Days in Punta Gorda
We have settled in at Burnt Store Marina which will be our new "home"
for the next 6-8 weeks. We are the T at the end of the dock and have
a great view and plenty of room to get on and off the boat. We have the
boat decorated with red ribbons and blue lights on the cockpit which we
can see from out salon. It's a very peaceful scene at night. Defrosting
the refrigerator is the next project. A dolphin was playing with a fish this
morning outside the window. I think it was his meal! We picked up out car
rental yesterday, so now we can get to the store and see some sights.
However, the marina is 10 miles from the nearest town, so we have to do
our shopping and planning wisely and not use up too many miles since we
need the car to drive home and back.
CLICK ON THE THUMBNAIL PICTURES TO ENLARGE FOR DETAILS.
DECEMBER 25 Merry Christmas!
Today was our first Christmas away from Connecticut. Yesterday we drove to Port Charlotte to do some
shopping, then were invited by several of the full time transient boaters to the pool area for pulled pork,
cole slaw, and beans. Christmas Eve we attended the 10:00 service at the Burnt Store Presbyterian
Church. We plan to go back for the next few Sundays. Today we had Christmas dinner at the Porto Bello
Restaurant here a the marina with Graham, Rita, and 2 other couples, including another Jim and Barbara!
It was a delicious buffet that included salad, grouper, chicken, beans almondine, scallop potatoes, prime
rib, and a pasta bar, and of course desserts. We later had a visit with the Ebels at their house and
brought Lily. She met Jester for the first time, and gave a few growls, which of course were
"corrected". I think after a few visits, she will know Jester, a very sweet gentleman, is her friend. I
will have to get pictures of them both together next time we are together. There were several
manatees very close to the dock, so I got a few more pictures. It's very hard to get one of them coming
up for breath because they go back under quickly. You have to wait for just the right moment.
The boaters' pool Fountain on the walking path Manatee diving under Manatee tail
Our tree and Mrs. Clause Golden Lily at the dock Harbor Towers view from our bow
On Saturday we drove to Sanibel Island to Bowman's Beach. Good thing we arrived at 10:00 when there
were only 8 cars in the parking lot because when we left around noon, the lot was just about full. I
heard it was one of the best beaches for shells, and that was true. There were piles and piles of shells
that had been washed up on the beach, as well as new shells being washed up with the breaking waves.
I added many pink scallop shells to my collection as well as small conch shells that are hard to find.
Sunday we were invited by another looper, "Wanderin' L & M" to a local looper party at Harbor Heights.
It was a great gathering of people who had done the loop and a few who are thinking about it. It was
good to meet up with Larry and Margie amd to meet new friends.
Today, the 29th, Jim is finally getting to play golf. Lily and I will visit with Rita and take a walk
around the marina.
< Scenes from our walk around Burnt
< Scenes from Sanibel Bowman's Beach
and my shell collection so far.
On December 24, we enjoyed the beautiful weather and took Lily for several walks around the walking
paths at the marina. She really enjoys meeting people. We have been practicing and "reviewing" our
obedience, since she needs work on heeling, sitting for greeting people, and behaving when meeting other
dogs. She sometimes barks and growls when certain dogs come close to her. This is not acceptable
behavior! So...it's now "review time". She has been doing much better.
At 1800 we went over to Graham's and Rita's, then upstairs to some social time with neighbors who
turned out to have worked at our marina 20 years ago when we first came. It's amazing how you can
travel so far and meet up with people from back home and know people we still are in touch with. We
then went to Limoncello's, an Italian restaurant nearby that had absolutely delicious food. You can tell
when you start dinner with an olive oil bread dip with tons of seasons and garlic which gets the flavor
going for your dinner. We will plan to go back again. It was THAT good!
Today we took Lily for several long walks and visited with our friends at their pool for some social time
around 1700. I had the crockpot going all day with pork chops, so dinner was all ready by 1800. Lily was
so tired. After her last walk, Jim was wondering where she was since she always plops back up to her
spot on the couch. She had settled in on the bed all on her own!
We met Mike and Paige Caldwell's boat "Golden" several years ago when we were in Westport on
L.Champlain when we noticed they had a picture of a Golden Retriever on their boat as we also had a
picture of our Golden, Polly on ours. We did not get to meet them at the time, but their friends who
kept their boat there, gave us their website, and we followed their trip on the Great Loop and kept in
touch with email. We finally had a chance to meet them today! We had a wonderful ride on their boat,
"Paige Two" to Sanibel, into the small marina and further into the windy and narrow canal. Traveling
30-40 MPH, we scooted along to Ft. Myers Beach, slowed down in manatee areas to take in the view of
the houses, shrimp fleet, and marinas. We then had a tour of the towering condos and hotels and
beautiful houses on miles and miles of canals. It was an amazing day and ride. We are so used to going
SLOW...8-10 MPH on Golden Lily, so this was truly exciting and special day!
Sanibel channel Narrow tunnel- the boat actually Canal- Sanibel Walking bridge- Sanibel
fit through here: 1 inch on each side
There's a lock to the canals that helps keep a lot of the salt water out of the canal. The green sign is in German.
The shrimp fleet Condos and houses along the canal in Cape Coral