Well….maybe not shocked, but pleasantly surprised by the abundance and beauty of the shells that can be found on the beaches of southwest Florida. We have been looking forward to this part of the Loop for its shelling and fishing. You can probably guess who prefers what, but I found myself really enjoying my time with Stel searching for different kinds of shells. We were able to find at least 30 different shell types, some of which we were familiar with, and some not. We are having a great time learning the common names and then finding color variations that make each shell a little different. Because of the abundance of beaches, shells, fish and natural beauty of the water, we have slowed ourselves down a good bit and spent a number of days at anchor around the islands of Cayo Costa, Captiva and Sanibel. We ended up in a marina on the south end of Sanibel, took the bikes off the deck, and spent 2 days biking the full length of the island. We have been to a lot of bike-friendly places on this journey, but nowhere quite like Sanibel. Great exercise and fun!

After leaving Sanibel, we cruised up the Caloosahatchee River a few miles and found a beautiful and secluded anchorage called Glover Bight. It was a great location to watch the meteor showers that were expected in the northeast skies on the night of the 13th of December. It was a cool night, so we wrapped up in some blankets and reclined on the bow for quite a show while we listened to some James Taylor. We spent 2 days and nights at Glover Bight doing over-due boat chores and some fishing in between. Some people have asked us whether we ever get bored on the boat for extended periods of time. We both are in agreement that we have not yet had a moment when we were at a loss for something to do. This life style is much simpler, but is extremely active and fulfilling. Boat cleaning, maintenance, buying groceries, doing laundry, planning, exercising, preparing meals, socializing, exploring, reading, blogging, keeping up with family & friends and the time spent cruising makes for full days. Did I forget fishing?? We even unpacked a few Christmas decorations from our “attic” (called lazarette on a boat!) and enjoyed some final decorating.

We look forward to making our way up the Caloosahatchee a little further to Ft. Myers, where we will pick up our son Sam from the airport. We will then make our way south, through the Everglades and on to Key Largo where we will meet the rest of the family for a tropical Christmas celebration.