Tag Archive for: Gasparilla Marina

Perfect Days

There are days, many days in fact, when this retirement lifestyle seems too good to be true.

Partly due to the sunshine and the palm trees, partly due to the wonderful times we are enjoying with new friends.

Yesterday, as we were walking our Golden Retriever, we were hailed by a couple that we have known since we arrived here in November. They asked us if we had any plans for the day. We always have plans for the day and those plans can usually be changed at a moment’s notice. Especially if something more exciting is on the table.

Would you like to spend the day boating? And stop for lunch at one of the islands?

We took all of several seconds to process that invitation.

We made our way to Gasparilla Marina. They have an interesting system for boat storage. When you need your boat, you call ahead and they take it off the rack and drop it into the water. They have several hundred boats in these large buildings, all of them stacked and racked several levels high.

We headed out to Cabbage Key for lunch. It was an okay trip if you like beautiful sunshine, calm waters, and watching dolphins.

This was me beside the incomparable Captain Ron.

And Lorraine and Ann were up front.

We took in a few of the sights along the way and had lunch at Cabbage Key.

Cabbage Key is an island with roughly one hundred acres of land. There is a restaurant and an inn on the island as well as a gift shop. No cars, no industry, no paved roads. Nature trails and wonderful views of Pine Island Sound.

After our time ashore, we spent a few hours gradually making our way back to the marina by travelling around Boca Grande.

I was hard at work keeping everything ship shape. Life can be so tough.

The waters are very shallow. At one point, we had only 1 foot of clearance as we approached one of the channel areas.

A bit difficult to make out in the photo below, but this group in a rental boat had run aground. They had left the channel area and they found out the hard way that the waters are not very deep. One man was out of the boat, standing in the water, trying to get the vessel free.

We stayed back although it was difficult to offer much in the way of assistance. They finally figured out a way to get the boat afloat again.

Fortunately Ron’s boat is well equipped with navigational gear. No second guessing the depth.

After an amazing trip, we returned to the marina. Many thanks to Ron and Ann for such a perfect day. We had a wonderful time!