Gulport and Bradenton River
It is so hard to believe that a year has already passed since we spent our first night aboard our lovely motor yacht. As excited as we were to move on a year ago, I must say, that our appreciation for this vessel has grown so much more as we’ve gotten to know her. She has soul and it’s been such a journey getting to know her!
We met a wonderful woman through our business who works for the local newspaper, named Patti. When she heard that we live on a boat, she wanted to write a story about our new lifestyle. We answered tons of questions for her on her first visit with us and then, as a photographer was due to come to take pics, hurricane Irma was bearing down on us. We set a date to chat again, after filling in a lengthy questionnaire. She happens to live in Gulfport, so we decided to make our year celebratory trip back there to have her on board to finish up the interview.
We left our marina at 11.15 and sailed about 3 +hours to Gulfport. We had a 30 min wait for the Pinellas Bayway bridge to open for us. We anchored a little way out in front of the Gulfport Casino at 3.15 and took a little nap before cleaning up and getting ready for Patti to arrive. Shaun took Mr Pete's to greet her and bring her over on the dingy.
We had such a great time getting to know her more and shared a bottle or two of wine with the sunset as we chatted. I made a lovely charcuterie platter and we bought a tiny cake with 1 candle for our anniversary :-) We toasted to that and Shaun dropped her back on shore at about 11pm.
We slept beautifully and woke and around 7.30am. We went into town to have brunch at Tangellas on the main street. We love this quaint, artsy little village where everyone seems to know each other and they make you feel like you are one of the locals too. Dingy’d back to the boat and pulled up anchor at 11.15 am. We rode the channel to the outside (saw huge turtle) and had dolphins follow in our wake on our way past Anna Maria Island. We were going to stop at Passage key to swim but it was SO overcrowded and windy so we decided to continue on to our anchorage for the night on the Bradenton River. We love it here. It’s sheltered and there is a stunning state park to take Mr Pete's to right here. We made lunch for ourselves and caught up on computer work. That evening, we went to the park for a walk along the numerous boardwalks. We came back, showered and made a sundowner to watch the sunset. With dolphins playing around us, we opened a very special Vino Noble, our favorite from Montepulciano and grilled to celebrate.
We woke at 6.30 in order to leave early to head back to Tampa. Arrived safely and docked back at Westshore at 10.30. What a nice relaxing weekend! Even though we had made this trip before, each time is different….. that’s the beauty of boating! :-)