We had just finished our latest Net Zero new build home and had a great event for it’s opening 2 days ago. We were exhausted and knew that some time away on Happy Wife was just what we needed. We had checked our calendar back and forth trying to carve out a space in time and saw that this weekend before Thanksgiving was about all we had. We stocked up the day after the event, filled gas tanks for the dinghy and washed down the boat before leaving our shores at around 1pm. We took a leisurely ride straight to Fantasy Island which is about 2 hours south, yet feels like it’s a world away. We anchored at about 3pm and we immediately got into doing some much needed sprucing up work onboard after I made a salad for lunch, which we enjoyed with a crisp glass of white wine of course. I cleaned out the helm cupboard and painted its interior while Shaun did some maintenance work too.
At 5.30 wish we had sun downers while taking a bath in our tub. I always relish these times, because it is the only thing I miss at times living onboard. Because it was one of my 2 requirements in giving up our home that we have the tub up on the helm, and the reason for our tongue-in-cheek name for our boat came after we decided to install it. I make sure to add bubbles or soaking salt and make it feel special every time as, of course, I can only use it while we are out.
We made a charcuterie board and shared a red wine for dinner. Made it to boaters midnight (9pm) and fell into a deep and peacefully quiet sleep
We woke at 6.45 to the sound of birds and dolphins outside our bedroom and theres nothing better than that! Made a nice coffee in bed and enjoyed an English breakfast in our dining room on the aft deck. Soon we had dolphins jumping around next to us which I managed to catch on camera. Shaun fished a bit on his paddle board while I did some computer work.
I also spent quite a bit of time trying to train Pax, our new budgie or as I like to call him, Boat Bird. lol
Later we took the dingy up the river to Riverside cafe for lunch. It has become a local favorite for us. Such a funny place, usually filled with bikers and live heavy metal music but the seating outside, although rudimentary is so nice along the water and the food is great….even if it is served in plastic baskets.
We came back to Happy Wife to do some vanishing and painting and had the most wonderful sunset again. We grilled a pizza for dinner and made it to 10pm for bed
Woke early, made a smoothie and did some paperwork that needed to get done. After a relaxing morning, we left for the convention center at 2.30 or so. Grayson was having his first Thanksgiving concert and lunch the next morning and we wanted to be there for him. Its such a short ride in, so 30 min later we were docked. Justine brought us our stairs, which we had left behind on purpose as wells Jax to spend the night on board. He loves it and had been asking to sleep over. We walked across to Publix and bought some supplies as well as an ice cream cake at his request. He made us get birthday candles and sing happy birthday to him, even though it was not. We watched a movie and went to bed fairly early along with him.
In the morning we walked over to the park with Jax to play a bit, I went for a quick 3 mile run along Bayshore on our doorstep ( love that of course…just step off the boat and run!) We went to Grayson's event which was so cute and I Jax and I had a giggle when I told him that we are like a tortoise that takes his house with him. I love that we are so mobile and that our oceans as so friendly making it so easy for us to move our home around. It truly is the best life!
Shaun had to meet someone for work and Justine dropped me back at Happy Wife. It was rather nice to have a few hours alone and so I made myself a light lunch, cleaned a bit and got ready for us to leave again. They are doing construction work at the docks of the convention center and so they were closing them down. We decided to go to Bird Island for the night and then on to St Pete as we had to be near Tampa for a work event on Wednesday and Thanksgiving on Tuesday and we weren’t ready to go back home yet. We anchored at the Island at about 4.15
In the morning we left fairly early at around 8 am so that we could anchor go into town. Justine picked us up and we went into Tampa for our open house and to give our contractors Thanksgiving lunch. Picked up our car and drove back to Happy Wife. It was really cold and we felt like a good curry, so we went to Moon under Water on the waterfront in St Pete.
Because we went to bed at our boaters midnight, we were up early. Went for a quick 4 mile run and got ready to head to Tam and Brian’s for Thanksgiving dinner with the family at 12. Had a wonderful meal together with Brian's family, our family and we were blessed to have my folks with us too. Justine drove us back to the marina in St Pete and we took our dingy back to Happy Wife.
We took this time to sort through our files for the boat, re-file what we needed to and throw out what was obsolete. We checked the weather for the next day, plotted to route and fell into bed far too full but so happy
We woke to a beautiful crisp morning. I made a shake for breakfast and Shaun headed off to Walmart via Uber to get more ink for the printer while we waited for the wind to die down. At 11.30 we set sail for Gulfport which took us about 2 hours as we had to wait for the bridge to open coming in. We anchored and had lunch and later took a walk around the cute little town that we always enjoy so much. We looked at a few stores, had a cocktail and starters on the waterfront at Manatees and came back to happy wife for sun downers and dinner.
Woke to a windy and cloudy Saturday morning and took nice 3 mile walk to the Gulfport Marina, the bayou and back. We made breakfast and finished our files and paperwork that was pressing. We resorted all our Happy Wife files and spreadsheets, measured for new throttle cables etc. I made lunch on board and we went in to have a cocktail at Little Tommie’s Tiki on the waterfront. walked up the main road and had dinner at Port which was so cute and the food was great.
Sunday morning was picture perfect, stunningly calm and we woke to the sound of the dolphins right outside our bedroom. We made breakfast and went back to Gulfport to have coffee at Sumitra. Such a quaint little coffee shop, much needed in our Tampa area.
Got the boat ready to leave and pulled up the anchor at 12 to leave for home.
Waited for the bridge opening at 12.30 and headed back to Tampa.