Saturday, November 30, 2019

Gulfport to Tampa

Technically, we're going the wrong way. We're supposed to be heading south, and in just 15 short miles we'd cross our wake. However... my niece who came to visit last week got held up by the snow storms in Denver, and got to stay and extra week. She changed her departure location from Orlando to Tampa and came with us for one more boat ride.

This morning we all woke up at my parent house in The Villages. We left there are 8 am, got to Gulfport around 10 am. Russ took the rental car back, and we were casting off lines close to 11:30. Originally we planned on doing this tomorrow. However the weather today was absolutely stunning. Warm, calm, smooth seas. So we opted to do this a day early.

We went up the right side, only to have to turn around
and to up the left side.
And hey, we get an extra day to spend in downtown Tampa, which is thriving, active, and bustling.

We had a wonderful day. As promised the weather was awsome. We also had quite a few dolphin escorts throughout the day.

The map of our travels doesn't quite show the end. We travel by a technology called Navionics. We enter an ending destination and, with knowledge of our length, beam, and draft, it plots us a course. Today, however, is the first time it failed us, not taking our height into account. We were within tens of feet of the marina, but between us were two fixed bridges, each about 10 feet high. We're a 17 foot tall vessel.

So, we had to go all the way around the island and back up the other side. A first for us, despite how much time we've spent doing things. It's always something.

Russ hailed the marina. They didn't respond. We hailed them again, no response. And a third time. As this point we could see the marina. I told Russ I was just gonna park it, which would probably get someone's attention. I pointed at slip dead ahead and aimed for it. As we approached, a guy came running out onto the finger pier, waving his arms to get our attention. He hollered, "Who are you?" Russ hollered back, "Cat-n-Dogs!" The guy pointed at the very slip I was aiming for. I spun her around and backed in, lickety-split.


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