Wally and I had stashed our life-long collection of Christmas tree ornaments on “Summertime” several years ago. We have a Scandinavian-style wooden tree that folds flat when not in use, so it’s been just perfect for our traveling life for many years. Once our salon was festooned with Christmas memories, we proceeded to string LED lights along the upper-deck handrail and boom attached to the radar mast. A lighted faux evergreen tree sat on the back porch table while icicle lights wrapped around the aft-deck ceiling. Other boats in the marina had festive touches, too.The celebrated Edison and Ford Winter Homes offered a lighted Holiday Tour as well as the well-preserved Burroughs Home in historic downtown Ft. Myers. The fees collected for each tour serve to keep up with property restoration. Even though we were far from ice and snow, we still felt we were in a winter wonderland.
We planned an extended holiday celebration with two couples that we met here in the City of Fort Myers Yacht Basin two seasons ago. Tricia and Rob cruise on “Linda Jean”. She’s a 36’ Sabre with a Spruce Head, Maine hailing port.Patty and Jack cruise on “Nearly Perfect” (with the “f” facing backward). She’s a 43’ Hatteras with a Kemah, Texas hailing port. Our 36‘ Kadey Krogen Manatee “Summertime” with a Lakeville, Maine hailing port hosted the Christmas Dinner. Once Rob took on the job of preparing the roast pork, the rest of us agreed to bring the sides and sweets that would make the special meal authentic for each of us. What a spread! Our 22 year-old boat neighbor T.J. joined our family of friends and the seven of us ate and visited for most of Christmas afternoon. Sweet!
I am a great fan of knowing the weather: the inside and outside temperatures, the local wind speed with its peaks and average speeds and direction and predictions for the near future. Wally gifted me with a Weather Station that reports all of that and more.
The Campbell Christmas Letter eluded me for days. At daybreak on the last day of 2017, I finally got it together...
The Campbell Christmas Letter 2017
This morning finds us on anchor, rafting with two other cruisers awaiting the arrival of 2018. Most of the country is in a deep-freeze, breaking records in snow fall and negative temperatures. We are grateful to be in Southwest Florida where “chilly” is 60-70 degrees!
Our 6,000 mile Great Loop experience was completed nearly a year ago as we crossed our wake in Clearwater/St. Pete, Florida. Our Looper friends continue to keep in touch and over time we get together. Those people and those places have left an indelible mark upon us.
What’s next? Our connection to Maine is strong. We anticipate that many delightful summers await us at our cabin by the lake, surrounded by family and friends. In 2017 we caught up on a long “to do” list; hopefully 2018 will allow us a little more time to just appreciate where we are and the many blessings that surround us.
Our trawler “Summertime” provides us with a great home. She’s happy in a marina slip, on anchor, attached to a mooring ball or on the move down the waterway. As long as she is happy, we’re happy.
We send you our best wishes for a bountiful 2018. May our paths cross soon... whether by land or by sea. Much love, Darcy and Wally
“Nearly Perfect” was the anchor boat of the three-some, arriving in Pelican Bay at Cayo Costa State Park a few days before the rest of us. “Linda Jean” and “Summertime” made the six-hour trip there together four days before New Year’s Eve. Patty and Jack had the lines and fenders ready for our arrival and the rafting went off without a hitch.
The weather forecast for Jan.1 was full of wind and dropping temperatures. True to our nature, “Summertime” was on the move at daybreak. “Nearly Perfect” departed as soon as the crew on “Linda Jean” passed off her lines and headed for a more protected anchorage. Rob and Tricia had plans to travel further up the ICW when the weather improved. We were passed by lots of faster boats headed for Cape Coral and Fort Myers. None of them bothered to look behind them to see what their wakes were doing to our tubby boat going our top speed of 8 mph. We were having to make ninety degree swings into their on-coming wakes to keep from being dangerously rolled! No polite slow passes that day. We hunkered down for the next week to keep warm in the 30- 40 degree temps. That would have been a heat wave for the rest of the country, but for we folks in the sub-tropics of SW Florida, it was bone-chilling. Rob and Tricia “came home” to Fort Myers, instead of venturing north, as soon as the winds allowed. It was good to have them back in our midst.
We have enjoyed visits from family and friends.We like to take company for a stroll through the nearby streets of Historic Fort Myers and dine out with burgers at Ford’s Garage, Capones Coal-fired Pizzas, Cabos Cantinas, Izzies Fish and Oyster or The Lodge for Sports, Brew and Barbeques. Bike Night is always a popular event for the Harley crowd.
The chill left the air for a week. Wally finally got the perfect weather for the three days he needed to repaint the blue cove stripe on the stern of our boat. When the new 7 1/2 inch “SUMMERTIME” letters arrive, we can mount them to a very nice surface!