It was cool and breezy again when we got up. Gale worked on the cockpit shower all morning trying to determine where and why the nozzle was leaking and how he could fix it. He finally decided that the hose unit was defective and needed to be replaced. If he could stop the leak without getting the parts today, we were going out for a ride. If not, he was going to West Marine. Happily, he was able to do the temporary fix and we prepared for our outing.
When we arrived at the Ft Myers Beach mooring field early last week, we had grabbed mooring ball #5 and paid for a week’s stay. Two days ago, when our week was up, Trace, from s/v Faith, stopped by to ask us if we’d be leaving that day. When we said, “No,” that we were planning to re-register, he told us that his wife, Diane, worked in the hotel office and had been promised the mooring ball we were on when the last boat left, but due to an oversight they had not been informed of the vacancy. Diane must row to shore to get to work and they were trying to get their sailboat closer to the dinghy dock. Nobody had mentioned anything to us before this, so we said we’d be happy to trade places with them on Mooring #14 when we got our boat started and repair work completed. Trace then invited us to the “Slurp and Burp” on the afternoon of New Years Eve. He had arranged to have 280 fresh Apalachicola oysters shipped to the hotel for the event.
Guests were asked to bring a knife (to open the oysters), their drink of choice and $5 to help defer the costs. We told them we’d love to attend, but we had quite a bit of running around to do tomorrow in preparation for our own guests, Steve and Dawn Ford, who were coming in from Cedar Falls tomorrow afternoon. If nothing else, we hoped to stop by for a few minutes.
As we left our mooring ball, Faith was there to pick up the line and take our spot. We began the 16-mile “Loop” around Estero Island at 12:30 pm. There wasn’t much wind – it was from the south at 6-10 knots – but the skies were sunny and the temperature near 80°F! Gale tried trolling for fish, but didn’t have any luck with that. As expected, we could see that the beaches were jampacked with bodies! On the way back, we stopped at Moss Marine for fuel and to fill the fresh water tanks. We secured ourselves on #14 Mooring Ball at 4:30 pm and did a little more “putzing around” before dinner. The grilled hamburgers tasted especially good tonight. We did a little reading, watched the sunset, the moonrise and went to bed.