CHAPTER 25    MARCH 2010  to  JUNE  2010 



March 2010 - Left Port Charlotte Harbor (“Fishermens Village Marina” in Punta Gorda), and are officially on GREAT LOOP #2!
We made stops at Ft Myers Beach and Naples, then crossed the open gulf and anchored in Russell Pass (part of 10,000 Islands covered with mangrove trees), and anchored the next night in Little Shark River in the Everglades (see photo).  Next day, we crossed the FL Bay, saw lots of dolphins and sea turtles, and arrived in Marathon in the FL Keys, at the “Sombrero Resort Marina”.  Its beautiful here, a wonderful variety of birds, manatees swim by our boat (see photo), and Ray is able to use his scuba gear to dive (see photo) and clean the boat bottom.  Marathon is centrally located in the Keys; everything is here – Publix Grocery, Home Depot, Kmart, and tons of reasonably priced restaurants!  Some of our favorites are “Sparky’s” in Key Colony Beach (25 cent wings & shrimp, $6 pitcher of beer during happy hour), “Hurricanes” (great $5 lunches), “Stuffed Pig” (great for breakfast), “Castaways”, “Fisheries”, “Dockside”, and “Herbies”.  And of the course, there’s the yearly “Marathon Seafood Festival”.  Best of all, we have lots of friends that gather here in Marathon (see photos); some in marinas or on moorings in Boot Key harbor, some in RV parks, and some in seasonal apartments.  Every Tuesday, 15 to 25 Krogen owners get together for breakfast.  Ray and I ride bikes, go to the pool or beach, and get together with friends.  We drove to Tavernier Key to visit my cousin Maria and her family who were vacationing there.  We also saw a wonderful performance of “Guys and Dolls” at the Marathon Community Theater.  My sister Carol and her husband Rick came for a week at the end of March.  We went to Key West, enjoyed the pool, beach, happy hour at Sparky’s, and played Mexican Train Dominos.  From Marathon, it’s a one hour drive north to Key Largo.  Dolphin Research Center (see photo), “The Wreck”, and lots of art galleries are along the way.  A one hour drive south is Key West (see photos) for shopping, people watching and “Blue Heaven Restaurant” or “B.O.s Fish Wagon”. 

Sadly, a few days after my sister got back to CT, our Dad passed away.  Ray and I left Marathon, and moved quickly up the FL, (see photos) GA & SC ICW, stopping in Beaufort SC at the “Port Royal Landing Marina”.  We left our boat in their very capable hands, and went back to CT for the funeral.  We had a wonderful service accompanied by a Masonic service, and followed by burial with military honors.

May 2010 - back in SOUTH CAROLINA, we continued cruising north on the ICW.  Stopped in Charleston (love that town!) and went to one of my favorite restaurants “Hominy Grill” for the best shrimp and grits you will ever have!  Next, we anchored at Butler Island.  Our next port was one of my favorites “Osprey Marina” in Myrtle Beach.  We always have fun there, meeting up with friends, having happy hour up on the porch, and feeding the Cooters; turtles that swim up to your boat and beg for food!

In NORTH CAROLINA, we anchored in Pipeline Canal and Mile Hammock Bay.  Next stop was Beaufort, where we borrowed the courtesy car to do some shopping.  Next port was Oriental, where we visited friends Jean and Hutch.  After showing us their new sailboat “Wishbone” (see photo), they drove us all around in their convertible, and then to their lovely home for a delicious BBQ.  Our next port was “Dowry Creek Marina” in Bellhaven, then an anchorage on Pasquotank River.  The next two days we cruised the DISMAL SWAMP (see photo) from NC to VA.

Stopped in Reedville VA, then on to Solomons MD and Rock Hall MD, enjoying delicious crab cakes all along the way!  See photo of Menhaden fishing (Menhaden fish are used in pet food and to make fish oil products) on the Chesapeake Bay.  Passed through the C&D CANAL, stopping in Delaware City, where we had a lovely dinner at “Kathy’s Crab House” with friends Leo, Barbara & Jim (see photo). 

Crossed the DELAWARE BAY (water was nice and calm), and stopped at “Utsch’s Marina in Cape May NJ.  A large group gathered on the porch for happy hour, then dinner at “Lucky Bones Backwater Grill”.  Next, we anchored in Atlantic City and Metedeconk River before cruising through NYC (see photo).  Next ports were Oyster Bay NY and Thimble Islands CT in Long Island Sound.  Arrived in Old Saybrook CT “Ragged Rock Marina” at the end of May 2010.  Our good friend Ed was right there when we landed, and handed over his car keys; he knew our panty was bare!  We rented a car for the 6 weeks in CT, but other good friends, Bernie & Pat, let me use their truck so Ray and I would each have wheels.  Everyone should be lucky enough to have such wonderful friends!  During our time in CT, we took a cruise or two on the CT River to Hamburg Cove (see photos), visited a few friends, went to a party or two, but mostly we spent our time preparing my Dad’s house to put on the market, and doing a few upgrades to the boat.  We left CT in early July 2010, heading for the Hudson River to continue our cruise on Great Loop #2.

So far, we’ve travelled 14,637 miles aboard SUMMERTIME.

We look forward to hearing from friends and family – please keep the calls and emails coming!