac Island was a close second.


Our night in St. Joseph, when we got slammed into the concrete wall all night and destroyed our starboard rub rail.


The days we got off the boat staying with friends and our night at the Blackstone in Chicago were really rejuvenating. Everyone should get off the boat now and then.

The size of our boat was not a handicap but a benefit on the Loop. Daydream was big enough that we had everything we needed and were comfortable, and small enough that both Patty and I could handle her safely. It allowed us to go under many bridges without waiting for an opening, and the shallow draft allowed us to go into many places larger boats could not go. 

Not being able to plane was not a problem for the most part. We were slow cruisers before we started the Loop, and we will be slow cruisers when we go back to our home waters. We were, however, very glad Wefings Marine made the changes necessary so we could get on plane for the Big Bend crossing at 15 mph!

No matter what anybody says on the AGLCA Forum, the only ESSENTIAL things for navigating on the Loop are an iPad with Garmin Blue Chart Mobile, an iPhone as a backup for the IPad, a depth sounder, a VHF radio, and enough knowledge and experience to be a safe boater.

Skills we acquired or improved on the Loop were using the available weather resources, figuring out our own criteria for go / no-go decisions, and the patience to wait for acceptable weather conditions.


This, my friends, is the final installment of our Daydream's Loop blog. We want to thank those of you who read it daily, posted comments, or contacted us through the Contact Form. We are absolutely humbled and amazed that enough of you enjoyed our blog enough to push it to more than 74,000 page views, It has truly been the adventure of a lifetime!

We will proudly be flying the AGLCA Gold burgee from here on out!

Monday, November 13, 2017


This blog will chronicle our (Pat and Patty Anderson's)
cruising adventures on the Great Loop!

DAY 225 - November 12, 2017

We got up at 6:30 a.m. so we could get on the water by 8:00 a.m.  When I got up, Cecil and Danny were already up! After another fine breakfast of muffins and fruit, we went down to the Hazens'  dock, had our hugs and goodbyes, and cast off our lines!

Tom and Jody Goldman, who are planning to do the Loop in 2018 in their Rosborough 25, had emailed us to ask if we would be in Labelle today, and we replied that we would, and would be delighted to meet them! They are from Bradenton, and wanted to talk about doing the Loop on a 25 foot boat.

We followed our track out of Cape Coral to the Caloosahatchee River. We ran slow until we were across the wide part of the river. Jody called us to let us know they were in Labelle and I told her we were going to kick it up! As soon as we were into the narrower river channel, I kicked it up to put Daydream on the plane! 

Jody and Tom were on the City Wharf to catch our lines when we arrived, and gave us a celebratory bottle of champagne! The Labelle City Wharf is a newly upgraded facility with nice fixed piers, some with power and water, We were at a slip without power or water, but that was fine, as we would only be there overnight, and we could use our Aquatainer to refill our water in the morning. We went up to a little gazebo at the city park above the wharf, and had a nice conversation with the Goldmans, who had lots and lots of questions, and I hope they will find our answers helpful!

After a bit, our C-Dory friend Jim Widmann arrived. Jim lives in Naples, and has a C-Dory Venture 23. We all chatted for a bit, and then the  Goldmans departed. We went to a Mexican restaurant called Amigos and Beer in Labelle with Jim where, shall we say, Patty celebrated her birthday, which is tomorrow, with gusto!

After dinner, Jim brought us back to the City Wharf, where we went down to the boat, and although it was incredibly early, it was dark and we were tired, so we just went to bed!

Tomorrow we have only about 10 miles to go to the Ortona Lock Boat Ramp, where we will officially cross our wake! It is hard to believe, but our incredible adventure is really drawing to a close!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Day Two in Cape Coral with the Hazens

This blog will chronicle our (Pat and Patty Anderson's)
cruising adventures on the Great Loop!

DAY 224 - November 11, 2017

Sleeping in a real bed feels so good! I woke up earlier than Patty, and went out and had my first cup of coffee with Cecil and Danny, and when Patty was up and showered, we went out to the lanai for breakfast! Grapes, a fruit plate with watermelon, cantaloupe and pineapple, and a real treat, Canadian "butter tarts"! 

We are planning to have Glades Boatyard put Daydream on our trailer with their TraveLift on Monday. Although Kim at Glades had said the TraveLift was fully booked on Monday, she said there could be a cancellation, so we wanted to be ready in case there is a cancellation.  We had arranged for River Forest to reconnect the negative terminals to the batteries on the Silverado and that we would be coming to pick it up during the weekend. We also arranged with Glades for permission to park the truck and trailer at Glades. The problem is, River Forest and Glades are on opposite sides of the river, they are both past Labelle, and the closest bridge is in Labelle. All of these are more than 50 miles from Cape Coral. We have been puzzling the logistics of all of this for some time.

Danny to the rescue! She offered to drive us to River Forest to pick up the truck and trailer, and bring us back from Glades while Cecil pursued his Saturday passion, college football! About 10:00 a.m., Danny, Patty and I piled into the Hazens' Honda Odyssey and headed out! We drove first to Labelle, crossed the bridge there, and drove to River Forest Yacht Basin. We made a stop at the Ortona Lock Boat Ramp, which is a mile upstream from River Forest. This is where we launched and where we will technically "cross our wake." We had such a hard time launching there due to the ramp being narrow and steep and lacking a dock that we had decided long ago that there was no way we could retrieve there. I wish I had take a couple of pictures there. One would be the ramp, and other would be the huge pile of hurricane debris pushed up in the turn around for the ramp. It now would not have only been difficult, it would have been impossible to use the Ortona Lock Boat Ramp.

The truck and trailer were indeed ready and waiting for us at River Forest Yacht Basin. We then had to drive back to Labelle to cross the river again, and then drive farther to Glades, where we fortunately found a good spot to park. Although the office was closed, we left a key with one of the employees to take to the office in case they needed to move the truck and trailer. Glades is mainly a long-term storage facility, and we all thought that most of the boats stored there would never see the water again!

We drove back to Labelle, and stopped at the Town Wharf, which has very nice docks, power and water, which are free. We intend to stay here tomorrow night and head to Glades, which is 15 miles farther upstream first thing Monday morning. By this time, it was lunch time, and Danny suggested we stop at their favorite place in Labelle, the Log Cabin BBQ. This is indeed a log cabin, and it was packed when we arrived, but we got a table. We all ordered the pulled pork sandwich with two sides and sweet tea. The styrofoam cups of tea were indeed sweet and huge! Then we got a complimentary cup of soup, our sandwiches and side, and a complimentary cup of ice cream. If you are ever in Labelle, we can highly recommend the Log Cabin BBQ!

On the drive back to Cape Coral, Danny gave us a driving tour of Ft. Myers and Cape Coral via the surface streets. It was interesting to drive by  the Thomas Edison and Henry Ford homes in Ft. Myers. It was also interesting to see the different sections in Cape Coral, which developed in stages over the years.  New developments are still going on, apparently to the chagrin of residents of adjacent developments. What, NIMBYs in Cape Coral?

We got back home about 3:30, just in time for the Georgia - Auburn football game, which we all watched until supper. Cecil cooked the spaghetti and Danny made the salad. They are taking such good care of us, and we really appreciate it! Baxter likes them too!

Cecil and Danny Hazen

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Cape Coral at Hazen Residence

This blog will chronicle our (Pat and Patty Anderson's)
cruising adventures on the Great Loop!

DAY 223 - November 10, 2017

Baxter and I went back to shore and under the high dock first thing, back on board for toast and coffee, and we were off for Cape Coral! We had left ourselves a fairly short run from Don Pedro Island State Park to Cape Cora, only 36 milesl. We departed Don Pedro Island State Park as gingerly as we had come in!

Screenshot of Don Pedro Island State Park to Cape Coral
There was what seemed like an unusually high volume of boat traffic, or maybe it was not unusual for this part of the ICW, I don't know. I do know that we got waked by a large number of big boats running very fast and very close. Otherwise, it was an uneventful trip!

We had directions from Cecil Hazen on finding our way into his  house starting with the turn in at R92 on the Caloosahatchee River.  The only thing I didn't know was which house it was, so I entered his address into Google Earth, and then took the lat/lon coordinates. Turned out it was close, but close only counts in horseshoes. I guess the fourth digit in lat/lon is significant, so we were off by one canal! A man was out on his dock, and when we stopped, he said "You are looking for Cecil Hazen, aren't you? Go to the next canal, all the way to the end, and you will see his trawler."  You can see our miscue on our track in Cape Coral!

Track from Caloosahatchee into Hazen residence in Cape Coral
Cape Coral is a very interesting place! Most, but not all,  of the homes are on canals. Cape Coral history began in 1957 when two brothers from Baltimore, Maryland, Leonard and Jack Rosen, flew over the peninsula known as Redfish point, across the Caloosahatchee River near present-day Fort Myers. Cape Coral was founded as Redfish Point. Leonard and Jack Rosen, who were real estate developers, purchased a 103-square-mile  tract known as Redfish Point for $678,000 in that year and, in 1958, began development of the city as a master-planned, pre-planned community. Today, a lot of the homes on the canals are valued at more than a million dollars! Canals were dug, streets paved, houses and businesses built.[7] Cape Coral was promoted like no other Florida development. The city incorporated in August 1970, and its population continued to grow rapidly until the real estate slowdown that gripped the region beginning in 2008.[11] In 2016 Forbes Magazine named the City of Cape Coral as # 9 of the 25 "Best Places To Retire In 2016." 

We met Cecil and Danny Hazen on their trawler Desperado in Canada, and we locked through a number of locks together. We were holed up together in Demopolis waiting out Hurricane Nate, and anchored together at the Alabama River cutoff on the way to Mobile. We saw them again and had dinner together in Apalachicola, where they started their big push home with an overnight crossing to Clearwater, but they made a point of saying we could not just cruise by Cape Coral without stopping, so here we are! And grateful!

The Hazens have two boats on their dock on their canal. They are long time sailors, and have owned their Tartan 37 for 22 years but only bought the trawler a month before starting the Loop. They have many trophies and certificates from sailboat racing. Both boats are named Desperado!

Desperado the trawler
Desperado the sailboat!
We called Glade Boatyard to try to make arrangements to put Daydream on the trailer with their TraveLift, on Monday. The lady there said there might be a cancellation, so Danny is going to drive us to River Forest Yacht Basin tomorrow to retrieve our truck and trailer and move it to the Glade Boatyard. We will "cross our wake" at the Ortona Lock Boat Ramp on Sunday, and probably spend the night at the Labelle Town Dock. 

Danny had a wonderful dinner of barbecued short ribs, potato salad, and corn on the cob prepared. A shower, clean clothes, then a soft bed, and we were both out like a light!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Don Pedro Island State Park

This blog will chronicle our (Pat and Patty Anderson's)
cruising adventures on the Great Loop!

DAY 222 - November 9, 2017

We will be heading for Cape Coral tomorrow to stay with Cecil and Danny Hazen of Desperado before cruising the Caloosahatchee River on Sunday to "cross our wake," so we wanted to get as far along the ICW toward Cape Coral as feasible to make tomorrow a shorter day. We cruised from the De Soto National Monument to Don Pedro Island State Park, a distance of 62 miles!

We started out going our usual 7 mph, but decided we should put Daydream up on plane for at least part of the cruise to shorten the day. Where it was possible, we cruised at 14 miles per hour, and I estimate we were on plane for about two hours, so we probably covered 28 of the 62 miles on plane. Although we want to have the fuel tank as nearly empty as possible when we retrieve, we have to be mindful that we have enough fuel left to do the Cape Coral to Forest River on plane at least part of the time, since that will be a 52 mile day!

Screenshot of De Soto National Monument to Don Pedro Island State Park route
We had chosen the Don Pedro Island State Park anchorage because we needed to get to shore at the last anchorage on the final day of the great  "Baxter Pooped Here"  tour, (Jim, we have adopted your description, since it really is so apt).  Active Captain said dogs were welcome in Don Pedro Island State Park, The only problems were, first, we had a dickens of a time finding the state park, and second, when we did find it, we were doubtful as to how we would get Baxter to shore!

The Active Captain anchorage symbols for the Don Pedro Island anchorages were just outside the ICW channel. We had put a marker there, and stopped when we got to the marker. The reviews mention taking the dinghy from the anchorage under a concrete bridge to the state park dock. But  from the anchorage symbols, we could not see either a state park dock or a concrete bridge. At this point, it was too late to go anywhere else! We actually found the state park using the Maps app on the iPhone! We were close, but we could see it was a bit off the ICW through a narrow channel. Narrow and shallow!  It was hard to see the channel from the ICW, but once we knew what we were looking for, we finally found it. Once we were inside, we saw there was actually another Active Captain anchorage symbol in the little bay in front of the state park dock! This is not an anchorage for big boats, as the channel in was about two and half feet deep most the way! - 

Screenshot of Don Pedro Island State Park anchorage
Channel into Don Pedro Island State Park anchorage
We got inside the anchorage area, which opened up and got deeper the farther in we went,  and set the hook in 8 feet. We could see that the dock was a fixed dock, and quite high, which I might possibly have gotten on to from the kayak, but it would have been a challenge!

Don Pedro Island State Park fixed dock
I took the kayak down, Baxter and I somewhat dubiously got in it ,and I paddled over to the dock, When I got close, it appeared to me that we could go UNDER the fixed dock! I had to virtually lie down on my back, and Baxter somehow instinctively lowered his head, and we squeezed under the dock with about two inches to spare! Behind the dock, there was a little pool with a foot or two of sandy beach, where we landed the kayak!  This one was right up there with dancing on narrow rock ledges to get to shore in the North Channel!

Don Pedro Island State Park is just another beautiful state park on a barrier island. Here is what Florida State Parks has to say about Don Pedro Island State Park. "Beautiful Don Pedro Island State Park is part of an extensive chain of barrier islands extending along Florida's Gulf Coast. Between Knight Island and Little Gasparilla Island, Don Pedro is accessible only by private boat or ferry. Boaters can tie up at the dock on the mangrove-lined bay side of the island. Access the dock via the channel south of the Cape Haze power line crossing, but be sure to idle, as the channel is only 2.5 feet deep." We can attest to that last part from first hand knowledge!

After Baxter and I  returned to Daydream, Patty and I had our sundowners and a simple dinner of sausage patties and cheese grits!

Once again, the sun set over Don Pedro Island State Park, as it has for ages and will for ages to come. Still we never tire of sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico. It is a little sad to think that this is probably the last sunset over the Gulf that we will see for a long, long time - maybe forever...

Our last sunset over the Gulf of Mexico?
We ended the evening with a FaceTime chat with Romy who is 3 today.  We had hoped to watch her open the present we sent.  Reception was good.  We got her a doll house complete with furniture and a family.  Her reaction couldn't have been better.  She loved it and immediately started arranging everything.  Should be good for imaginative play for awhile.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

De Soto National Monument, Bradenton

This blog will chronicle our (Pat and Patty Anderson's)
cruising adventures on the Great Loop!

DAY 221 - November 8, 2017

It has been no secret that we are anxious to get home. We have really enjoyed the whole Loop. We might have dashed home from Mobile, but we could see we would make it home by Christmas, so we took the time  to enjoy Pensacola, Apalachicola, Cedar Key, and Tarpon Springs. Even the overnights in Bayport and Caladesi Island were fun. Crystal River was fine except for not seeing the famed manatees!

We are now,  we must confess, officially on a "schedule," the bane of all cruising! We want to be in Cape Coral on Friday the 10th, where we will visit with our friends Cecil and Danny on Friday and Saturday, who just completed their Loop on Desperado . We will depart Cape Coral on Sunday the 12th for Labelle, where we will cross our wake as we pass the Ortona Lock Boat Ramp. After going through the lock, we'll go on to River Forest Yacht Basin, where our truck and trailer are stored. We hope our C-Dory friend Jim Widmann from Naples will help with the logistics of retrieval at the Labelle Boat Ramp, since River Forest says our C-Dory is too small for their TraveLift! So this means tomorrow night's anchorage will be our last on the Loop!

Today we cruised 52 miles from Caladesi Island State Park to the De Soto National Monument in Bradenton.  On the way, we saw this sailboat on the rocks. We are guessing the sailboat hit the rocks at high tide and couldn't get off, and then the tide went out. Not a pretty picture!

Sailboat on the rocks!
We were orginally looking at an anchorage called Bayway Structure E, which is shown as an anchorage in Active Captain with shore access but not mentioned in Skipper Bob, but when we got there, we realized it was not nearly far enough, so we looked at Active Captain, and thought the Manatee River anchorages looked good, especially the De Soto National Monument. To get there, we had to cross Tampa Bay. This is a large body of water! We had a calm day, for which we were grateful, because we can see how this could be a very unpleasant crossing with significant wind and waves. The ICW channel across Tampa Bay takes some crazy twists and turns but we know the channel goes the way it does for a good reason, so we just followed the daymarks. We got passed by this big boy in Tampa Bay, a dinner cruise ship out at lunch time!

The Starlight Sapphire dinner cruise ship on Tampa Bay
The De Soto National Monument anchorage in Bradenton is a great anchorage, where we were able to anchor close to a sandy beach right opposite the monument. This is a historical and recreational site, not a bird sanctuary, so dogs are welcome. This anchorage is known locally as "The Cross"! In addition to the cross, there is an obelisk, which is the actual monument,  with an interpretive sign about Hernando de Soto (1500 - 1542).  There once was a bronze statue on the base of the monument, but due to vandalism, it has moved to a museum in Bradenton. The Cross and the monument are both owned by the Dioscese of Venice. They paint de Soto as "the Catholic Conquistador" and talk only about his 12 priests and friars, but how accurate that is may be open to question, since he could not expect to conquer Florida only with a band of priests! He had soldiers and mercenaries for that task!

Screenshot of de Soto National Monument anchorage

The Cross at De Soto National Monument
In May 1539, Conquistador Hernando de Soto’s army of soldiers, hired mercenaries, craftsmen and clergy made landfall in Tampa Bay. They were met with fierce resistance of indigenous people protecting their homelands. De Soto’s quest for glory and gold would be a four year, four thousand mile odyssey of intrigue, warfare, disease, and discovery that would form the history of the United States. In 1537 Hernando de Soto would meet with the Emperor Charles V and impress him with his tales from the Indies. Charles would later approve De Soto's request to govern and conquer a portion of the New World, a place named La Florida. De Soto would depart Spain in September 1537 to travel to Cuba were he would claim his title of Governor and begin forming his expedition to La Florida.
May 1539 De Soto would depart Havana and sail for a selected bay on Florida's west coast to begin the expedition that would cost him his fortune and his life.  You can read more about De Soto on the National Parks Service De Soto webpage here.

We once again had potstickers for dinner! Patty makes the meat filling with ground pork sausage, garlic, chopped onion, a little soy sauce, a little sesame oil and some corn starch. She puts the filling in potsticker wrappers, inches the edges shut. She steams them with a lid on the pan, then takes the lid off for the the water to evaporate, and the bottoms to get brown and crisp. We do not feel at all limited in what we can cook in our little boat. It tickles me when I read other Looper accounts of how they eat out most nights!

Patty making potstickers in Daydream's galley!
Finally, I heard from the gentlemen who visited me and gave me the bottle of bourbon! HIs name is Nick Catsos. He follows a number of Looper blogs, and pointed out something I had not noticed before. At the very top of a blog, above the title, there is a link for "Next blog" and that is how he found Daydream's Loop. Nick has been interested in the Loop since about 1990, but doubts that he will ever do it himself (never say never, Nick!). He was interested at one time in C-Dorys but driving from inside a cabin in Florida in the summer would be a horror in his opinion. Thanks, NIck!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Caladesi Island State Park

This blog will chronicle our (Pat and Patty Anderson's)
cruising adventures on the Great Loop!

DAY 220 - November 7, 2017

Today at 7:30 a.m., I heard somebody calling my name outside the boat. I don't wake up easily, but I unsnapped the center window cover and opened the window. There was a gentleman there on the dock who, when I opened the window, told me he had read my blog, He said he wanted to take us to Walmart (according to Patty, I don't remember that, but she is much better at waking up than I am!). He also said he wanted to give me a bottle of bourbon but the liquor store wasn't open yet. He said he had wanted to do the Great Loop back in 2001 but for personal reasons, he was not able to do that. He also said he had guests who wanted to have breakfast on the docks, so he left  But half an hour later he returned and said the liquor store was now open, and gave me a bottle of Makers Mark! This is not just bourbon, but GREAT bourbon (thank you, Jan Risheim, for making Evan Williams forever inferior!). I am such an idiot! I did not ask him what his name was, and so, if he should read this, I hope he will leave a Comment or send me an email via the Contact Form identifying himself, so I can properly acknowledge and thank him!

After breakfast, I went into the marina office to return the key to the private bathroom and shower and pay the bill. This was the first marina that did not collect moorage in advance! We cast off the lines and headed back toward the Gulf ICW, which had started as soon as we were inside Anclote Key, stopping on the way at the Anclote Village Marina fuel dock for the last gas we will purchase on our Loop! With the last fill, we calculated the total fuel used was just over 1,000 gallons. This makes us smile! One Looper reported using 8,500 gallons of fuel, and our friends Nick and Barb on RioMarLago reported using 5,748 gallons of fuel. I guess those numbers are the cost of having a bigger boat and the need for speed! 

I took a few more pictures of the boats along the Sponge Docks as we cruised out of Tarpon Springs. Many boats are name "Agios" this or that, so I Googled it, and it turns out Agios means "Saint" - there are a lot of boats in Tarpon Springs named for saints!

Agios Nikolaos

Boats along the Sponge Docks
It was a long way out the Anclote River to the ICW, but after we were out, it was a very short cruise to Caladesi Island State Park Marina. 

Screenshot of Caladesi Island State Part Marina
The marina, as the screenshot shows, is really in the interior of Caladesi Island. The entire island is undeveloped, and is incredibly quiet and peaceful. The island is immediately west of Dunedin, across St. Joseph Sound. Originally part of a large barrier island, Caladesi Island and Honeymoon Island, north of Caladesi, were formed in 1921 when a hurricane created Hurricane Pass, splitting the barrier island into two parts. Although Caladesi is still referred to as an island, Hurricane Elena filled in Dunedin Pass in 1985, making Caladesi "Island" accessible by walking northward from North Clearwater Beach.

The marina has some restrictions based on length and beam on the tee ends of the docks and wider slips with longer floating docks, so we had to use a smaller slip. Although the marina has floating docks in excellent condition, they are not really long enough for a 25 foot boat to go bow in. We went bow in, and quickly realized that was not going to work, so we turned Daydream around by hand with the lines, lowered the kicker, and tied up stern in.

Daydream stern in at Caladesi State Park Marina
In the 1880s, homesteader Henry Scharrer and his daughter Myrtle lived on the island. Later in life, at the age of 87, Myrtle Scharrer Betz penned the book Yesteryear I Lived in Paradise, telling of her life on the barrier island. Myrtle apparently rowed to Dunedin every day to attend school. The Florida State Parks website does not say when the State acquired the land, but its completely undeveloped nature indicates it did not pass through many private hands. It is a real jewel, and could easily have ended up looking exactly like Clearwater Beach had it been privately developed.

There is a nature trail that leads to the beach of the Gulf of Mexico, and Patty and I walked it but I forgot to bring my iPhone to take any pictures!  Baxter enjoyed a long walk off the boat as well!

We met several other boaters there, including Ed from a trailer sailboat club, and Duane and Diane, Gold Loopers from Punta Gorda on a 34 foot PDQ power catamaran, Diva Di, with whom we shared a very pleasant evening of conversation and adult beverages!

Tomorrow, we press on. We have tentatively identified where we plan to spend the night tomorrow night, but this is all kind of flexible and we may end up playing it by ear!