Last week we had my sister, Tracy, and nephews, Jack & Ryan, aboard for spring break. Since the kids were all out of school for a full week, our original plan was to head to the Keys and anchor out near Key West to do some spear fishing and kayaking and then head into Key West for the weekend before our return. Unfortunately, the weather this time of year just doesn’t want to cooperate with it’s cold fronts that come through. There was to be 15-25mph winds in Key West and so we decided to stay local. We decided to do a “cruising stay-cation” and visit our usual haunts that we love to anchor out in. First up was heading South to New Pass for a couple of nights.
New Pass was our first stop since it was close to the marina and a great place for the boys to get into a routine of kayaking and fishing and being out on their own. We anchored in our usual spot near the dog beach and the boys had the run of the place. Randy got them settled in on their kayaks and they went ashore to swim, fish and do what boys do. We gave them money to go to the Lover’s Key snack bar each day and they dined on burgers and ice cream. Our plan was to stay just one night and head to Cayo Costa the next day, however, we had an issue with an oil leak in the engine (which turned out to be nothing) that kept us there an extra day. No complaints from the boys about staying another day as they were loving it there. After 2 nights anchored at New Pass, we headed the next day to Cayo Costa State Park.
Cayo Costa State Park
Cayo Costa was our next destination and we made good time getting there and getting anchored by mid-afternoon. We first anchored near the entrance of the park and later moved closer to the dock after learning that we would be getting some wind. It was a great spot since we were very near to shore for the boys to paddle over to and they enjoyed fishing off the dock after 5pm. We had towed our sunfish sailboat along with us so we could use it at Cayo Costa. Randy set it up and Corey and Jack went for the first sail. Our trawler had all the toys attached to it on this trip—3 kayaks, a dinghy and a sun fish. The weather was beautiful, absolutely perfect weather for anchoring out. The boys fished and kayaked and Randy took Ryan, Tracy and I out on sails on the sunfish. Sophie even accompanied us when we circumnavigated a nearby island. One of the days, we rented bikes and rode around on the trails. Did I mention the weather was gorgeous? We couldn’t have had a more perfect week for my sis and nephews to spend time with us on Blue Turtle. After 4 nights spent at Cayo Costa, we headed toward home but stopped for one night at Captiva Island.
We spent one evening anchored at Captiva near The Green Flash. This gave us the opportunity to resupply at one of the nearby shops and enjoy an awesome dinner at one of my favorite spots, The Green Flash. Randy took my sister and I ashore so we could go to The Island Store and re-provision since our 3 hungry boys had eaten every snack aboard Blue Turtle. Once we had our groceries restocked, we had dinner and then headed over to the beach for sunset. The next day, it was time to head home.
Fort Myers Beach
After one evening at Captiva, we headed for Fort Myers Beach the next morning. We planned to anchor out by Matanzas for one night before heading home, but first had to head to the marina to take on some water. On our way through the pass we noticed several Fish & Wildlife and Sheriff’s boats by Bowditch Point. A couple officers appeared to be near a body on shore. We later learned that the body of a 65 year old man washed up ashore there and that they found his boat nearby. Never a dull moment on FMB. After filling up with water at the marina, we went back to Matanzas to anchor for the night and ding to shore for dinner. The next morning it was time to head home and end our week-long cruising stay-cation. We had such a ball enjoying our family and watching these growing boys.