Old Florida charm...Anna Maria Beaches
We have just retuned from our annual trip to Europe and desperately needed to get out onto the water again. With our eldest daughter very pregnant with our third grandchild on the way (2 or 3 weeks to go), we decided a close venue was in order. One where an quick dingy trip and an Uber could get us to her speedily if need be! Of course, leaving the dock always takes preparation and time and this weekend was no different. Yesterday, with Shaun having to work, I gave the boat a bath and made sure all the laundry, dishes and chores were done. We had guests coming on board in the evening too - so I had to set up for them as well. I went grocery shopping and bought all sorts of healthy wholesome (whole) foods to take with us on our trip. Delicious salads, fresh fruits and veggies and some smoothie options. Had a quick swim with my parents and our eldest Grandson who is 3. They are visiting from South Africa to be here for our new little girls arrival. I made sure to have provisions for our little Mr Petes too. Later on we set our path for the trip on the iPads, had our friends over and got to bed by 11.30 which was great! In the morning, we left our dock and stopped next door at Hula Bay to pump out and refuel before setting sail at 11.30am…a little late for us but it was okay. Being summer, we had to deal with some of the mild passing showers, but nothing bad at all. We went under the Sunshine Skyway to get to Anna Maria, so that was exciting! We got to Passage Key at around 2.45 and anchored out. I made a delicious salad which we enjoyed in our dining room. After coffee, took a little nap and then moved to our mooring for the night up the Manatee River. We anchored out and immediately took Mr Peets in the dingy to go potty. There is a dingy dock that is attached to a state park and archeological site which is stunning and such a surprise find!. It had beautiful decked walkways and huge trees. I’m sure Mr Peets loved it too! We had sundowners and watched THE most gorgeous pink and red sunset ever! We always marvel at how spectacular they are almost every day, all so different, but tonights was magical. We even aw a cross in the clouds that matched a cross at Desoto park on land. We enjoyed a wonderful salmon and asparagus dinner and fell into bed! In the morning we had our breakfast, checked on a few things (our navigation night light somehow stopped working) before moving back to Passage Key at about 10am for a few hours to swim and play in the water. This island is a bird sanctuary and is protected, so you can swim there but you can’t actually walk the land. Very busy on the weekends! After spending a few hours in the water, we travelled about 30 min or so to go and have lunch at one of our Fav restaurants on the Island, The Sandbar. Casual dining on the sand in your swimsuit if you like. Its a must!. We let Mr Petes swim and so did we before heading to our anchorage for the night at Bird Key in Terra Ceiga. A quiet and very sheltered spot - but quite far to find a place for the doggie park. We left at about 4.45 and were on the hook by 6pm. After a divine bath on our top deck, we made pizzas on the grill, washed down with a couple of glasses of red wine :o) We lay on the front deck and watched the stars in the open sky. A beautiful evening for sure! After quick bathroom run via dingy for Mr Pete’s, we pulled up anchor at 8.30 and set sail towards home. The tide was heading out and we were already in very shallow waters. Another stunning day fav us great traveling waters and blue skies without much wind.