Going to the Circus City! Sarasota Flordia

We finally got away from the Gulfport FL/St. Pete area and headed to Sarasota FL. **** We cannot say thank you enough to Bob and Ellen in Gulfport who helped us so much, and provided such great hospitality. They even introduced us to some other boat folks too. ****  We ended up at the Sarasota Mooring Field that is managed by Marina Jacks.  We opted for a mooring ball at $25.00 per day vs $2.75 per foot.  That for us would be $104.50 per day!  It is a short ride in via dinghy to the marina.  For the $25.00 I get the same amenities, showers, shuttle service, restaurants etc.  The bathrooms are nice, each have an individual private bathroom with shower.  I am glad some of those mega yachts can afford to pay for all this for us to enjoy. The only down side is there are numerous dinghys at the dinghy dock that have been left there by the mooring field peeps.  Some it would appear for a long time by the growth on them.  They really need to manage this better. The marina is right in the mid…

Cruising is not all Sunsets, Beaches, and Cocktails!

We are in the St. Pete area and have been for the past week.  The trip here from Tarpon Springs with a slight stop over in John's Pass was really uneventful.  We stayed in John's Pass for a couple of days to see what all they had, which was mostly all tourist stuff. 

So, let me tell you the story of the week.

We moved to an anchorage across from Gulfport, Florida, which is next to St. Petersburg.  First day or so little to no issue.  We meet up with some boating friends of Ladye Jane who moved here from Texas,  Ellen and Bob.  They ran us around for a few errands which was a big help.  We then hooked up with some other friends, Jim and Cat,  from Texas who were down looking at powerboats.  We went out for some drinks and dinner, and enjoyed visiting with them.  The next day we went to the Tampa Boat show with them, which was fun to do and look at some boats we could never afford.  Ellen offered her washer and dryer so we went over to their house and did some laundry, Ken and …

Last week in Tarpon Springs.

Tarpon Springs was such a fun place to have stayed during our adventure.  Our extended stay was caused by a Low Pressure system that was coming from East to West across Florida. Causing winds or suppose to cause winds up to 40 mph.  We were in such a protected place, and with the TS forming in Mexico that turned into Hurricane Nate we decided to stay put for a while.

The St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church was amazing with all the stained glass, paintings on the ceiling and the Icons around the church.  There was a staff member there that answered questions for us about the church and services.  I found it interesting they still use the same service since the 4th century.  They also sing the entire service.  We also leanred that St. Nicholas also being Santa Claus is also known asNikolaos the Wonderworker, and the Patron Saint of Sailors. 

It was time to venture out further and see more local attractions so we jumped aboard the Clearwater  Jolly Trolley which runs from Tarpon Springs al…

Greece in Florida?

Tarpon Springs, Florida is the Sponge capital of the world. In 1905, John Cocoris introduced the technique of sponge diving to Tarpon Springs by recruiting divers and crew members from Greece. The first divers came from the Saronic Gulf islands of Aegina and Hydra, but they were soon outnumbered by those from the Dodecanese islands of KalymnosSymi and Halki. The sponge industry soon became one of the leading maritime industries in Florida and the most important business in Tarpon Springs, generating millions of dollars a year. The 1953 film Beneath the 12-Mile Reef, depicting the sponge industry, took place and was filmed in Tarpon Springs.

We brought Imagine from Port St. Joe to Tarpon springs.   We anchored at the end of the peninsula of the state park in Port St. Joe. At 5 AM we left followed the channel out into the Gulf of Mexico.  Winds were projected to be light and only in our favor for the first day.  It is a 33 hour or so crossing and we planned on averaging 5.5 knots.  Wi…

Living on the hook and moving on down the coast

So far this has been such a awesome transition for us.  We spent a few days at St. Andrews Marina in Panama City Fl..  Very nice marina with good facilities. The staff were very friendly and helpful while we stayed there.  The bathrooms are clean and pretty nice.  It is just a bit of a walk to the facilities from the transient docks.

We were lucky some great friends of ours have there boat there also and they had a rental car.  This is a big deal for cruisers to have a free ride! We made a run to West Marine to get some parts to fix a item that broke while making the trip from Galveston, Tx.  Also, we made a quick run to Wal-Mart to get some provisions before we headed back to the marina.

My brother and his wife brought us my water-maker I had forwarded to his address in the Destin area.  We had a good visit with them and my niece and nephew also.  We went out to a local restaurant for a bite to eat.  The one thing is there are several local restaurants within walking distance from th…

The Lines have been Cut! #Cruisinglife

Imagine has actually cut the lines!  We have made the jump! Living the Life! #Cruisinglife, #liveaboard, #USVI and all the other hashtags and catch phrases there is. Carol and I have worked hard to get to this next adventure in our life. The friends we have made in Texas are friendships that will last a lifetime.  We will truly miss their company, but the friendship will live on while we share our adventures with them.  
Imagine found a weather window between Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma to move to Florida. There are some alternate routes built into if ole Irma decides to change paths and mess things up.  We take weather seriously, but you have to move on so you plan for what you know, and what you do not know.  Guess what?  We used one of our plans to stop to wait out upcoming weather.  The wind switched more E to NE  which is the way we were going.  The wind picked up to 23 kts max with sustained in the high teens.  The waves were 4-6 ft with a few that would get a bit bigger…

Hurricane Harvey ****UPDATE****

Imagine was suppose to have a departure date of  August 26th, 2017 around 11 AM.  Hurricane Harvey had other plans for us.  This storm had been tracked for a long time, and I surely thought once it hit Yucatan Peninsula it would die.  Harvey is a Zombie, came back to life with the very warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and headed for Texas.  One thought was to leave now, but the fear of being sucked back in was to great.  We prepared for the storm, uncertain of the exact landfall and continued watching weather and models of the storm.

Landfall was between Corpus Christi, Rockport , and Port Aransas, the pictures have been devastating of the damage. Homes, marinas, boats, and families destroyed by the power of the storm. For Imagine, we are on the dirty side of the storm about 150 miles away.  Wind max for us was 40 kts, most of the time it was between 20-30 kts., caused no problems for us.  Galveston Bay was stirred up and had very large swells.  Rain was off and on all day Thursday a…