Gasparilla Sound to Fort Myers

Hurricane Ian destruction on Pine Island.

Gasparilla Sound leads into Charlotte Bay which is a large inland Bay. Large enough to whip up nice size waves with a constant wind. Crossing Charlotte Bay was miserable. In order to make it possible to tolerate the crossing Regis had to tack (if motorboats can tack) at an angle from a direct path to meet the waves in a way to increase the comfort of the ride. Actually, decrease the misery would be a better way to put it. While making the passage, I could not understand why anyone would go around the world in a boat. At the end of the day, Regis asked me if there was anything I liked about it and I had to think long and hard. I said, “I was with you.” He does not believe me.

After crossing Charlotte Bay, we began seeing more damage from hurricane Ian. I called ahead to see if there was any hope of getting a slip for the night and one marina told me that all the marinas in Fort Myers have been condemned. After passing through, it is easy to understand why.

Hurricane Ian destruction on Pine Island.
Marina in Fort Myers.
Hurricane Ian destruction in Fort Myers.

I guess the highlight was the large groups of white pelicans we saw along the way.

White pelicans. I have to get nature in every post I can.
If I ever return to the Gulf side of Florida, this is my plan – be a relaxed landlubber.

I forgot to mention two interesting things about our passage near Sarasota. First, there were lots of dead fish. I still get the red tide reports from Florida and there were high counts in the Sarasota area which explains all the dead fish. It was heartbreaking to see. Second, during the two nights we stayed in Sarasota, it sounded like a bowl of Rice Krispies crackling on the hull. It is likely small shrimp. They have one large claw that makes a loud noise (for a shrimp) when they snap their claw shut. I learned about this in my Florida Master Naturalist classes, so it was very cool to experience it.

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