2018-02-01–Visiting on the West Coast

After our visit to the west coast of Florida last year we very much looked forward to returning. Our transit across the state Florida via the Okeechobee went as expected and then we headed north towards our first port visit to Punta Gorda.

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Magnolia at Lashley Park Marina. This was out first visit to this marina and found it to be a real treat…the fact there is a homemade ice cream store at the end of the dock did little to influence our opinion!

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Our primary reason for coming up Charlotte Harbor was to see our friends Will & Barbara. Will was one our original instructors when we were just learning to sail with the Pentagon Sailing Club. We had a wonderful time catching up and spending time together. We also want to thank Will & Barbara for being extraordinary port hosts. They made endless effort to ensure we got our errands run and to ensure we had all we needed. Thank you so very much!

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Will & Barbara are members of the Punta Gorda Boat Club. We have perfect timing because just like last year our visit coincided with the clubs monthly happy hour. Once again Will & Barbara invited us to attend and once again we had a terrific time. It was fun evening!

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Another missed picture opportunity was Beth & Ripp on Lab Partners! Silly me missed it in the first edit. They were in the middle of selling their boat as we arrived so visits were fleeting. We look forward to seeing their new vessel when we arrived in NC. We spent and entire week in Punta Gorda but our time flew by so fast! As soon as we made our way down the harbor towards the ocean we came upon a plenty of dolphins. We often see dolphins but seldom are we able to catch one with a camera!

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It is neat to me how things are different in different parts of the country. For instance we have bridges in the mid-Atlantic. I can think of only one ferry in the entire mid-Atlantic region. Along the coast barrier island in many regions communities really depend on the ferry service often on a daily basis.

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Our first days transit heading towards Bradenton.

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Second day into Bradenton..Tim Watson, not the light traffic on the second day!

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Speaking of light traffic…NOT…as soon as we walked into town we walked into the evening rush hour…this certainly is not D.C. level traffic but when I see this I immediately feel empathy towards those that still do this. Our lesson to all, get out, do something you enjoy, the rat race will survive just fine with out you…..I hate seeing this…

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We we knew and were looking forward to a VERY busy time in Bradenton but before guests arrived, a little Taco date-night just the two of us!

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Before the guests started arriving the Admiral went to town paying particular homage to the “Reverend Of Sole.”

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Out first visitors were my cousin Ben and his lovely wife Jessie. They recently relocated to the west coast of Florida so it was a particularly special visit for us. It was their first visit to a “Magnolia” so it was extra fun showing them around and giving them a little glimpse into a life that is a little different.

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Ok, I am cheating on this one but my friend and work colleague Ahne came to visit again this year. Her parents, she and the boys were all vacationing in FL again this year during our visit. Her parents are avid Lake Superior sailors and were excited to see the new Magnolia. We had a terrific visit and god bless those boys for their patience. We got so busy gabbing that I completely missed a picture…had to break one out from last year…we have to do better next year Ahne…those boys will be even bigger next!

Our friends Al & Michele came down for a visit. Al’s mother lives in the area so its great we can steal a little of their time to hang out. The last visit coincided with christening and he name changing of Magnolia in Stuart. This was the first time they had seen her since we finished in the yards and our first overnight guests!

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The following day we had a visit from Lee & Char from NJ. The live next our friends Jack & Kathy so they have heard us boat babble for years so it was a real treat to show them our home. Lee is one of our biggest followers so it was a blast of an evening!

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Having Al & Michele aboard added to the whole cruising experience!

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As with MANY great Magnolia moments, they are toasted with Ice Cream, sometimes other stuff, but always ice cream. Thank you Char and Lee for sharing your vacation with us!

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Cruising hotties on the beach!

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Once again I dropped the ball and missed getting a picture with Pat & Becky. We last saw Pat & Becky aboard Taurus last year in the Florida Keys. They were passing nearby and made time to come by for a visit. It was wonderful to see them again and when we get near Louisville again we will be stopping by!!! You are missed out here….know that.

Now one other couple that we did not meet up with was fellow Pentagon Sailing Clubers Bob & Corey. I have it on good information we will all be at the SSCA GAM next week so counting on seeing them then. In the meantime as we approach St Petersburg, Magnolia flys her “A2” burgee proudly

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We really do want to thank all of you who take time out of your busy days to come and visit. What we do is a little different and maybe a little weird but we do like to share what we do. Thank you all, be safe A**2

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