Thursday, February 9, 2012

Heading South.. Twin Dolphin to Ft Myers Beach

Our trip from Bradenton to Sarasota was uneventful, several bascule bridges and the fixed 65 ft  bridge near Marina Jacks in Sarasota. We arrived about 4 pm and quickly got the hook set, launched the dink and docked the dink at Oleary's and went into town to shop and have dinner. Sarasota has a great downtown easily accesable to boats anchored or on mooring balls near there. and they have a whole foods grocery just blocks away.

Friday we again went in for breakfast and then back to the boat, stored the dink on the arch and raised anchor and headed south again to Venice, destination crows nest marina. We arrived at the marina after a nice run down to Venice. Pretty water and a few dolphins! Crows nest is right inside the jetties making for great clear water and dolphins all over the place. They have nice facitlities and a  26 year old parrott named Pepe! he is the same parrott my wife and I got to know when we were chartering a boat doen that way in 1986! If you whistle jingle bells he will talk his head off!

Sat we took on some fuel and again headed south, destination the famous Cabbage Key resort that is famous for being the birthplace of Buffetts biggest hit, Cheesburger in paradise! We anchored next door at Useppa Key and really cool private island. We launched the dink and motored over and hit the resturaunt and smapled the Cheesburger ( really good) and as the ritual prescribes we left our signed dollar bill on the wall. It joins 70k worth of dollar bills! They say 10k falls off  each season and they donate it to charity! Apparently Buffett left a ten spot on the piano in the bar area, but someone took it. So he sent them framed 1 dollar bill that they keep behind the bar now. We had a great calm night at anchor. Alissa and I spent a few hours sitting on the deck listening to the dolphins breach and admiring the circle around the moon.

Sun we hauled anchor and headed again to the south, destination Ft Myers beach and salty sams marina. We enjoyed a good trip down, much busier than the other legs though, lots of big power cruiser waking us all the time. We arrived at sky bridge at low tide thank goodness, its listed as 65 feet, but clearly is more like 65 feet at low tide and 64 at low tide or less. We made it thru and made our way past the mooring field and tied up at Salty Sams marina. We quickly determined that this marina even though it has floating docks, and a couple of good eateries, (one I watched the super bowl that night)its just not the place for us. The next morning we checked out the shoreside facilities at the Matanzas  a night or 267 dollars a month. That sure sounded better than the 496 dollars they wanted for a week at Salty Sams! So we checked out of SS's by the 11 oclock check out and moved on to a ball, where we are now and will be till the end of Feb!

Yesterday we put our daughter on a airplane back to Ft Worth, we had a wonderful visit with her and enjoyed sharing the trip down here with her!

I will post some pics of the trip down and will post shortly about or stay so far in Ft Myers!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Adventure Begins

Well after years of planning, saving,preparing, planning, we finally are "out there". We sailed Discovery across the Gulf of Mexico early November. We had several issues during the crossing. First the weather did not cooperate. Our expected south wind never materialized so we had winds on the nose for the entire trip! Second, we had several occasions of clogs in the fuel line caused by algae growth even though i had the fuel polished prior to leaving. Then the engine overheated casuing us to divert to Port St Joe in the Florida panhandle. We spent a couple of days in this wonderful town and managed to find a good deisel mechanic who diagnosed the problem causing the overheating and got us going again. We motored up the ICW to Carabelle and spent the night there. We left out early for Tampa the next morning and again hit winds on the nose as we tried to close the gap between us and the Florida mainland. Unfortunately we had another bout of fuel line clogs. Finally got that cleared up and just in time the wind went NNE and allowed us to sail at full speed (8 knots) into Edgemont channel! We motored( gingerly) up the Manatee river and docked at Twin Dolphin Marina. We spent a couple of months there at Twin dolphins and highly reccomend this place! Great floating docks, a old downtown area just 2 blocks away with cafe's, coffee shops and watering holes. Below a shot of the dolphins that followed us out of Port Arthur Jetties! 

     Recently, due to a RIFF at PHH my retirement was accelerated and we decided to begin the trek down south on the Florida west coast with the Bahamas as our eventual destination. More posts and pics of that trip will follow! Below is a pic of Anita with the Edgemont Key Light house in the background! 10 days after we left the Port Arthur jetties!