|Wednesday morning sunrise-last day of hurricane season!|
We left Cayo Costa State Park on Wednesday morning but not before spending some time with the Manatees on Tuesday! We were told about a little cove south of the island, motor in on the dinghy then kill the engine and sit still. Sure enough, in a few minutes the Manatees were coming to the surface – nose first, a spray of exhale (yeah, kinda gross) then eyes, neck, shoulders, back & tail would appear then disappear with only a ripple to the flat water!! Amazing!!! The creatures are a bit helpless and Florida authorities do all they can to protect them – speed limit signs on the waterway, restricted areas during certain times of the year (April 1 – November 15) - apparently it’s working. On Tuesday we had four in the cove area – completely comfortable moving about.
|The Dock in Manatee Cove|
|Up close & personal|
After the Manatee moment we were looking for more dinghy adventures. So we drove around the tip of the island and entered the Gulf of Mexico! The water!!! From dark blue/green in the ICW to crystal clear, light blue in the Gulf – no kidding – there was a line of distinct color change in the water!! We drove over the line, it was like crossing the street…so here’s today’s brain challenge:
|It was hard to capture the color change-but it was REAL!!|
What causes the change in water color & how do the different water bodies “know” to stay in their own space?? My answer: God’s mighty hand of creation is everywhere – including every drop of water! Now science may have a different explanation but I probably wouldn’t understand the big words!!
So we motored about in the Gulf for a little while & headed back to The Lower Place.
|My FAVORITE dinghy Captain!! He's a keeper!!|
|A convenient store on the ICW - if you build it, they will come!|
Wednesday took us to Cape Coral FL to a private home/dock in a residential neighborhood. Ms. Kitty Nicolai is a harbor host in this area. We contacted her several days ago about a recommendation for the installation of auto-pilot on the boat. Not only did she suggest a great company, she insisted we stay at her dock & let the installers come to her home to do the work!! And she’s out of town – not even here!! Unbelievable hospitality from a complete stranger – another blessing!!
So as I sit here on Kitty’s patio, under partly sunny skies & a quiet breeze, I update our travels to you! The installation team arrived this morning at 7 – just like they said they would!! Therefore I planned to be out of the way for most of the day. I headed out, wagon in tow with 5 loads of laundry, detergent, QUARTERS, a book & my phone by 8:00 in search of a Laundromat! Google Maps is a constant blessing in my new world & 1.75 miles later I arrived at Cape Laundromat. Great place, clean, attendant on duty, free WiFi…what more could a vagabond boater ask for?
My walk was through a very nice residential section, wide sidewalks, bike lane & people scattered about. Of course, one man stopped his vehicle, got out to speak with me & offered me a meal at his mission!! GULP!! I knew I should have put on more lipstick!! I let him tell me all about how life “doesn’t have to be this way” then he mentioned Jesus!! I smiled & shared with him our “mission”!! I also explained WHY I was dragging my dirty laundry down the sidewalk and while I certainly appreciated the offer for a meal, I felt there was someone out there in more need than me. We wished each other God’s blessings & took comfort in knowing that sharing the love of Jesus takes many hands and feet…thanks Michael Lee for your boldness!!!
I’m not sure what the rest of the day holds – when the auto pilot is completed we will venture out for a sea trial (test drive) – but until then I will sit still, reflect on the day’s fullness and continue to be grateful for the fantastic opportunity we have been blessed with America’s Great Loop and most importantly…God’s promises!
|The Lower Place docked at Kitty's - Southern Cross rafted to us|