Days on cruise: 251
As forecast, Thursday was a terrible day weather-wise. Here in Tarpon Springs we made it outside for an early jog but got wet at the end. After that it rained hard off-and-on all day, the wind blew fiercely, and the boat rocked. But it was NOTHING like the conditions out on the Gulf! See the National Data Buoy Center screenshot for the buoy used to judge Gulf Crossing Conditions: 15 foot waves with 21.4 knot winds and 27.2 knot gusts. Yikes, we wouldn’t want to be doing a crossing in those conditions!
In historic Tarpon Springs there’s a Classic Car Showroom that features funny mannequins in some of the cars.
Still catches us off guard to find spectacular flower blossoms in January.
Historic buildings engaged in the Sponge Industry.
Friday morning we went for another bike ride, this time into the North Anclote River Nature Park where we also went by dinghy a few days ago. Crushed oyster shell bike and walking paths criss-crossed the park.
Paths generally led to viewpoints on the bayou.
Late Friday afternoon crew of the six remaining Looper boats convened for dinner and games. We all brought something to barbecue (despite the chilly conditions), our own camp chairs, plates, flatware, napkins, drinks, and a side dish to share in true Looper tradition. The side dishes were amazing: LOTS of good cooks in this group!
Then we played Looper Trivia, a game devised by the clever crew on Why Knot, Darrell and Lisa. All 28 questions related to aspects of the Loop in 4 categories, and bonus questions were worth more points.
Thanks to knowledge of such arcane stuff as “What company makes Rotella oil?” (answer: Shell) and “What Department did the U.S. Coast Guard belong to before becoming part of Homeland Security?” (answer: Transportation) and “What agency produces marine charts in Canada?” (answer: Canadian Hydrographic Service), we beat out other contestants and took first prize: two caps from the Turtle Cove Marina where we’re all moored.
Tonight’s gathering was sort of the Last Hurrah for our Gulf Crossing Fleet, as 4 boats, including us, plan to leave tomorrow. Only 2 will remain for a few more days. We hope to meet up with this special group again.