Stuck in the middle with you
Last night we anchored in very shallow water between Captiva Island and Buck Key. The whole of this area is very low-lying and all the water between the mainland and the numerous keys is shallow. You have to keep to the marked channel, and even then, we’d been warned that there were two types of boat in these waters – those that were already aground, and those that were about to go aground.
Captiva and its neighbouring island, Sanibel, are famous for wildlife, beautiful beaches and generally being unspoilt and you can hire bikes to get around. The plan was to anchor for a night, then move on to the marina at Sanibel for a couple of nights and do some land-based sight-seeing.
The first bad news was that the marina where we wanted to stay was full, but we could ring in the morning to see if there were any vacancies. Then the bike place wouldn’t deliver bikes to a nearby jetty for us for a one-day hire. Then at 9pm, Ian suspected we were aground. We weren’t, but he decided that we needed to get up at 6 in the morning, when the tide would be right, to move into deeper water.
We got up at six and moved the boat, and got stuck.
So we now have to wait here till this afternoon, when we can float off on the high tide.
‘I’ll make a cup of tea,’ Ian said, and there was no further conversation for the next two hours.
But things are improving, as they usually do. He rang the marina again, and someone has left, so we can stay there for the next two nights after all. And I got out the tin of Brasso that I’d bought in Walmart and had a go at the decorative brass hooks in the galley (one in the shape of an anchor, and one a ship bearing two pineapples) which were badly tarnished and worked off my annoyance on them. The hooks don’t gleam quite as much as my Brownie badge used to, but they look much better and I’m having my second cup of tea.
The previous night we had stayed at Gasparilla Marina, an enormous place, but with very friendly and helpful staff and shower rooms and laundry facilities that wouldn’t have been out of place in a five star hotel.
The trip from Gasparilla was interesting, not only because of the dolpins and birds we saw, but the conversations between boaters that we overheard on the VHF radio. It turns out that we are not the only ones to be mildly annoyed by the large wakes created by some boatowners with an excess of engine fitted to their craft, but Americans are rather more polite and subtle with their insults than British narrowboaters.
‘Calling Moonwind……apparently your mother didn’t teach you courtesy.’
‘Calling Snowdrift……you sure know how to make a boat roll.’
‘Calling Bunnikins……I guess that’s your first boat.’
So far, we have neither been the recipient of such banter, nor dared to deliver any.
You want to know what it’s really like being stuck on the shallows and with the tide going out – Jean and I can tell you all about that exciting night on the Norfolk Broads in the summer of 1966! or was it 1967? I’m sure she will also remember it well, and if I could post a picture up here I would but I can’t, but be thankful!
And as for the Brasso, well really…….but so glad it gave you something to vent your feelings with.
I hope you have your bikes sorted too by now, enjoy the land and 2 nights of safety and security in a lovely marina whilst you can, you never know when the next anchorage might be coming up. Seriously though I’m sure you’re both having a fantastic time really, in the greater scheme of things, just think, one day soon you’ll be able to look back and laugh even at the desperate moments.
love and bye for now.
Hi Sheila, yes we’re safely at the marina now, just had a good meal at the restaurant there, liberal portions of tilapia and swordfish, very nicely cooked too. You’ll have to tell me about the Norfolk Broads next time I see you! We’re intending to hire the bikes tomorrow and see the wildlife reserve. Hope I can remember how to ride one.
Sheila has just reminded me of an event that had been shoved to the back of my memories for many a year, the Norfolk Broads disaster. Sure you will go on from strength to strength and find more relaxing waters and sunny days. Keep the wonderful prose going xx
Jane, I agree with Jean. Keep the great prose flowing. You are entertaining all of us. I had a good chuckle over the Brasso too. I can just see poor Ian’s face when you were grounded and the cup of tea. As you folks like to say, “he’s a good mate.” The bike excursion sounded good as well. Joann p.s. Yes, the American lingo would be very salty as to those wave makers. My brother would light them up. He doubles us up with his hurling of invectives every summer. That’s putting it nicely.