Saturday, November 25, 2017

Punta Blanca, Cabbage Key and Cheeseburgers in Paradise

A thin fog covered the area this morning as the crew of Viridian prepared to continue the journey South to where the GIWW mile marker goes to 0.0 and the Okeechobee waterway picks up at MM 140 near Ft. Myers,FL.  Since drawbridges are now a substantial factor in going from point A to point B, we decided once again to take a measurement of our air draft and make double sure what we think it is.  There is pressure from the bridge tenders to resists unnecessary openings so we must know exactly what our air draft is and then make a judgement based on what the bridge height gauge says posted on the pillar.  So far most of the bridges have been within 1 foot of what we think we draft so we request an opening.  Anyway, just another tweak to changing environments that could make or break your day.  We have seen some trawlers with broken mast and we surely want to do everything we can to avoid being one of them.  We also topped off our fresh water tanks since we will be anchoring out the next two nights.  The weather forecast calls for sunny skies and highs in the mid 70s for the next several days.

That's the news and here's the views:

We are here

 Today's Passage - Fisherman's Wharf to Punta Blanca (White Tip) Anchorage

 Bird's Eye View

Dinghy Route from Anchorage to Cabbage Key Restaurant

The bright sunshine today turned the shallow waters we were travelling in to the viridian color we named our boat for.  Dolphins hitched a ride for several miles along the narrow channel and into the big waters of Gasparilla Sound.  Thirty five miles later we idled into our hidden anchorage of Punta Blanca.  This is a genuine hurricane hole.  Protection from all sides in side the hook shaped bay.  Anchor down then Jazzy the dinghy was made ready for a 2 mile passage to Cabbage Key Marina to the South.  We had a late lunch/early supper at this incredible place where gopher turtles live and great food is found.  Here are some views of another day on the Loop.

There were no mansions along the banks today.  Instead we saw thick mangrove and palm trees on both sides of the canal for the first half of the passage then big open viridian water n Gasparilla Sound.

 Jazzy taking us to Cabbage Key for a late lunch

Cabbage key Restaurant

 Another View

 Yes, the whole place was papered from floor to ceiling with $1 bills

View from our table through the screen wire

 Cheeseburgers in Paradise (and black bean soup)

 Couldn't pass on the dessert


 Leaving full

 Looking back across the bay at our anchorage

 This place was packed until the Auburn/Alabama football game started

Heading back to Viridian

From the Cabbage Key Restaurant web page:

Welcome to our Gulf Coast island. One hundred acres of tropical vegetation surround our historic restaurant, inn and rental cottages. A panoramic view of Pine Island Sound, near Fort Myers in Bokeelia, is provided from the front porch of our open-air restaurant situated atop a thirty-eight foot Indian shell mound. There are no cars here, not even a paved road. You will find winding nature trails, romantic picturesque views and relaxation.

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