Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sanibel Island

Happy after Taxes Day!!

We are now on Sanibel Island after a nice journey from Cape Haze Marina, Englewood. We had more problems with fast speeding boats who will not slow down to pass or overtake causing us to rock precariously from side to side. Many of our possessions fall off the sofa, shelves or seats. Even pontoon boats, which I always thought were the snails of the boat world, can manage enough speed to rock us very badly.

We have seen more catamarans in the last two weeks than in 15 months of boating. We passed this 44ft Endeavour and exchanged words with the Captain. What was interesting was that he had read on "Forum" (a website for Loopers") that we had completed the Loop so offered us his congratulations. My goodness, we are famous!!!!
When taking photos, I always like photos that show sparkling waters as well as a subject. I like this next photo for that reason.
We arrived on Sanibel Island last Sunday and have been delayed leaving because of strong winds. To get to the Keys we have to cross a lot of open water and we do not want to do that with large waves. The Marina staff are very helpful and there is an excellent restaurant here, "Gramma Dot's". We had a very  nice meal there Sunday. Gary had mullet and I had grouper. Both were very delicious.
A couple of days ago Gary called for me to leave the boat and come and see a man filleting his fish he had caught that morning. I do like to fish and plan on getting a Florida fishing licence when our English friend, Alan arrives so was keen to see the man fillet his fish. However, it was not the fish that got my attention but the birds that were around him waiting for a tidbit
There are two birds in this photo - a snowy egret and a Little Blue Heron. Both waited patiently until the fisherman handed out some of the waste.

When the snack was ready to be handed out there was a flurry of wings
and the survival of the strongest got the fish.

This Great Egret won the battle and swallowed his fish in an instant (many times I could not get a photo because they swallowed the fish too fast for me to capture the photo). This one took a little longer and you can see in the lower photo the lump in the bird's throat as the fish piece was swallowed.
The fisherman shared the fish skeleton with the Snook (large fish protected in the marina but not in the waters of the Gulf). I wonder if they realised they were cannibals!!

There are a couple of photos I would like to share with you. One is of an Egret landing or taking off (I do not remember). It reminded me of a ballet dancer because it looked so graceful. The other is of the back of the Great Egret displaying his beautiful mating clothing.

Who could resist such a handsome young Egret!!!

                                        I just liked the above photo.
Gary and I have biked quite a lot this week. We went to "Ding" Darling Wild Life Refuge (14 mile round trip) and were very disappointed not to see much wild life. We did see some wild flowers I have not seen before and do not know the name of.

The flower in the above photo was growing out of a rock. How does it find the nutrients to survive? The Refuge was auctioning an Osprey made out of car tyres/tires and were hoping to raise the estimated value price of $12,500. So far, they had only raised $3,500 (no, it was not me that bid that amount). I wish them good luck.

On our ride around the refuge we saw an interesting sign. It read "area closed". Now, what made that interesting was in front of the sign was a very large cactus with lots of spines that would prevent anyone from entering making the sign redundant!!

We saw fidler crabs and mangroves with very long roots hanging down trying to reach the water. We also saw many horseshoe crabs and spiders that live on the mangroves. We were told it was mating season for the horseshoe crabs and that the crabs were very active. I was surprised by how fast they could move. Just goes to show ladies, that when a man gets his eye on a pretty lady he moves fast.

We were lucky enough to see a raccoon pass across the road in front of us. He is a little distant so it is not such a good photo as I would have liked. He almost looks like a lemur with his long legs.
On the road towards the Refuge was a nice rest area. The Island really caters to bicycles as there are many bike trails and areas where you can take a break and have a drink. Florida law states that bicyclists and pedestrians have the right of way and traffic must stop for them to cross the road. The area we stopped at had a walk you could take into the conservation area. We took the walk and saw nothing until I spotted a large bird box. I wanted to see if it was a wood duck box or an owl box so left Gary on the walk and walked towards the bird box. I was stopped in my tracks as the box was not home to a bird but a swarm of bees. I took my photo and got the heck out of there.
I liked the following photo. I do not know why but I do.

I have been forgetting to mention a comment made by my Mum. She asked me if the earlier photo of an alligator's nest was an April Fool because I wrote it on the 2nd April. No, it was not an April Fool although it would have been a good one had it been. 
Well, we hope to leave tomorrow if the winds are kind to us. I would like to say thank-you to everyone who has congratulated us on completing the Loop. I never thought it was such a big thing but it seems to be quite a accomplishment. Thank-you, everyone.

Kingston Rover Loop Map

1 comment:

  1. Hi Margaret! I hope you both are enjoying your trip! I just wanted to say that your pictures are gorgeous! The birds next to the man filleting the fish are beautiful. Looking forward to reading more! -Sara