Days 142 thru 148 New Neighborhood

Our next week in the Sunny south was just going to be a hang out week. With most of the boat projects done and a little over a week before kids start showing up, we relocated to Glove Bight back in Cape Coral to stay at anchor and save some money. We set the hook beside Knot Diggin. Here are the dolphins keeping an eye on the boat.

The neighbours were not there because they were busy setting up their new house a few miles away on a canal in Cape Coral. They decided now was the time to get back into the hot Florida market. They plan on renting while they finish the loop. So if you know anyone interested in a Florida rental, mention my name.
The soft opening for the new Flamingo House was a Superbowl Party.

There was eating and

We had the Superbowl game on although it was the first football game of the season that any of us had watched. We did enjoy the half time show.
The next day I got an appointment at the optometrist to get new glasses. I broke my glasses about a month ago and have been making out with my old safety prescription glasses and some new readers from the dollar store. I finally decided we had time and opportunity so it was time for new glasses.
We went to the ”New glasses in a day for $179” place. Of course that is all advertising – a week and $600 later I have new glasses. On a bright note, I can see clearly now.
It was a good thing we were saving money by anchoring out because I was spending money like a drunken sailor elsewhere. Another $400 put 2 new deep cell batteries into my solar setup. The solar setup has been running the refrigerator completely off the grid. But if we have a few cloudy days it can’t handle the refrigerator and our portable freezer. Hopefully the added capacity will keep both running. Thank you to my new friend Randy from FMYB for setting me up with the new batteries and delivering them to Cape Coral. You meet a lot of great people doing the loop. Randy and his wife Anne are two for sure.
One of the problems with living on the hook is that everything has to be ferried from shore in the dingy. After another fun night of games at the new Flamingo House, we had to carry the new very heavy batteries, a load of groceries and supply of drinking water back to the boat.
The weather was due to change, a strong South wind was blowing but a front was supposed to come through that night and a shift to a North wind after that. We didn’t want to leave the boat unattended when the front came through so we had to get back to her. I knew it was going to be a wet ride across the Calooshatchee River as we were going to have to head almost straight into the wind and it was blowing about 20MPH. We started getting wet before we even got to the River. Before we even got half way back to the boat, we were soaked to the skin. At least it was warm water. I have to give credit to Janet, she was taking the brunt of the spray sitting ahead of me in the dinghy and didn’t complain once. In the end we made it back safely, got the groceries and batteries unloaded and after a quick shower we were no worse for wear.
Next was to prepare for the expected front to come through. We repositioned the Nautoncall a little farther away from the Mangroves with room to swing when the wind shifted. I used the dinghy to set our second safety anchor at a 15 degree angle from the first. All was good we were being buffeted by 20 to 30 knot winds but our anchors were holding well. We kept an eye on the weather and waited. The front was forcasted to pass around one in the morning. The local news was updating the weather about every 20 minutes on TV. The coverage was awesome, only the more they talked and showed the approaching radar images the more worried we got. We would not get any sleep until it passed.
Then came the Tornado warnings… We were on the very edge of the Tornado warnings and the news guy said he had not seen any rotation in the thunder storms but it was pretty unsettling seeing that ticker run across the screen.
It is amazing how accurate the weather coverage was. At exactly 1AM as predicted the wind picked up and lightning could be seen in the sky. The wind suddenly shifted 180 degrees, you could feel the boat loosen on the anchor lines and then start to turn, blowing us toward the opposite shore. I was watching the anchor alarm on the GPS, our anchors caught and held when the lines tightened again. A good thing because the heavy rains hit us as well.
Then I noticed the neighbour out on the deck of his sailboat with a flashlight. He was chacking lines and looked like he was holding as well. Unfortunately the saiboat closest to us looked like he was moving. I went out onto the front deck and realized his anchor had let go and he was drifting toward us. I immediately went inside and started the engine in case we needed it. Luckily for us, he drifted right by without any contact, but it looked like he was going to be blown right into the mangroves, his boat was heeling over from the wind and it looked like he was grounded. Then his second anchor caught and his boat turned into the wind, good news for him. The wind eased when it turned out of the North so we were in no immediate danger. He was close enough we could shout back and forth, he said he was still in 6 feet of water and planned to pull himself a little deeper by winching in the second anchor. There was not much I could do for him but stand by and keep an eye on him. He struggled for a while with his winch and tangled lines but in the end he only moved it a bit and retired into the cabin. I finally laid down on the couch for a nap about 3AM. I had 3 anchor alarms running just in case we moved again. By 6AM I was confident we were safe and retired to my real bed or a few hours of real sleep.
In the morning the weather had indeed changed and it was chilly.
Janet wanted to try out her new fishing pole so we took a turn around Glover Bight casting some lures. She landed this cute little guy.

He clearly wasn’t impressed. He deflated when I grabbed him to get hime off the hook and then reinflated in my hand. it was like he had a little air compressor inside.
After deciding we were not good fishermen we took the dinghy to shore for a walk.

There is a dock on a platform at the end of an elevated trail through the mangroves. It was a nice way to see what it looks like behind those shores we have been anchored off of. We walked to Rotary Park in Cape Coral. A very nice park with lots of gardens, a dog park, a butterfly enclosure, etc. A good way to spend a cool grey afternoon.
That evening we had the neighbours off of the sailboat over for games night. Jimmy and Laura are organic farmers in Alaska, they summer there growing vegatables and teaching people how to live sustainably.
(Their website is For the winter they live on their sailboat cruising around the Keys. Jimmy showed us lots of good anchorages in the Keys to try out. A much nicer way to spend the evening than being worried about tornado warnings.

Sent from Samsung tablet.

Don McCulloch
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