As you may know, I have been looking at boats on line for about a year. At the same time I have been studying everything I can find to learn about sailboats. That research has helped me a great deal in narrowing down the boats I may be interested in. The plan for this trip to Florida was not to actually buy a boat, it was to continue the education process of both Kim and I. We are looking for our new home and we need to be comfortable to be happy. The process has been enjoyable for both of us. The trip to Punta Gorda was another step in the process.
We have been interested in the Island Packet brand for a while. They make excellent boats that have all of the characteristics that we want in our boat. They can be very expensive, so we would have to look at older ones. When I first started looking, I had seen this boat. It struck my interest because I was pretty sure I knew a previous owner. The guy I know is an excellent sailor from Minnesota and had moved a different boat down to this area about a decade ago. I knew he also owned a boat named "Wind Dancer" and it was an IP 38.
We arrived in Punta Gorda about a half hour early. We decided to go to the bay and walk along the water. We saw these sailboats anchored out in the bay. Could we really live like that?
When we arrived at the address the broker gave us, the boat was on a pier behind a house along a canal. What an awesome setting. We were talking to the broker when the current owner came out to say hello. I asked him if this was my friends former boat and he confirmed it was. He and his wife had purchased it up in Minnesota and then lived in it for 5 years cruising the Caribbean, Bahamas and Florida. They had begun their journey by sailing through the Great Lakes and down the east coast to Florida. We really want to do that some day.
We really liked the boat, but it is missing one major thing we have decided we want. The process continues.
While we were on the coast, we decided to find a beach. You know the whole Kim/beach thing. We looked at the map and decided to head to Sanibel Island. To take the bridge out to the island was $6 and then parking at the only public beach was another $7.50 for an hour and a half. Oh well, Kim got her beach time. We were there just long enough to see the sun go down.
|Kim on a beach. I shot I never get tired of taking.|
We started by checking out the lighthouse and then drove over to the beach.
|A White Ibis eating in the surf|
|The beach was full of shells|
We then stopped in Fort Meyers for dinner. It was a very enjoyable day. It was soon time to move on. I will write about our next stop in my next entry.