We took a trip down to the boat and went out on the water this weekend. It was long overdue for me. I am reminded why we bought this boat in the first place. The weather and the water were just gorgeous.
Ft. Myers City Yacht Basin
Sunset at Yacht Basin
Our Sea Ray cabin cruiser is too big to trailer, so we spent some of the weekend looking for a smaller boat. One that has caught our eye is the Nautic Star 210 or the 231 Coastal. These are pleasure boats comfortable enough for the whole family, but also great for fishing. We are thinking of kids and grandkids, but also like to fish the shallows.
We went to the Ft. Myers City Yacht Basin. There are people who only stay overnight and there are folk who have lived here as long as thirty-eight years. The marinas and yacht basins are a cool place to hang out and hear some fantastic stories.
The Loopers are people who start out up north and travel down the rivers to the Gulf, travel around the southern tip of Florida or cut across the Okeechobee waterway to the Atlantic and then travel northward up the coast through the intercostal waterways. I’m sure it is an expensive lifestyle, but it would be one of my lottery winning dreams come true to do it at least once.
Loopers often have some of the best stories. These kind folk invited us for drinks aboard their vessel, Hoosier Daddy. Loopers are a special breed. They are some of the most well-grounded people you will ever meet, yet have a sense of adventure than nearly none can surpass.
Biketoberfest has been going on in Daytona for a week. It is one big party for bikers, but the bikers often travel the state which hosts them in various towns and communities with local bike weeks. The transients make Florida a more colorful place come October.
Lots of fun and lots of stories to be told.
Great places for inspiration!
Where do you find yours?
The end of an era is upon us. We have always been boat people, from kayaks to cabin cruisers; we have always had some sort of boat. The canoes and smaller craft have already been sold and now we are down to just one. A thirty-six foot Sea Ray, named Phoenix:
It is great for cruising around the coast. But seen one coastline seen them all. One of the problems with the Sea Ray is that it is so big; we can’t easily put it in and out of the water. It can’t be hauled from the Gulf to the Atlantic and vice versa very easily. We have to have a deep water lot to moor it, or pay a small fortune by the foot to keep it at a marina.
Right now it is at a friend’s house 150 miles away. Not very convenient. Owning a boat is like owning a big hole in the ocean that you can throw money into. The RS is going down to his friend’s house next weekend and cleaning it up for sale.
Know anybody that wants to buy a boat?
We sold a smaller Key West, named Down the Hatch, fishing boat not long ago. We just weren’t fishing much anymore and it was too big for some of the places we wanted to fish and too small to go offshore. It also didn’t have a cabin.
Our plan now (the RS’s plan) is to get a C-Dory, a trailerable boat that we can easily haul from place to place. They have a cabin and are big enough to camp on but small enough to pull. This would be one that we can take to lakes and intercostal waterways but is also seaworthy.
I tease the rocket scientist that we could have gone on hundreds of deep sea fishing excursions for what we paid for the boats we have owned. (He likes big toys and projects.) I honestly would rather save our money and go on some nice vacation cruises…like Alaska, the Mediterranean. I love the Gulf and the Atlantic, but there is so much more of this world I would like to see.
This is part of our retirement plan. We want to move closer to the Gulf (near Sarasota, get out of Central Florida and the city) size down and go camping on the water from marina to marina. It will need a satellite dish and I’ll need a lap top to write out on the water. Most of the marinas have wi-fi now.
Do you have a retirement plan?
I am a serious boat person and love crime fiction so this book had me intrigued from the start. John J. Cannon is an average Joe, an attorney, trying to escape the stress of the Courtroom and office, when he heads to the Texas coast and buys a yacht from a broker who is not entirely on the up and up with him. She ends up dead. Poor John, absorbed with minutia and afflicted with OCD, gets sucked into the middle of a criminal catastrophe. There is one dilemma after another placed in front of him.
This is only the second book I have read that is written in present tense, so it took some adjustment. It is also written in first person, which I felt allowed me to get really close to the protagonist. He’s an endearing fellow who tries to make all that’s going wrong right, trying to save both his boat and innocent people from a group of terrorists. There is subtle humor tucked into every chapter. The story takes us through some crazy situations that John never expected he would have to face and is ill equipped to handle alone.
Enter Ned, the Chief of Police, and Jason, who incidentally becomes a sailing companion. Teased by action throughout the book, the intensity at the climax had me biting my nails. Howell does an excellent job creating characters and scenarios we can care about. You can’t help but become invested in the outcomes. The suspense is also as thrilling as one would expect. I would be remiss not to mention both the line and copy editing could have been tighter before publication. That issue aside, it is a most enjoyable debut crime novel. I look forward to future works by this author.
I give this book 4 out of 5 stars!