Boca Grande

Boca Grande was one of our favorite stops.  It is an upscale, old money town on the southern tip of Gasparilla Island.   We rented bikes and put on about 20 miles exploring.

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The restaurants were awesome and the marina top notch.   The marina had privacy fences on some of the slips blocking off huge yachts from prying eyes.  It is said that the rich and famous visit often.  We docked next to one of these privacy fences and John wondered if it was “Bee-on-chee’s” boat.  A good friend sailing with us in the BVI remarked that Beyonce sailed there.  John didn’t know who that was and butchered her name so bad that ever since then we call all elaborate yachts Bee-on-chee’s.

It is completely obvious in these marinas who the power boaters are versus the sailors. A woman got off a power yacht next to ours in leather pants, heals and a perfectly poofed up pony tail.  I waved to her with half my hair falling out of my pony, in stained sweats and white, no nonsense socks sticking out of my Birkenstocks.  Sailing is very much like camping.  I must admit we sailors look a little raunchy.  There are no curling irons and closets full of lovely clothes on sailboats.  Why wear makeup?  We shower on the boat only when we are not in a marina.  This entails using as little water as possible as water is like gold.  You get wet with typically cold water, turn it off, soap up, shampoo (if you have hair) and rinse off.  This is why I cut several inches off my hair.  The shower is small and you are bent over or you can sit down in ours.  Or, you take long hot showers in the marina’s public shower.  Some of these leave a lot to be desired.  I shower with my flip flops on.  Laundry mat life is another eye opener.  Just be grateful for your convenient, clean washer and dryer that doesn’t melt your underwear elastic.

Anyway….funny that here we are in this upscale town and all I took pictures of is this anomaly of a marina, Whidden’s.  Among much wealth sits this little beauty that has been in business since 1929.  The original builder’s daughter, who was turning 83 this week, was reclined in the middle of the “store” watching TV.  She didn’t look so well.   There is also a “museum” and a pig.  Someone bought the place and gave the family the right to live there as long as they  wanted.  John had read about it in Cruising world magazine.  It was the town dance hall in the 30’s and has been an operating marina since it was built.

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