80 Degrees and Sunny

We are loving this part of Florida, and can’t believe that it’s December.  Christmas is right around the corner, but somehow it doesn’t seem possible – not in this kind of weather!

Our last day in Clearwater Beach we spent doing laundry and cleaning up the boat.  We did walk down to the beach for a short break, and visited with our marina neighbors on the dock.  We plotted our course, highlighting our route on the navigation charts.

We looked at a lot of boats when we were at the St. Pete’s boat show, and I always get nervous when Jim starts shopping for boats, because inevitably he buys one.  So guess what?  Jim purchased a new boat!@!#$! while I was in the galley cooking up a hearty breakfast.  OMG!

Don't Worry - It Wasn't Any of These

Don’t Worry – It Wasn’t Any of These

Or This One Either

Or This One Either

He purchased a new (used 2007 model) boat from our dock neighbors Mike and Sharon from Knoxville.  It is very green, as it is motored naturally (with oars).

Jim and our new little dinghy

Jim and our new little inflatable dinghy

It took us a long while to figure out how we were going to haul it, since we don’t have any davits.  We ended up tying it upside down on the bow.  Finally we were ready to get underway again!

We went by St. Pete’s, and passed boats along the way that we had seen at the boat show.  Next we crossed the bottom of Tampa Bay, which is more confusing than you’d guess.  It is a really big body of water, and we created our own path to avoid back-tracking on the ICW.

Tampa Bay Bridge

Tampa Bay Bridge

Our destination that night was an anchorage outside of Venice, but we didn’t make it that far before we started losing daylight.  We found another great spot to anchor out in a little channel near Long Beach.  We got anchored and lo and behold, there were our dock neighbors Ron & Lynne from Toronto aboard the Northern Spirit.

Northern Spirit 'on the Hook'

Northern Spirit ‘on the Hook’

This morning we left our anchorage spot and headed south on the ICW.  We went through Sarasota Bay, Little Sarasota Bay, and past Venice.

Sarasota Skyline

Sarasota Skyline

There were many no-wake zones because this area has so many manatees.  We didn’t encounter any, but did see dolphins several times.  We had to have 2 bridges open for us because we didn’t have enough clearance to get under them in the closed position.

Dolphins - Note Dinghy on Bow

Dolphins – Note Dinghy on Bow

The weather was perfect again – 80 degrees and sunny.  The homes we saw along the way on the waterfront are incredibly big, and I wonder what all these people do for a living!

A little shack along the way - nice boat too!

A little shack along the way – nice boat too!

We anchored out again, this time near Englewood Beach.  We took the dinghy for a test run (good work-out), and BBQ’d dinner aboard.  It’s a very peaceful spot, with several other boats near-by.

View from our Anchorage near Englewood Beach

View from our Anchorage near Englewood Beach

Tomorrow we plan to take the dinghy to a little public access spot on Englewood Beach.  From there we can walk to town or go to the beach.  It is on a very narrow strip of land called Manasota Key (reminds me of Minnesota).  Many of the homes have water on both the ICW and on the Gulf.  I wonder what’s considered the front yard and what’s the back yard?

Our destination before coming home will be Fort Myers Beach, and that’s only a day or two cruise from here.  It’s a great port to pull the boat out and have it serviced, with it’s own international airport.  When we return in Feb we will have the option of cruising through the gulf to the Keys, or to take the cut-thru via Lake Okeechobee.

Until next time, hope all’s sunny in your life!







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3 Responses to 80 Degrees and Sunny

  1. Mz Vic says:

    What an incredible trip you are having! I hang on each word in your blog trying to imagine how warm the sun feels on your face and visualize the sights that you have seen. Oh how fortunate you are to have the time and courage to do this. I am so envious of you. Have fun my friends and stay safe on your travels home to that sweet little grandbaby.

  2. Ron Newton says:

    Sounds like your having a great time, just wanted to let you know I’ve enjoyed reading your blog. I’am still on my boat at Two Rivers enjoying the mild December weather, not near as nice as what your having. Merry Christmas

    • rossmanpj says:

      Merry Christmas to you too! W’re having a hard time getting into the Xmas spirit with this weather! We’ll be pulling the boat out in a week or do to head home for the holidays. Currently on Sanibel Island, and can’t believe how great Florida is. Thanks for following along on our blog! We’ve met the nicest people along the way (you included). Thanks for following is after all this time!! Pat and Jim aboard ‘ARiverDerci’

      Sent from my iPhone

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