A weekend away turns into 2 weeks :-)
St Pete rendezvous
We were so happy to get out on Happy Wife after feeling a bit land locked of late. We had a busy time together with the family and we had an electrical issue that had to be repaired as part of an insurance claim. We were set to leave at 11am on Friday morning but the batteries had not charged charged sufficiently to start the port engine. So frustrating after the work that had been done and us feeling desperate to leave. We found, in our old manuals, that there was a switch to the starboard battery pack to start up and it worked! So we left 2 hours later at 1pm but we were just so happy to be out on the water. We said to St Pete and arrived at 2.20 where we picked up a prearranged ball in the Vinoy Basin again. We love it here. We are off the dock and close to land to be able to walk Mr Petes and so on. After settling in, we had a cocktail or two up on the flybridge on our lounging deckchairs. It was a perfectly still and sunny winter day and we just soaked up the sun after the very cold snap we had just had. Later that night we grilled lamb chops and enjoyed a great meal in the dining room out back. Woke up at 7.30 and had a quick breakfast. We cleaned out the sump pump in our room, tidied up and then went to shore to walk around bit. St Pete has such a great walkable downtown filled with artsy shops and sidewalk cafe’s and coffee bars.We found a fabulous, large farmers market filled with organic vegetables, food, music and crafts. A little like the ones we love so much in Europe. We got a coffee and some street food to walk around with. After taking a long walk through the town, we returned to our boat and packed a picnic to have on the grass overlooking our boat. We shared meats and cheeses, fruit and salad washed down with a crisp French Rose’ We took it easy for the rest of the afternoon and had tea and cake overlooking the Vinoy. Caught up on some emails etc and got ready to go to dinner on the waterfront at Tryst. Of course we were in bed by boxers midnight lol! On Sunday morning we woke to a beautiful sunny day. We made smoothies and went for a 6 mile cycle with our fold up bikes that we keep in our hold. As we got back, Justine and Jax arrived for a quick visit. We took a dingy ride and made a picnic for him which he wanted to have up on the flybridge. They left and Tam arrived with Grayson and Ella. It was so nice to have all the kiddies on board out on the water, even though not together at the same time. It’s been a little more difficult to do that with Ella but now she is getting bigger and they loved it out up front on the bow in the sun. After the girls left, we cycle to Publix to buy some supplies for our dinner. We enjoyed an Aperol sundowner and then had dinner with a bottle of our Diemersfontein that we brought back with us from South Africa. We played cards into the night. It was a perfect day! Dense, thick fog surrounded us on Monday morning. We had a coffee and worked on our computers for a while until it lifted enough for a quick 3 mile run. Today we planned on a working day onboard to finish up a few loose ends that needed fixing. We used the time to polish the Isinglass after a light lunch. Finished just in time for the sunset and had shrimp and beer to snack on. later we grilled some pizza with a rose’. Went to bed early after watching a bit of TV and making a list for tomorrow’s chores afloat Because a cold front came through, we decided to stay on. It’s been so nice here and just being a little way away from the dock is amazing. I did my 9 mile run along the oceanside and Shaun walked before breakfast. Then, while I studied, Shaun took an Uber to Home depot to get the supplies we needed. After a quick, light lunch, we completely more small jobs, like polishing the dingy and so on. Later in the afternoon, we walked to Publix to stock up on some supplies. We stopped at Five buck Drinkery for a glass of wine, a little sidewalk cafe with a lovely atmosphere near the marina. We grilled out for dinner and watched a little TV before bed On Wednesday morning we had our usual chat with our little Jax who calls us every morning on his walk before going to nursery school. After breakfast we went for a 3 mile walk and did some weights on the park machines near us. Today we would do more small jobs and I studied for a while before lunch. Shaun walked over to Publix which is close by and bought some goodies for a cheese and wine to have with Johny and Kathy, our friends from St Pete. We fetched them with the dingy at 5.30 and they stayed with us into the night. So great to catch up with them while spending time on board Thursday morning, I needed to go into town for my hair appointment so Justine and Jax picked me up and took me into town, while Shaun did some computer work. Did some work with Tam in the afternoon and drove back in the evening. I opened the faucet and …no water! We had run out. Fortunately we had the truck now and drove to WestMarine to get a couple of collapsable water containers. We filled them at the dock and brought them onboard, via dingy to add to the tanks. Never a dull moment but we were kinda testing the volume to see how long it would last for us on long trips. Later that evening we walked to Moon under Water to have a curry and glass of wine. It was an eventful day! Today, we’ve been in St Pete a week and we’ve truly enjoyed it. We did a huge load of laundry at the marina and I got a chance to stay while Shaun ran some errands. We had lunch and a few odd jobs before going for a walk. We ended up at Caddy’s, an outdoor bar/restaurant on central Ave, just a 15 min walk from the marina, for sundowners. Awesome live music too We woke to a peaceful, calm morning and decided that we should take the gap to head back to Tampa while the wind had settled. I got everything ready to leave while Shaun took Mr Petes to the dock. The electrical work that was done on our boat was not working properly so our port motor would not start. We called the electricians who could only come out on Monday, so we decided to stay. We went into town to help Justine at her house and then, after getting a few supplies and more water, we headed back for sundowners. Today we headed into Tampa for breakfast and to run some errands…it was a rainy day and so we spent most of the day out. Took in a movie tonight and settled in later all warm and dry! Jax comes back from his dad every other Monday, so I made sure to go into town to see him and Ella (Grayson was at school) After an errand filled morning, came back to the boat to study. Later we walked to Publix to get lamb chops to grill for dinner and ad an earliest night. The electrician came to repair the battery issues today so our motors would be up and running again! Drove in to Tampa to stage a house and came back for our last night here. Its been such a nice change of scenery for us and we have truly enjoyed our time on the water in this urban setting with our little dingy water taxi to ferry us back and forth.