Thursday, December 5, 2019

Tampa to St. Petersburg

We stayed about 2 days longer in Tampa than we originally intended. Largely because is was *such* a cool city. Our buddy boater friends have told us that one of the goals for them on the Great Loop is looking for their "forever home." We may have found ours.

But not anytime soon, mind you. We have more boating to do!

We decided to make our way back along the bay a bit, to make "crossing our wake" a shorter trip. St. Petersburg is a highlight for many boaters, but tough to get into this time of year. Additionally, this weekend is a boat show, making it even tougher. However, the hotel, the Renaissance Vinoy, has a marina, and spaces. Not cheap, but there you go.

Look close -- that's a chicken in a tree. In Ybor.
Tomorrow we'll attend the boat show. These are wonderful places to learn about new technologies and get references for any upgrades or modifications you want to make. We have a list. For example, we'd like a water heater (or heater in general) that uses its own diesel motor instead of needing to run the generator. Our RV had such a thing. Very efficient, and much quieter.

Russ helping himself to beer at Oak & Stone.
You help yourself to beer, including samples.
We think, if the weather is good, we'll do it Saturday -- finish the loop! All we have to do is cross Tampa Bay and we're officially gold loopers. We have the flag already. We've been hesitating because we are in the process of purchasing a slip on Longboat Key. It would be really nifty to cross our wake and pull right into it. It won't be quite ready (still some paperwork, and a renter who's going to have to move his boat). However, the marina is willing to comp us a slip in the interim. So, yay!

The trip from Tampa was only a couple of hours. With the exception of passing two tug boats, there wasn't any traffic to speak of. Or incidents. Parking was a bit tricky only because (yet again) we're in a crazy narrow slip. I'm to the point where we just break out a jar of Vaseline, rub her down, and look out!
Just wave your armband in front of the tap and it knows
you are the one pouring. When you're done, hand over the
band, and the waitress adds your beers to the tab.
It's like an adult Disneyland!

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