Monday, December 5, 2016

Port of the Islands Marina & Resort

We arrived in Naples late afternoon on Sunday – well, 23 miles southeast of Naples “city center”.  This is a private, out-of-the-way location sitting on the edge of The Everglades!  In fact, the first wildlife sighting we had was an 8-10’ alligator swimming in the canal at the marina!!! YIKES!  I didn’t have a camera handy but trust me there will be a picture soon!

My first impression upon arrival was not favorable…but I was tired, hungry, hot & frustrated – so I admit, I was an “its-me-not-you” moment.  We had an easy dinner on the boat, hot showers, a Hallmark movie (me) and a good nights’ sleep.  Top of my to-do list on Monday was to sleep later than 5:30AM – CHECK!!! How does 9:15AM sound?  COMPLETELY out of character for me but apparently my body was in agreement!! Yes, I do feel better!

A baby coconut! Smaller than sunglasses!!
We went for a walk around the property & neighborhood then checked in with the resort office.  After a great tour of the property we decided to stay for the month!  We will certainly need to rent a car for a week or so since the closest store is 18 miles away – just like our dirt life!  But for right now we have plenty to keep us busy-cleaning the salt from the boat is top of the list!  We are far enough inland so the water is brackish and that’s better for the boat bottom.  We will have a diver come in a couple weeks to inspect everything underneath. Given the alligator sighting, the diver will bring a spotter…gulp!
Resort Pool - I think we can deal with it!
 There are great bike/run/walk lanes on the well-paved roads (read: can see a gator crossin’), plenty of palm trees for shade and a constant breeze.  The resort has a very inviting pool, tennis courts and indoor club house with business center, fitness room and sauna.  Check, check, check and check!!

The boat neighbors could not be nicer!!!  They were a positive first impression!! In fact, before we ever hooked up to shore power, Kelly (next door) offered her car to us if we needed provisions!  She has been here 18 months and still doesn’t know a “short cut” to town.  She’s going to be a great source of information & comedy!!  The other neighbors came to the slip to catch our lines and secure the boat – it was VERY windy when we tried to dock! But with everyone’s help we were successful without damage to any boats, pylons or dock…docking requires teamwork!!  Nice feeling!!  Although we did “bow in” due to the wind – the marina prefers boats “stern in” (back in).  We will turn around if the winds calm down – if not, count your blessings that we don’t try it!!! LOL!!

While cleaning (inside) and washing (outside) the boat Kelly’s husband Harold stepped outside.  Super friendly gentleman and…as expected by their hospitality…they are LOOPERS!!  Not just Gold Loopers (one completed loop) but PLATINUM LOOPERS!!  They have completed the loop THREE TIMES!!!  Thank you Lord for the up close and personal local knowledge we will receive from them!!!  He has ALL kinds of information and she has quite a story!  A hard grounding with the boat in Canada left her badly injured – 3 surgeries later she’s still on a boat!!  We can’t wait to spend a little time with them – I predict blessings!!

With any luck – it will rain! This area is in desperate need of rain – like most of the southeast.  The water levels are at “historic lows” according to the locals…but we discovered that on our own yesterday! 

More pictures for the next post – the boat was too wet & slippery for me to safely climb (yes, climb not step) off & on.  Once we can “stern in” that problem will be corrected.

Keep Smiling  & Happy Monday!!

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