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Truthsayer Voyages
Ringling Museum
03/12/2013, Sarasota, FL

John Ringling built a house on the shore of Sarasota Bay. Not just a house, a palace. He made millions as the owner of the Ringling Bros Barnum and Bailey Circus but went broke in the depression. He was an avid art collector and had thousands of paintings in his museum. When he died in 1936 he bequeathed his estate to the state of Florida, thus thwarting his creditors. The museum and entire estate is now operated by the University of Florida. If you get a chance to visit, don't pass it up.

The picture above was taken at the mansion. It is an architectural combination of Mediterranean and Floridian sitting on the shore of Sarasota Bay. Marina and I had our picture taken by the side entrance.

04/12/2013 | steve Willett
Good to see you all at the Ringling mansion, we went there in 2011 a fantastic place. We are in Apalachicola now we have to be back home mid May so will be turning back West from here. We had some pretty bad weather last night but we are at a marina dock.
Hernando DeSoto was here
03/12/2013, Desoto Point, Manatee River

Spanish conquistador and explorer Hernando DeSoto made landfall near here on the south shore of Tampa Bay in 1539. We arrived slightly later.

There is a National Monument here documenting DeSoto's exploits. He was, like most of the 16th century Spaniards in the New World searching for gold. To say he was ruthless in that pursuit would be putting it mildly. He killed or subjugated the native peoples he encountered, and destroyed his army in the process. They wandered ever deeper into North America, as far north as present North Carolina and west to Arkansas. Along the way two-thirds of his party died, including DeSoto himself.

05/07/2013 | Capt. Jim McManus
You've found one of Tampa Bay's most beautiful anchorages! DeSoto Point is well protected, good holding, and interesting exploration ashore, as you've found.

What a beautiful boat, Gil! I love the classic lines.
Back to Dunedin
02/27/2013, Dunedin City Marina

We returned to Dunedin city marina with a broken bobstay. The lower fitting was called out on the pre-purchase survey in 2007. There was some crevice corrosion beginning so it was removed and repaired. I had been noticing some rust in the last several months and planned to inspect it again when we haul out in the spring. Well, the sea gods had other plans and the fitting failed when the anchor chain pulled taut across the bobstay. Fortunately there was no load on the rig at the time so no other damage. I checked around and found Keller Engineering in Dunedin. I took the failed fitting over to Jud Angelillis. He duplicated the piece in short order at a very reasonable price. I installed the new fitting and re-attached the bobstay. So we are ready to go again.

Merry Christmas
12/19/2012, Dunedin, FL

No political correctness here--we really want to wish all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Gil, Marina, and Tasha

12/25/2012 | Joe Powell
Same to all y'all, My Friend...from all of us back in the Great Northwest...
12/26/2012 | Doug
Back at ya!!!!!.....and, May each day of the New Year be a Christ Mass day for you and yours.
12/29/2012 | MikeK.
Well Happy New Years to you 3 sailors.

We miss you and think of you often.

12/30/2012 | Donald Wood
Happy New Year from Don and Cheryl at Watergate/Clear Lake Shores. We're following your travels and adventures. Take care.
01/01/2013 | steve Willett
Tarpon Springs is one of our favorite Stops great Greek food there I love the octopus carbroiled or in Octopus salad.
Happy New Year.
Carrabelle to Tarpon Springs
11/17/2012, Florida

Did I tell you that the locals at C Quarters know more than the weather bureau? We waited 9 days for a forecast we liked and the locals sorta agreed with. We were a little nervous as this was the longest open-water passage we had planned and we would be farther offshore than ever before. However, we wanted to be in Tarpon Springs before Thanksgiving, so when the trawlers decided they would go, we did too. The forecast was for N winds 10-15 with seas running 1-2 feet. It looked like we might actually get to sail to Tarpon Springs. We departed Carrabelle with a small flotilla of trawlers on the Great Loop and a couple of other sailboats. The first thing we ran into was fog reducing our visibility to about 1 mile. That lifted by late morning, but it remained cloudy. The wind was supposed to clock around to the N, but it never did. It stayed from the E and SE right on our nose. We were getting some waves at 4 ft, so we decided to take the longer route along the coast rather than direct to Tarpon Springs. By nightfall we were a few miles offshore in 3-5 foot seas and 15-20 knots from the E. Some of our flotilla decided to divert to Stienhatchee, but I did not feel comfortable trying to negotiate that narrow channel in the dark, so we pressed on.
Let me say the boat was fine, it was the sailors who were uncomfortable. :-)
Thankfully the autopilot performed flawlessly and we arrived at the Anclote River sea bouy about daybreak. We were wet and tired when we tied up at Port Tarpon marina at 1215. We got showers and hit the sack for about 4 hours. We put 26.2 hours on the engine, having motored the whole way. But we arrived safe!

Waiting for Weather
11/12/2012, Carrabelle, FL

Carrabelle is a good place to wait for a weather window to cross to Tarpon Springs. The town is small, friendly, and has a few interesting tourist sites. We liked the town and especially the crowd around the C Quarters marina. C Quarters is not a fancy place, but the people are great. There are a lot of fisherman who keep boats there or just stop by to have a beer on the porch. We found they are quite knowledgeable about the local conditions and advised against departure when the forecast looked ok. The boats that left on the two days we considered going had a lumpy ride. Finally after 9 days we decided to make the jump.

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