Beatitude’s night at the Sarasota Mooring Field consisted of considerable movement from the chop and passing wakes, but we all slept well. It was, in fact, relaxing being jostled about lightly. We arose rather early, released the mooring ball, and made our way toward the John Ringling Causeway Bridge. This was our fourth or fifth time going beneath the 65’ vertical clearance with our 64.5’ mast, but this was the first time near low tide. I breathed much easier.
It was another cold day with a brisk NE wind that came over the starboard beam fairly consistently all day, chilling the helmsman to the bone. That happened to be me most of the time, but Tracy graciously and willingly agreed to take the helm from time to time. She did an excellent job filling in as the helmsman on a number of occasions. I’m sure you’re tired of hearing how cold it was, but… it was COLD! Although the thermometer read near 60 degrees, with 4 layers on it was still bone-shivering. Tracy, a Pennsylvanian, commented that it felt like it was in the 20s!
We passed through Sarasota Bay, through the Cortez and Anna Maria Island draw bridges, and out into Tampa Bay, picking up a considerable chop once out on the bay. Shortly, we entered the channel for the Manatee River and made our way back to Regatta Pointe. Once we secured the lines, we all cleaned ourselves up to go out for dinner. Our homecoming ritual is usually to clean the boat thoroughly, but we all agreed that we were tired of the cold and Beatitude would have to wait until tomorrow for her cleaning.
We missed a little excitement while we were away. A cute little power boat that reminded Cindy and me of Popeye’s boat has been situated 2 slips down from Beatitude. It had recently been sold to someone up north, but they had not taken possession yet. Well, sometime in the last day or so, it sunk! It was found one morning sitting on the bottom in its slip. It had to be pumped out and towed away, the towing of which we witnessed today upon our return. Apparently, the person who moved the boat to the slip near us, borrowed the power cords and did not plug in the boat to shore power. It is theorized that the batteries died and the bilge pumps would not work. It was an older wooden boat which is likely to have some slow leaks which eventually led to its sinking.
We celebrated our eight-days of pleasure by having a wonderful dinner at Chart House on Longboat Key. We all enjoyed our food – short ribs, snapper, crab legs, crab cakes, shrimp, salmon – and a delicious chocolate lava cake to finish it off. Once back aboard, we played our last round of games (I returned to work the next day, although Julie and Tracy were able to stay for a couple of more days) for the trip. An attempt was made to destroy my undefeated Bananagrams status, but this goal was thwarted as I won once again. Julie and Tracy then beat Cindy and I at Taboo once again (although, we did put up a little more of contest), and Cindy made it two in a row at Golf. A round of rum cake finished off the night and our eight days of pleasure and adventure.
We are so happy that Julie and Tracy came to spend their vacation with us. We all had such a wonderful time. Hopefully, they will join up with us, wherever we may be, for more adventures!