After one last Friday Night Happy Hour on Dock Four, we sadly threw off the lines and left St. Petersburg Saturday morning February 11th. We may have jumped the gun a bit, as the wind and waves made for a bumpy ride south to Sarasota Bay. Particularly difficult was the passage through LongBoat Pass where a sandbar and the bridge fenders seemed to want to say hello.
Sunday dawned cold and breezy as we made our way to Sarasota's Marina Jack where good friends Mike and Lan came aboard. We filled the afternoon with a walk along the waterfront and a power trip to the Ringling Museum. We all loved the miniature circus display - you could almost smell then sawdust and hear the ringmasters call.
After a cold weekend, the endless blue skies, crisp mornings and warm (but not too hot) afternoons have returned to Florida. The past few days have been just about perfect, weather wise and from a cruising standpoint: sea glass colored calm waters, dolphins catching a wave along the starboard side, salmon sunsets, starry nights, and just enough navigation and bridges to keep us on our toes.
While we were anchored off of Useppa Island on Monday night we dinghyed over to the Cabbage Inn where it is said Jimmy Buffet was inspired to write "Cheeseburger in Paradise". Amazingly, they do not offer their claim to fame at dinner, so back we went to Freedom for cocktails and the sunset on the Calypso Deck .
Valentine's day brought us to Ft. Myers and a fun dinner on board with Uncle Bill, Aunt Jane and A2. Sailing stories were told amid much laughter.
And now we are off to the much anticipated trip across the Caloosahatchie River and through Lake Okeechobee. The guides books caution us to check our swim platform before leaving the dock each morning - lest we bring an alligator along for the day's ride!