Sailing Miss Dorris

25 December 2007 | Tampa Bay area FL

5 Day Sailabout

25 December 2007 | Tampa Bay area FL
Ben/Weather good except for one "bad" night.
Hi All,

Will post adventures as and when I do something that is fun and interesting......

Had a great gunkholeing adventure for 5 days about Tampa Bay. I have only been a sailer for a couple of years. Basically self taught with a couple basic courses at a local sailing club and a Coast Guard Safety course, On line courses and a PILE of books. Always dreamed of retiring, moving South, owning a sailboat. Well I did it, made it to retirement, moved south, wife enjoys the Condo. and I enjoy my 1984 Hunter 31......I single hand as wife simply doesn't enjoy the simple quiet life on a boat and I do......

Have spent the last year+++ fixing everything on the boat that needed fixing, installing equipment that I wanted on boat, making it a "Old Fart's" paradise......Learning how to use all the systems, the list was endless but during all this, took boat out on short day cruises, a few overnighters in safe anchorages......Grew with the boat and my knowledge. I have a great posse of friends at the very small marina at the condo here and am lucky that one of my friends owns an identical model of sailboat to mine and he being 78 years old and an old Navy "salt"......is a wealth of information.....

For this first year I have had few expectations of how far and what I wanted to do.....I know eventually, I want to go to Key West, the Dr Tortuga's, etc. and hopefully then probably next year go over to the Bahamas for a couple months....but ONE STEP at a time.....

Didn't have a darn thing to do around here the last week as Hanukkah was over, family gone, quiet. I was tired out and needed a break. Wife said get out from under her feet as she needed a break too.....Hummmm Have boat will travel!

Weather looked good (Ha!) so went out got perishable provisions, checked everything and Off I went. Anchored close by to get boat shipshape....Anchored near a small island.....big mistake....A boatload of teenagers decided to have a bonfire and "party" till all hours of the night....You won't believe how sound carries over the water....

Well checked the 11:00 news and weather. Not to worry. Went to bed at 2:00 am. ........Well I should have been more alert but was dead tired and dropped into a deep sleep. Cold front came through, the kind that produces that band of yellow and red on the radar! Woke up with wind HOWLING, boat at a 35 degree list....thinking what the heck! Threw on rain gear, opened hatch and it was hailing, noise like I have never heard, rain horizontal and boat obviously aground....anchor line just hanging by boat. Then just as quickly as it was bad, it was over! Just 15+ knot winds and rain, boat back on even keel......Arrrggggghhhhhh.....

The 50 Knot+ winds cause me to drag anchor ended and I ended up on a sandbar because the tide was the lowest of the year. Realized very quickly, you can do nothing while stuck on a sandbar, go below and check that all is well, no gurgling noises, go back to sleep till morning. As sun and tide came up, was sitting in 3.5 feet of water and needed 4.5 feet to float off. By 8:30 am. noticed boat was starting to bob, water was now 4.5 feet, started engine and motored off the bar, reset anchor, went back to sleep as was pooped...Oh well, Sea tow got another reprieve.......

Other than that one night of EXTREME excitement at 3:00 am., It was wonderful.

Visited several quiet spots, just rested, ate, enjoyed the Pelicans, the Porpoise, the noises of the ocean.......

Spent last night in the Venoy Basin downtown St. Petersburg, FL with about 20 other boats.....Beautiful protected area and lights, the pier, was beautiful along with the full moon, Mars right below it

......On the way home, four Porpoise followed my boat and I swear were playing with me. On actually jumped about 2 feet from me and I am sure drenched me on purpose! Great fun, that made the day.....

So back home for now, have a short list of things to do, fix on boat, then after New Year, I think I will do a longer stint out on the boat and head down south towards Naples as there are several real nice out of the way places to hang my hook and enjoy life.
Vessel Name: Miss Daisy
Vessel Make/Model: 1984 Hunter 31
Hailing Port: South Pasadena, FL
Gallery Error: Unknown Album [1:]:3098
Miss Daisy's Photos -