FMB

Coming into Fort Meyers Beach you see the same white sand found at Marco Island. Just amazing beaches. We entered using the Northern entrance channel.

It’s all a no wake zone so about 5 knots of headway for us. We ducked under the 65’ Matanzas Pass Bridge and grabbed a mooring ball from Mantanzas Harbor Mooring Field. It’s a town mooring field but administered by Mantanzas Inn. Running a mooring field requires not just the divers to inspect the mooring anchors, chains, balls and pennant lines…

…but also someone to answer the phone, VHF, fill out the paper work and collect the money as well as enforce the rules. Sometimes you have boats that run gas-powered gensets on deck late into the night. When in the Key West mooring field a boat finally shut off their loud generator around 10PM and another boat yelled “THANK YOU” across the mooring field. I spontaneously laughed aloud but the boater with the generator had some sharp words back. Funny but not.

matanzas-bayside-inn-marina

Upon arrival I couple, Dave & Megan & Athena (the dog) passed by in a dinghy and offered to thread my lines though the mooring ball which just like Boot Key Harbor or Key West cannot easily be pulled up to reach MV Simple Life’s foredeck. D & M announced they were on their way to a cruiser’s raft-up and extended an invite to us. I was glad they did and I had a blast meeting the FMB cruisers within minutes of arrival. They were full great stories and laughs.

Raft Up

Yes, that is a Macaw parrot on Doug’s shoulder. see top-left corner.

The next morning we had to go into the Mooring field office and register using our boat registration paperwork. This is something that you don’t have to do when getting on a ball up North. Up North a the mooring field or launch boat pulls alongside your boat and they ask the name of the boat and collect the money. In Florida most the moorings we rented required not just the registration of the big boat but also the dinghy as well as insurance paperwork. I now carry digital copies of all on my iPhone.

We wasted no time in finding lunch at Matanzas Inn Restaurant.

Kelly Chair 1

Also spent some time in the upstairs at night listening to the local singers perform.

I also spent a little time at Bonita Bills.

I would  have posted the video instead but the karaoke singing would have made your ears bleed.

Bonita Bills 1

While there I took a dinghy ride around San Carlos Island.

Approaching Hurricane Bridge you’ll pass a few cruisers who look like they have been anchored there for a bit.

Then duck under the Hurricane Pass Bridge and into Hurricane Bay.

Once under the bridge you are in Hurricane Bay and I stopped to snap a few photos of a derelict house boat aground.

The No Wake Zone ends and it was time to open the dinghy up and capture some sunset photos from Hurricane Bay.

While we were here in FMB a close family friend, Capt Mike Spinney came down on his boat and offered to give me a tour of FMB.

Mike and his friend Dave took me for a high-speed run all around FMB.

Mike Dave 1

What fun to go from our normal 6kts to 35kts!

Capt Spin was quick to see that the dolphins were trailing us and mentioned that if you boost your wake a bit you can get them to do some jumps. As if right on cue..

We took a trip down to Lovers Key where there is a great white sand beach that all the boaters pull up right onto the beach and enjoy the day.

Then it was on to the Lani Kai Beach Resort a hot spot for Spring Breakers here in FMB.

Marty Mike 3

Back at the boat I said goodbye to Mike and Dave and they gave us a wave as they departed through the mooring field.

Mike Dave 3

Next stop, Captiva Island and the Okeechobee Waterway.

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