We arrived back in Palmetto, Florida on October 17. We rented a car at the airport in St. Petersburg to be dropped off at the Enterprise office in Bradenton. After stopping at the boat to turn on the refrigeration, we headed to Walmart to buy non-perishable foods. We were hoping to buy enough food to last us most of the winter. We filled two shopping carts. The bill came to right at $500. Our rent car was actually a small 4 door pickup. We filled the back seat and covered the floor of the bed.
Kim was not sure it would all fit, but this boat continues to amaze us. It all fit with room to spare. We would need that additional room.
|This picture shows about half of the non-perishable food we purchased.|
When we arrived in Florida, there was a tropical disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico that was soon upgraded to Tropical Storm Nestor. The storm was going north of us, but we were expecting some storm surge and wind and rain. We were up a few times during the Friday night/Saturday morning checking dock lines and watching the water rise. We only got about a foot of storm surge and some hard rain, but not much wind...yet.
All looked good, so we headed over to Tampa to by a wetsuit that I had found on Facebook Marketplace for about a third of new price. It turned out to be in perfect condition and should be perfect for me to get in the water when it is cold to do what needs to be done. On our way back, we noticed the wind had picked up significantly. By the time we crossed over the SkyBridge it was blowing at least 30 to 40 mph. When we arrived at the marina I did not like what I saw. The wind was at the worst direction. Right through the mouth of the basin. Our boat was right in line with the wind and we had no protection, because we had no boats on our starboard side. We were getting pushed hard into our port side pilings and had a small scuff mark on the rail. We spent a few hectic minutes tightening our lines and getting our fenders in the best possible places.
|Here is a shot looking down to the mouth of the basin.|
|The wind gauge showing 30.6 knots. We saw sustained winds of 30 knots with gusts about 35.|
We now have a new boat behind us when we back out. This is an even larger sport fishing boat. with a jet ski and a skiff on the bow.
We invited Don and Kim, the former owners of our boat, out for a day of sailing. Wednesday, October 23 looked like a perfect day. We had a nice north wind that brought in some cooler weather. We had a strong wind at between 15 and 20 knots. It was an exciting ride as we crossed Tampa Bay a few times. The wind eased as we headed for the marina, but the perfect direction allowed us to sail right up the river to the marina for the first time. We had an awesome day with great people. I really liked having the experienced extra hands. We need to do more of that.
|Don and Kim, our new friends. We certainly hope to spend more time with you as our path cross in the future.|
|This will be the "Before" picture. You can see how calm the marina looks on a normal day.|