Saturday, August 14, 2010

Naples to Longboat Key Moorings The crew of IH shoved off from Naples Sailing and Yacht Club at 0915 and proceeded to a nearby fuel dock for several hundred gallons of diesel fuel to feed the thirsty engines. Destination for the night Tween Waters Resort on Captiva Island. The weather radar showed thunderstorms approaching Naples so an early departure was in order after fueling. IH went out Gordon's Pass after 30 minutes at slow speed into the Gulf. Once clear of the Jettys, the Captain increased speed to 20 knots for the 55 mile trip. Arrival was by 1300 (1 PM). The crew enjoyed swimming and dinner at Captiva House. The next morning after a bike ride for the crew, Venice was the next destination. Out Redfish Pass into the Gulf and off IH flew again at 20 over 1-2 foot seas. Venice Yacht Club hosted the crew but the club was closed for dinner so nearby Crow's Nest was the choice, great fresh fish, right on Venice Inlet. After a relaxing evening the crew settled in awaiting their last leg back to Longboat Key Moorings Marina, the home base for IH. After 250 miles round trip to Naples it was nice to see the home port.
Thunderheads over Venice
Nothing like the wake of IH running 20 knots
The Deckhand awaiting the instructions from the Captain
Longbaot Key Moorings Marina, Homeport

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Naples, FL

Church at Ave Maria, FL Nice Pub for lunch near the church Main Street of the Planned Community of Ave Maria Founded by the owner of Dominos Pizza!

Only place I have seen these Lilly Pads is on the Amazon
Corkscrew Swamp Deep in the Swamp
Part of the two mile long boardwalk

The Captain and Admiral
A Thunderhead over Naples
Love these birds this one an Egret
A great day for a Pedicure
August 8, 2010
The IH crew spent 4 days and 3 nights in Naples, always a fun destination. Sister in Law Karen was a gracious hostess and tour guide. The crew enjoyed the Naples Botanical Garden, Corkscrew Swamp, owned by the Audubon Society, and the planned community of Ave Maria, Fl, .
The restaurants are also a highlight of visiting Naples, especially in the uncrowded off season. Just dodge thunderstorms not tourists! The crew bid farewell to Naples at 9:30 this morning after taking on fuel for the trip back to Longboat Key. The weather was predicted to be stormy especially in the afternoon so an early departure was in the cards. IH arrived at 1PM at Tween Waters Resort about 50 miles entirely run in the Gulf. Storms hit about 4 PM but the early arrival allowed the crew to relax at the resort, Kevin with a swim and Debbie with a pedicure. No bike ride today.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Captiva to Naples Sailing and Yacht Club

Thursday August 5, 2010
These are a few of the homes along the Gordon River in a neighborhood of Naples called Port Royal. It is a journey of about 5 miles up the Gordon River from Gordon Pass to the NSYC.
The Naples Sailing and Yacht Club
An early alarm for the Captain as he had some real work to do before departing. He also checked the weather as the run today from Tween Waters on Captiva to Naples required a 55 mile run in the Gulf, no intracoastal waterway (ICW) for protection. forecast was for SE winds at 5-10, seas 1-2 feet, a great forecast. IH departed the dock at 0915 and proceeded to Redfish Pass, the nearest outlet to the Gulf. IH increased speed to 20 for the run in the Gulf. Seas however were 2-3 feet and the wind was 15 from the SE gusting to 20. Whitecaps were common. No problem for IH though as she sped towards Gordon Pass the inlet to the Gordon River. Destination the Naples Sailing and Yacht Club on Naples Bay one of the first mate's favorite destinations. ( The Captain eased IH into the slip at 1245, after a lengthy slow speed zone on the river, with the aid of first mate Debbie and the Dockmaster Marilyn. After hosing off IH of the salt from the "ride" in the Gulf the crew relaxed in the pool. Happy hour soon!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Exploring and Having Fun On Captiva

Evening Thunderstorm
Florida birds are great spectacles-this one an Egret
A storm brewing but it missed Tween Waters
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
The crew of Island Hopper took it easy today, bike riding, exploring Captiva including a few shops. After a lunch of fresh fish at the Key Lime Cafe the crew returned to Tween Waters for a swim to cool off. The sky darkened and lighting was numerous so they sought shelter in IH, just in time for cocktail time. Capt. Kevin checked the engines over in preparation for the cruise tomorrow to Naples. Dinner tonight at Old Captiva House one of the finest restaurants in the area.

Venice Yacht Club to Tween Waters Marina, Captiva

Tuesday August 3, 2010
Island Hopper Entering Red Fish Pass
A Houseboat Leaving South Seas Resort Marina
South Seas Resort Pool By The Pass
Island Hopper left Venice Yacht Club via Venice Inlet heading out to the Gulf. The winds were calm and the seas less than two feet. IH traveled to Redfish Pass an inlet that seperates Captiva and North Captiva, FL. A distance of 44 miles. Running at 19 knots, so just over two and one half hours in the Gulf. Island Hopper arrived at Tween Waters Resort around 1:30 PM, time for the crew to have a nice swim and walk on the beach. (
Tween Waters Marina
Island Hopper at the Dock, Tween Waters, Captiva, FL
Kevin and Debbie had dinner at The Crow's Nest. It is a casual restaurant at the resort. It was a nice and relaxing cruise on the water and fun on land.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Longboat to Venice Yacht Club

Monday, August 2, 2010
We left the dock today at 10 AM headed for Venice Yacht Club. We enjoyed a nice summer day in FL. Little wind, calm seas and humid.
We sailed past Sarasota, out Big Sarasota Pass which separates Longboat and Siesta Key. It has shoaled in recently but the Sarasota Yacht Club website provides navigational info to safely pass through. I saw no less than 8 feet in depth, I need 4 feet.
Exiting Big Sarasota Pass
Entering the Venice Inlet
Once through the pass we speeded up to 20 and had an easy ride to Venice Inlet about 12 miles. Total miles today 24. WE arrived at VYC at noon, just in time to enjoy the pool. dinner tonight at a nearby restaurant, The Crow's Nest. The yacht club is closed on Mondays.
Debbie floating at Venice Yacht Club
"Trying to Stay Cool"

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Longboat Key Marina

It was great to see M/V Island Hopper again. It has been almost 3 months since our last visit. Summer is warm to say the least but we will move early in the morning and be tied up by noon at a marina with a beach and/or a pool to cool off. Since we flew down, our bird dog, Tate, stayed in Cincinnati where he will be cooler.

M/V Island Hopper Underway Again

We have been remiss in not posting to the blog. Since we arrived in FL in November from Rock Hall, MD we have harbored at Longboat Key Marina We spent most of the winter in FL after the holidays and we cruised a few times to St Pete, Naples and points in between. The winter was much colder than we were here last two years ago. Luckily we had purchased a condo in May 2009, near Bradenton, on Tidy Island in Sarasota Bay looking over to Longboat Key. We returned to FL this week to check on the boat and to take a trip to Naples.