We had one more outing planned to take our grandchildren on. A sunset dolphin cruise we had set for Saturday night. Departure was from the Cape Coral Harbour Marina behind Rumrunners Restaurant. There’s never a guarantee to dolphin sightings but we all had our fingers crossed.
We boarded our Banana Bay Tour Company boat, being first in line we were able to sit right up front again. Our crew was Captain J.R. and First Mate Anya. Both had degrees from the University of Florida in marine biology which made for a very informative ride for all on board. Captain J.R. learned Brad’s name early on and often called on him for answers as well as good natured teasing.
We learned about the estuary where the mouth of the Caloosahatchee River meets San Carlos Bay. The estuary is teeming with life. Our crew pointed out several of the birds to us, many of which I didn’t get photos of but three that did catch my eye were a Bald Eagle, a White Pelican and an Osprey. We were amazed at the wingspan of the White Pelican, 9 feet, imagine! That was about the width of the boat we were riding in.
Keeping our fingers crossed did pay off as we sighted a lone Bottlenose Dolphin at the mouth of the river, this was followed by a cow and her calf and much later when Maddy was at the helm we spotted two more. Only the cow and her calf came close to our cruise boat.
And yes, you read that last paragraph correctly. At one point our lives were all in Maddy’s hands. Captain J.R. invited Maddy to sit in the captain’s chair and pilot the boat. He quickly learned that Maddy had a need for speed. She’s not one to gingerly push down on the throttle. She was so pleased to be allowed to pilot, she couldn’t quit grinning from ear to ear.
The captain didn’t play favorites, he later invited Brad to take over the helm. Brad was happy to be of service and much more cautious than Maddy.
The sunset was just so-so due to cloudy overcast skies but it was still a perfect evening to be out on the water. The kids enjoyed it immensely and so did we.
After we disembarked, we walked over to Rumrunners for a late dinner. Rumrunners is a steak and seafood restaurant. All of the sites I looked at gave it a 4 star rating or better. Everything listed on the menu sounded delicious but beware, the prices aren’t for the faint of heart. Brad and Maddy were easy to please, they both ordered burgers and sodas for their meal. Don and I ordered the 8 ounce Filet Mignon. It was delectable! Cooked to perfection, it practically melted in our mouths.
It was late when we returned. After all the fresh air and full bellies, we called it a day.
This is our last full day to spend with our grandchildren. We’re powering down and spending it here at the campground. It’ll be an early bedtime for all of us as we’ll need to leave for the airport at 5:00 AM.
I asked each of the kids if they’d had a good time and got a resounding YES! Maddy proclaimed that the dolphin cruise and the dolphins on Lighthouse Beach were the highlights for her. Brad agreed that the dolphins on the beach was really cool for him too but he said seeing live gators was the best.
As grandparents we can only hope that they both enjoyed their visit as much as we enjoyed having them visit. We hope they’ll leave with a few wonderful memories of the time we’ve shared. We’ll miss them.
Here’s lookin’ at you kid……………………