Cayo Costa to Cape Haze

It was a little breezy this morning. The wind switched to out of the SE and the waves made the wappa-wappa sound on the hull to wake us up. Bob took Auggie to shore while I prepped the boat to leave. Auggie loves sitting on his “perch” in the bow of the dinghy.

When they returned, we hauled anchor at 9:30 and made our way north toward Cape Haze-a waterfront community with a round basin at its entrance and a great, secure place to anchor.

Anchoring in Cape Haze would allow us the opportunity to visit Don Pedro State Park just a short dinghy ride away. We have not anchored in Cape Haze in about 15 years, but have been past Don Pedro State Park many times on our way to other destinations. This time we would stop to check it out. You can only get to the park by water and it is rated as one of the top beach parks in the state. On our ride north, we picked up more dolphins who jumped alongside the boat for awhile. I never tire of watching them and that’s also one advantage of traveling slow (10 mph) like we do. The fishermen were out in full force at Boca Grande Pass fishing for tarpon today as we cruised by. We reached Cape Haze and dropped the anchor at 10:00. We sat around for awhile just getting our bearings and making sure the anchor was holding. After an hour or so, we loaded up the dinghy withour beach paraphenalia and took the short ride over to the entrance of the park.

The entrance is somewhat hidden and is a narrow, mangrove-lined waterway that opens up into a larger basin where the park docks are.

We docked the dinghy at one of the finger piers and took the walk to the beach. 

When we arrived the beach was pretty empty yet, so we had our choice of spots.

The park has a nature trail, covered pavilion with grills and picnic tables, and nice bathrooms. We set up our chairs and the umbrella and proceeded to comb the beach for shark’s teeth. Bob went one direction and I went the other. Between the two of us, we probably collected about 40 shark’s teeth. More and more people arrived by boat, but still the beach was not full. Bob and I relaxed doing some reading and enjoying the scenery. One of the things that we noticed were the numerous holes in the sand made by crabs. We had seen the holes at other beaches before, but had never seen any signs of life—until today. About 3 feet from where we were sitting–a yellow crab with white pinchers, about 4 inches in diameter, crawled out of the hole.

It scared the crap out of me! We both stopped what we were doing and watched this fascinating creature. He would come out of his hole with an armload of sand, scurry a foot or two away from his hole, toss the sand, and run back into the hole for more. He did this over and over again—all afternoon. I could have watched him forever.

Pretty soon, we noticed another crab down the way doing the same thing. One of the holes behind us was huge! I was a little worried about what might come out of THAT hole! I don’t know much about this kind of crab, but they were so interesting to watch! Around 3:00, we packed up our belongings, hopped in the dinghy, and headed back to the boat. Once back in Cape Haze, we took a dinghy ride down the canal that leads to the ICW on the other side of the island.

The day continued to be partly sunny, warm, and humid. The light breeze helped a little. Back on the boat, we unpacked our gear and each found our own place to get cool. Another boat came in to anchor next to us for the night. It was a welcome relief when the clouds blocked the sun and we could get some relief from the heat. Bob grilled some brats for dinner and afterward we took Auggie for his evening walk at the park. It would be a calm, cooler night!

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