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The Lady Lady
Anna Maria, Sarasota & Venice
JIm-Raining today
05/01/2013, Venice Fisherman's Wharf

We left Twin Dolphin and Sailed/Motored out of the Singing Manatee River to Anna Maria Island. Found a nice spot to anchor just south of the city pier. Tricky getting in with the shallows and sand bar but with Dede on the bow we avoided grounding! Anna Maria Island is a true "beach town'. There are shops and restaurants that go on and on forever. The beach is easily accessible from any place and there is a free trolly to take you up and down the island or back to Bradenton if you need to. THe anchorage is adjacent to a city pier with free showers and heads and there is a great restaurant with a dingy dock right on shore. We enjoyed the stay but really wanted to move on to Sarasota so only spent one night on the hook. We will stop on the way back north next month.

The ongoing journey continues we spent a couple of days in Sarasota at Marina Jacks on a mooring ball. Nice place to stay but it required using the dingy to get back and forth to shore and there was a bit of wind -so it was a wet ride coming back out. It is also necessary to conserve electric power when on the hook or a mooring so we have no air-conditioning but the breeze kept it cool below and on deck. We rigged on sun cover and that kept the cockpit relatively cool. We did not spend a lot of time on board however in the three days we were there. We biked over to a delightful dinner with our niece Stephanie and husband Jerry at their home in Sarasota. Their home is only a mile from the marina.
Sunday morning we attended a very beautiful church service with full choir and ultra high rite at the Church of the Redeemer in downtown Sarasota. Hooked up with Stephanie and the kids and joined them for a day of paddle boarding around Lido and Longboat Key mangroves. Dede has discovered a new sport! Our brother Phil came down late Sunday afternoon and we all went to dinner at Marina Jacks. Phil spent the night on board Lady Lady but took off early the next morning (Monday) to spend a day with his grandchildren. Dede and I spent Monday keeping cool in the shops at St Armand Sq. It was not all of that cool but I went into every dress and gift shop that had air-conditioning!! (you can see where my heart lies with sopping) Phil met up with us after visiting the grand children and we took the opportunity to ride with him to West Marine for 'stuff''! WE then said our good byes to Phil and did a bike tour of downtown Sarasota. Some how we found a 'meditation' meeting in a local church and learned how to breath and connect with our inner self ;-} . Afterwards we biked back to Marina Jacks Dede had soup and salad and I connected with my inner-child-self and had Macadamia Nut frozen ice cream pie !!! What a supper!
Underway at 9 am on Tuesday after fueling, watering, pumping holding tanks and loading the bikes on board. Nice ride down the ICW from Sarasota to Venice. We were hoping to dock at the Venice YC but they have become a bit snooty and would not grant recropicity to us from the EG Yacht Club -unless I was the former commodore.. I don't have a printer on board so I could not 'fake' the proper documentation for such!! Several friends and relatives offered to beg our case but we opted not to grace the Venice YC with our delightful presence. WE headed further south into the ICW and found a delightful almost free dock at Fisherman's Wharf. The place is in bankruptcy and the receiver will accept 'cash' for dockage! Price was very right!!! No water or pump out but 50 amp electricity and nice floating concrete docks. The marina is right across the Rt 41 bridge into Venice Island and a 1/8 mile into the center of town. Great location , right price, nice facilities who needs the Venice YC !! WE unloaded the bikes and biked to Venice Beach -listened to an old-timers country music concert (we were the youngest kids there). Dede found a promotion sheet for the Venice Theater and we attended a delightful play ("Second Samuel") on and an even more delightful dinner at Louie's Italian restaurant..
It is nice being on a dock with power for our air-conditioning and we enjoyed a very confortable night on board. Today as I write this on Wednesday May 1st it is raining and we are comfortable on board reading and relaxing -except for a little 'shopping spree'! I mentioned Dede has found a new sport -paddle boarding--well that requires a paddle board so we went on line and found a seller that delivers! Dede's birthday in Friday so I bought her a paddle board. She is like a kid on Christmas morning wanting to play with her new toy.. I'm like a grumpy old parent saying "no ! you can't go sledding till it snows" just an analogy of course but this is not a paddle board location and beside were having a thunderstorm! Later this week we will be in Lemon Bay and Palm Island where the boarding should be delightful--now if I can only keep her from sitting on the thing on the for deck in the rain 'practicing' I would be thrilled!!! I can only imagine when we get back to RI she'll take up surfing--Becky guard your surfboards mother is coming!! Enough for now, we waiting for friends Elise and Roger to meet us for dinner tonight and then hooking up with Bob and Gail on Thursday. The adventure continues. Oh! thunder and lightning on deck--better go drag Dede below!

Stay tuned

Twin Dolphin Marina
Capt Jim
04/24/2013, Bradenton FL

Well we got underway April 23rd and worked our way down the western Florida ICW. This is an easy ride follow the day markers , stay in the channel and be nice to every bridge tender. Do this gets you an opening as you approach and advice concerning any hazards or traffic concerns. We only had one restricted bridge to contend with and that fortunately was the very last of the series. It was the Pirellis Bay way Structure E bridge that opens on the hour and half hour. WE managed with my expert navigation to arrive up stream of Structure E at 13:10 with 20 minutes to enjoy the views around Terra Verde. I actually though of taking a side trip into Passa-Grill but opted to kill time in front of the bridge. At EXACTLY 13:30 the horn sounded at at 13:33 we went through and into the approach channels to the Tampa SkyWay bridge. WE had a nice 10-13 kt East wind to sail across the bay and there was no shipping traffic to contend with. Based on the time we opted to go up the Manatee River to the city of Bradenton and drop the hook at 17:00.. We were both hungry and tired --so supper --a little light reading and bed time. The wind was a littl up and we set about 30-35' of chain in 7' of water with a 45# Delta! I felt comfortable with that --I would like to have put out more-(chain in the locker does no good) but the shoal up wind was only 30 -50 yards to the lea. We were ok with the set up and slept well. Wind died by morning and the temperature got down to 68 degrees. On Wednesday (today) we called the Marina and came in for a slip. It's easier to bring the bikes ashore when you are at a dock. Besids we could not find a place to land the dingy in this area --so a dock was almost a necessity if we wanted to go ashore. The twin Dolphin Marina is a class act. We took the mini vacation package and stayed two nights --that comes with a discount ticket to the Aquarium and a gift certificate for dinner at a fine restaurant Pier 22. WE biked around the city, did coffee shop and Dede spent afternoon at the pool and Jim went to the Planetarium, Museum and Aquarium. Used our gift certificate and had a fine dinner on the pier with a cool breeze and a lovely sunset.

On Thursday Bob and Gail -friends from RI will be driving up from North Port for a visit to the cruising couple. Will fill you in on that --then

Stay Tuned

Underway South
Jim -
04/22/2013, Church Indian Rocks Beach

We have been here since last Tuesday. It has been a most enjoyable week spent with Fr Bob and wife PT and other church friends. The boat is spotless thanks to Dede's labor of 'love' and the boat is running great thanks to Jim's usual tinkering with systems and rigging see photo for details!
Went shopping and were provisioned for a month--although here on west coast we tend to do Yacht Club hopping and dinning in their fine restaurants. Last dinner with Fr Bob & PT tonight and then off to the warm sunny beaches of southern Florida.

04/23/2013 | Ron Smith
Stay safe....good journey.
We Are In HOT Florida
JIm -
04/17/2013, At the dock Indian Rocks Beach

Well we had a pleasant ride down in the convertible. Left on Friday morning arrived in Maryland at 5pm..The new wind deflector made all the difference in the world--we could actually talk and things did not blow away. We stopped in Maryland to see the 'kids' play baseball and spend a little time with them. We headed out on Sunday and got to 'South of the Border" and a few miles more into South Carolina.
Stayed at a Howard Johnson's Motor Inn--I remember as a kid they were the 'Nations Inn Keeper"! Well they are not quite that any more!!! We survived the night but the Inn left a bit to be desired.. Price was right --but you get what you pay for on the road!!

Our brother and sister Phil and Carol were in Savanna for their wedding anniversary on Monday so we called and arranged 'lunch'.. Turned out that Phil booked a luxury suite for us knowing the HJ experience of the night before. We had a fantastic stay at the Bohimean Hotel on the river in Savanna, lunch, buss tour and dinner with Phil & Carol. Tuesday we had a nice breakfast and got going south and across Florida. Top down was great until the temperature hit 101 and then the top went up for shade and to hold the air-conditioning in the car!! We arrived in Indian Rocks Beach at the boat. We were we meet up with our Yacht Club Commador, Dock Master, Priest and friend Fr. Bob --all one great guy. He had open the boat, re-positioned the cushions and turned on the air conditioning and invited us to dinner at his home with his wife PT!! Cant beat that for a Yacht Club and Church!

We are busy getting provisioned and making a few minor repairs, adding a coat of varnish and misc fixens! We are hooking up with some cruising friends (John and Kay) from 'Fresh Ayers") Thursday night in St Petersburg (by car) I hope we will learn a bit of local knowledge of where to go and not to go as we head south next week. We are still up in the air as to our finial destination on this leg of the journey. Might go up the ICW to lake Okochobee to haul out for summer winter layover--or come back to Indian Rocks for summer and in the fall decide on more west coast cruising or bringing Lady around to east coast to stage for our Bahamas trip next spring?! who knows!

Oh! by the way its hot here already--not supposed to get this hot until 'summer' but we hit 98 yesterday and expect high of 88 all week. Humidity is about 80% so not the real summer sweat shop.

Stay Tuned

Packing For Spring Journey
Jim -Fantastic RI Spring Day
04/09/2013, East Greenwich

Nothing special to report. We are packing up the little BMW for our return trip to Indian Rocks. Probably going to start our journey around the Florida Keys and back to East Coast to ready ourselves for a Bahamas Trip.

There and back to see a sunset
Jim in Rhode Island
01/19/2013, Florida

Just to keep this blog somewhat up to date.In January we flew down to Lady for a weekend visit. Stayed with brother Phil and wife Carol and managed to get Lady out for a nice Gulf of Mexico sail and a lovely evening at anchor in Clearwater Bay.
Nothing very eventful this time around-thankfully. I do like the winter weather in Florida much better than summer. The temps in the day were above normal 82 ish and sunny with nice 72 degree evenings--cant ask for better than that.
WE are packing now to head to Italy for the month of February to get in some serious skiing in the Italian Dolomite Alps. If I have internet access I'll post a bit of stuff.

01/31/2013 | Ron Smith
Enjoy your trip.

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