As planned, we departed Marker One Marina yesterday at 0855 after saying goodbye to new friends that we met there. It was an easy run of 24.5nm to the anchorage that we had planned on at Gulfport, FL - - just prior to crossing the mouth of Tampa Bay. The town was very interesting with several restaurants/bars and shops. We happened to stop for libations at O'Maddy's:
The town was eclectic to say the least and the anchorage was no different - - here is a houseboat next to us that has their Christmas Tree out:
It was an interesting stop, but not where I want to spend too much time. This morning we were set on departing during the rising tide, just in case we ran aground in this "short cut" I was taking - - then we would float off as the tide came in. The winds were brisk out of the Northeast as we departed at 0845 and made our way down the channel. We ran down a channel that parallels the Tampa Bay Skyway Bridge on the West side and protected us from the winds and waves. It worked perfectly and then came the open water that we had to cross at the mouth of the bay - - to put it mildly - it was sloppy and one of the crew was not happy. The incoming tide was standing up some waves against the opposing NE winds and lets say - - it got the boat all salty. I lit it up and we ran on plane for half an hour or so to get through it - then all was well. We arrived at Marina Jack's in Sarasota at 1245 after a run of 29.8 nm (putting us over 5200 miles traveled so far). This is a very nice place in the heart of downtown Sarasota and we had a nice dinner at the restaurant right on the dock, complete with a flaming dessert:
We hope to spend the next three nights here enjoying Sarasota and waiting for the next front to pass before we move on to Cayo Costa State Park anchorage - - a beautiful spot where we spent Easter Weekend a year ago. The boat is cleaned, we had a great dinner and all is well aboard the Jolly Mon.