Charlotte Harbor with Grady White Club
United States FL Captiva
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SUNCOAST GRADY WHITE CLUB ADVENTURE
TWEEN WATERS, CAPTIVA YACHT CLUB, USEPPA ISLAND CLUB
May 21st through May 24th, 2011
Day 1, Saturday: Bill and Laura on “Liberty”, Mike and Susan on “Pharmasea”, Reg and Sally on “Waterfawcett”, Bob and Anne on “Bob-r-Anne”, Tami and Irene on “no name”. From SarasotaBay to CharlotteHarbor and stopped along the way for lunch at “DonPedroIsland” state park. The DonPedroState Park is a preserve of “old Florida”. It is unusually underdeveloped, but has a wonderful pavilion with picnic tables and cool breezes off the Gulf of Mexico. There is docking for about a dozen boats so you have to come early to get a space. After a relaxing lunch we headed South into CharlotteHarbor and continued down the ICW. We Arrived at TWEENWATERS and CAPTIVA YACHT CLUB in the early afternoon. We checked in and checked the place out as well. The “HOOTERS II” boat was there along with a few sexy Hooter girls. We spent the afternoon relaxing on the dock where we enjoyed cool sea breezes on a very hot day. Bob, Anne, Reg, and Sally didn’t have any fun getting on or off their boats. They had to dock with the bow of their boat in and climb over the top rail of the bow pulpit then climb down onto a ladder, boy what a chore that was. Later, at six o’clock everyone met for dinner at Captiva Island Yacht Club. The CIYC is a very small club, but we were welcomed as family. The food was excellent and most of us enjoyed the specials of seafood paella or prime rib and potatoes. After dinner we were full and exhausted so we called it a day and retreated to our bunks. The day was not exactly perfect because there were a few problems along the way; One engine would not start on Tami’s boat and they had to drive down to meet us on Captiva, and then Bob’s air conditioning stopped working due to a faulty thermostat and they had to sleep on the boat with only a fan that was donated by Reg. Later in the day Laura’s toilet pump stopped pumping fresh water, but that was not a problem as we used fresh water from the sink to flush.
Day 2, Sunday: Bob, Reg, and Bill went fishing with a guide to BlindPass and caught numerous trout, Bob caught a nice grouper and we saw a couple of manatees, numerous porpoises and Ospreys. Beautiful photos of porpoises jumping the boat wake were taken. Continued fishing for tarpon in the bay and in the Gulf of Mexico and Bill caught a small shark. Lunch at Tweenwaters pool side. We didn’t have to make dinner reservations at the CYC because they were closed. We did use their outside dining facilities to setup our own extended happy hour of pot luck hors d’oeuvres and various appetizers. Everyone had so much fun playing a fun game of “Catch Phrase” and telling many stories about trips to Brazil, flying home from Egypt, growing up in Australia, meeting a loving spouse in England, trekking down the Amazon on vacation, snorkeling in the Philippines and many stories other places near and far. We had many laughs and I kept going to the shower to cool my head because the air was very hot and still. The temperature didn’t drop until we walked out onto the docks and got a cool breeze off the water.
Day 3, Monday: Mike, Reg, and Bill went fishing with a guide to the Gulf of Mexico and fished for tarpon off of Captiva’s beaches. The guide made every effort, but without so much as a nibble. Bill did manage to catch a nice shark that took the bait meant for the tarpon. We saw many tarpon rolling, but we were never able to get them to take the bait. After we returned from a morning of fishing we all lunched at Tweenwaters pool side with cool tropical cocktails, cold beer and hot sandwiches. After lunch it was time to pack up and leave Tweenwaters. Bob had a meeting that he had to attend the next day so we said goodbye to Bob and Anne, as they headed for home. The remainder of us then traveled to UseppaIsland and stayed at the Useppa Island Club. The Useppa Island Club is a private members only club that was built and run by 19th Century wealthy businessmen that wanted a resort in Florida that they could vacation at during the cold northern winters and one that they could enjoy comfort as well as tarpon fishing in CharlotteHarbor. The island still has all the charm of yesteryear with many of the original buildings and gardens. After arriving and checking in everyone changed into their white clothes. Everyone must wear white to play croquette. So we all had a fun time playing croquette and have a lot of laughs and our skills of getting that damn ball through a wicket. After the croquette we went inside the hotel’s bar and had cocktails. After more stories and gossip about condo living it was time for dinner at the historic hotel’s elaborate dinning room. After sunset we walked the beautiful gardens, but we were also eaten up by the mosquitoes so we hurried back to our rooms and to our boat for the night. We had to see the night blooming cereus that don’t bloom until after sunset when the mosquitoes are eating you alive!
Day 4, Tuesday: We had a late continental breakfast at the hotel and we all said goodbye as we untied our lines and headed for home. Liberty delivered Tami and Irene back to their car at Tweenwaters before heading out into the Gulf and made a beeline for home. The return trip North in the Gulf was uneventful, the rolling seas were with us, the sun was warm and the breeze was cool. Laura and I reminisced about the fun we just had for the past three days and we looked forward to the next GRADY WHITE BOAT ADVENTURE in the fall.