Work And Play Ft Myers Beach 5-22


Friday, April 29, 2022

Nelson and I flew Allegiant Airlines to Punta Gorda, Fl and after 2 delays for maintenance and paperwork we finally board. Nelsons’ concerns about Allegiant are not assuaged. I find our seats but a woman wearing a Jensen’s hat informs me we are in the wrong seats. Jensens is old Captiva and I have stayed at the marina. Turns out the family of three  are the Jenson’s who owned Jensons Marina for 40 years and often mention in Doc Ford series. I text cousin  Zeke who knows them well and we all laugh at small world. The  Son had just played at Bluebird Cafe. Punta Gorda airport is small and quaint. Even the Budget rental car place is nice. Torrential rains come and produce flooding with waves in street. Zeke arrives and we walk with dog Max to the Lodge for dinner. Wet night out.



We have a big day scheduled to get a diver to the boat or have Boat US tow us to the dock. But first we have Breakfast at FMB and car almost hits me pulling into restaurant. Honking horns. 

Captain Butch gives us ride to boat. As always there is anticipation if it is in good shape after 2 months away. Relieved, All is good on board. We tried  numerous divers and Boat US to get bottom cleaned. Diver Dan leg problems, Ben’s compressor won’t run from inverter so he snorkels and cleans the bottom. We All ride back with Captain Butch. Late Lunch at Matansas. Split grouper sandwich just ok.

Storm knocks out air conditioning. Takes us a day to realize there are ceiling fans.

Neighbor who is usually nice is drunk and unruly.



Breakfast outdoors near river. Always good. Go to Ace Hardware for tap and drill bit to install pod.

Ride to boat and work on installing new Pod and instruments. A little tricky getting the cable through. Had to slip down in lazerette to insert wire and coax out with needle nose pliers. Everything worked!


Next we had a cold beer and inflated dingy. Before we could lower the engine a powerful storm hit us. Went below and nervously watched lightning strikes and the roar of thunder. Took all metal out of pockets. The main leaked like a sieve.


Missed leaving at break in storm and waited for next opening. Rowed Dingy to dock in 3 knot current hauling ass and barely made turn to dock. Wet rats we drove home. Rusty Nail and cigars.


Breakfast at McDonald’s and next to ABC supply. Nelson had earlier mentioned Buetul tape which led to finding 6” roofing tape. Stripped off old rubber and sanded mast. White tape went on perfectly. We took the dingy over to Doc Fords. Our waitress, Natalia was from Moldova. Very nice.  We split a panko fried white fish. Excellent. 2 cold Corona’s.

Getting very hot and humid. Storms building every afternoon but not in forecast.

Zyg arrives from Key West. Good to see him. We have Rusty Nails in CLEAN glasses. Good to just sit in boat and talk. Storms are still building.

Dingy back before storms and dinner at Fords Garage.


Nelson, Zyg and I dingy to boat for a sail. Put on main which was a hassle from twisting. Mooring lines so tangled we hardly got away. Thanks to Zyg the untangled and we saw how to properly position pendant.

Boat makes a hard sound starting away but runs ok. Crossing under the bridge is always concerning, pass the Coast Guard and moments later we are both in the Gulf. Sails raised and Autohelm on. Winds light 5-7k, beautiful sunny day. Sailboats and parasailers around. Sail near end of Estero Island. Dingy is still on mooring ball where we left it. Dig out Nelson’s kayak and paddle which Zyg takes home. Zyg leaves and Zeke comes back.

Buy seafood at Trico. Stone crab, grouper and jumbo shrimp.

Nelson buys fantastic single malt Scotch.

Nelson buys fantastic single malt Scotch.



Dingy down Estero island for light snack and beer at Snook Bite marina. Filled engine but ran out 100 yards from boat traveling 3.9 miles.

Dinner at Ichibon. Cigar bar and see Christina.



Cinco De Mayo

Breakfast at McDonalds and look for Marine Trading Post. Finally discover but a cool find was Anderson’s where they had a large variety of fishing gear and cool clamp on cup holders.

We close up boat:

  • inspect dingy for leaks
  • drain gas from engine
  • cover new instruments
  • add fresh water to engine
  • shut off through hulls
  • turn off frig

Find sailmaker to add slugs to main. Zyg has used before. I guess he is thin 40ish w light hair. Nelson guessed 65. He was right on age me in the other. He does a tear test and says it’s not with adding slugs. Offers to fix bolt rope.

Zeke leaves for island and AC guy arrives around 5 and gets it cooling.

We dine at Firestone. Good martinis but Prime special disappointing so we split Nelsons fish and a bottle of wine.

Visit cigar bar and meet strange former Ukrainian, mob guy. Slimey. Got to see Maria briefly as she had just returned from Puerto Rico.




We pick it up the sail and Captain Butch takes us back to boat to drop off. We consider driving to Sarasota to look at a used sail but decide against it. So we drive to Sanibel and Captiva where Nelson has never been. We lunch at Doc Fords where a man there recognizes me and we have some Ron White laughs. Drive as far as Jensons and turn around to head for airport.

Get there early and TSA agent at first cannot read my drivers license. Plane nice and clean. Nashville airport has no Uber or Lyft access. Can line is terribly long. Rates to home $65. Turns out VP Harris has just been at the airport.

Better flight

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