The local forecast for Easter weekend here was all doom and gloom. According to our local weather stations we were to have a 70-80% chance of precipitation on Friday and Saturday, but we weren’t going to let this keep us on the dock. Randy and I have been working our butts off painting the exterior of the boat for the past several weeks, so we were hell bent on going out on hook. We left Thursday afternoon to get a jump start on the weekend and headed to Cayo Costa. The weather forecast for Thursday called for some scattered afternoon showers and we were ok for the first half of the trip. I was below in the main cabin working of all things when Randy comes down below to remove our front window coverings. Seems it was beginning to storm so he and Corey came down below to drive the Blue Turtle inside to stay out of the rain and lightening. It poured the rest of the way there and I don’t know how they knew where to steer since you couldn’t see out at the gray mass of rain at all. By the time we pulled into Pelican Bay, the rain began to lighten up some and we found our anchorage and Randy went out to set the anchor. It rained later in the evening again and we just hunkered down with a movie.
Friday we woke to an overcast and gloomy looking day. Randy checked the forecast and we were good for the day until another system was to arrive later in the day. So we took the dinghy into Cayo Costa and rented bikes for a half day. We’ve never really explored the island much other than crossing through it to get to the beach and visiting the Love Canal. Since it was overcast , it kept the temperature cool and made it perfect for a bike ride. We stopped at the ranger station and got a map and hit the trails. We pedaled to the north end of the island where Boca Grande Pass is and checked out The Old Quarantine Station where every ship from a foreign port had to come in flying a yellow flag and await the doctor to board. After we were done with riding bikes and getting hungry we took the dinghy to Cabbage Key for lunch. I mean, what Cayo Costa trip is complete without a dinghy ride to Cabbage Key?
On the way to Cabbage Key, I spotted a bald eagle perched on a low hanging branch. We were headed against the wind so it was much to bumpy to stop for me to take photos of it. After lunch, we had a much smoother ride back and this time we slowed so I could get a few photos of it. After that we headed back to the boat in anticipation the afternoon rain. Surprisingly, it stormed all around us but never really hit Pelican Bay. We had a brief shower and then a gorgeous sunset.
On Saturday, we planned to head to Captiva to anchor for the night. It was a party sunny, partly gray day and it took us about 1.5 hours to get there. We went to Captiva for two reasons, one being that we were 1.5 hours closer to home making the Sunday a.m. trip shorter. It was Easter Sunday and Corey’s mother wanted him since they had a family get together. The other reason for going there is that Corey had predicted that there would be some surf near Blind Pass. The weather systems were bringing with them some wind and waves and Corey was really wanting to go surfing. So we anchored in a really tiny spot just north of Tween Waters. We splashed the dinghy and were off for Blind Pass.
When we got to Blind Pass, Corey was a little disappointed with the waves. They were a good size, but they were wind blown which means you get beat up trying to paddle and surf them. Randy and Corey made an executive decision to not surf, so we hung out at the beach for a bit and watched a group of kite surfers. When we pulled the dinghy to shore at Blind Pass, I spotted a Great Blue Heron hanging out by some fishermen so I had to get some photos. I don’t know why but I just love stalking birds with my camera.
On our way back to Blue Turtle we spotted a Osprey’s nest with a couple juvenile osprey and of course I had to get some shots.
After some showers and down time, we headed to shore. We had heard that Jenson’s Marina is a friendly place where we could dock our dinghy so we headed there. A very nice fellow there gave us a map of the area showing where shops and restaurants were. We walked along a very quaint little street, called Andy Rosse Lane, with boutiques and restaurants and ended at the beach where the Mucky Duck is located. We decided to grab a table outside and have a couple drinks to watch the sunset. This was a great spot since there was a ring toss game that clearly kept all the kids there entertained. Corey got in line to play and took his shot but didn’t win one. He and Randy downed 3 plates of gulf shrimp while we were there. The sunset ended up getting clouded over but it was still a great end to the day. The next morning, we headed back to Snook Bight for Easter festivities.