As our two weeks in St Petersburg FL is coming to an end tomorrow and to say our visit has been a whirlwind! We had a couple of expected visits and then there were others completely by surprise and just as welcome. As we arrived from from the Dry Tortugas through Facebook I discovered Ahne a former work colleague was vacationing near by our first stop.
A quick lunch rendezvous organized. Amazingly these two little guys were angels all through lunch so were able full fill our promise of a tour of Magnolia. Ahne’s family is from Minnesota and her parents sail a Freedom on lake Superior and hope to retire to go cruising. They intend to cruise the St Lawerence, New Foundland and Nova Scotia…”its too warm other places.” Wow, I was immediately in aw! Everyone enjoyed there time aboard and I thoroughly enjoyed catching up with Ahne…Thank you for making the time and effort!
Out original plan to visit Bradenton had to do with meeting up with Pentagon Sailing Club member Cory-Jean and Bob Cox who had relocated to the Tampa area. We enjoyed happy hour on their beautiful Caliber 47, Dances on Water and then a wonderful dinner at Pier 22 in Bradenton. Food highly recommended at Pier 22, in 22 hours, we managed to eat there twice!
After our short visit to Bradenton it was short 20 mile hop up to St Petersburg, FL. We had more planned guests and with a very strong cold front bearing down on the area it was time to find a secure location. Had planned to take a mooring ball near Vinoy Park that fellow Morgan owners Adventure-2-Us had suggested.
It turned out to be an excellent choice for then the front came through we had a 38 knt blast of wind here and Tornados to the not so distant north.
Another work colleague my friend David from Charlotte NC came to get a little taste of what boat life might be like. David stayed aboard for two nights and we even snuck in a fun day sail. We have not taken a day just to go sailing in forever so it was fun to cast off the lines and see where the wind took us.
The fun part was the wind took across east Tampa Bay towards Apollo Beach.
Annette and I use our HAM radio to check into a couple different radio nets. We call into these same NETs whether we are in the Bahamas or Maine so there are members all long the coast. Two members SV C-Language and SV Cat Tails are based in Apollo Beach. Once again hasty lunch rendezvous was arranged and we finally met two boats that we had only previously spoken to on the radio. How fun was that? Even more so, David was long so see how crazy fun things can be when you get on a boat!
It was a fun couple of days and hopefully ones that David will always remember…whether or not he decides to go cruising.
Annette and I started this adventure by knowing nothing about boating, sailing or cruising. We took our basic sail training with the Pentagon Sailing Club but in addition we needed a little more one one training to make sure that Annette and i as a team could handle a larger vessel in more challenging conditions that might be found in the Chesapeake Bay. We turned to Captain Pat who teaches sailing and cruising in the Virgin Islands. We spent a week with her before purchasing Magnolia just to make sure we, Annette and I could so it. It was with huge pride ours and hopefully hers we could welcome Pat aboard Magnolia. We had a terrific afternoon catching up hoping she found Magnolia to be ship-shape! Shameless plug for Captain Pat (http://www.sailsistership.com/)
When Magnolia arrived in the Chesapeake in 2010 she was docked next to a racing boat named Escapade which was sailed by twins Marty and John. When they retired they and Escapade came to the St Petersburg area. Again this wonderful adventure allowed us to meet up the John here in St Pete. We had a terrific evening catching up along with much eating, drinking and laughing. Thank you so much John!
Anyone who has been reading this blog for anymore than 6 months have seen Al & Michelle. That’s because, so how, somewhere we always seem to reconnect about every 6 months. Kindred Spirit, Eleanor Q and Mandala all experienced our “freshmen” year of cruising together. As with many things, the shared first year is a concrete to hold us for a lifetime. With grandchildren arriving Kindred Spirit took this season off but thankfully the travel gods cooperated and we found our selves in central Florida together!!! You know there had to be ice cream!
Partners in crime enjoying the ground of the Dali Museum.
Now if you really want to find responsible parties for leading us into the this life you need to look no further than the two below..Rudy and Gretchen barked us into…I digress but staying with puppies for a moment. See the handsome guy with the Red Hair? Thats Rudy, the only dog I have ever met that has sailed across the Atlantic Ocean. Granted he had some help from Ty & Suzanne but I find that little tidbit amazing. None the less, this adventure all started with Ty & Suzanne inviting us out for a little Sunday afternoon sail….Thank you again!
Last but no least, my fellow Steinke GenIV Shannon and her friend Colin came and spent the day with us to top a terrific week. Not that we are that old nor are Shannon and Colin that young but spending time with these two sure improves my outlook for the future of our country. Hard working, smart and frugal…very impressive! It is also terrific that like my friend Jack, Colin is tall, very handy to locate them in crowds!!!
Thank you all so much who made time and effort to connect with Magnolia during our visit to St Pete. We are having an insurance survey done tomorrow and then we will be working our way down the west coast of Florida.