Days on cruise: 248
We’re happy to be in a place where the sky is sunny, and temps are 80-ish in the afternoon, 60-ish at night. Hard to beat in January, especially when a cold front at home in Seattle has temps in the 20s and 30s.
Time in port is not all touring, eating and drinking. Boaters always have a list of chores ranging from routine cleaning or maintenance to repairs. We try to spend some time every day we’re in port working on the list. It helps keep it from getting too long.
Monday morning was chain painting time. Our anchor chain has small plastic tags and red/white/red paint every thirty feet, so that as you pay out anchor rode, you know how much you’ve put out. The paint had become badly faded, so Bob pulled the entire chain, 150 feet, out of the anchor locker using the electric windlass and laid it out on the grass. Sunday he spray-painted the appropriate spots, let it dry overnight, then turned the chain over and painted the undersides Monday. After the grass is mowed a couple times there will be no evidence of his work!
But “all work and no play makes for a dull crew” so late Monday morning we took off down the Pinellas County Trail on our bicycles. As in many parts of the country, this trail is a former railroad bed, converted to a bicycle-pedestrian trail. We were accompanied by Don and Anita from “Limelight” and Buddy and Phyllis from “Sea-N-Red”. We love the 2% or less grade these former railroad trails offer, making it easy riding with no hills.
Lots of little lagoons with birds along the way, and Spanish moss-covered trees everywhere.
A whimsical trail marker,
and flowers in bloom in January! We rode about 9 miles, had lunch, and rode back. Felt good to get some exercise.
And then there was a Bachelorette Party! Laura and Ross on “The Zone” are getting married next week, so on short notice the 8 Gulf Crossing Admirals (that would be the women) decided to throw a party for Laura. We convened at the hot tub at 7:00pm with food, wine and gifts, which made Laura a tiny bit teary-eyed with emotion and happiness. We wrapped her in a boa decorated with red hearts,
each took a turn giving her our very best advice for how to ensure a long and happy marriage, (this group has been married from 12 to 47 years) and whiled the evening away with “girl talk”. It was great fun, and this group of women feels a special bond with one another having survived the Great Gulf Overnight Crossing of 1-11-13 together!
Meanwhile, the men kidnapped Ross off his boat and gathered for beers at the Tiki Hut where we’ve convened for cocktail hour the past few nights. A good time was had by all!