6 Feb 2015: Caloosahatche River - Lake Okeechobee - St Lucie Canal

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Crossing the center of the Florida state presents an interesting opportunity to experience a variety of bridges and locks.

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This journey is best done in good weather and calm waters when you can mosey along and enjoy the countryside and all the onlookers who love watching the process. Many of the bridges are old school and slowly hand cranked. Railroad bridges, lift, swing and fixed bridges. Some of the bridge masters have their work cut out for them with aging equipment and nature's ever changing weather. Each lock also has its own personality. Five opportunities to test one's skill. The lock masters are generally a kind and helpful club. The spectators challenge the boaters to do their best work. Be it bridge or lock, the conditions of both air and water require special attention. Each pass through is one's first pass through with these changing elements and we never take it for granted that we are experienced. Always diligent!

 

 
 

3 Feb 2015: Meeting Friends- Heading to Miami

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Cruising along the ICW  (intracoastal  waterway) from Venice to Fort Myers at a faster clip makes one realize that this portion of the journey is best enjoyed at a slow pace. The mid Gulf Coast has so much to offer that two weeks just bobbing along is a much more gentle way to stop and poke and enjoy all the quaint gulf towns  and yacht clubs and get the full benefit of soaking up all the positive energy along this coast. Having a individualized custom charter experience allows one to set the pace.

Doing a transition charter, however,  requires staying on course and sticking to a schedule. A transition experience is for learning new skills such as navigating the locks and getting the pace and timing of bridges. Often the captain must make decisions of going open water or protected waterways. There are many factors to consider in making these choices. Yesterday we were able to cruise the ICW in respect of the winds and currents of the time. We almost had no choice to go only open waters due to the closing of the Boca Grande bridge due to construction. That would have meant dealing with rough open seas which requires its own special considerations. The bridge changed closure dates caused by their own setbacks which gave us the desired option of running the ICW.

Our port of call for the evening was the St Charles Yacht Club in Fort Myers. We were heartily welcomed there and enjoyed a scrumptious dinner with some snowbird friends from Pennsylvania/Cape Coral.

 
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2 Feb 16: On Our Way - Miami International Boat Show

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Grampstr's Pride is on its way to the Miami International Boat Show. After waiting for the fog to lift it was smooth cruising under the Sunshine Skyway bridge working our way to the Venice Yacht Club. Just in time to witness a glorious sunset at the inlet jetty. What a wonderful way to welcome back the beautiful weather.

 

If your ready for spring break you should consider a charter with us.

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Its Been awhile but we have been having fun!!

Good afternoon everyone.  The past several months have been one crazy whirlwind tour that included areas of the Chesapeake Bay all the way back down to the Florida Keys.  They say pictures are worth a 1k words, lets hope this will help show you the great time we have been having.

Over the next several weeks will try to post some updates about what we have been up to.  Lets just say this, as the weather is getting cold and wintery up in the north it is nice and sunny here in the Florida.

 

24 April 2015 - Pelican Bay Anchorage to Naples Yacht Club

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April 24, 2015 and April 25, 2015

Start: Pelican Bay Anchorage
Finish:  Naples Yacht Club

We awoke to a beautiful sunrise and a tranquil setting, as we begin our trip to Naples Yacht Club.  The club was established in 1964. As we cruise along at our 8 mph pace, the weather was perfect so we could take the outside route in the Gulf of Mexico.  Our fuel is burn per hour is running just below 5 gallons an hour or about 18.00 per hour!  The perfect speed for the easy cruising style of the Trawler life!  No rush no worries!   Needless to say the day on the Grampstr's Pride was an amazing one.

We arrived just about 5 PM.  After docking and checking in with the Dock Master we decided to try the cuisine at the club and made reservations for 6:30.  The food was very good we all had the veal shank special. 

Most of the clubs we visit are in the Florida Council of Yacht Clubs, they strive to have excellent chefs and are reasonably priced, as they are non profit and there for the members.  You must belong to a member of a Yacht Council Club to stay at a participating club. 

What is really nice about the clubs as they go out of there way to assist if there is a need. 

The club is built in southern Florida architecture with a large front porch for causal dining and an upstairs for formal dining and tonight for a large birthday party!  Easy docking and a lovely pool and gardens? 

After dinner we checked the weather and a cold front was moving in with heavy North East winds and was going to stay for several days.  This made us review our plans and we decided to stay another night at Naples and provision the boat I case the weather changed and we could go over the next couple days. 

We had an Uber experience!  Yes there was an Uber in Naples!  He was great!  Took us several places including a West Marine and the Dive shop!  If the weather changes we are ready to go the Ft. Jefferson and the Dry Turguga's!  

The plan is still head for Everglades City and then if the weather breaks plan to Cruise the 100 miles of open water to the Fort!  We are one day behind in our plan, hopefully it will be worth the delay!