Just a few miles south of Naples, you will find beautiful Marco Island—our next destination. We docked in Naples for a few nights, so we planned to anchor in one of the bays on Marco Island. After winding through the canals and passageways, we arrived at Smokehouse Bay.
Active Captain informed us of a dock here at the Winn Dixie grocery store, so this time we picked up supplies in the dinghy instead of walking or bicycling to the store. We also visited a few shops in the area. Teresa found a dolphin pendant she fell in love with. It was custom made by a resident local jeweler, and will commemorate our exciting first dolphin sightings aboard Sanctuary.
We made plans to visit with Henk and Thressa (from our local marina in Muskegon, Michigan) who are staying on Marco Island. Henk, our resident Tour Guide, wanted to take us to see alligators. The four of us traveled by car to an area near the Everglades Big Cypress Swamp. As if on cue, we spotted gators sunning themselves. We stopped by Everglade City and saw the marina we plan to travel to next (Rod & Gun Club), and visited Goodland’s fish market. Purchasing peel and eat shrimp and homemade Key Lime pie from the fish market, we knew we’d have a delightful dinner. We’re getting accustomed to reasonably priced seafood and the like—it’s gonna be tough to return to northern food. Both of us seem to be automatically attracted to down south cooking. Henk made a brief stop at the condo they are staying in where we enjoyed the magnificent view of the gulf right from their balcony. When Sanctuary heads south, we plan to wave at them as we travel past their condo.
We listened to Calvary Church Internet and Pastor Jim Samra tell a story about Ruby Bridges, the first black child to desegregate the all-white elementary school in Louisiana. Quite the moving sermon. You can listen to the whole story at: calvarygr.org.
After listening to Pastor Jim, we hopped in the dinghy and motored over to the Winn Dixie dinghy dock. Walked around Winn Dixie, across the bridge, and over to a local church on the canal by where we are anchored. So we went by dinghy to church Sunday morning! Pastor Kevin and the congregation welcomed us with open arms. Most were surprised to learn we traveled to Marco Island by boat. What a beautiful building and right on the water too. Inside the walls and ceiling have a light-colored wood, lots of windows with a view out of palm trees blowing. At the beginning of the service, Pastor Kevin asked that all visitors raise their hands. Then he asked us to stand and give our names and where we are from. Lots of visitors present—several from Wisconsin, Minnesota, and all over. We were the only ones from Michigan who came there on a boat. In fact, we received quite the joyous recognition! Pastor Kevin Koenig is a very alive and lively character—a bundle of energy.
NOTE: The Ship of the Church symbol. We found this to be very interesting:
For Christians, since the days of the apostles, THE SHIP has been a symbol for the Christian Church. The mast and yardarm form a simple CROSS (in wood) which stands for Jesus who saved us by giving Himself on a cross that we might be forgiven.
The CHI RHO (in metal) is a combination of the first two Greek letters of the name Christ, meaning “The Anointed One” or “The Messiah.” The WAVES symbolize the troubles and difficulties of life on earth. The SAILS are filled with wind, a symbol of the Holy Spirit, which empowers the Church. Thus, the Christian Church, under the Cross of Christ carries the faithful safely across the troubled seas of life to heaven.
After the Trumpet Voluntary Medley postlude, folks gathered around welcoming us. We shook Pastor Kevin’s hand, met his wife, and presented him with one of Teresa’s books—Life is: Good, Fragile, Precious—Loving yourself so you can love others.
Later in the day, the wind began to build as was predicted. Forecast: rain and heavy winds. We saw LOTS of wind, but little rain. White caps and wind gusts over 35 mph displayed themselves in the small bay. Sanctuary rode out the wind with no problem. We are thankful for the large Mantus anchor that held us secure and for our prayer warriors carrying us through the night into the next day.
Scenes from Marco Island