First off we would like to thank everyone that has purchased a copy of our book. We certainly appreciate the reviews on Amazon and all of the emails filled with kind words that we have received. Thanks again and I am glad so many of you are enjoying our book.
A month in Ruskin allowed us to complete our list of must-do projects before making our voyage to Louisiana. Our last few days were very busy with preparations for our departure to our first stop in Tarpon Springs.
We drove an hour to Conrad’s parents in Port Charlotte to pick up our mail along with a few things we had stored there. We also bought a used dingy from the neighbor while we were there. The one that came with the boat must have been over 25 years old and didn’t hold air. Fred and Mary loaded the new dingy into their truck and followed us back to Ruskin.
We also had a little fun while docked in Ruskin. We enjoyed a wonderful visit from our niece Elizabeth and great nephew Caiden who drove four hours from Jacksonville to spend the weekend with us.
We also received a visit from Tropical Storm Andrea who made landfall just north of us with winds at 65 mph. It was mostly uneventful with lots and lots of rain which helped us find a few leaks that we had yet to discover. It also left behind a big bright rainbow.
Skeeter’s favorite part of Ruskin is the beach which is a short walk from the marina. He loves nothing more than to retrieve a stick or anything else you throw into the water. After his long morning walk we take him for a dip to cool off.
With all of the maintenance complete it was time to get out on the bay and put it all to the test. We cruised around Tampa Bay for several hours and once again all systems worked fine.
We cruised by St. Petersburg Coast Guard station to get a glimpse of the Eagle. The Eagle is a 295 ft. steel ship which serves as a training vessel for academy cadets and officer candidates. She’s beautiful!
We will leave our car here in Ruskin and come back for it at a much later date so I busied myself with provisioning which required a trip to Sam’s Club, Wal-Mart, and Publix. It’s so nice to have extra room for storage. With a house size fridge/freezer and large pantry full of goods, we can probably get by for several months. On our sailboat, space was very limited and I was lucky to squeeze in a couple of weeks worth of provisioning.
On a final note, we now have a name for the boat. Skeeter (aka The Moose) was very eager to help out with this task. With the three name options, Great Escape, Voyager, and Latitude, written on three separate sheets of paper and a different flavor treat placed on each one he sniffed out the best treat and dove in.
Latitude was chosen as an option because of its double meaning as a geographical location used for navigation and as the freedom from normal restraints.
Our first leg of the voyage will take us to Tarpon Springs where a new crew memeber (our nephew Tlyler aka Swabby) will join the boat for the cruise back to Louisiana.