Saturday, December 26, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

We were surprised to see our friends Rae and Steve of Barefoot Shoes as they came by in their dinghy first thing this morning. They’d been here for two weeks and told us we were very lucky to have this spot because we were so close to the dinghy dock. If others had known this site was open, there would have been a frenzied race to grab it first!

The Matanzas Inn oversees the mooring field so we took the dinghy in to the dinghy dock and checked in with Jerry at the Matanzas Inn office. Jerry wasn’t exactly “Mr. Personality” but we were able to pry enough information out of him to learn where to find the laundry and shower facilities and whether there was a password for the WiFi signal. We had brought our toiletries and towels to shore with us and walked over to the shower and laundry area. We stood outside and waited with a young woman and her 2-1/2 year old son. Before their son was born, they lived aboard their sailing vessel, Paradise, full time. Now they only sail half of the year and spend their summers at her parents’ home on Lake Michigan. Currently they are reevaluating their liveaboard options for the years when the boy needs to be in school. It was easy to tell which sailboat was Paradise – it was the one with the netting all the way around the deck keeping toddlers from falling off!

Gale was done with his shower first and walked back over to the office to use the computer set up for guests. When Maureen was done, she sat on the bench outside the office door and paid some bills via the internet on our own laptop. It was there that she met Mike Beacock of Imagine. Mike said he had been talking to Rae at the laundry and she had mentioned we were having trouble getting an internet signal on the boat. It turned out that Mike developed the antenna we had purchased from Al Francone in July. Mike and Al are friends and he gave the design to Al. They both sell their product over the internet. He offered to stop by the boat at 1 pm and see if he could help us with our reception problems. After a few tests and swapping out our antenna with one of his, he determined that the problem might be as simple as cleaning the outside connection and wiping the salt off the antenna on a regular basis. He also gave us some other tips and said he was going to call Al Francone and give him a hard time for helping one of his customers. We’re hoping we have the solution!

The afternoon warmed up into the lower 70’s. After Mike left, we took Lucy to shore and walked to Ft Myers Beach’s “Times Square.” This is the along the main drag by the beach and filled with shops, restaurants and street vendors. We took a walk out on the pier where we found several people enjoying the day. While at the end of the pier, a beautiful blue heron alighted on the dock and stood there with the rest of us. It was pretty amazing. One of the tourists with a camera got a little too close so he hopped up on the railing where he stayed long enough to have his photo taken several times. We visited with a couple of young men on the pier that were interested in Lucy. One of the guys was a local, Mike, who made his living as a musician and DJ. We made our way back to the dinghy and home for the night by 5:15 pm.

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