Cruises Of The “Bucket List”

We left home the morning of the first of January. We drove to simply south of Atlanta Ga. to spend the night time. We had snow on the ground all of the best way by means of Illinois, then it gradually disappeared. It felt strange going OVER the Ohio, Cumberland, and Tennessee Rivers. In the past few months we had been Beneath all of these similar bridges and moving at a a lot leisurely tempo.

We arrived again in Gulfport, FL the tip of the day on the 2nd. We determined to spend a few extra days in Gulfport with the rent a car and get ready for our continued journey South. Cindy spent a couple of days cleansing the boat, whereas I changed oil within the engines, (28 quarts in each) and did a few different preventative upkeep gadgets.

This leads me to determine next journey residence will likely be a brief keep.

Cindy’s Observations: While dwelling we have been capable of verify on our boat day by day via webcam. This eased Larry’s separation discomforts. Returning to the boat felt good and we were anxious to resume our journey. After 3 weeks of setting, there was fairly a little bit of cleaning to do. The cockpit carpet had to be power hosed and wet vacuumed, the canvas had to be wiped of mildew and all around normal cleaning. This leads me to determine next journey residence will likely be a brief keep. Boat being buttoned up plus warm humid air, equals not good.
Each first Friday of the month Gulfport has an artwork fair with native artisans displaying their crafts and creations from afternoon into the night. We sampled some residence made fudge and chose the raspberry chocolate, yum.

While we have been home I signed up for the small vessel reporting system (SMVS) which is able to enable us to reenter the US from both the Bahamas and Canada bypassing a few of the crimson tape of Customs and Immigration. I beforehand had registered the boat and obtained a DTOPS sticker (Decal and Transponder On-line Procurement System). the SMVS requires you to current your self and your passport to a customs agent to get completely entered into the system. We went to the airport at St. Petersburg and did that.

I also registered the boat in Florida for a year. The Florida boating laws solely let you stay in Florida as much as 90 days at a time with out being registered. They’ve a particular registration for out of state registered boats that doesn’t require getting a title or paying taxes. So, to be safe, I went forward and obtained the registration. I figured that any law enforcement that sees the sticker is not going to be as apt to tug us over and test the whole lot.

We did some sight-seeing whereas we had the automobile as properly.

Cindy’s Observations: Since we had been so close to St Petersburg we took a drive to see the pier. The shape of the pier is an inverted pyramid. Only valet parking is permitted on the pier so we walked across and skim the informative environmental life and aquatic life signs along the walkway. We had lunch on the 2nd flooring and went topside to observe the overview of Tampa Bay. From this image you see under. we viewed the city.
Leaving the pier, I seen these palm bushes with ferns growing in the frond stems. I wondered if these had been the invasive vine ferns listed on the data indicators on the pier.
After the pier we proceeded to St Pete Seaside over the Treasure Island Bridge which is the bridge we passed underneath from Gulfport by boat. The clouds were overtaking the solar, so this was our best shot of the beach.
Again at Gulfport we dined at a Tex Mex place having black bean nachos and the best Sangria we now have had yet.

St Pete Seaside


Cindy”s Observations: We had crossed the Sunshine Skyway Bridge by automotive on the solution to Bradenton to see Snooty, the oldest living manatee born in captivity. At sixty four years of age he weighs 1200 pounds and eats 80 pounds a day. He does easy tricks for tastier meals comparable to carrots, kale, cabbage and collards. Lettuce is his most important weight-reduction plan. Average age for a wild manatee is 5-7 years. They are very inclined to chilly temperatures and pink tide. We additionally stepped into the museum and planetarium at the South Florida Museum. We discovered about the stellar constellation Orion and his “arm pit” stars. The museum had several classes of state and pure history. Very nicely finished dioramas and nice artifact presentations have been abundant.

Sunshine Skyway Bridge


We left Gulfport on the 8th. I returned the rental automotive the evening earlier than, so we could get an early begin. We pumped out and topped off the gasoline before we left. Not the most affordable fuel but I really feel better with the tanks full once we start out. The goal for the day was to make it to Sarasota and tie up within the mooring subject there. It can be our first try to do that. We now have watched some pretty scary videos on U-tube of people trying to do exactly that.

They’d booked a slip nonetheless, as an alternative of a mooring ball.

While we were crossing Tampa Bay, I was looking on the AIS to see what traffic was out there and i noticed a familiar identify. NANSEANN was solely a few miles ahead of us. They have been transferring a little bit quicker than we however following the same line and going in the identical route. I gave them a name on the radio and came upon that they had been going to the identical marina. They’d booked a slip nonetheless, as an alternative of a mooring ball. Having pets makes that a necessity for some individuals. Some animals just don’t love dinghy rides to shore. (Floyd and Linda – going to require additional training for the brand new man).

We only traveled 30 miles to Sarasota to the mooring discipline. Cindy had called ahead and reserved a mooring ball. They advised us to take ball #2. Now all we have to do is find it. Then comes the onerous half, hooking on!!

Found IT!!!!

Entrance to Marina Jacks

We decided to remain an extra day in Sarasota to see some sights and to offer me time to plan the next cease. It could must be an anchorage, and one that was fairly simple to get in and out of due to the depth and tides.

Cindy”s Observations: One other first for us went exceptionally well, catching a mooring ball. The pendant floated well and I was capable of hook it on the primary attempt. The rope was clear from any barnacles or oysters so threading my line was straightforward. Larry maneuvered the boat like a professional easing as much as the ball.
A past looper boat was additionally moored right here and got here over by dinghy to ask about our journey. Gerald and Joann completed their loop 2 years in the past on a trawler from Annapolis, MD and invited us over to their boat for extra night dialog. First we needed to catch as much as NANSEANN whom we hadn’t talked to since crossing. We soon determined to stay an additional day and see a couple of points of curiosity. plus go to with Nancy and Rick another afternoon.
Very first thing to search out is the visitor center for info on the bus routes. We now have turn into familiar with this method of transportation and settle for the locals who board these mobile refuges. For a number of $s it’s a deal.

“Unconditional Surrender”

Cindy’s Observations: Not removed from our marina stands this 27 ft aluminium statue of “The Unconditional Surrender Kiss”. The picture from which the statue derives was taken in New York City V J Day 1945 by Victor Jorgensen. A motorist drove her Mercedes into the Sailors leg and broke it in spring 2019. The 15,000 pound statue needed to be sent to New Jersey for a cast to be made (no pun meant) for repairs. The “medical bill” was $125,000. It returned to Sarasota after a number of months (of healing) December 2019.

The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art Estate
was our predominant level of interest for the day. The palatial mansion was designed to emulate the grandeur of the Venice’s Doge’s Palace and the well-known minaret of the Giralda Tower of Seville in Spain. The property covers 66 acres. Completed in 1926 it’s the biggest historic mansion on Floridas’ west coast. There are 8 bedroom suites and 5 bathrooms.

Ca’ d’ Zan – Home of John

Waterfront View

Grand Parlor

Walking threw the grounds was similar to a stroll in a botanical garden.. A number of trails led to mini gardens throughout the park like estate. I may have walked and feasted my eyes upon the lush flora and fauna all afternoon. I have restricted myself to some pictures in this regard..

Mable’s Rose Backyard 28,909 sq ft

pathway from the rose garden

One of many ponds

The Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Museum showcases the
“Greatest Present ON EARTH”
Within the Tibbal’s Studying Center a miniature replica of the tented metropolis at its largest is displayed.
It starts with the circus’ a hundred and one automotive train rolling into the station pre-dawn hours to remodel a bare lot into a circus metropolis. Approximately 1300 performers and crew, together with the power of the animals, hoist the big top tents and set the stage within a matter of hours. Three meals had been served a day with a grocery record that will rival that of a cruise ship.
After the last performing act, the tents had been packed and all wagons have been stuffed and loaded again onto the train. Its hard to imagine all this occurred in at some point. On to the following city, to prepare and current the following, ‘Greatest Show On Earth’

Miniature Prepare Station

In 1952 Hollywood produced an academy award successful movie, “The greatest Present On Earth,” with an all star cast. Circus performances were part of the film and all equipment was circus owned.

Miniature Circus

The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art
was opened in 1931 to showcase the masterpieces of Rubens. van Dyck and Titan to call a couple of. Right here again, I needed to limit pictures to incorporate. There are 4 Rubens which are spectacular.
Upon John’s demise, he left his whole estate to the folks of the state of Florida.

Rubens Gallery

Giuseppe Arcimboldo
Allegorical Head Representing Summer
c 1600-20

In 2000. the state of Florida transferred stewardship of the property to Florida State College. The legacy of John and Mable Ringling continues to teach and develop right this moment.