Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Day 107 Crow’s Nest Marina, Venice, FL MM 58
Friday, December 10, 2010

 Jackson's American Grille

Using the courtesy bicycles in downtown Venice
Tiki bar

With Mary and Clyde

We borrowed the marina courtesy bicycles and rode a couple of miles to downtown Venice where we had a late breakfast at Jackson’s American Grill.  We rode back to the marina where Clyde and Mary were ready to pick us up.  We spent the day touring the area and checking out Mary and Clyde’s favorite watering holes.  We ended the day with supper at Turtles on Sarasota Bay.  A great day!  Thanks, Mary and Clyde!       

Total miles: 0       Total bridges:  0      Total locks:  0

 Day 106 Crow’s Nest Marina, Venice, FL MM 58
Thursday, December 9, 2010

 Rumor has it that the draped home is being fumigated

 A University of Iowa flag flies near Venice

 Blackburn Swing Bridge

 Our slip at the Crow's Nest

 Historical marker at Venice

120-foot neighbor at the Crow's Nest

We left Sarasota about 1:00 and arrived at Venice about 4:00.  We were greeted by friends Mary and Clyde Kurrle who have moved to Nokomis from Colona, Illinois.  (Good move!)  It was great to see them!  We had cocktails and appetizers at the Crow’s Nest, and then went to see their new home.   They had been living in a smaller home, but bought a larger one in April.  We first saw their previous home which they now rent and then their current home.  Tangerines, lemons, limes, and grapefruit grow on trees in their own yard!  Sweet and delicious!  We had dinner together at Frankie’s Italian Restaurant. 

  Total miles: 15        Total bridges:  4       Total locks:  0

Days 105 Marina Jack   Sarasota, FL  MM 73
Wednesday, December 8, 2010

 Sarasota fountains off our bow

 Entrance to Sarasota waterfront

 On Main Street, Sarasota ... hmmm....

 Sample wine on your own with this automated system.

 A toast to Sarasota

 Huge sculpture of the famous WWII photograph taken at Times Square on V-J Day.

 Marina Jacks

 On the dock at Marina Jacks

View from our bow at Marina Jacks

We had a short ride from Bradenton Beach to Marina Jacks at Sarasota.  The marina is top-notch with floating docks (no worries about the tides), a helpful staff, and a beautiful location.   It is also right downtown, so after a bowl of chowder at the marina restaurant, we took a walk.   Main Street had lots of shops and restaurants, but all were virtually deserted in the late afternoon.  We eventually chose Sarasota Vineyard for a cheese, meat, and French bread tray.  It turned out to be a lot of food, so along with a glass of wine, it turned out to be dinner.  We walked back to the boat and enjoyed a beautiful view of the Sarasota fountain and city scape.        
Total miles: 13       Total bridges:  1      Total locks:  0

Day 104  Bradenton Beach Marina, 
Bradenton Beach, FL  MM 86
Tuesday, December 7, 2010

 Approaching Sunshine Skyway Bridge

 Sunshine Skyway Bridge

 View from our slip at Bradenton Beach

Our slip at Bradenton Beach

 A true houseboat

Sand sculpture promotes recycling

Sand sculptures on Bradenton Beach

 Lunch at the Beach House

 Beach House Restaurant

 Historic Bridge Street

 Clocktower on Bridge Street


 Gorgeous sunset

Sunset and Christmas tree at Bradenton Beach

We crossed Tampa Bay in a “moderate chop” as predicted by the weather channels and arrived at Bradenton Beach on Anna Maria Island.    A few days earlier, the town had hosted a sandcastle competition on its beautiful white sand beach.  Although the weather had taken its toll, the remaining sculptures were amazing. 
We checked out lots of shops and ate both lunch and dinner at the Beach House where we also enjoyed an incredible sunset.         

Total miles: 20       Total bridges: 2       Total locks:  0

Day 103  Loggerhead Marina,
St. Petersburg, FL MM 106  
Monday, December 6, 2010

 Leaving Clearwater Marina

 Clearwater Memorial Causeway

 Our slip at Loggerhead Marina

 Loggerhead Marina mascot


At "Moon on the Water" we found possibly the longest city name in the world.
In Welsh (the oldest language in Europe) it means "By St. Mary's (Church) by the white aspen over the Whirlpool and St. Tysilio's (Church) by the red cave". 

Loggerhead Marina in Boca Ciega Bay is close to the intracostal waterway, but turned out to be a long taxi ride to St. Petersburg.  However, it was worth the trip, and we enjoyed the shops and restaurants in the downtown area.  We especially liked “Moon Under the Water”, an English-style pub.  It got its name from an 18th century custom of recruiting people into the British army.   As a way to trick a person into joining, a recruiting sergeant would visit a pub and drop a shilling into an unsuspecting person’s tankard of ale.  If the person drank from the tankard, he was regarded as having accepted the shilling and was pressed into the British army.  In order to counter this practice, the glass bottom pewter tankard was introduced.  A person could then look at the bottom of the tankard before taking a drink.  The sight of the shilling under the ale with the froth above was likened to that of “The Moon Under Water”.   A fun name and a fun pub.   

Total miles 30        Total bridges: 11        Total locks: 0

Day 102  Clearwater, FL  MM 136 
Sunday, December 5, 2010
A blustery day outside, so we spend a quiet day on the boat.  Jim checked the oil and engines.  We worked on the blog.
Total miles: 0       Total bridges: 0       Total locks: 0 

Day 101   Clearwater, FL   MM 136   
Saturday, December 4, 2010

Lynn and Jack arrive on Felix as we leave Tarpon Springs

 Clearwater pier

 Tom and Jim relax

 Barnacles revealed at low tide

Our slip at Clearwater

We left Tarpon Springs Marina about 11:30, got fuel at Anclote Village Marina, and headed down the Florida west coast.    About 3:00 we arrived at the Clearwater Municipal Marina where we were greeted by several other loopers who had just finished crossing the gulf including Kim Jo III, The Old Grouch, and Q’s End. 
We enjoyed our first walk on a beautiful white sand beach even though the cool temperature required jackets.  We went to supper with Brenda and Dave from The Old Grouch and Tom from Q’s End.
Total miles: 15       Total bridges:  2      Total locks: 0

Day 100  Tarpon Springs, FL  MM 151 
Friday, December 3, 2010

We ran lots of errands today – including another stop at West Marine and Publix grocery store – before returning the rental car.  About 4:00 Enterprise delivered us to the marina where Dream Catcher was in the slings and ready for launching – her rebuilt port prop ready to go.  We motored to the fuel dock at Tarpon Springs Marina and tied up for the night.  Finally on board again. 
Total miles: 0        Total bridges: 0        Total locks: 0 

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