Blue Turtle Cruising

Labor Day weekend: sun, fun and a boat christening

Our Labor Day weekend flotilla
Our Labor Day weekend flotilla

Friday, August 31, 2012

This past weekend (Labor Day weekend) we provisioned our trawler and set out on Friday afternoon for Cayo Costa. Since the boys (nephews Jack and Ryan and Corey) had school, we left a little later than we would have liked. Since my sister and nephews were going to ride with us, my parents left a little earlier. We were the last boat to arrive to our flotilla on Friday evening. Already there was Island Time (my folks), Mystique (Mike and Sally) and Knot Bad (Capt. Nick and Holly). Immediately, the boys wanted to get aquatic and change into their swim gear. Pretty much as soon as Ryan and my sister, Tracy, got into the water, Ryan got stung by a jellyfish. Poor boy! I know exactly how painful that is since I used to be a jellyfish magnet. My mom and Capt. Nick immediately got on their smartphones to search for an anecdote, consisting of washing the area with salt water, keeping vinegar on it for 30 minutes and apply meat tenderizer. After about a half hour, Ryan seemed to be much better and fortunately didn’t let it spoil his weekend since he was immediately in the water the next day.

Our gang on Rob's boat heading to the beach
Our gang on Rob’s boat heading to the beach

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Late Saturday morning, Randy’s good buddy, Rob, showed up on his 22′ Scout with his son Reef. So, we now had 4 boys, ages 6-8, who were chomping at the bit to go do something. Rob was kind enough to let us all pile onto his boat and take us to the gulf beaches of the island. So, we cruised through Boca Grande Pass and out into the blue gulf waters to the beaches of Cayo Costa. We anchored and slapped extra sun lotion on the boys and let them loose. Between boogie boarding, snorkeling, cast netting and building sand forts we had plenty to keep the boys occupied. This gave us adults time to relax and enjoy an adult beverage or two. On our way back to the bay side of the island we stopped to see if any snapper were biting at one of Rob’s favorite spots. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a fresh catch for dinner.

The boys (Jack, Corey and Reef) getting ready to go paddling
The boys (Jack, Corey and Reef) getting ready to go paddling

Once we got back to the boat, we sent the boys out on the kayaks for a little while. This was all part of our plan to “Wear.Them.OUT”. Around happy hour, we gathered on Island Time for the usually assortment of healthy and unhealthy snacks and cocktails. This was, however, no ordinary happy hour since we were planning a christening ceremony (De-naming and Naming ceremony) for both Blue Turtle and Island Time, right afterwards. Full details of the ceremony will be in my next post. Once the ceremony wrapped, we all split up to cook dinner and wind down for the day. Rob and Reef slept in the v-birth on our boat and Corey on an inflatable air mattress in our room. My sister and nephews stayed in their usual spot on Island Time.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Jack ducking under the branches in the Love Canal
Jack ducking under the branches in the Love Canal

Sunday a.m. came way too fast and we knew we really just had one more full day left for the weekend. Once everyone was up, Rob, Randy and the boys piled back onto Rob’s boat for a little bit of fishing. Around noon, they came back and it was time for Rob and Reef to say goodbye. Once they were gone, Randy, Corey, Jack, Sophie and I decided to take a dinghy ride to the beach (on the bay side). This beach wasn’t quite as nice as the gulf side, so we decided to journey to the Love Canal. We heard about the Love Canal from our dock master, Jim. It is a narrow canal that that cuts through the south end of Cayo Costa island and leads to the gulf side beaches. It’s about a 45 minute dinghy ride from where we were anchored in Pelican Bay. Since it is very narrow and sometimes shallow, it’s perfect for dinghys and kayaks. There were times when we had to use our paddles and lay down flat to clear mangrove and tree branches. So, it was a little bit of a ride and a little bit of maneuvering to get through it, but it was all worth it once we saw the white sandy beaches. We stayed at the beach for a couple of hours and then headed back towards the trawler. Once were back, the boys did their usual kayaking, swimming, and fishing while the adults enjoyed some happy hour treats and beverages. This was a great way to wind down for the day.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Alas, it was time to stow our gear and pull up our bumps. We headed out around 11:30am to take the 4 hour journey back to the Cape Coral Yacht Club. Once home, we settled into our routine of cleaning, laundry and early happy hour…after all we were still on vacation.

Click here for more photos from this awesome weekend.

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