December 7

The route the guide books say, had me staying at a hotel tonight but when I looked it up it was $200 a night and they didn’t do one night. I went looking for another place and with the help of google earth I found one that looked like I could paddle up to it. It was a mile and a half out of the way but for $50 I could make it work. I paddled through the intercoastal getting passed by some nice boaters who would slow down and others who obviously owned the waterway. I took a break and called my dad to let him know my plan since I knew he was in the area heading to Naples to meet my mom. He didn’t answer which I thought was weird since he would have been in the car and his phone would have rang over the Bluetooth. I kept going out of the canal into a large bay. After a while my dad called back. When I answered he said look to your left. It took me a while but I finally spotted him. He had been driving around trying to find me. He sure did. I was about a mile off shore. I had a better view of the shore than him and said to meet me at a bridge a little further down. He couldn’t see the bridge and had gotten back in the car and drove further down. I found a marina with a restaurant a little further down and we met up there. We had lunch and caught up but I had to get moving to try and get to the hotel by dark. I was meeting them in a few days to take a break for Christmas so we would have plenty of time to catch up later. While we were eating lunch I got a call from a Florida number. I didn’t know the number but figured I probably should answer it. It was a doctor from Sanibel Island who was a friend of the guy I met twice back around Longboat. He said his friend told him I might need a place to store my boat and that he would be able to help out. I was floored. I told him I would keep in touch but that would probably work out. I continued on till I turned off the main course and headed up the back waters to where the hotel was. It was a lot tighter than it looked on the map. It was dark by this point so navigating was kind of difficult. I finally made it and was able to find a gap in the mangroves to pull my boat out of the water. I chained it up to some palm trees and grabbed the luggage cart. It felt kind of weird loading all my kayak gear on a luggage cart but made it easier than taking multiple trips.