|The nice heated swimming pool here at Fishermen's Village Marina|
|Fishermen's Village Yacht Basin. Our slip is on the right hand dock, almost all the way to the end.|
|This is the long dock we walk a few times each day. It is .2 miles each way to the boat.|
One aspect of the Cruising lifestyle that I was not looking forward to was the fact that we would be stuck without a vehicle. This has turned out to be a blessing, not a curse. We have really enjoyed working out how we get places by either walking or riding a bike. They have had bikes we can borrow for free at each of our last two marinas. We have done a great deal of sightseeing, shopping, going to church and even attending music festivals without a car.
We have had the opportunity to spend some time with our friends, Wayne and Michele. We are still amazed when we think about how we saw each other at the Pelican Bay anchorage back in November. I had not seen Wayne in 14 years. I have enjoyed playing some more Pickleball with Wayne's group. They are much better players and I have learned a lot. If you are reading this Wayne and Michele, I really hope our travels cross paths again. Thanks for the hospitality.
We have enjoyed our time in Punta Gorda, but just like every time we spend more than a week anywhere, we are ready to get on the move again. Our plan is to leave here on Sunday, February 23. We will not be able to depart until close to noon. We will have to wait for high tide. When we are at low tide here in the marina, our keel is sitting on the bottom. We are only planning to make about 20 miles the first day, probably going back to Pelican Bay. The next morning we should have the right wind to head north up the coast to Venice, Florida. We will anchor there for the night and then get going early the next morning and sail all the way to Bradenton. We plan to see some friends there for a day or two and then move north to Gulfport, Florida. We will closely watch the weather and if all holds, we will try to cross the Gulf of Mexico from around Tarpon Springs to Carabelle between March 1-4. We should have a buddy boat with us for that overnight sail. The weather services are calling for good conditions at that time, but who knows this far out. Then we will sail along the Florida panhandle coast to Pensacola. At that point, we will duck inland and motor on the ICW to the Gulf Shores area and meet up with family that is coming down to the area. We are hoping that the weather allows all of this to happen.
|SHIFT is champing at the bit, ready to go! You can see in this picture that our boot strap is above the water line indicating that we are sitting on the bottom.|
My next entry will be the first part of the story of our trip north to Alabama. I have studied the weather and think we have a good weather window, I sure hope the forecast is close to accurate.
|One last beautiful sunset from Punta Gorda, Florida|