Log #7g Venice to the Everglades

December 31, 1998 in Log Series 02 - 07, Logs by Series, Series 07 Gulf Coast, The Logs

Log #7G
Limehouse Basin, London
March 28/00

Hi Folks,
I’m hopefully back on line again! I hope that you are not bothered by the long list of addressees, which you should not be receiving with this log. I am using my newer Mac Powerbook 5300cs laptop which we finally got operational thanks to Terry Lowe who brought a new charger unit with him when he came over for a visit last week. We are still learning this computer and hope we don’t make too many mistakes. I am still using a cut and paste method, as it will work for those machines that do not download files. Cruisers especially do not want long attached files, as their laptops and hookups all over the world have online limitations. That is one of the reasons I am trying to put all the addresses into what is called Blind Copy, so you don’t have to download a whole page of nothing but addresses.

Similarly, I shouldn’t make this intro to my Log #7g too long, and so I will send a separate E-mail in a couple of days filling you in on our current status, what we have been doing for the past month or so, our trip back to Canada, my teaching experience, and our intended departure date and itinerary.
All is well with us, and we are looking forward to getting back on the water in about three weeks. Let us know how you folks are doing.

Take care,
Aubrey Millard

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Log #7g Venice to the Everglades

Written at Limehouse Basin, London
March 28/00
Covers the period Dec. 10/98 to Dec. 17/98

As mentioned in the previous log, we had a snug anchorage in Venice Harbour, a shallow bay off the ICW, ringed with canals and waterside homes. We had to be careful of our navigation into the channels of this shallow bay, as depths outside the channel were not well marked, and we did not want to swing into the channel or onto the shallows at anchor. The next morning I dinghied ashore to get a local paper. Upon my return I saw a boater we had met a few days earlier at Egmont Key and had a pleasant chat with him. In fact I took the paper over to his boat after we were finished with it. He was tied up alongside the town dock, but was uncomfortable there as the tide, as small as it was, would cause them to touch bottom at low water.

After we took our GPS in and sent it back to the manufacturer, we got an early afternoon start to motor the 16 miles down to Lemon Bay, off Englewood Beach. On Dec. 12, we set off shortly after 0800 for Captiva Island. Dolphins playing around Veleda for over half an hour entertained us for part of the trip. We exited the main channel to go up Roosevelt Channel , a winding tricky passage, to anchor off a lovely resort called ‘Tween Waters. There we dinghied ashore to the marina and paid a small $10.00 fee to have full access to all the amenities of this resort while at anchor. A good deal!

The anchorage was in a dead end channel with Captiva Island on the outside and an uninhabited key on the inside. There were several boats at anchor, some of which had obviously been there for a long time. The fishing was supposed to be good, but all I caught  was a small catfish which we threw back. I am not a fisherman, and have lost more lures than I have caught fish. Oh well, hope springs eternal!

Captiva is a long narrow key, only 200 yards wide, with the outside facing the Gulf of Mexico. We spent three relaxing days there, fishing, bird watching, walking the beaches, enjoying the lovely restaurants, strolling up into the old part of town, as well as getting showers and doing our laundry.

Dec. 15 we left and wended our way out Roosevelt Channel into the main ICW, motorsailing periodically with our genoa out one side or the other. Before we got to the Sanibel Causway, we had to negotiate a stretch of channel with the ominous name of “Miserable Mile”, so called as it is a narrow winding stretch complicated by tides and currents near the entrance to Fort Myers, at the western outlet of the cross-Florida waterway, leading into the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico. We had a few hours of sailing and motorsailing before cutting back inland south of Fort Myers to enter Outer Doctors’ Bay. We anchored in Moorings Bay, the first lagoon inside, surrounded by million dollar homes, yachts and condominiums. (What else can you expect from a place called Doctors’ Bay?)

That was only an overnight stop and next morning we were off out into the Gulf and down to Naples City where we went alongside the town dock for a couple of hours to refuel (only 9 gallons of diesel), water, pump out and do a bit of grocery shopping. We were pleased to find the pumpout facility which was free. We encountered more pumpout stations on this west coast of Florida than we have seen since the Great Lakes. Incidentally, there is no charge for securing to the town dock for a few hours to refuel and resupply.

We left early in the afternoon, going down the inland route to anchor in Factory Bay at Marco, a bustling town honeycombed with canals. We took a taxi into town to take in a movie. It was an interesting experience as it was the first theatre we have been to where they have intimate dining tables on mezzanines facing the screen. We ordered a full course meal with wine that was delivered to our table just before the movie started. Our wine glasses were refilled, and dessert and tea were served during the feature. The bill was tallied and we paid on our way out. An interesting way of combining a meal and a movie. The town is a high priced tourist attraction with large luxurious hotels lining the main highway and homes and condominiums on the many canals.

The next day, Dec. 17, we started up the Big Marco River into the Everglades, a fascinating trip into this ancient swamp that I will recount in my next log.