Jan 13-15, Days 77-79 Boatin’ Again

OK, so we’ve been a bit remiss in the blogging recently so this is a 3’fer covering our re-visit to Cortez where we celebrated B’s birthday with a floor show, but I’m getting ahead of myself. You’ll remember we were messing around in the greater Tampa Bay area waiting to return to Cortez to finalize our Bayliner beautification project. We weighed anchor early on the 13th (B’s birthday!)


We can’t weigh anchor until Ziggy has had her morning pee so N had to putz around in the dinghy at 6:30AM (that’s the moon(!) not the sun) before we could get moving for our early appointment at the dock. 



Not sure what that lens flare is from, but we got to the marina early!


and made a bee line to Cortez Marina where we had arranged to have our new floor installed. Nothing wrong with the old one, but check it out!


C’mon, looks sharp!


Linda at Coastal Canvas really did us a solid getting this all done in one day. Her husband was a little pissed because he hadn’t realized we wanted it finished the same day, but he got it done! We are so stylin’ now with our fancy sunshade windows and fake teak floor. You go Bayliner!

In the meantime, we took shore leave renting an enterprise car and staying at the Day’s Inn. I mention enterprise only because it is a great solution when boating. You call them up and they come pick you up at the marina with the car and drop you off when you’re done. Cool!


Florida sunset from Cortez Marina


Anyway, since it was B’s birthday, N played golf…. What!? No, B insisted so N agreed to play!


That evening we went to a nice dinner at the #1 place to eat in Bradenton…. we had no reservation on a Friday night, but N said let’s just try and we got in as someone had just canceled. Took a beach walk on Anna Maria Island after dinner and saw some guys fishing for sharks. No pics because it was dark, but they were baiting their hooks with huge chunks of fish and then just waiting.


We had to wait around in Cortez over the weekend for the floor to “cure” (or glue to cure…whatever!). As it turned out despite our refusing to pay $200 for expedited shipping we learned our bikes had been delivered to Ft Myers Yacht Basin (our destination later this week). We were excited to get the bikes so with nothing better to do…. ROAD TRIP!


Water or asphalt, we rely on GPS!


We got to scope out the marina we’re heading to and get our bikes. The latter was just as well because they were a pig to put together.


N had really enjoyed the clear bow, but now we have this mess up there!

In addition, after much pressure we “invested” in a flag pole so we could fly the flag Dave D so generously gave us after several chastising notes observing we were improperly flagged. We debated whether to go radar arch or transom, but B’s cousin assured us the transom was the proper spot regardless of whether it gets in the way! N thinks it looks sharp, B’s not too sure, but thank you Dave…. We’re not pirates any more. Now we need to figure out where to put Canadian and Bermudan courtesy flags because B refuses to drop the WA flag.  




We finally bid adieu to Cortez, Florida on Sunday afternoon and renewed our journey South. We really had not been making progress on our Loop since leaving for home at Christmas.


Florida has an abandoned boat problem. Check out this sailboat. No, it’s not good to be heeled over when you don’t have any sail up! Look at the other sailboat just behind it…low profile.


Anyway, it’s good to be moving with a purpose once more and today we made it to Midnight Pass just south of Sarasota where we anchored in 3’ of water (yes, you go 29’ shallow draft Bayliner!……OK, out drive tilted up just to be safe) with access to the beach where we could watch the sunset over the gulf.


You know you’re in Florida when you see these horseshoe crabs.



On the beach at sunset



9 thoughts on “Jan 13-15, Days 77-79 Boatin’ Again”

  1. Belated Happy Birthday Barb! Love the new canvas and floors. Brent is thinking you got a deal down there compared to Homer Alaska. Regardless they look sharp. And since others are giving you advice, your bikes might suffer from the salt spray tethered to the bow of the boat… Also loved the Horseshoe crab photo. But best of all your blog posting took my mind off the Seahawks loss!!! We’re so pathetic…


  2. Happy birthday Barb fellow Capricorn/birth year 57, did you know we were born the year of the monkey? Explains some things. I don’t know what your birthday gift was, new floors, new bike or your new life looping, all good stuff, enjoy. Alix


  3. Barb and Nick, I hope you know how much I enjoy this adventure, the pictures, the daily living challenges, the humor, food, Ziggy, and just the idea of what you are doing!

    I am heading to Florida on Jan. 21-31, and I hope it works out that I can drive over and connect with you for an afternoon visit. I know Caitlin wants to come too, if she can!

    Today, on NBC news, there was a news clip about a giant prehistoric alligator called “old Humpback.” I wonder if he is on You tube. Sasquatch like, but reptilian. Looks like a cross between a dragon and alligator!

    The new floor on the boat looks neat! You are heading towards one of my favorite beaches in Florida. I think it is called Tiger Tail Beach, and it is on the north end of Marco Island. There is a county or state park there on the sound, which you have to wade across to get to the ocean. There is no development. Just miles and miles of shells and sand. I will verify the location and access and hope it makes it into your itinerary.

    Clearly, the moments define the adventure! Love reading it! Jane


  4. Despard makes a good comment about the salt spray affecting your bikes on the bow. BUT go buy yourself some Salt Away at your next marina stop. Spray that onto your bikes, and the rest of your boat, isinglass etc. and you will be AMAZED at how well it keeps salt off of things. No need to thank me in advance. 🙂
    I’m staring every day at my boat on my lift at Lake WA along with the freezing temps. Once it heats up a tiny bit I’m going to do a victory lap around the lake in honor your all of our 60th birthdays.
    Nick, how do you like that kicker motor on your dinghy? I’m pondering electric vs gas. Thoughts?
    Happy cruising to Key West. Will you then head straight to Cuba?
    PS-you need a bigger flag on your transom 🙂


    1. I hear you on the salt spray, but we really aren’t having waves crash over the bow. Salt air might be an issue, but at $120/ea the bikes will easily pay for themselves with golf cart and bike rental avoidance over next couple of weeks.

      Thanks for salt away tip. I’ve used it before, but didn’t realize it had preventative benefits versus simply being a good wash solution.

      With respect to dinghy motor, if you ask B she’d opt for the on/off functionality of electric every time. We really considered electric, but it was basically 2x for same horsepower and I like “shaking the can” to see how much fuel I have versus relying on some gauge. Another reason to go gas is purely access to service. Not much goes wrong with these motors, but if something does you can always find parts for gas engines. I’ve heard it’s tougher with electrics and those propane engines.

      Finally, I’d understand the dynamics of your dinghy. We got the largest engine our dinghy was rated for (4hp), but I’m sure we could go just as fast with a smaller motor as we cannot get up on plane with such a small boat.

      We’re going to learn about Cuba at a meeting later this week, but not sure we’ll go as it sounds like the weather windows are few and far between this time of year. Besides, there is some phenomenal boating between here and the Keys and we don’t want to rush.

      Dave assured me at your party that the flag was the “correct” size for our boat.


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