After getting charged up in Punta Rassa I paddled a couple of miles to Picnic Island. It was a popular spot during the day, but at night it was just me. I stayed there two nights and enjoyed the peaceful rest. There was a nice breeze so the bugs stayed away and the water was perfect for a swim. Sadly, a dead sea turtle washed ashore. It was hit a boat. The nearby channel was extremely busy and everyone was flying back and forth from Fort Meyers to Sanibel. I was nearly hit this morning by a charter boat. It was dark and I had my lights on but he didn’t give a damn. I literally back-paddled to avoid being hit as he came with 15 feet of me going 50 miles an hour. This is pretty typical of Florida boaters. I don’t have a lot of good things to say about them. The folks in Bokeelia told me to be really careful because the charters are reckless. And old man was killed the other day because of one coming to close to another boat.
I needed to reach Bokeelia before the post office closed so I got up early and paddled in two hours of darkness. There were no other boats on the water, minus the one the almost hit me, until the sun came up. I lost the channel markers and ran aground on an oyster shoal. I had to get out and walk to some deeper water and managed to find the channel again in the darkness. I made great time as the tide and wind was going with me in the same direction. In a couple of hours I pulled into the kayak launch in Matlacha and ate breakfast at The Perfect Cup. From there it was another 8 miles and I paddled that rather quickly too arriving in Bokeelia around 1:30 pm. I picked up my parcels and mailed the broken items home. I decided not to paddle another eight miles to Cayo Costa and grabbed some fried clams at The Lazy Flamingo. As usual, I met the friendliest people and had some fun chatting it up. I think I’m going to stealth camp on Calusa Island Preserve. I don’t think anyone will be there after dark. The next campsite I have marked is only 10 miles away in Boca Grande. Tonight I’ll see what else is marked and plan for that. I also need to find and a way to waterproof the usb ports on my charger. Looks like a job for Gorilla Tape!