Tag Archives: Islands

Cruising Southwest Florida

  Even though we have no home other than our boat, we consider Punta Gorda our home base. That may change in the future as we stretch our sea legs, but for now the areas closest to Charlotte Harbor is where we consider “home”. Punta Gorda is widely recognized on various “Best Of” lists for quality of life, best places to retire, low crime, town beauty, etc. We didn’t quit our jobs and live on a boat just to live in a town though. The boating and anchoring opportunities nearby abound. 


Perusing the chart above, you can see that we are a short distance from several awesome destinations. Boca Grande sits on the southern end of Gasparilla Island. Cayo Costa offers pristine white beaches and the best anchorage in all of Florida. Captiva and Sanibel are just to the south. The Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge on the Intercoastal side of Sanibel Island also has a beautiful anchorage. Across San Carlos Bay lies St. James City on the southern tip of Pine Island. Just across the Caloosahatchee River is Ft. Myers Beach. A great stop for re-provisioning. 


Ft. Myers Beach Mooring Field


Heading north from The Boca Grande Pass up the Intercoastal presents dozens of neat little hideaways to anchor in. Englewood Beach is home to more than a dozen full-time liveaboards, but there’s always room for a few more boats. Stump Pass anchorage is a bit tricky to get into with a draft of 4 feet or more, but once inside it’s well protected and the views are stunning. 

Further north once can explore Sarasota, Venice, Longboat Key, Anna Maria Island and on to the Tampa/St. Petersburg area. Don’t forget a side trip up the Manatee River towards Bradenton. Happy cruisers can spend months, even years hopping from anchorage to anchorage along the west coast of Florida from Tarpon Springs all the way to the Keys. Key West and even the Dry Tortugas are within range from the mouth of Charlotte Harbor. 


Pelican Bay, formed by the islands of Cayo Costa and Punta Blanca.


The Florida Keys get all the credit for scenery, but I’m here to tell you that SW Florida rivals the Keys in every way. The beaches are far superior. The anchorages offer much better holding and protection, and the sunsets are every bit as awesome. 


If you’re thinking of buying that cruising boat and sailing off to the Keys, I urge you to reconsider. Southwest Florida is far less crowded, much safer, and dare I say, even more beautiful than the Keys. 



The beach at Cayo Costa. Where are all the tourists?!


As I stated in my first book Leap of Faith; Quit Your Job and Live on a Boat, when you get your boat and make your way to Florida, look us up. I’ve got a cold beer waiting for you. 



My Interview With Palmsnparadise.com

I like these folks because they are all about “Leavin’ the Grind Behind.” They have shown an interest in my books and contacted me for an interview. 

Read all about it then browse their site. Good stuff. 



A Different Kind Of Key West Tale / Living Proof, by Kevin May

As some of you may know, I read a lot of books. If I’m not writing, I’m reading. (I have a lot of time on my hands). I really love to read books set in the Keys and Caribbean and am always on the look out for the next one.

This book was recommended to me by Key West Chris Rehm. I follow his blog and Facebook page and trust his opinion.


Living Proof isn’t your typical flying bullets action thriller. Here’s the synopsis:

CIA since the age of twenty-one, by no choice of his own, Agent Jake Lander had long dreamed of the day he would finally be free from the life they had provided him in their finely-tuned world of deception. After a twenty-five year career with the Agency, Jake knew far too much to simply walk away. Escape was his only option. Once that day arrived, he was designated a national security risk––his Protocol: Capture or Kill. Jake chose the quaint and quirky island of Key West to begin his new life of peaceful anonymity. However, his serenity would be short-lived as he discovered that his island paradise was too small to get away with anything. Faced with that reality, Jake knew his escape could easily end up costing him his life, yet it was the only way get it back.

My take:

The rogue CIA agent gets into no gun battles, no fights, and no real adventure until the end. What he does is figure himself out.
There is some deep introspection from inside the mind of a unique man. His long hidden feelings and life of deception come to a head on the sunny tropical isle of Key West. The author’s descriptions of local haunts are excellent. He walks you around Old Town in a very realistic manner. The tension may not be flying bullets, but it’s tense nonetheless.
You will not know how it ends, until you turn the last few pages.

The writing is simply very well done. It has style without being flowery. Rarely does a man write about his inner thoughts the way May does in Living Proof. The runaway agent spends a great deal of time grappling with his own thoughts. You want him to run away with the new girl, a seemingly free spirit with a bounty of ill gotten cash. You want him to remain true to his previous lover, whom he left without even a goodbye note. You are as conflicted as the hero. You’re not sure what he is going to do, or what you would do in his shoes.

May really does a great service to Key West not only in his descriptions of people and places, but by somehow capturing the spirit of the place in words. Highly recommended for all lovers of Key West.

Living Proof is available in paperback and Kindle editions at:


Best Facebook Pages To Warm You Up

As most of the United States suffer from extreme cold, here’s a way to feel a bit warmer. Spend some time on Facebook perusing these pages full of sunsets, beaches, islands, and resorts. Clicking “Like” on these high quality pages will go a long way towards warding off that dreaded Polar Vortex. 


In no particular order, some of my favorite Facebook pages to warm you up:


Island Sunrises and Sunsets



Great photography from Amelia Island, Florida



Key West In Your Face



A wide variety of upbeat, sunny pics from Key West






Stunning photos from around the world



Walking On Sunshine With Flip Flops on and Drinking Sweet Tea



 A place to kick off your flip flops, relax, dream and enjoy the simple things in life



The Florida Keys and Key West




Everything that’s happening in the Florida Keys




Peace of the Beach



Awesome beach memes



Down By The Sea



Beach photos and memes



Sunny Ocean Waves Beach Surf Adventure



Everything Beach



Beach Cottage Life



Professional photos and posters 



Islands Magazine



Stunning photos from tropical resorts



Fort Myers Beach Florida



This page will convince you to move to SW Florida




And finally, my own page full of sunsets and sunny places. 



This page will make you want to quit your job and live on a boat!

You can purchase the book at Amazon.com in paperback or Kindle versions.






Top Ten Tropical Facebook Pages

If you long for the island life, like Jimmy Buffett and Trop Rock, or simply love the ocean and the beach, I have compiled my list of favorite Facebook pages for you to Like. These pages post high quality content on a consistent basis and have plenty of fans. Seeing their posts will brighten your day on Facebook, guaranteed. 

Number 10: I had to squeeze eleven pages into my top ten list so number ten is a tie.


Do you love the tropics for travel or adventure or want to capture its essence in your life or home? Tropicalogy is your online tropical destination bringing together the best tropical themed products, travel, and informative content through unique and brand name organizations, blogs, and news sources. Decorate your beach house, dress for a luau, plan an exotic getaway, or just sit back and browse the most tropical website in the world.



Spreading the Love of Trop Rock and Island Music. 


Number 9:


SeaBoards “Coastal Coordinates” specializes in Nautical / Coastal Signs that have the appearance as if they have been hanging on a Beach or nailed to a Pier for years.


Number 8:


We are scuba divers, underwater photographers, Marine conservationists, Marine biologists, Ocean artists, boaters, surfers, fishermen and beach-goers. We are an Ocean-Minded on-line community on the Facebook Inter web.. We are unique to each other in many ways but we have one over-arching and common interest. We are ~ Ocean Lovers ~


Number 7:


I love the beach, seashells, sunshine and living in SW Florida.


Number 6:


Leavin’ the grind behind…
If you enjoy vacation as much as we do, then we are the place for you!
Sand, Sun, and a Cold One!


Number 5: Key West Chris



Chris has his finger on the pulse of Key West and is a fine singer/songwriter to boot. 



Number 4: 


Island Jay celebrates the Caribbean lifestyle with daily stories and pictures of the Island & Beach life along with products that enhance that way of life.


Number 3:


Close your eyes and remove yourself from the everyday. Picture your toes in the sand and waves lapping at your feet. I live a bit of that life. Follow and become a Castaway! (and rum drink recipes!)


Number 2:


Through our original photographs, blog posts, rum recipes and short clips (Rum Therapy Mini-Sessions) you can not only daydream about that perfect stretch of sand, but you can learn more about areas and islands where you can someday take that much needed tropical break.


Number 1:


All things Buffett, Key West, Beaches and Bars and good books and Bob Marley. This is a great page for lovers of the tropics. Lots of interaction with over 45,000 fans.


Of course, there is always my own page, we’ll give it an honorable mention.


They gave up everything and now they have it all
Follow them as they leave the working world behind and become carefree boat bums and beachcombers. Read how one couple got rid of all their belongings, quit their jobs, and moved onto a boat.



I’m Gonna Live My Life Like A Jimmy Buffett Song

   Anthony Bjorklund helped me out when I was just getting started. I asked him for a favor because he has such a loyal fan following, and because his books are just so darn good. They take you away to the Islands. I think some of the readers of my book, Leap of Faith / Quit Your Job and Live on a Boat, would appreciate Anthony’s books as well. 

   It all started with “I’m Gonna Live My Life Like A Jimmy Buffett Song”.   The first book of Di Island Song Series,  begins the adventures of Jack Danielson. Jack always thought he had the perfect recipe for happiness; a serious career, a tall, skinny, blonde girlfriend, and a condo full of Ikea furniture. But one day an icy Minnesota freeway and a Peterbilt truck make him rethink his choices in life, and he hits the road and migrates south in search of rum, spices, new experiences, and a song of his own to sing. Written as a tribute to Jimmy Buffett and the Parrot Head way, this light and breezy book is seasoned with a healthy peppering of Buffetteria, and is the perfect read for anyone who ever dreamed of chucking the daily grind and slowing down to live each moment to the fullest.


“Jack And Di Rum Song” is the second book in Di Island Song Series, and the equally fun sequel to “I’m Gonna Live My Life Like A Jimmy Buffett Song”. The adventures of Jack Danielson continue right where they left off, when our hero inherits a dilapidated rum factory on a tiny island in the Caribbean. Filled with more colorful characters than you can shake a limbo stick at, “Jack And Di Rum Song” is a perfectly mixed concoction for an escape from the ordinary. Just be sure to keep a weather eye open for pirates…


“Let Di Song Of Change Blow Over My Head” is the sequel to “Jack And Di Rum Song”, and book three of Di Island Song Series. Travel once more to di island and join Jack Danielson,Crazy Chester, Jolly Roger, seaplane pilot Gus Grizwood, the ghost of pirate Captain Billy Black Dog, and the rest of di islanders as a song of change blows towards their tiny Caribbean home. It’s a story of islandittude at its best, filled with tropical fun, sun, and rum.


“I Just Had To Go Back To Di Island” is the fourth book in Di Island Song Series. Yes, the tropical adventures of Jack Danielson continue after all. Return to di island once more for the Rum Daze Festival, political intrigue, lost Puerto Rican pirate treasure, and a quick solar recharge with Moon Man. It’s a groovy time for all, mon.


Crazy Chester is missing, and there’s only one man for the job; Captain Harry, the son of di beach. Join Harry and many of your old friends from Di Island Song Series Novels, as well as some new faces from Paradiso Shores, as they follow the island hopping trail of that shoeless and shirtless forever, Caribbean amphibian, Crazy Chester.
The Captain Harry Series of books, of which this is the first, are light mysteries focusing as much on the joy of life in the tropics as the whodunnit aspect of the story. You can expect colorful characters to go with those colorful shirts and drinks, and a simple, laid back style of writing that’s perfect for that beach towel in Jamaica or backyard hammock.
Note: While this story is the first in a new series of books (The Captain Harry Series) and was written to stand on its own, it incorporates many of the characters from my Island Song Series novels. In other words, in most ways it is both the first story in the Captain Harry Series and the fifth in Di Island Song Series, overall. How you choose to enjoy them is entirely up to you.
All of Anthony’s book are available at Amazon, including complete collections in one set.
Make your island escape today by clicking the link below:

Cayo Costa

The Boca Grande pass is the gateway into Charlotte Harbor from the Gulf of Mexico. To it’s north is Gasparilla Island (home of Boca Grande), to it’s south is Cayo Costa.  Spanish for Coastal Key. this island is basically uninhabited. There are a few self-sustaining weekend homes and some park rangers.  It sits in it’s natural state, undeveloped and undisturbed.

  We called it our home for the past two years, living in it’s protected harbor of Pelican Bay.  It is only accessible by boat. Ferries run from Punta Gorda, and Pine Island to bring visitors. We tend to avoid the area where tourists congregate, instead preferring pristine beaches with no other humans in sight. 

  Nature abounds on and around the island. At any given moment one may spot manatees, dolphins, sea turtles, osprey, eagles, racoons, gopher tortoises, otter, and hundreds of fish species. 

 The natural features of Cayo Costa Island are stunning: Miles of beaches, acres of pine forests, oak palm hammocks, mangrove swamps and a spectacular display of bird life. The unique tropical vegetation looks much as it did 500 years ago when the first Europeans arrived here. Because it occurs in the area of transition between the temperate southeastern coastal plain and tropical south Florida, the vegetative composition of Cayo Costa is unique among barrier islands. The interior of the island contains a mixture of pine flatwoods, oak-palm hammocks and grassy areas interspersed with palms. Mangroves dominate the shoreline along Pine Island Sound.

  Nearby are the islands of Useppa, Cabbage Key, Sanibel and Captiva. We have traveled from Tampa Bay to the Keys on our trawler, and we have not found a more pleasant place to be. It’s a superior anchorage, well protected from most any wind. You have your choice of Gulf side or Pine Island Sound side for beaches. Hiking, snorkeling, fishing, and bird watching are all spectacular.  

  Most of the island is designated a state park. Hopefully development will never find this little piece of paradise. If you ever have the opportunity to spend some time on Cayo Costa, don’t turn it down. 




I invite you to enjoy more images of Cayo Costa here:  https://www.google.com/search?q=cayo+costa+state+park&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=2tx3UtCME4W6yAGDrYCICw&sqi=2&ved=0CGQQsAQ&biw=1538&bih=839