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Getting Back in the Swing of Things


We have had a very busy week but are now sitting in the boat as a cold front moves into Florida. A high of fifty degrees (low of 39) does not sound cold to our friends and family in Cleveland and other points north, but here in Florida the winter coats are definitely on display.

Bob humor greeting me in the morning

First, we did make it to Don Pedro State Park and had a lovely night anchored out at Cape Haze. The weather was perfect and I found 34 shark teeth on the beach in less than two hours. Nothing super big but it satisfied my explorer urge. Walking on the beach was calming and my heels have never been so smooth (from rubbing my heels in the sand).

Our sand tent thanks to Bill and Michael - love it. So easy to set up and tear down.

I’ve started practicing yoga again and luckily Libby has joined me. We use an on line class and do it around the pool, looking out on the marina, with the sun blazing down on us, usually. It is very uplifting, and I’m starting to feel like I am getting back in shape. I ride my bike to the pool in order to get around all the construction here. Most times Bob joins me and swims laps while we do yoga. Once it gets a bit warmer I will join him in the pool.

Hannukah decorations at Venice, Florida

Multiple people had mentioned to us that Venice (a Gulf side town 45 minutes north of Burnt Store) was a very cute town that we should visit. The water around Venice is very shallow and there are no good anchoring or mooring options. We have bypassed stopping when traveling by boat to Sarasota, numerous times. So, Tuesday we drove to Venice to check out the town.

Beautiful banyon tree on ourw ay to the beach - Rebekah, notice the t-shirt :)

We were not disappointed. The town was decorated for the holiday but there weren’t a lot of people walking around so we felt safe that we could social distance. We visited a few of the shops, including a CBD store run by a couple from Ohio, and then walked the one mile down to the beach. When we were at Don Pedro, a lady we ran into said that the Venice beach was the shark tooth capital of Florida, so I had great expectations for the beach. When we got there we were at high tide and incoming waves covered up any shells and shark teeth that might have accumulated. Oh well – timing is everything. We did have some great ice cream and visited a terrific bike shop in Venice where we bought a new bell for my bike and cable so that Bob can fix my rusted gear shift.

Kaleidoscope flower treatment at Venice town center.

We ended the day with a trip to the Sarasota Costco and got back to Burnt Store in time to watch the finale of The Bachelorette – my guilty pleasure. Go Taisha!

We had a lovely sunset cruise on Wednesday evening. Our original plan was to go out mid-day but the weather was perfect for waxing the smooth areas of the boat and since rain was in the forecast for later in the week, we decided to take advantage of the day and cross one more thing off our list.

Gennaker rolled up with color still showing

Gennaker rolled out while sailing

We are still playing with the gennaker, trying to get comfortable adjusting her to make best use of the wind and winding her in and out on the roller furling. Unfortunately, when we wind her up at the end of a sail we can still see some of the blue and white fabric of the sail and we shouldn’t as it should be inside the white sun protection material. We might have to send it back to the sail loft to get fixed – which would be a real pain.

24 ft corsair SEA P A - Doesnt she look fast?

Thursday morning we got a call from Jim, the owner of a 24 ft. Corsair trimaran docked nearby in Punta Gorda. A Corsair dealer on the east coast had given us his name so that we could see and have a test sail on the Corsair rather than making a 5 hour round trip drive to the east coast. We are playing with the idea of buying one to keep in Cleveland for the summers. The boat is very fast, trailerable and would not require a lot of upkeep (for a boat) when compared to the Freedom 38. We would not have to have the expense of a dock or winter storage as we could keep the boat in the backyard on a trailer.

Sheila steering the boat. Notice the wake?

Jim Forrester - our host

Jim called around 8:30 am and said if we could be there by 9:30 am he could take us out for an hour sail. You don’t have to ask us twice – we were out the door! Bob has been enamored with the boat since he first read about it. I think the ability to go fast in virtually no wind is what intrigues him. I must admit I had the tiller going 9.5 knots in about 11-12 knots of wind and you really didn’t feel exactly how fast you were going. There is plenty of room to sit or lie down the trampolines – it would be a fun boat to have in Cleveland if we can find one that is priced right and the launching and taking down do not take too much time so that it can be easily trailered. We need to do some additional research. In the meantime Jim, who is new to sail boat ownership, knows that he can call on us anytime he wants to sail and needs crew.

We have become very comfortable with our dock neighbors: Mike and Peggy on a Catalina 350 from Michigan and David on a Beneteau 36(?) who actually lived for a while in Ohio. The bird poop has slowed down or we have gotten used to spraying off once a day and we enjoy not having to fight for a parking spot in the north basin - so staying on E dock was the right choice for us.

Christmas eve day I made challah and gave a loaf to each of our neighbors. Hope they enjoyed it as much as we did. Christmas day we continued our movie and Chinese food tradition with the girls – virtually.

Four fresh challot. YUM

Did I mention that Monday night we played bingo and Bob won a $25 gift certificate to the restaurant? We miss our girls and family and friends but feel very blessed to be here. More to come…..



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