Saturday, November 29, 2014

Christmas Boat Parade in Bimini Basin, Cape Coral

I've always wanted to go to the Lighted boat parade in Chattanooga, but manage to miss it every year. With the temperatures below 40 degrees F the day after Thanksgiving (day of the parade), it was just too darn COLD to go outside! I know, I know, we are a bunch of wimps.

It's a different story in Florida, where holiday boat parades are legendary and the weather is so much warmer. Blessed with miles of coastlines as well as a warm climate, Florida is an excellent cruising ground for boaters.You can find holiday boat parades in just about any major city in the state. Some notable ones include St AugustineFort LauderdaleCape Coral and Key West.

One Christmas season found Mai Thai anchored in Bimini Basin, Cape Coral, near Fort Myers. Boater friends had told us about the anchorage, and it quickly became our favorite because of the protection and the convenience - grocery stores like Paesano's Italian Market and Publix, restaurants, laundromat (all within walking distance) and easy access to the Gulf of Mexico.

That particular Saturday, while waiting for some friends to come in, we noticed a lot of commotion at the park facing the anchorage. Boats of all sizes, decked out with Christmas lights, Santas, reindeers, elves and palm trees,  started moving in and soon they surrounded us. That's when we realized we were smack in the middle of a boat parade!

Dinghying guests to our boat
Paesano's Italian Market
I'll leave you with the video of our serendipitous boat parade experience at Bimini Basin. Bet it will get you into the holiday spirit, if you haven't already!

What's your favorite holiday activity?
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Monday, November 3, 2014

No treats, just tricks this Halloween Weekend

We always knew that no matter how nice the weather has been, come Halloween Mother Nature would point its magic wand and blast us with a cold spell, so no trick there. What we didn't know was that a few days before Halloween, TVA decided to shut down the Chickamauga Lock (for repairs or so they say. The TVA visitor center at Raccoon Mountain was closed for 2 years!).

Boaters from the other side of the lock (Irwin and Island Cove Marina) who had planned for months to cruise down here for the annual color cruise/Halloween party had to cancel. We were all looking forward to the big bash so needless to say, we were crestfallen.

On Friday evening, the temperature dipped to the low 40s. Rain started pelting with winds gusting to 20 mph. The marina was a ghost town.  But the party must go on. The six of us dock neighbors huddled around the fire on Steve's newly built table to keep warm. As we sat down to enjoy our Low Country Boil dinner, the winds kicked up a notch, gusting every so often. It was COLD. Brrrr. We hastily ate our dinner and retired to Cellar Door for coffee and dessert. High winds continued to rock our boats until the next morning.

Also happening last week the cable company Charter decided to change the way it does business. Every customer with an account with the company has to get a cable box to be able to watch TV. Those of us who don't and relied on the marina for cable - yeah, most of us boaters, RVers and cabin rentals - now have no TV. No treat or trick here. Not that we enjoy listening to news of ISIS and ebola over and over and over. Thank God for internet and Roku!

Hope you got more treats than tricks on your Halloween celebration!

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