Blue Turtle Cruising

Spring Break cruising “stay-cation”

Last week we had my sister, Tracy, and nephews, Jack & Ryan, aboard for spring break. Since the kids were all out of school for a full week, our original plan was to head to the Keys and anchor out near Key West to do some spear fishing and kayaking and then head into Key West for the weekend before our return. Unfortunately, the weather this time of year just doesn’t want to cooperate with it’s cold fronts that come through. There was to be 15-25mph winds in Key West and so we decided to stay local. We decided to do a “cruising stay-cation” and visit our usual haunts that we love to anchor out in. First up was heading South to New Pass for a couple of nights.

New Pass

New Pass was our first stop since it was close to the marina and a great place for the boys to get into a routine of kayaking and fishing and being out on their own. We anchored in our usual spot near the dog beach and the boys had the run of the place. Randy got them settled in on their kayaks and they went ashore to swim, fish and do what boys do. We gave them money to go to the Lover’s Key snack bar each day and they dined on burgers and ice cream. Our plan was to stay just one night and head to Cayo Costa the next day, however, we had an issue with an oil leak in the engine (which turned out to be nothing) that kept us there an extra day. No complaints from the boys about staying another day as they were loving it there. After 2 nights anchored at New Pass, we headed the next day to Cayo Costa State Park.

The boys paddling over to the beach. Big brother Jack tows Ryan.
Tracy and Captain Randy relaxing on the bridge
Ryan gets some quiet time on the bridge and reads his book
Randy and Ryan paddle to shore to check on the other boys
Randy waiting for sunset—Who’s that photo bomber on the left with a fork full of steak?!
Sunset at New Pass, Ryan and Corey blow the conch horn
Our conch horn band
Beautiful sunset
Three happy boys kayaking to the beach again
With the boys gone, Randy troubleshoots the engine issue
Hanging out on the front of the boat
Randy, Tracy and I head to shore via dinghy to see what the boys are up to
Three amigos
Corey and Ryan stop and pose for a minute
Blue Turtle with the New Pass bridge in the background
These boys are so entertained by a skim board and a bucket
Randy and my sis
Jack pulls Ryan around on the skim board
Freeze boys! Mannequin challenge!
My sis and I
The boy’s transportation for the week

Cayo Costa State Park

Cayo Costa was our next destination and we made good time getting there and getting anchored by mid-afternoon. We first anchored near the entrance of the park and later moved closer to the dock after learning that we would be getting some wind.  It was a great spot since we were very near to shore for the boys to paddle over to and they enjoyed fishing off the dock after 5pm.  We had towed our sunfish sailboat along with us so we could use it at Cayo Costa. Randy set it up and Corey and Jack went for the first sail. Our trawler had all the toys attached to it on this trip—3 kayaks, a dinghy and a sun fish. The weather was beautiful, absolutely perfect weather for anchoring out. The boys fished and kayaked and Randy took Ryan, Tracy and I out on sails on the sunfish. Sophie even accompanied us when we circumnavigated a nearby island. One of the days, we rented bikes and rode around on the trails. Did I mention the weather was gorgeous? We couldn’t have had a more perfect week for my sis and nephews to spend time with us on Blue Turtle. After 4 nights spent at Cayo Costa, we headed toward home but stopped for one night at Captiva Island.

Ryan and Corey eat breakfast on the way to Cayo Costa as Jack tries to sleep in on the couch
Corey wake boarding en route…need I say more?
Arriving at Cayo Costa
First evening, we went ashore to see what the boys were up to
We found them huddling in a puddle trying to stay warm since the sun had gone in
Post-jog around the beach with life jackets on for added warmth
Corey and Jack go for a sail while Sophie watches them
Randy goes on a solo sail (left) while I setup for a quick TRX workout on the aft deck (right)
Blue Turtle beauty
Corey and Jack getting their gear together to head to shore
Ryan is ready to paddle to shore
The boys paddling to the Cayo Costa docks
Randy takes me on a sail (left) and then my sister (right)
Ryan and Randy go for a sail
The gangs all here! At the docks heading to rent bikes.
Cayo Costa entrance sign
The boys picking out their bikes to ride
Riding the main trail on the island
The start of the Cemetery Trail
Trail end at Boca Grande Pass
Our rented bikes
Gorgeous view of Boca Grande Pass
Our handsome boys
Jack and Ryan climb the dead tree
What a view!
The boys rolling a log
Resting for a bit before heading onto another trail
The boys pose with the sheepshead that Corey caught on the dock
Randy, Sophie and I circumnavigate a small island on the sunfish
Sophie says, “this isn’t so bad”
Heading back to Blue Turtle
Blue Turtle with all the toys attached
Corey shows off a stunning redfish while Randy and I photo bomb via sunfish (left); a sheepshead and redfish was our dinner that evening
Blue Turtle anchored near the dock
Ryan catches a catfish in his pjs
Another sunset, another conch horn band performanace
Corey and Ryan blowing hot air

Captiva Island

We spent one evening anchored at Captiva near The Green Flash. This gave us the opportunity to resupply at one of the nearby shops and enjoy an awesome dinner at one of my favorite spots, The Green Flash.  Randy took my sister and I ashore so we could go to The Island Store and re-provision since our 3 hungry boys had eaten every snack aboard Blue Turtle. Once we had our groceries restocked, we had dinner and then headed over to the beach for sunset. The next day, it was time to head home.

On the way to Captiva, we had a rare moment of quiet while the boys actually read their books
Ryan came with Randy to pick up my sis and I from the grocery
Blue Turtle anchored by The Green Flash
Having margaritas at The Green Flash while waiting for our table
Randy and I
Our boys climb the tree on Captiva

Fort Myers Beach

After one evening at Captiva, we headed for Fort Myers Beach the next morning. We planned to anchor out by Matanzas for one night before heading home, but first had to head to the marina to take on some water. On our way through the pass we noticed several Fish & Wildlife and Sheriff’s boats by Bowditch Point. A couple officers appeared to be near a body on shore. We later learned that the body of a 65 year old man washed up ashore there and that they found his boat nearby. Never a dull moment on FMB. After filling up with water at the marina, we went back to Matanzas to anchor for the night and ding to shore for dinner. The next morning it was time to head home and end our week-long cruising stay-cation. We had such a ball enjoying our family and watching these growing boys.

Fish and Wildlife and Sheriff boats near Bowditch Point
Jack and Corey on the front cruising past the shrimp fleet
We saw Pilgrim II cruise past, a couple we met at Franklin Locks
All piled into the dinghy to go to shore
Our adorably handsome boys

7 thoughts on “Spring Break cruising “stay-cation””

  1. I LOVE your staycation! Even though you didn’t travel far from home, beauty and adventure is right in your back yard. What a fantastic childhood you are giving them! You guys are so awesome!! Keep on blogging and exploring!

    Reply
  2. It was great to see you cruising along at Fort Myers Beach. Thank you for taking the great picture of “Pilgrim II” as we went bye. Looking forward to meeting up with you folks again during our future cruises.

    Reply
  3. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. My wife and I have talked about retiring to that area for years and living aboard a boat. Reading your story just solidified by desire to do this. Specifically Ft. Meyers.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

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