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sailing away with R & B
Fort Myers Break
Beverly/sunny, breezy, and warm (even though a cold front just came through)
11/25/2015, Fort Myers Beach, Florida

We arrived here on Thursday the 19th and decided to take a break since we've been pushing ourselves pretty hard to get south. (We hate being cold.) We have been relaxing, reading, shopping, eating pizza, and just walking around town. We're in the mooring field and just signed up to be here another week.

Sarasota to Cape Haze
Beverly/sunny and warm (87 in November!)
11/18/2015, Cape Haze, Florida

Sunset at Cape Haze

Yesterday we traveled the 39 miles to Cape Haze along the ICW due to windy conditions. Of course, in order to do that we had to have 9 bridges open for us. Fortunately, even though there was lots of traffic we had minimal delays. We decided to stay here an extra day to service the dinghy and outboard (which we haven't used in a few months) and to make a quick trip to Publix for a few groceries.

Gulfport to Sarasota
Beverly/sunny and warm
11/16/2015, Sarasota, Florida

The Sunshine Skyway bridge across Tampa Bay

Our anchor held perfectly during those windy days at Gulfport and today we left for Sarasota. Our route takes us across Tampa Bay, which was a bit choppy but not bad. Along the way we spotted dolphins in the water and ospreys on the markers. There was a lot of boat traffic and 3 bridges to open (with no delays). We are anchored near the Ringling Causeway with 3 other boats.

Clearwater Beach to Gulfport
Beverly/partly cloudy and warm, but getting cooler
11/14/2015, Gulfport, Florida

Sunrise over the town of Gulfport, Florida

Yesterday we motored the ICW to Gulfport. We'll be anchored here a few days while a cold front blows through. We chose our spot carefully and have been here enough times to know the holding is excellent so we won't have to worry about the strong winds in the forecast.

Dog Island to Clearwater
Beverly/clear and cool
11/12/2015, Clearwater Beach, Florida

A beautiful day for crossing 160 miles of the Gulf of Mexico

The forecast for this crossing was so good we couldn't even sail most of the way because the wind was too light. During the afternoon we picked up a hitchhiker - a little finch. It flew onto the boat, rested a bit, hopped all around looking for snacks, and flew away again when I tried to get a photo. We saw lots of dolphins, both during the day and at night (at night when they surface they look white). It was a new moon, but so clear and calm that the stars reflected on the water. We each saw shooting stars (meteors) during our night shifts. We saw more traffic than we usually do (1 sailboat and 8 power boats + some fishermen close to shore). The waves kicked up a bit this morning for a couple of hours but calmed down again just in time for us to spot the crab pots on the way in. We're settled in at Clearwater Beach municipal marina for the night.


Here is a shot of the sunset on our Gulf crossing. Those are clouds on the horizon, not land. We were about 60 miles offshore at that time.

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