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The Great Loop

Everglade City, FL    Chart
(Lat: 25º 51.511'N Lon: 81º 23.237'W )

Today we drove down to Everglade City, FL, to take an airboat ride through the mangroves and swamp, had lunch at the famous Rod and Gun Club and then took a tour on a charter pontoon boat through the 10,000 island National Park all the way out to the Gulf. Jackie took pictures of the day.
While eating lunch we spotted another looper boat Sumertime at the Rod and Gun Club dock. It is a classic old Krogan 36 owned by Ray and Linda Corrette. He did most of the restoration himself and it is in perfect condition. Later in the day we stopped by their boat and introduced ourselves and talked about boating and looping adventures.
We have had great luck with dolphins this winter as we were heading to the Gulf we saw a great many dolphin pods swimming and feeding. One of the pictures shows a baby dolphin small and white in color.
The lat and long shown is for the Rod and Gun Club.
Legacy Marina Ft. Meyers    Chart
(Lat: 26º 38.482'N Lon: 81º 52.578'W )

We drove down from Sarasota to stay with our friends on their boat in Legacy Marina in Ft. Meyers. We have done a number of adventures with them and always have a good time. Last Summer we cruised with them in their boat on the Pamplico Sound.
On Sat. we drove our vehicle down to Marco Island where they have a big Mullet Festival at Stan's in Gooldland. Stan's is a famous on the water bar and grill that has had this festival for the last 30 years. They have bands, contests, etc. A number of motorcyle groups go, plus people on their boat, locals, etc. We thought it would be really crowded but for some reason this year, economy ?, it was busy but not crowded.
We met some other Loopers there and enjoyed the afternoon talking, listening to the band, checking out the cycles, boats, etc.
We took some pictures of the day.
Siesta Key To MarVista On Longboat Key    Chart
(Lat: 27º 26.282'N Lon: 82º 40.9'W )

We had another pretty day so we decided to head North up the Sarasota Bay/GICW to Mar Vista restaurant which is located on the Long Beach area of Long Boat Key. The Latitude and Longitude shown is for the restaurant location.
The water was calm and we had a great trip up and back. On the way up we did spot a manatee swimming along the route near one of the islands. We didn't get any pictures as he stayed just under the surface of the water and was quite a bit away.
The lunch was very nice in a wooded area along the water. We didn't take too many pictures because the GICW channel ran through the middle of the Bay so the shore was pretty far away.
On the way back to Siesta Key we stopped by Marina Jacks to see people we know there and got a picture of the Dolphins statue in the Park there and the Le Barge tour boat living the marina for a tour.
Siesta Key To Venice And Return    Chart
(Lat: 27º 6.325'N Lon: 82º 26.707'W )

The weather was nice enough to explore by boat so we jumped on our Whaler in Siesta Key and headed out the Big Sarasota Pass to the Gulf and boated South to Venice. It was choppy in the Gulf because of the wind but it was on our starboard stern so wasn't bad. We cruised down the coast and entered the Venice Inlet and cruised to the GICW. We passed the famous Crows Nest Restaurant and then headed further South to check out the Venice Yacht Club and then had lunch at the Marker 4 Marina and Restaurant. The Latitude and Longitude shown is for Marker 4.
After a nice lunch we cruised back to Siesta Key via the GICW and on our way back we were accompanied for a while by a dolphin that lives in the waters between Venice and Sarasota/Siesta Key. He is amazing as he comes up right beside our boat and lets us know he was there and then he trailed in our wake right behind our boat and right next to our starboard engine. Great fun to see him playing with our boat. He left us to do the same to another boat that headed South past us.
Very nice day on the water.
Bike Ride On Siesta Key Beachs

If the weather is good and the Gulf is at mid to low tide, we hop on our bikes in the morning and ride accross the bridge to the beach near Point Of Rocks. We then ride on the beach all the way to the other end of the beach which in the first picture you will see is as far as you can see. The beach texture is unlike any other I have seen. It feels like powdered sugar. It is very fine quartz. The beaches north of it and Turtle Beach, just south of it feels completely different than Cresent/Siesta Beach.
When we get to the end of the beach, we ride back through the neighborhoods and the Village with its shops, restaraunts, parks, etc, back to the condo. It is a beautiful ride and it takes us about 90 minutes of non stop pedaling. Great exercise and very scenic. Jackie took some pictures along the route.
Sarasota/Siesta Key Whaler Ready To Explore    Chart
(Lat: 27º 16.402'N Lon: 82º 33.097'W )

Late last week we put our Boston Whaler in the water at Siesta Key for exploring the waters for the months we are here. A friend of ours has allowed us to keep it at the slip behind his house in the Grand Canal in Siesta Key. It is a very well protected location and only a couple of miles from our condo. The latitude and longitude shown in this posting is where she is docked behind his house.
Earlier this week we cleaned and waxed her and got her all ready to take out in good weather.
Today we took her out and headed to Marina Jacks to see friends and load her with marine grade gasoline. It contains no ethanol which is tough on boat engines. It also comes at a premium price $3.89/gal but it is well worth it verses engine problems. While we were fueling at the marina a large dolphin surfaced right beside our boat to check us out.
We then went out the Big Sarasota Pass inlet took look at the huge houses on the Siesta Key on the inlet. We then brought her back to her slip and put her away for the day. We have a cold front coming in so we wanted to get her settled before the rain hit.
We have some pictures of our friends house and our boat, Funautical, docked out back. While we were leaving we noticed that the grapefruit on the tree in the yard were ready to picked we picked a couple to take back to our condo. They were wonderful and should be nice for several weeks.