Thursday, January 29, 2015

Nearing the end of Sarasota stay

Tuesday, January 27-

Well, all good things must come to an's you can move on to all the rest of the good things.  ;-)
Today we started planning routes, anchorages, and our departure from Marina Jack and Sarasota.  The stay has been shorter than we planned...but we've crammed in a lot!

Last Wednesday we had a beautiful day on our hands and decided to walk across the Ringling Causeway to St. Armands Circle and lunch at the Columbia.  Sitting outside with our meal complete (right down to the almond cake with fresh strawberries and zabayon sauce), we decided this was well worth the trip.  (We took the bus back!)  ;-)

That evening I walked to the Art Center for a session on CV's and artist statements.  The class was small, 4 people total, but we had an interesting discussion.

Thursday evening we walked down to Anne and Jim's condo for wine and conversation.  We loved their location and the condo!  We invited them to come to the boat for lunch on Saturday so they could acquaint themselves with a trawler.  They are sailboaters...and we're hoping to pick up some storage ideas while they are here.  ;-)

Friday brought up winds gusting up to 40 mph!!  Yee-ow!  That and a negative tide that cropped up a couple of times this month have kept Wayne busy adjusting lines on our fixed, concrete dock.

Saturday we walked around town in the afternoon and checked out some places we hadn't seen before like Burns Court.  Loved the small shops and the architecture...

Sunday morning we had a visit from Bob and Jace.  Jace visited Segue back in 2008 when we did the first Loop trip and thrilled us all by demonstrating his ability to start the engine while we were in a slip...and the boat was in gear.  I threatened to tie his hands behind his back this time! ;-)  Jace is growing up fast...and excelling in school and on a competitive swim team.

Sunday afternoon we caught the bus to Siesta Key and lunched at S.K.O.B. (Siesta Key Oyster Bar) outside on the deck.

This week we've been planning and preparing for our trip down to Ft. Myers Beach.  We did take time to go to Bob's for lunch with him and Shirley on Tuesday (spaghetti carbonara, fresh green salad from his earth boxes, homemade whole wheat French bread, and homemade biscotti and coffee!!).  We returned the favor today and had them out on the boat for a taste of crockpot bean soup...and the boating life.  ;-)

We leave tomorrow morning after fueling up here at Marina Jack ($2.99/gal. diesel is a welcome change from our 2008 trip!).  Depending on the traffic and slow zones, we'll get to FMB either Saturday or Sunday.  I'll leave you with a few other pictures from our stay here and walk-arounds...

The Selby Public Library of the Sarasota County Library System has a distinct architectural design and is located right downtown.  Their friends group has a bookstore for used book sales...and, of course, I found something to buy even though I've tried to do all e-books on the boat.

The beautiful Sarasota Bay setting with walking/biking trail alongside...

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Marina Jacks, Sarasota

Tuesday, January 20 -

Well, we're back in Sarasota after a short, but good, visit to Wake Forest, Knoxville, and Athens.

We left on New Years Day, picking up our 2-week rental at the Sarasota airport.  Stopped for the night in Georgia and got to Wake Forest around 3 PM on the 2nd.  [Had some problems with getting the rental car: booked with Payless through AARP but ended up dropping that one and going with Avis.  Bottom line, we didn't leave until around noon on the 1st.  Lesson learned!  Also, re: rental car, we found a pick up on the 1st MUCH cheaper for the total rental than to rent on the 31st of December.  ;-)]

Spent Friday-Sunday with Dave, Heather, and boys.

Saturday morning on the couch

Marbles Kids' Museum

Look at that colorful tower!

Fantastic clear disk creation!

Wayne's birthday cake....Got it?

Master of disguise

Left on Monday morning to pick up Lucy (always keep her at a kennel when the boys are around because she's been known to bite) and drove to Abingdon for a brief lunch visit with Nadine and Amy.  (Jerry had to work and we sure missed seeing him!)  After lunch we proceeded to Knoxville and got home in time to turn on the water in the daylight.  ;-)

The rest of our week there was spent visiting our doctors, friends, and Mamaw Prichard in Athens.  We left Knoxville on Tuesday, January 13, driving to Gainesville, FL, where we spent the night.  Two weeks and 2200 miles on the odometer, we finally made it back to Marina Jack on the 14th and are settling in again to our water home.

First call went out to our friend, Bob.   He left later in the week for a visit with his son and left us his car for the weekend.  Woo-who!  Thank you, Bob!

And...our friends the Alexanders and Pearces were here for the week so we had fun running around with them!  Thursday Ralph and Kay picked us up and we all met Rob and Jane for lunch at the Dry Dock Restaurant on Long Boat Key.  Rob and Jane were participating in an art and antique show here and had set up their booth earlier that morning.  After lunch we spent a wonderful afternoon talking and laughing at their Gulf-side condo.

Rob and Jane gave all of us passes to the show so on Friday we converged there for a look-see.  After the show ended for the day we walked to downtown Sarasota for supper.  We had our sights set on the
Pho Cali Vietnamese Noodle House, which had been talked about at the art/antique show by vendors.  Unfortunately for us, others had heard of the restaurant's appeal and the small place was packed...and  with people waiting outside.  We decided, instead, to eat at Barnacle Bill's downtown.  It, too, was hopping on that Friday night, so we spent some time in the bar before being seated.  We were met with a great menu boasting a variety of fresh fish and preparations.  We enjoyed our meal...and our company.  Edys Ice Cream on the way back to the marina made our evening complete.

On Saturday Ralph and Kay came over to the boat for a light lunch, then Ralph and Wayne went out in the dinghy for a tour of the nearby waters.

Kay and I headed for Art and Frame of Sarasota where we mined through their great collection of art supplies.  We both went in with shopping lists...and came out with that and more!

We're so glad our crazy boating schedule finally pulled together so we could be here in Sarasota while  our friends were here!

The past couple of days we've run around taking care of errands while we have Bob's car.  We ate at Pop's Sunset Restaurant down in Nokomis for "old times sake." (We were in Nokomis last February and went to Pop's several times.)  Pop's is right on the ICW near Albee Bridge so there's always water traffic to ogle as you eat.

We'll pick Bob up at the airport this afternoon and look forward to spending some quality time with him and Shirley.  ;-)

More on the Crossing

January 20, 2015 - I was thinking more about the Gulf crossing and thought of a few more details I'd like to chronicle in this journal.  Before we left Carrabelle, we downloaded a form for a float plan from the Coast Guard Auxiliary website.  We filled it out and sent it to a friend and a relative.  If we hadn't contacted them by a certain time on that Sunday we were due to arrive in Clearwater, they would have started a series of actions ... 1) calling us 2) calling 911 to notify the Coast Guard.

The end of the crossing was infinitely better than the beginning.  We had smooth waters for the majority of the trip...and a beautiful sunrise as we neared the end.  In the distance you can see our buddy boat, Vivens Aqua.