January 20, 2016 – Wednesday – Salty Sam’s, Fort Myers Beach to Rose Marina, Marco Island – 42.4 statute miles traveled

Getting off the dock at 0900 was an opportunity as the current was pushing the boat against the dock so hard that even with people on the dock pushing us sideways we were nearly pinned. It was good there was a corner wheel mounted on the end of the dock so we could roll around it backing out. Namaste had the opposite problem as the current took them immediately away from the dock and into the piling in the middle of the mooring bay. Unfortunately there was nothing Jim could do and they lost the starboard running light in the process.

Once we rounded Bowditch Point on Estero Island we found the waters were rougher than we had expected. Fortunately the waves were not right on our beam but just a little astern so the rocking was not as rapid as it could have been. As we were crossing San Carlos Bay we were about four miles off shore but still in water 24 feet in depth.

The weather settled and we had a pleasant six hour run past Naples to the Big Marco Pass and into Factory Bay. The channel is very crooked at one point at the same time being shallow and branching into two different paths so it was necessary to keep a close watch on markers, depth sounder as well as charts. Rose Marina is at the south end of the bay and has “floating docks- hurray!”

By the time we got settled it was time for chart hour on the dock with the crews of Namaste and Lydia celebrating our enjoyable cruise for the day. The highlight of the evening was when Jack and Gail Gilman stopped in for a visit. The Gilmans live on Orcas in the summer and have a beautiful condominium on Marco. They have a fishing boat in both places as fishing is Jack’s passion. It was great to see them here and get a touch of Orcas, something we have not had since Lew and Katie visited us in Heritage Harbor on the Illinois River way back in September. We are glad we did not miss Jack and Gail as they were off for a family gathering in Mexico the next day.

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