It turns out that we will be able to say here at Sanibel Island Marina until the 23rd of February. What a great place to be! This is primarily a boat dealer/broker marina with a boat yard, mechanics, a well stocked Ships Store and people who specialize in selling the Back Cove cruiser boats. The personnel here are professionals and super accommodating, can't say enough good about them. There is a popular restaurant here on the grounds called "Gramma Dot's" and there is always a line out the door starting at 9 AM every day. Also, you can go out on the Sanibel Thriller, a 20 passenger cigar boat, and take a wild ride around San Carlos Bay.
We are no longer docked on the loading ramp. There was an empty slip in the "back 40" of the marina that they put us in, away from the madding crowd. However, to get in this slip required a stern first docking in a full marina designed for 40 foot or less length boats. The pier off the stern is floating but there are pillars placed about 25 feet off the dock. The dock master asked if we had a bow thruster and we said that we do but it doesn't work. Then he asked are you a twin screw? Single was the reply. OOOhh! that's gonna be a little tight getting in there. Tell you what, we'll get Mike to go on board to help with line handling but if you think you can get it in there then the slip is yours. Well, loosing the thruster has forced me to think hard about what is going on with the rudder, prop and boat pivot point, forces and moments, prop walk and the dynamics of docking. Winds and currents are random error sources that must be considered and will usually be the go-no-go factor. Fortunately, there was no current in the marina and the wind was a steady breeze off the starboard beam. Long story short. We got in our slip. There was a crowd of spectators, they seem to come out of nowhere, and we managed to look like we knew what we were doing. Having repaired the stiff shifter cable in Key West made this docking possible otherwise there would have been some kind of failure with the shifting link due to the constant forward/reverse shifting required to nudge Viridian 90 degrees and back in such tight quarters. Well, that just made our day. Not saying we don't need to fix the thruster but there's nothing better than learning a skill by success as opposed listing the ways it won't work through failure.
Our mode of transportation while we are here will be the fixed gear bicycle. This island was designed with the bike in mind and there are paved bike trails all over the island and it is as flat as a table here. We are looking forward to exploring and getting to know the people here. Looks like the weather will be perfect for as long as we can see into the future and we can't wait to start planning our day.
That's the news and here are some views:
Lighthouse on Sanibel Island Point
Island Transportation :)
Gramma Dot's Restaurant
Enjoying our new location
Neat little Ranger Tug with a 3 cyl diesel
Pretty house across the road from marina
Viridian in her new slip (see if you can find her)
The back "40"
Road out to Sanibel Island bike trails
Sanibel Marina, FL