|The Admiral getting a tour of Gulfport|
|The Osprey's Lynn has been keeping a close eye on apparently have two babies|
|The ship yard just across the channel has two new Yachts ready for their new owners.|
|The building in the center is The Bay Club, we will be hanging out here every day.|
|You can't see how big the vessel at the end of our dock is because the smaller one on the right is blocking the view.|
|WS in her new home for the next 7 months|
|We are among the smaller vessels at this marina.|
|The guns at Fort De Soto|
|Breach loading Morters|
|Not sure if they ever fired these guns except for practice.|
|The Fort is being restored, not many lights so the rooms are dark.|
|Here you can see the restored doors.|
|The Sunshine Bridge is high but apparently not high enough for the newer cruise ships, you can see this one passing under at low tide just barely makes it!|
|That island in the background is Egmont Key, it is right at the opening to the gulf from Tampa Bay. We hope to spend a couple of nights at anchor there this summer.|
|The beaches at Fort De Soto park are really nice.|
|Can't wait to bring the Admiral here for a beach day.|
We were at the Cinco de Mayo Celebration at our new Westshore Yacht Club listening to a two piece band when we heard the lyrics " Just Trying To Get Through Another Beautiful Day" and we thought....that could be us. After getting the forward head and the Autopilot fixed I took a day off from projects and took a day trip to Fort De Soto which is a county park West of St. Petersberg on Tampa Bay. I found great beaches, a very interesting old fort they are still restoring and lots of birders wondering around. This will make a great destination for when the Admiral returns in a few days. You can see Egmont Key and all the vessels going out and returning from the Gulf of Mexico. Lots of pleasure craft of all kinds on this calm day both power and sail making that pass. From the other end of the park you can see the Sunshine Bridge and just as I got there a Cruise Liner was passing under the bridge. It looked almost as the smoke stack at the highest point of the ship may not make it under. I checked my tide tables and it was mean low tide for the day so I'm thinking they cut it pretty close. A couple of days later I heard on the 10 o'clock news that the bridge, even though it is not that old was not built high enough to accommodate the newer bigger cruise ships. So St. Petersberg is jockeying to build a new terminal on the other side of the bridge from Tampa to take the cruise ship business away.
After the Admiral returned from Texas we had just 2 days left at Tampa Harbor Marina so immediately after she got settled in we were moving the boat to our new slip at Westshore Yacht club. The winds were to pick up to 20-30 so we got up early while the winds were around 10 to make the shortest leg of our trip so far, about 1/4 mile away. I wanted to run the boat down the channel a bit to give the engine a run but as soon as I increased the RPM to move away from the dock I knew I had a prop full of barnacles. Pushing the RPM's to 2000 we just made 4.5 knots so I forgot about the run down the channel and turned around and went to our new slip. Our choice was good as any of the prevailing southerly winds either west or east help us into our West pointed slip. Also we found out that the power was out on A,B, and C docks...It was good to be on E. Evidently they had a Main Breaker blow up and is was so special it would take a week to have a new one built. I wondered what all those huge yachts were going to do for shore power, well the next day a huge portable power unit was wired in until the new breaker could be installed. Lynn just happened to run into a diver who does all the bottom cleaning at this marina and Pat has already cleaned the hull and so now I look forward to getting out soon to explore Tampa Bay. We spent two days getting to know our new marina and the amenities of the Bay Club. The Admiral is convinced that my two days of visiting marinas around Tampa Bay paid off. Not only is this the most reasonable of all the marinas I visited but it offers the best hhurricane protection. Heavy built concrete floating docks all protected by the largest concrete breakwater in the area. It is like a huge seawall. Then there are the 5 star resort like features, bars, restaurant, gym, pools, spa, and being a gated community with 24-7 security the Admiral feels safe walking around the community alone. We have already enjoyed the Gym, sitting by the poolside with live music, complimentary drinks for the new members, and the great showers. A great spot to prepare for the next phase of our cruise. The Admiral has acquired the habit of taking her binoculars wherever she goes in this community since the birding is a constant all around this marina. The Osprey nest she has been watching since we came to this area now has two babies clearly visible and learning to spread their wings. We just wonder when they will take their first flight.
The Admiral wanted to go over to St. Petersberg to get her hair done so I told her we might as well go visit Gulfport as long as we were over that way for the afternoon. It was fun sharing some of my discoveries with her and talking about the places we would like to visit by boat.