Thursday, January 17, 2013

Puttering in Tarpon Springs

Days on cruise: 249


Memsahib, part of our gulf crossing fleet, left Tarpon Springs yesterday, as did Limelight. Sareanna left the day before, so our numbers are dwindling, down to 6 from 10.

Wednesday was our fourth day at Turtle Cove Marina in Tarpon Springs following our overnight Gulf Crossing last Friday. It’s a nice small town, and we’re finding plenty to keep us occupied.


Sea-n-Red on the left, and Proud Lady on the right, with Don from Limelight standing in the middle.

First a brief re-visit of the Gulf Crossing: we’ve gradually learned that 6 of the 10 boats that crossed together had a seasick crewmember on board, and the folks who didn’t get sick describe our crossing as “no fun, not easy, but ok overall”, while those who got sick thought “it was awful!”  That isn’t surprising, but points out the need even for people who never or rarely get seasick to consider taking precautionary measures (dramamine or scopalamine or something!) before undertaking the Gulf Crossing in any but the mildest of conditions. For Cathryn, this was the first time she’s been seasick in our more than 5,000 Loop miles, though we’ve been in rougher weather before (remember those 8-foot waves we survived in a squall in the the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of New Jersey?)


The Zone above, our Big Sister Ship, parked next to the Tiki Hut where we spend our evenings in various forms of debauchery.

Monday we heard from Looper buddies Barbara and Craig on “Blue Heron” that they, along with Stephen and Charlotte on “Jackets II” had arrived in Carabelle and were ready to make their Gulf Crossing on Wednesday. We exchanged  phone calls, text messages and emails regarding crossing strategy, weather, routing and such. We were eager to see all of them again and prepared to catch their lines on arrival after their fast, daylight crossing of approximately 10 hours, traveling mostly at 20mph. Very sadly, in the final hours the weather turned worse, much worse, and the crossing was cancelled. Now they await another weather window in Carabelle. Sad!


Tuesday we puttered around the boat doing chores, went for a jog, walked to town for a little shopping, and 15 of us Loopers ended the day at “Rusty Bellies” for dinner. Guess what a Rusty Belly is?  A type of Grouper (fish)!


Wednesday saw more chores, broken up by a 3-hour dinghy ride to explore the Anclote River and nearby mangroves. We beached the dinghy at a pretty park and nature preserve and had a picnic lunch. 


Once we knew Blue Heron and Jackets II wouldn’t arrive Wednesday, we planned to leave Tarpon Springs and head south, but today’s weather calls for rain with 11-foot waves on the Gulf and 25-35 mph winds, so we’ve decided to stay put for the time being. Our next destination is an anchorage, so we’d rather be tied securely to a dock than tossed about on a chain!


Our morning jogs take us south from the marina, away from the historic and very touristy section of Tarpon Springs into the upscale Whitcomb neighborhood.


This area is a mix  of large historic homes, some apartments and new homes, many with a view of the bayous that are everywhere here.


We understand the Florida real estate market is “improving”, but there are still lots of houses for sale.  If you look at the house in the background above you can see what’s probably in the future for the modest home in the foreground across from the water.


The future.  Its 20,000 square feet if it’s an inch.


Finally, we try to stay away from politics in the blog, but occasionally show something like the bumper sticker above that illustrates the divisions that are part of our country.

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