Day 175: Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Port to Port: Fort Myers, Florida
Underway: 0:00 am Motor Off: 0:00 pm Miles Traveled: 0 Stayed At: Marina
First Things First: First tornado watch.
Mile to Mile: After a hearty breakfast of steel cut oats and grapefruit we washed a double load of laundry and went for a meandering walk toward the library. Cindy dropped me off there so I could work on the blog and some other computer related tasks. The library was quiet, cool and peaceful – I posted 5 days worth of blog post and pictures and checked off a half dozen other tasks before lunch.
Cindy walked back later with a bag lunch which we enjoyed on a park bench nearby. It is extremely windy today with a chance of rain later so we were getting sand-blasted walking over to the library and had to be careful to watch out for falling coconuts and palm leaves. Some of the palm leaves are 6’ long and weigh about 20 pounds – they would hurt if they hit you.
Fort Myers is known as the City of Palms – the downtown is beautiful and one key feature that makes it unique is the many types of palm trees lining the streets, courtyards and parks. Thomas Edison started this trend when he wintered here at his estate. He asked to be able to line the main road in front of his property with royal palms and the rest is history. Those trees are still here today and most of the other streets and parks in the historic downtown area are similarly lined with many types of palm trees – Bottle Palm (Hypophorbe Lagenicaulis), Bailey Copernica (Copernicia Baileyanal), Talipot Palm (Corypha Umbraculifera), Senegal Date Palm (Phoenix Reclinata). A small park just across the street from our slip has probably 30+ types of palms – some 3’ tall with tiny little berries for seeds to others over 40’ tall with 8 pound coconuts. We saw one with bright blue berries the size of quarters. It’s surprising how many different kinds there are from all over the world – only a hand full are native to Florida but all of them seem to thrive in the climate here. It would be a fun hobby to try to learn the names of all the varieties we’ve seen – maybe the next time around.
It finally did rain for a couple of hours in the afternoon. I missed it tucked into a windowless corner of the library. For a short while there actually was a tornado watch out for central Florida – a first. The temperature and humidity is supposed to go down over the next couple days making for a perfect weekend.