We decided to stay at Crystal River for an extra day because we had such a wonderful experience with the Manatee. Another reason was once again the fog was thick and not going to lift until later in the morning. We had a nice lunch with fellow looper Godspeed and Adventure Awaits. Haven’t seen them in months so it was nice catching up. We used our Cooper Anchor on our dinghy for the first time while swimming with the Manatee. The anchor preformed flawlessly, a big shout out to our partners at Cooper Anchor.
12/9 We decided to depart Crystal River even though the fog was in. It was to lift by 10 and it even lifted before that. The wind out of the south was blowing around 10 to 12 mph chopping the gulf up to about 1 footer very 2-1/2 seconds. The waves on the nose presented no problem for the crew or boat. Unfortunately we were running in fairly shallow waters so the hazard for the day was crab pots. People ask why the problem, we’ll pots are marked with small 8” styrofoam balls. They do not use very defining colors so they are quite difficult to spot. Couple that with the density of pots you feel like you are dodging them all day. The 81 mile run to Dunedin, FL was very stressful, but our gulf crossing was completed, ahhhhhhhhhhh.
12/10 We depart Dunedin and cruise a whopping 11 miles to Indian Rocks Beach. We stop to visit our friend Todd from Little Rhode Island. Marie and I went to e beach before meeting up at the boat. We went to a couple of local watering holes and visited Todd’s house s well.
12/11 We wake to fog once again but it lifts quickly. We head out and go to the harbor in Gulfport. Another short cruise of only 17 miles we arrived around 11:30am. We drop the dinghy and head to town, great little place. Lots of cool shops and eateries, we decide to have a late lunch at a nice Mexican restaurant, the food was great. Headed back to the boat for a while, then headed back to shore to go to the Christmas golf card parade, lots of fun. We decide to stay another night as the annual Christmas boat parade will be the following day.
12/13 Fog again and it lingers until late morning. Once we depart we are headed to Bradenton to visit with friends from RI, Steven and Gail Chatfield. We arrive to a welcoming committee and tie up to their community dock. We arrive with a huge bag of laundry just like college kids coming home. We had a wonderful meal, ps Gail is 100% Italian catch where this is going, mmmmmmmm. The wind is up and keeping us at the dock, more mmmmmm. Our hosts are very hospitable, Thanks so much words can not express how much we appreciate it.