Two If By Sea

28 April 2016 | Pelican Bay
25 April 2016 | Cape Haze Anchorage
24 April 2016 | Cape Haze Anchorage
22 April 2016 | Sarasota, Florida
20 April 2016 | Sarasota
18 April 2016 | St. Pete Municipal Marina
17 April 2016 | St. Pete Municipal Marina
15 April 2016 | Moon Under Water, St. Pete
14 April 2016 | St. Pete Municipal Marina
11 April 2016 | Marina Jack's, Sarasota
07 April 2016 | Cape Haze Anchorage
05 April 2016 | Cape Haze Anchorage
31 March 2016 | Burnt Store Marina, Punta Gorda, FL
04 May 2015 | Burnt Store Marina
12 April 2015 | Burnt Store Marina
11 April 2015 | Cape Haze
09 April 2015 | St. Pete Municipal Marina
08 April 2015 | St. Pete Municipal Marina
07 April 2015 | St. Pete Municipal Marina

Almost Home

28 April 2016 | Pelican Bay
(Sunrise at Pelican Bay)
We left Cape Haze Tuesday morning for the three-hour run to Pelican Bay. It was an uneventful passage, which is a good thing, and we anchored in the back basin, where four rather large cruising yachts were also anchored. We were surprised to see fewer than 15 boats anchored in the front basin, which can handle over 70 at anchor.
Our plan was to stay a couple of nights and then head back to Burnt Store for a few days. However, we decided to stay just one night and go back to our home port the following morning.
We often refer to Cape Haze as our favorite anchorage. The primary reason is the beach at Don Pedro State Park. It is only accessible by boat. The vast majority who come by boat will walk through the pavilion and set up their chairs and umbrellas within 30 years of the pavilion. It gives the appearance of Ft. Lauderdale on a holiday weekend. Beyond this encampment are miles of natural beach with an occasional walker. Patty and I have been there when we were the only ones on the beach. In addition to the beach, Cape Haze offers terrific protection from the wind in any direction, is surrounded by mostly beautiful homes, and is seldom visited by more than one or two other cruisers at a time.
Pelican, on the other hand, is very popular and is easily within one day’s sail/passage of Punta Gorda, Cape Coral and the Ft. Myers area. The front/main basin always has boats anchored. The back basin seldom has four or five boats anchored. This is due to the fact that access to this basin is difficult due to the shallow water and it is much farther for a dinghy ride to the Cayo Costa State Park docks and there is no area for boaters to take their dogs. Pelican also offers limited protection from southerly and northerly directions. There is a beach but it requires a mile hike or a trolley ride to get there. What it does offer is being able to anchor in a bay surrounded by mangroves. There are no residences. It is difficult to describe the solitude you can experience there.
We have been out for 24 days, so far. Once back at Burnt Store, we will clean the boat u and hope to return to Pelican with some friends. The weather has been unbelievable. We’ve had no rain, slept with a blanket at night and have eaten every dinner in the cockpit, except for one night at a restaurant. This is why April is a perfect time to go cruising in Florida.

Record Visit To Cape Haze

25 April 2016 | Cape Haze Anchorage
We cannot come to Cape Haze without a daily visit to Don Pedro State Park. It is only about a 15-minute dinghy ride, either down the ICW or through the back channel, flanked by interesting homes and boats. The park offers dockage for 12 vessels, covered pavilion, and restroom facilities for, now, $2.00 per person per day. Once there, there are miles of beach for walking and also for us fantastic sharks’ teeth collection. Admittedly, depending on tide, wind and other factors, some days are better than others. During this month-long trip, we were at the beach five days, for about three hours per day. This resulted in a total of 1,414 teeth, with over 400 on Monday alone. Conditions were perfect. Patty even found one tooth about half the size of her thumb. It was a record haul for us.
We leave for Pelican tomorrow morning, one step closer to our home. We plan on being back in the slip on Thursday for a few days. This will give us several days to “turn around” the boat as we plan to go out again Monday for a couple of nights with our friends and neighbors, Brian and Barb, on board. The boat definitely needs some cleaning and reorganizing.
Tonight may be our first rain shower. It’s been predicted before during the trip, but we’ve seen no rain. April is certainly making up for our terrible winter weather. This may be our best April ever.

Never Again On A Weekend

24 April 2016 | Cape Haze Anchorage
(At anchor—Otter Key)
The anchorage at Otter Key has become one of our favorites—a close second to Cape Haze. With very good protection from most directions, and with beautiful homes to the west and mangroves to the east, what more can you ask for. The only problem is that it’s 10 hours from Burnt Store, while Cape Haze is only three hours.
We left Otter Key at 8:00 am Saturday and had a beautiful run until Venice (three hours). There, we picked up a 1-knot current and lots of small boat traffic. You have to transit three bridges through Venice and with the current pushing the boat to the bridge, waiting for an opening, and dealing with small power boats buzzing around you, it is a bit taxing. The rest of the transit was fine until the Englewood/Stump Pass area. For an hour we had to again deal with not only small boat traffic (sober?) but also larger boats throwing out large wakes, which are hard on a sailboat.
We finally arrived at Cape Haze around 3:00 pm. As we pulled in, a marine law enforcement boat had pulled over a flats fishing boat and was searching it. After letting it go on its way, the officers started stopping other boats on the ICW, presumably checking on alcohol or safety issues.
We have travelled this route many times, even over weekends. Never have we had to deal with such boat traffic. Apparently, the economy has fully recovered in southwest Florida. One thing for sure, we will avoid weekends on the ICW in the future.

Leaving Otter Key

22 April 2016 | Sarasota, Florida
Leaving Otter Key for Cape Haze tomorrow. The last three days here have been beautiful, perhaps the best at any anchorage where we have ever been. Until today, the skies clear, little or no wind, only one other boat anchored here last night, cool (blanket) evenings, and low humidity. Rain predicted today but not a drop. We even got in two walks on Lido Beach, a walk through St. Armand's Circle and, yes, ice cream.

Otter Key

20 April 2016 | Sarasota
A brief update: we left St Pete yesterday with 19-mph wind on the nose and 3-4 foot seas. Then, it was on our beam for about two hours when we were able to turn west and the wind lessened and the seas calmed. It was a quiet evening at DeSoto Point on the Manatee River. We are currently at Otter Key for three nights with rain forecasted for Friday. Then on to Cape Haze.

Last Night - Heading to Burnt Store

18 April 2016 | St. Pete Municipal Marina
(St. Petersburg Yacht Club)
This is a yacht club in the true sense of the term. The facility takes up an entire city block. The front half is the club facility itself. The back half is a three-floor parking garage, with valet parking. There are numerous dining rooms, which can all be combined to seat 1,500 diners. The club also maintains 50 sailboats of various designs available for use by the members.
Yesterday, we finally made it to an ice cream store. It’s not that we have been too busy. It’s only about two to three blocks from us. No excuse.
We did our morning walk downtown. It was surprisingly a completely different environment compared to the last three days. There were no crowds and lots of sidewalk seating available. We walked back into town this afternoon for a Starbucks. No difference. This is a wonderful city, with the marina located right downtown and the downtown area beautifully maintained. Patty and I have talked about making this a regular stop on our annual spring cruise.
We are going to start heading south tomorrow. We spent part of the day today getting ready: washing the boat, checking the engine, filling the water tanks, and doing laundry. After we pump out in the morning and stop off at the fuel dock, we will make the short hop back to the Manatee River for Tuesday night. Then, back to Otter Key for a couple of days and on to Cape Haze. After that, it depends on the weather.
We just said goodbye to Patty and Marc. They are on the mooring ball and came over for drinks and snacks. They will remain here until next Monday and start heading south. It is uncertain if we will cross paths until sometime this summer.
With our leaving tomorrow morning, updates on the blog, if any, will be brief and without pictures. It may be difficult to find a wifi signal.
Vessel Name: Two If By Sea
Vessel Make/Model: 1998 Catalina 36 Mk II
Hailing Port: Punta Gorda, Florida
Crew: Patty and David Power
Patty and David moved to Palmetto, Florida from Colorado in 2002. [...]
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Two If By Sea's Photos -

Who: Patty and David Power
Port: Punta Gorda, Florida