Well let’s just say hmmmmm. My last post about the Manatee swim has disappeared. So I don’t know what date I left at. I believe it was Bradenton so hear it goes.

12/16 We departed Bradenton on a nice sunny day. We waited until the tide was up completely for 2 reasons. First, the water is quite shallow going into Bradenton River off the Mantee River. Second we can ride the tide all the way down the river to Anna Maria Island. We only travel about 18 miles and we head into Palma Sola Bay for the night. The bay is very shallow and there is a junction where there are 3 sets of channel markers to access three sections of the bay. Boy do you really need to understand the aids to navigation rules and stay in the channel. Not fun but we made it back to a beautiful anchorage for the night. We witnessed a very strange phenomenon, we saw thousands and when I say thousands I mean THOUSANDS of birds flying in a pack. They just kept coming, it was incredible.

12/17 A daily check of the weather and I start to track a possible huge wind coming in on the 21st. Huge meaning possible winds upwards of 50mph. We depart our anchorage mid morning on a breezy but sunny day headed to Otter Key. We transit Sarasota Bay and reach our anchorage around 2:30. Our Dash another looper is there as well. We are going to stay the weekend because the weather is supposed to be beautiful and all the weekend boaters will be out in full force. We drop the dinghy and head to town St. Armands Key. We have been there before, but we really want to see how close the beach is, Lido Key Beach here we come. Plans for tomorrow, beach bums.

12/18 The weather check verifies that the wind is still predicting to blow, so I start my search for a Marina to stop and take refuge. We pack all our needs for the beach and head off around 10. Did a little stunt kite flying when we first arrived because we had a nice breeze. Relaxed and swam the rest of the day. Left around mid afternoon to clean up and have an early dinner because we are going back to Armand Circle to check out the holiday lights. Our Dash has departed and Bar-B-Q another looper has arrived. Let’s just say Marie was disappointed with the exterior illumination, but we made it better with some gelato. Couple of brothers straight from Italy opened a shop and it was sooooooo good!

12/19 I decide to change the oil in the generator. Easy Peasy, not so much. After changing the oil and starting her up I notice a leak. This is not good in my world. We have a Mase Generator a product out of Italy. Maybe I can recruit the gelato guy to fix it. I know bad joke, but I needed to find some humor here. So I track it to a possible hose leak or an impeller leak or who knows what leak. The hose leak is interesting, I can see one end of the hose but can’t find the other. Oh , did I tell you that Mase puts all their generators in a housing box. So now you have to be super Gumby to work on the thing. I quickly access that this is WAY above my pay grade and need a generator guy, yeah right! OH, and another check on the weather reveals that the winds are still coming.

12/20 We depart Otter Key and head to Palm Harbor Marina in the Engelwood area of Florida. A nice 40 mile ride with dolphin and much bird life. We pass through Venice which brought a heavy heart. We were to meet up with our friend Pat from Boston but he passed last April. We attended his services while we were in Rhode Island so we took his Mass card and have him on the boat with us in spirit. We miss you Pat! We arrive around 3ish get secured and I give the boat a well needed bath, ahhhhhhhhh. We tender ride over to Palm Island only accessible by tender or ferry. We have dinner at Rum Bay. Food was fair however Marie loved the rum smash!

12/21 Well the blow has begun and we are talking sustained winds at 30 to 40 mph with gusts recorded at 77mph. You know the ferry I told you about well they got blown off course and were stuck in the channel for quite sometime. The bridges in Punta Gorda were closed, vessels on mooring balls were being blow loose, there were several vessels that sank. It blew hard until around 3 in the afternoon and then winds died down to a mere 15 to 20 mph. We were scheduled to leave the following day but decided to stay another as the winds was going to continue to blow at a steady 15 mph. We enjoyed the day with Tony Mello a friend from Rhode Island. We also spent time in the hot tub as well.

12/23 We departed Palm Harbor at 9:30 and traveled the 50 miles to Ft Myers’s Yacht Basin. It is here we are scheduled to have the generator repaired. Augustin from One Time Marine will be at the boat on Christmas Eve at 9 am. I called Mase and they put me in touch with the only certified tech for them. If I decided to go back to work hahahahahaha I will definitely be looking at a position in logistics. Being on the loop and having to deal with boat issues is like hitting a moving target. You hear responses like can’t look at it until the after the first of the year. But you don’t understand I can’t tell you if I will have a slip anywhere after the 1st.

12/24 Happy Holidays to all. Happy to report that Augustin has repaired the generator and I am a lot less stressed out! The impeller was rotted and the ribs were tracked down deep into the hoses.

Not many pictures, but you can see how bad the impeller was deteriorated.

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