After navigating the very shallow and narrow passage referred to as the Miserable Mile, we are anchored in front of Chino Island, a small uninhabited island within view of Sanibel. It is a mangrove filled with a wide variety of birds. We are very close to a great bird and wildlife sanctuary, Ding Darling, and these sanctuary suburbs are splendid. I was helming while we anchored and as I was supposed to be paying attention an osprey flew by not 10 yards from the boat with a big fat fish. And eagle came out of nowhere and attacked the osprey who dropped his catch. The eagle swooped down and scooped up the fish and flew off with the osprey in hot pursuit. Welcome to Chino!
We anchored on January 30th and enjoyed the solitude so much that we decided to spend all of the 31st in her hushed waters with the occasional company of a passing fisherman. John tossed a line but only caught a hope. Since he lacked a bobber he used a wine cork. I fished for him while he showered and managed to foul up his line in a dramatically short period of time. It has been cold, a breezy 60’s during the day and 45 degrees at night. We have no heater on the boat but red wine and multiple layers work well. The bugs are few, the sunsets are spectacular and the solitude is exactly what we had in mind. The waters here are skinny, very shallow. Our options are far more limited than I had hoped because of the depth of our keel. I wanted to check out the Ding Darling wildlife sanctuary and the artist colony at Matchala but they are surrounded by a lot of threatening sand. Today we think will head to anchor off of Useppa and check out Cabbage Key.