Our time at Marco Island was pleasant and busy. We came in on December 20 and stayed for almost 3 months. We had moved our car over to the marina prior to bringing the boat so we always had wheels.
We found the Seminole Casino about 45 minutes away, and made a couple of trips over to gamble. We attended the Miami Boat Show and Trawlerfest in Stuart, FL. We took a couple of weeks and retrieved the motorhome from storage in Orlando, spent 4 days at Thousand Trails in Clermont, continued on to Texas and placed the motorhome into storage in the Kemah area. Our friend, Mike Gandy, lives on his boat in Fort Meyers. So we had lunch with him several times.
Katie came to visit near the end of our time at Marco. We visited the Ford Edison Winter Estates, took a sunset cruise with the Southwest Conservancy to a rookery, and rode the airboats through the mangrove tunnels and grasses. When Katie left, she drove our car back to Houston to await us. Then it was time to continue on our way back to Texas.
So on March 17, we left Marco Island and spent our first night out at anchor in Charlotte Harbor. The next day, we went offshore to the Venice Inlet and stayed at the Crow's Nest Marina for 2 nights to wait out some weather. A rough and uncomfortable 2 day stay due to the northwest winds. We made a smooth crossing from Venice Inlet to Dog Island near Carrabelle, FL on March 20 and March 21, about a 32 hour crossing. We anchored at Dog Island on the night of March 21. We experienced winds in excess of 30 kn at anchor. What is it with us and the wind?
The morning of 3/22, we entered the ICW and proceeded to Port St. Joe. Port St. Joe is a very friendly, small town and one can walk to just about anywhere. Except, if you throw your back out, like me, the first morning there. So Ernie did grocery shopping, washed clothes, had a doctor's appointment, and stayed very busy while I laid in bed waiting for my back to feel better.
On March 28, we left Port St. Joe for an overnight crossing into the Pensacola Inlet continuing on to The Wharf Marina at Orange Beach, ALA for the night of 3/28. This was not a smooth crossing and we were exhausted and beat up after a night of being tossed about. All our weather sources showed 1 ft to 3 ft seas for the entire trip. They were wrong and we experienced much larger seas. This was the last overnight crossing of our trip back to Texas, thank goodness!
We continued on to Biloxi for 2 nights to wait out some more weather. On the 31st, we travelled to New Orleans, with the expectations of crossing the Mississippi River on Saturday, 4/1, and going on to Houma, LA for a couple of days to (guess what?) wait out some more weather. On our trip to New Orleans the Coast Guard announced that the Industrial Canal Locks were closed Fri thru Sunday, 3/31 thru 4/2, from 6am to 6pm. So much for our plans.
We are now in New Orleans until at least Tuesday, 4/4, and we'll let the bad weather pass us here. This trip has been chock full of high winds and severe weather so we hunker down for the bad weather and travel when weather permits. We should be back in Kemah mid to late April.