Cruise to BYC and St Pete 10-’09

This is a combination maintenance and cruise North with stops at Long Boat Pass, Bradenton, and St. Petersburg.

We arrived back at the boat Tuesday evening Sept. 29 to find it in a slip at Gasparilla Marina.  With the boat stored for over three months plus being put away as we left it, there was plenty of cleaning to do.  Lou and I did a thorough spring cleaning (even though it is fall) inside and out.  All lockers were emptied and all linens washed and freshened.  It was a 2 1/2 day job.

When the 50amp elec chord was connected, there was a malfunction in the dock connection.  That caused a reversed polarity situation that I figure caused the solid state inverter to blow.  So, before we could leave, it was necessary to remove and install a new inverter.  We were lucky to find the only one within 100 miles.  That was a 4 hour job.  While I did that Lou went shopping with her sister, Sue.

We then did a beach picnic with the Florida Crew to watch the sunset.  It is always good to see Jerry, Karen, Terry, Cheryl, Gene and Sue.  Pictures follow:

You can put your cursor on the picture for a caption.

The Florida Crew at Beach Picnic

Cheryl, Lou, Karen, and Sue

Lou and Sister Sue

The Sunset was our excuse, but we were really there to see the folks.

Having the boat back in presentable shape we were ready to move North.  The Venice YC was booked up, so we elected to move on up and anchor behind Long Boat Pass.  That is between Jewfish Key and Long Boat Key.  It was a 3 hour run with low following seas—-a good ride.  We settled in, had chicken and rice, and watched the sunset.  Pictures from the anchorage follow:

Long Boat Pass Anchorage 1

Jewfish Key

Long Boat Pass Anchorage--That is Sarasota in the distance

Long Boat Pass from the Anchorage

As you can see from the shallow areas, it is a tricky anchorage to get into.  We had about 17′ of water under the boat.  The boat in the distance of the first anchorage shot is beached at low tide for them to walk around and clean the bottom.  When the tide came in it floated off.

The next morning we were off for the forty minute run to Bradenton YC.   We are there for the next three nights.  We ran back out into the Gulf, then back in at Passage Key Inlet, then it was across the South end of Tampa Bay and into the Manatee River. 

Moonstruck on the Wall at BYC

We rested a little, first class diesel mechanic Keven did his majic on the service of the big Yanmars.  He also took care of getting the bow thruster serviced and the brushes changed. 

Our good friends Bill and Jan Evans took care of us with shopping trips and dining at the Yacht Club.  We get there so seldom the club staff doesn’t know who I am.

By the way we won second place at the YC trivia contest on Tuesday night.  The key to our win was knowing where Rocky and Bull Winkle had their home town.  It was Frost Bite Falls, MN.  Don’t ask how we knew.

Jan and Sue at BYC

Sue and Gene at BYC

Bill at BYC

Lou and Don at BYC

Annette Luscumbe played the piano for the entertainment at BYC on Friday night.  Lou and I invited Sue and Gene to be our guests for dinner to hear Annette.  I think I was Annette’s second biggest fan after Bob, her husband ,who was walking around like a proud father.  Great job, Annette!

Annette Luscum at BYC our entertainment for the evening

BYC Pram Fleet Returning

The Bradenton YC cruise to St. Pete was cancelled due to a regatta in St. Pete.  Our St. Pete reservations were in early, so we elected to go on our own.  After a 1 hour run dock to dock we were tied up at St. Pete YC.

St. Pete YC in Downtown

Lou at SPYC

On Saturday Jan and Bill drove up from Bradenton, and we went over to the Don Cesar Hotel on St. Pete Beach for lunch.

Don Cesar Hotel

We rested, did a little exploring, and then some shopping on Sunday.  Monday morning it was time to head back to Gasparilla Marina.  We had a 3 hour run from the SPYC dock to the Boca Grande Pass sea bouy.  From the green marker at the sea entrance to Tampa Bay’s Southwest Channel it was autopilot all the way to the Boca Grande sea bouy.  We didn’t even have to dodge anything.  Then it was a 30 min. run into the marina.

Sunshine Skyway Bridge over Tampa Bay

Bridge with Chart

After returning to Gasparilla there was more maintenance.  A new relay was installed on the center air conditioner and the fuse holder for the port voltmeter was repaired.  I told you it was a maintenance trip.  Seriously, all you folks that live near your boats and have them in the water, we just have to slow down and catch up sometimes.  In spite of this, we really like moving the boat around to different areas.  It makes life interesting if not a little hectic sometimes.  While we are talking about maintenance, we couldn’t be happier with the LED lighting conversion done on Moonstruck.

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