Thursday, October 24, 2019

The Adventure Will Begin Soon, But First a Storm

I know in my last entry, I said that the next entry would be the beginning of our trip south for the winter. I decided to add at least this one entry to chronicle the last two weeks before we leave the marina.

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.
On Friday the 18th, we were up early and on the road to St. Pete to pick up our sails. That went well and then we hit the West Marine and Home Depot for a few needed hardware items for the boat. Then it was off to Walmart again for the perishable items. We spent another $200 to bring the total on food to $700. We put a lot of thought into what to buy that would be in good shape as we travel. I hope it all works.

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. 
The wind lasted most of the rest of the day, but thankfully shifted to more out of the south and that gave us more protection.

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. 
Today, we had lunch with Mike, our former broker and now our good friend. Mike has been so great to work with and has kept up the great advice. We had heard he was having a health challenge and wanted to say. "See you later" before we left. If you read this, All the best, Mike! Thanks for everything. We asked Mike to take our picture on our boat before he left. It seemed fitting for him to take it.

This will be the "Before" picture. You can see how calm the marina looks on a normal day. 
It looks like we may have one more little adventure before we leave the marina. I may get to write about that in my next entry.


  1. Now that you are stocked up and ready to go we'll be looking forward to reading about you new adventures as you set sail to different far away destinations.
    Be Safe and Enjoy the adventures.

    It's about time.

    1. Thanks for stopping by the blog. We hope to have some great stories to tell.

  2. That is a lot of groceries! There is always things to worry about no matter what you are doing. Glad to see that Nestor missed you guys. Looking forward to reading your adventures on the water!

    1. It was amazing how much planning it took to buy that much without buying too much stuff that would go bad.