Emerson Point Preserve

My exploring/adventure itch was scratched yesterday by a visit to the Emerson Point Reserve. Cindy and I try to walk at least 3 miles on most days. Upon awakening, in a search for something different, I googled walking trails in the Bradenton area. Of the several suggested trails, the one that caught my eye was located just a few miles from the marina, Emerson Point Preserve. I printed out directions, then off we went for our 2.7+ mile walk along the trails. What a beautiful place!

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The preserve consists of 365 acres located where the mouth of the Manatee River meets lower Tampa Bay. We began by ascending the Portavent Amerindian Temple Mound, built by the ancestors of the Timucua over 1000 years ago. The paths travel through mangroves and live oaks while skirting the Manatee River and Terra Ceia Bay. We noticed that there was a dinghy dock on the Manatee River which we could access by anchoring across from De Soto Point, our usual anchorage on the river. We’ll have to visit again by dinghy in the future.

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We ended our day with a nice dinner of grilled tilapia, grilled green beans, rice, and some California Zinfandel.

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A Day on the Bay with Tim and Annie

Five weeks have passed since we last had Beatitude out on the water. Yesterday, we were able to take her out again. We were so happy that Tim and Annie, our wonderful friends and neighbors on C-Dock, were able to join us yesterday.

Tim and Annie are kindred spirits. Earlier this year, they sold their home and belongings, packed their bags and moved from Texas to Florida, bought a lovely sailboat, and have been living aboard since. They are leaving next month for a circumnavigation. (I must confess that it takes all that is within me to contain my jealousy.) Seriously, we are very excited for them. Come February or so, they’ll be making their way across the Panama Canal on their way to the South Pacific. Hopefully, we’ll meet up with them in some tropical paradise someday.

A calm bay and the Sunshine Skyway

A calm bay and the Sunshine Skyway

Tim and Annie on the Starboard Bow

Tim and Annie on the Starboard Bow

Barry and Cindy on the Starboard Bow

Barry and Cindy on the Starboard Bow

Yesterday was a magnificent day. It was not, however, the most conducive day for sailing. The river and bay were glassy with about 2 knots of wind most of the day. The sails never had a chance to offer their canvas to the wind. Instead, we had a delightful day of motoring down the river and across the bay. We anchored at Egmont Key, dinghied ashore for a little while, and returned to Beatitude for a couple of games of Bananagrams and “Golf.” I took the Bananagrams title and Annie was the golf winner. Afterwards, we returned to the marina and enjoyed a nice dinner together before our day was abruptly brought to a halt by an attack of the “no-see-ums.”

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Egmont Key Lighthouse

Egmont Key Lighthouse

What you don't see is that I was mostly soaked due to a slip in the water pulling the dinghy ashore

What you don’t see is that I was mostly soaked due to a slip in the water pulling the dinghy ashore

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Today’s wildlife sightings included Dolphins, Rays, the usual Marine Birds, Jellyfish, and Gopher Tortoises. The jellyfish were everywhere around Beatitude as we anchored. I was hoping to jump into the refreshing bay waters, but thought differently when it became obvious I would be swimming with a smack of jellyfish. (Did you know that a group of jellyfish are called a “smack”?) It’s amazing what can be learned by reading this blog!

One of hundreds of Jellyfish

One of hundreds of Jellyfish

A dolphin surfaces by Beatitude

A dolphin surfaces by Beatitude

Gopher Tortoise

Gopher Tortoise

Until next time…

Video of our Visitors

Some people watch squirrels play in their front yard. We, on the other hand, watch dolphins.

I was stepping off Beatitude today to head to the hospital for work. About the time my feet hit the dock, Cindy heard a splash. “What was that?” she asked. I turned to look and saw the dorsal fin of a dolphin over our stern quarter. “Dolphins!” I stepped back onto the boat to film this short video of our visitors.

We had grown accustomed to seeing dolphins last fall and winter, but they seemed to disappear from our marina over the summer. Now that cooler weather has returned, they have resumed their visits.

We are also thankful for the cooler weather for other reasons. We can now emerge from our air-conditioned salon and sit out in the cockpit enjoying the cool, less-humid, weather – even in the middle of the day!. What a wonderful time of year!

Enjoy our afternoon guests!