Friday, November 15, 2013
All in all, we spent three nights anchored off Anna Maria island. There were some good times and some interesting times. I must admit to playing the tourist and enjoying a few meals and drinks at outside tables with water views. Maria's family style restaurant just north of the wharf on the main drag was especially good. There was even a laundry in the same plaza so we could wash our clothes while having lunch.
Unfortunately, we had two days of 15-20 knot winds and the occasional gale force gusts. It was pretty bouncy on the hook. One morning we debated for several hours on if we should take the kayak to town or not. In the end, we did and managed just fine, even with the dog and a load of laundry. It was hard to get the anchor out of the mud. Maybe that's why some people never leave. The island is a vortex that just sucks you in.
We crossed Sarasota Bay, and it had its moments, both good and bad. The bay was choppy and the wind was sometimes impossible. We motored a bit more than we like, but we made the crossing.
Sarasota now has a large mooring field manged by Marina Jack's. It's my first time using a mooring field. I'd be just as happy to use my own anchor, but that was not to be. In the end, it was just as well. I soon discovered that in spite of my repairs to the boat's charging system, the battery would still not hold a charge. It needed to be replaced.
Picture the logistics of getting a heavy deep discharge battery out to a boat on a mooring. My lovely wife called the marina. They had one in stock and delivered out to the mooring field. Yes, it was the most expensive battery I ever bought, but it was worth it.
This whole marina stay has been a bit more expensive than I'd like. It's a very a upscale sort of place. No sea hobos in sight (unless you count us). Not a bad thing to do once in a while. Bathrooms and showers are spotless. The laundry is reasonably priced. The food and drinks aren't unreasonable either. In the morning we kayaked to the tiki bar for breakfast. I don't get to do that every day.
With rain moving in, and a limited selection of good anchorages, we decided to stay put one more night. The trip is slow, but it's all good. No hurry to get anywhere anyway.
Another bonus is being somewhat isolated from the news. It has done wonders for my mental health.