First was the stiff South Easterly breeze. After making it through the crowded (not so much today) first mile of the intercoastal we raised the sails and we on another zip of a ride. Through this zig zag course that runs everything from South West to North we made great time with perfect wind.
Second was the fact that just after Fire Dog IV tried to run us over we started to cough. This cough continued all the way up to marker 74, the turn off to go into Pelican Bay. The feeling was just like a couple days back when we sprayed ourselves with deet to prevent the bugs from eating us. As you spray around your face and head and of course naturally breath in you cough. It even had the same kind of taste.
With both of these taken into account we pressed on. I hate the Boca Grande Bridge almost as much as Lake Wimco, just saying for reference. As we entered the narrows above Gasparilla Sound it happened. Ka- thunk zoom! Our little motor was free revving, in a narrow channel, with a breeze. With just the genny out we managed to travel far enough to I felt one of the little pockets would offer enough room to anchor and take care of the situation. My hope was just a pin. It turned out to be just that, nothing major. But we didn't have a pin. What could we use? We found an aluminum rivet that was undersized but our only other option was stainless.
A pair of Eagles in Lemon Bay
All good and we pulled the anchor. Off we went until about marker 16 in Lemon Bay (luckily they were done with their previous red tide). We sailed across lemon bay and turned into the anchorage just before Lemon Bay Bridge, dead into the wind. With the anchor down we set off on finding as acceptable pin to use for the final couple days before we would be in Clearwater. We found a left over pull pin from a fire extinguisher that was was accidentally discharged a couple years ago. With a quick clip from the cutters we made it do. Pulled the anchor and motored farther up into the anchorage.
Feeling beaten up a little we decided to have dinner out! Big mistake! We rowed up the anchorage toward the neon signs in search for the two restaurants listed for this anchorage. We tied up to the first one we found, the White Elephant. (If you stop here try Flounders not the Elephant) We sat down and ordered an appetizer first, MZO (Mushrooms, Zucchini, and Onions). This item was fair. Then we ordered the sub par dinner with excellent french fries. The crinkle cut ones like in a truck stop. They were awesome. The grouper sand kind of sucked and The Fisher Kings Steak, veggies and potatoes sucked. I made a mistake in ordering a basket of fries since the first 12 were so good. Did I say mistake? The fries came out double fried full of grease and just not good! The the really bad part....paying $70 to get out! Never Again!
The next morning we made it to Long Beach without slamming into the sea floor this time. Hoping to recoup our expectations of dinner we tried eating out once again. This time at the Moore's Stone Crab Restaurant. Everything here was acceptable and we walked for half the price of the White Elephant.