12/28: We left Mad Beach expecting not to get far because the wind was against us and the tide was rolling in also. We did expect to get farther than just under the bridge though. Just as we cleared the bridge with the tide and wind pushing us back under we had motor failure. After all the stress of using the dinghy to pull us away from danger and a few breaths of air we tried again. With the same results. We could spend anther night in Mad Beach or we could head south using the small motor. Off with the new and on with the dinghy motor. Just down the way we stopped for the night at Boca Ciega Isle.
12/29: The next day we putted down the ICW toward the Sunshine Skyway Parkway. As we passed Structure E bridge we had our second encounter with a bridge. The calm mild wind on the north side was all simple but the south side was a stiff 20 knts, big waves and the current put us int a very slow advancement. about 600 yards past the bridge we anchored for a couple of hours to wait for the wind to shift. The wind clocked around as predicted and we made it to the north east side of the Sunshine Skyway Parkway.
Dolphins of Anna Maria Sound
I keep hearing the first mate, "their just dolphins" as I snap photos
seems someone is used to seeing them every day.
Ayrton loves his bids. He doesn't get tied of them every day.
12/30: We anchored at Longboat Key for the night watching the dolphins as they chased the mullet around our keel.
What do you get when your boat is a big bait bucket?
Fins to the left and fins to the right!
5 or 6 dolphins continued to circle the boat snatching mullet for over one half hour.
and me bids,
12/31: Today was a quick tip down to Black Burn Bay just above Venice. Other than finally getting to actually sail across Sarasota Bay it was an uneventful trip after we passed the chicane at Longboat Key.
1/1 - 1/3: From Blackburn we zig-zagged through Venice and the ditch taking us down to Englewood Beach. There is a McDonald's here if you need an Internet fix. You can also fuel up on the north east end of the bridge at the Bait shop. We waited out a strong cold front here for three days with temps dropping in the 40's.
We were greeted by this curious Manatee as we anchored in Englewood.
He hung out for about 5 minutes and then decided our anchor chain was just not as interesting as he originally thought.
The most we have seen of the sun in days, power is getting low.
1/4: Day eight took us to Cayo Costa, more precisely Ustepa Island as we chose not to enter Pelican bay for just a stop and go. The approaching front was not due until the following night.
Sunrise as we leave Ustepa Island
and more bids
"Ayrton give me your camera!" "They are just dolphins!"
20 miles of big power boat wakes, oh and dolphins.
and fast boats
Sunset at the south tip of Pine Island
The clouds finally broke at 4:30 pm on day 11.
We sat at Pine Island for thee nights, A front was coming on day two and we liked it better here than the next anchorage. We had burgers at The Waterfront Restaurant on the fist two days and just sat out the wind and cold on day three. (Best kids burger I have ever seen for 5 bucks.) Day three brought the winter to us. I have already seen comments n the net about "I survived Florida winter, 2014". It sure felt cold but nothing like the northern states received. The low forty's seems cold in Florida. Farther north, we had friends with frozen pipes in Asheville and all the way down to Panama City.
At fist you casually try to take a photo from behind the glasses
Then you play the "But it is for your mom" card
In the end it is FINE go ahead and hurry up!
Wow that was a hard trip due to weather.
You guys told me there would be fish on this trip!
ps I nw pnuce my lap tp dead n aival. A eplacement will have t wait until we call cuising seasn dne.
ps I now pronounce my lap top dead on arrival. A replacement will have to wait until we call cruising season done. The key board now has several keys not working and editing this post was a Bitch!