It’s so hard to believe that we’re now approaching 3 months in Fort Myers! This is just a quick post to bring you up to date.
Never would we have imagined that Ft. Myers would be a spot to captivate us.
It was never really on our radar as a happening place. But it has been the perfect stop for our little sojourn, and exactly what we’ve needed to take some much needed still time to let life catch up to us.
Aside from wrapping up some boat projects (including the dinghy davit install, we’ll get a post up about that soon); we’ve just continued to enjoy wandering around the streets of Ft. Myers, attending the theatre, visits from family & friends and just in general enjoying all the things that come with being in one spot for a while (Amazon shipments galore!).
And of course, the sunsets.
And watching storms roll in and out with amazing lightning storms and even a waterspout (we actually caught it on video, incredible!).
Earlier this month we shared about growing barnacles and why we’ve been craving a little stationary time.
Last week on our monthly live video cast we selected the topic of: “Dealing With Travel Burn Out – where we talked further about the subject. What causes it, how different people react and ideas for managing it while not losing your nomad card.
The archive is available on our YouTube Channel.
Day Cruises – Our First Lock!
But our days aren’t always spent tied up to the dock.
We continue to regularly take Y-Not and Just Because (the new dinghy) out on day cruises for practice.
We’ve done an overnight to Sanibel Island (mmmm…. grouper at Grandma Dots!) and cruises up and down the Caloosahatchee River.
We gain more confidence every trip, including managing our first “Oh crap, the steering’s not working’ incident with an urgent docking required (air bubbles in the lines – diagnosed & fixed on our own – oh yeah!).
One of our recent day cruises was up to the W.P. Franklin Lock, about 12 nautical miles east of here.
It’s the location where we were parked in our RV when our offer on Y-Not was accepted back in January. It seemed only appropriate that we make the trip up there to practice our very first locking!
To prepare for our first lock, we watched some videos on locking and safety (including the Ask Captain Chris DVD).
And then we actually drove up for an afternoon and observed boats going through the lock – which was the most valuable preparation we did. Nothing beats seeing it in person and thinking through our own approach.
So with confidence balanced with a good dose of nerves, on a good weather morning – we set out for a day cruise.
Conveniently during one of my mom’s visits – a fun adventure together, and we’d have extra hands onboard.
Here’s our quick little 5 minute video of our first lock:
Suspense killing you? Video not your thing?
Yes, we rocked the locks – and lived to tell the tale!
Travel Update: What’s Next?
The big pending questions have been:
- When the heck are we continuing on this Great Loop thing?
- And, which way will we go?
We could easily convince ourselves to stick around longer. Legacy Harbour Marina is just awesome, and if we needed to weather a named storm we feel well taken care of here. And we’re loving life in downtown Ft. Myers.
But the nomadic itch is starting the creep in.
When the waitstaff at the restaurants you frequent know your “regular”- that’s two signs a nomad has been in one place too long. It’s either time to continue on this adventure, or start growing some roots into community.
So, the decision for us is pretty obvious.
Our slip is paid up until mid-next week, which will be our estimated departure.
Now, which direction to go?
To continue on the Great Loop, we have two options – one is heading east across the Okeechobee Waterway.
The lake levels have come up to an acceptable risk tolerance for us, and it would be all protected waterways except for the lake itself which can get some considerable wave action.
The other direction is around/through the Keys.
It’s a bit more challenging for these boat newbies – a little bit of open water time on the gulf, more unknowns, more charting & navigation, more miles, expensive marinas and areas without connectivity as we cross through the Everglades.
But it’s also the route with more interesting things to discover, some snorkeling and just sounds more FUN! And heck, what better way to learn than get out there challenging ourselves?
Once we start heading north along the Loop, it’ll be years before we’re back down this way by boat.
Now that we have our dinghy all setup and ready to go – it will make anchoring & mooring more feasible to save on those marina fees.
So, weather pending of course, our intentions are to head south to the Keys next week with stops in perhaps Ft. Myers Beach, Naples, Marco Island and the Everglades on the way.
How long will we be in the Keys? Who knows. Until we’re not? Because you know, Y-Not.
In general, we’re aiming to start heading north up the ICW (Intercostal Waterway) this fall, finding a couple more awesome monthly stays, tackle some more boat projects and perhaps some RVing adventures too.
We’d be surprised if we made it out of Florida by end of the year.
Yup, that’s the kind of pace we’re taking.
So.. stay tuned, adventures ahead!