On March 16th we left St. Petersburg for Sarasota, covering about forty miles over a five-hour period on a beautiful, sunny Wednesday. Several of our boating friends had gathered in Sarasota for a Defever rendezvous being held at Marina Jack’s the upcoming weekend so the plan was to meet them there for some St. Patty’s Day fun.
Posing by our newly mounted “For Sale” sign as we say goodbye to Cathy.
That evening Bob & Stephanie invited the gang to “September Song” for cocktails before heading over to Marina Jack’s for dinner. It was great seeing everyone again and meeting Paul & Helen, Steve’s cousin and wife.
On St. Patrick’s Day we walked into the downtown area to have a burger at Patricks (how apropos is that?) before going in search of the Shamrock Irish Pub where a big block party was supposed to be going on.
Stephanie loaned us these cool beer goggles to wear for St. Patty’s Day!
A couple of shots of downtown Sarasota.
The Shamrock ended up being a very long hike away from the marina and it was not the happening place to be! So we let the rest of the gang know and headed back to the main part of the downtown area where, lo and behold, we ran into Norm & Vicki (“Tide Hiker”) having a drink at The Gator Club.
Before long the rest of the gang joined us and it was all downhill from there!
Then it was back to Patricks for dinner where we were pleasantly surprised to find Don & Barbara having dinner with Steve & Diane, Paul & Helen and another couple. We first met Don & Barbara on their boat “Cavara” in Cambridge, Maryland and also spent time with them in Oxford, Maryland, both on the Chesapeake, in late August. We had no idea they were planning to attend the rendezvous. So after dinner we went back to the “real” block party being held in the street next to The Gator Club to finish off the evening.
Dinner at Patricks where they had some great Irish specials!
Getting reacquainted with Barbara & Don.
Now this is a block party!
Late Friday morning Todd dinghied over to the marina to pick up George & Mary, a couple from Wisconsin who are interested in buying a trawler. George has been following our blog and he and Todd have been conversing via e-mail and on the telephone. At any rate, they were in the area and decided to drive down to Sarasota to look at “Life’s2Short.” We think they really liked her but since we’re not quite ready to become “dirt dwellers” again, we didn’t push it. But we were asked not to sell “Life’s2Short” to anyone else without first notifying them so I view that as a positive sign of their interest.
After treating us to a late lunch at Marina Jack’s, George & Mary hit the road and we went to find Don & Barbara. We dinghied them out to “Life’s2Short” to spend some time catching up and then dinghied back to “September Song” for the arrival of Doug & Tammy whose boat, “Gypsies in the Palace,” is docked at Harbortown Marina on Merritt Island. And then it was off to the Defever dock party.
The fearless foursome: Doug, Tammy, Stephanie and Bob. These guys are party animals!
These are Helen’s three babies. Aren’t they adorable in their little outfits! Paul & Helen’s boat is named “Lucky Dogs” and has a picture of the dogs next to the name.
Diane & Steve (“Aurora”) with Helen in the background.
Bob (“September Song”) and Joe (“Sea Pearl”) looking like the cool dudes they are!
And it was back to “September Song” before hitting Marina Jack’s for live music and dancing.
Julia and Todd tearing up the dance floor!
Is that a man or a woman with Bob?
Late Saturday morning we walked downtown to Whole Foods (since we had never been to one) and it was quite a place. The displays in the produce section were amazing!
As we were leaving Whole Foods we stumbled upon the Saturday Farmer’s Market covering several blocks and spent some time touring it. Then it was back to “Life’s2Short” for a much-needed quiet afternoon.
By early evening we were ready for another adventure so we went to O’Learys Tiki Bar for drinks and an appetizer while the rest of the group attended a rendezvous dinner event.
We met up with the group at Marina Jack’s around 8:30 for more live music and dancing on our final evening in Sarasota.
A gorgeous moonrise over Sarasota. According to the news, this is the brightest the moon has been, and the closest to the earth it’s been, in eighteen years!
Let the party begin!
Greetings from the Cambridge crew to Bill & Ana on “Knot Tide Down.” We miss you!
After our fourth night of shenanigans in Sarasota, it was time to head south. We hauled anchor about 9:30 a.m. and had a nice offshore run to Charlotte Harbor. Seven hours later we were anchored at Punta Blanca where we spent a mellow afternoon and evening. We were both so worn out from our late nights in Sarasota that we were in bed by 9:00 p.m.!
Sunset from our anchorage.
Monday morning Todd went out fishing and came back with a couple of flounder and a nice sea trout. He tried again early afternoon and snagged several more sea trout before returning to the boat. Since we didn’t need any more fish for dinner, Todd cleaned them and gave them to our cove-mates on “SouthernFlite.” That evening we enjoyed grilled flounder and lemon pepper sea trout accompanied by mushroom & broccoli stuffed shells and cheese. Nice meal, Captain!
Todd fished again Tuesday morning for a while and just as he was returning, we received a text from Cathy in St. Petersburg letting us know that her beloved Rhodesian Ridgeback, Taz, had gone to heaven. A sad day for all who knew and loved Taz. Cathy, our hearts go out to you!
That afternoon we took a dinghy ride in search of the Tunnel of Love on Cayo Costa. We had unsuccessfully searched for it when we were anchored at Punta Blanca last year and no one we asked knew anything about it. I have since read that the hurricanes of 2005 made it impassible but we searched anyway. If what we found was truly the Tunnel of Love, and we believe it is, it is now impassable after a short distance. Perhaps that’s why no one knows where it is anymore!
We still wanted to see the beach on Cayo Costa, though, so we continued in search of a path and finally found one. After a short hike across the island we were rewarded with a beautiful, isolated beach.
The Captain is chillin’ with a cold one.
Today is Wednesday, March 23rd, and after another mellow evening aboard “Life’s2Short,” it is time to make our way to Ft. Myers Beach where we will fuel up and spend a few days at Bonita Bill’s before continuing south to the Ten Thousand Islands.