Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The St. Pete Beach Sandfest with Bill and Pam

Bill and Pam reserve Sunday's for Fun excursions around the St. Pete coastal area. The Admiral and I were fortunate to go along on a couple of these. They invited us to go to the St. Pete Beach Sand Festival and of course Sand Art was the Center piece. Our only other Sand Art Festival that we have been to was in Port A. In Port A artist come in and compete to win prizes for their sand sculptures. Here the area business bring in pros to complete a theme of art and the whole thing is under a huge tent. So instead of seeing a lot of very different styles and individual pieces, here you see one long flowing sand sculpture that you walk through on a curvy course under a really big nice tent.

Bill land Pam Groovin on the Sand

it was one long non stop work where the Florida Ocean scene is played out

Pirates a Big part of Florida History

The Sea, and Wind Gods are present everywhere in Florida

Tryin to get there....

Florida is full of Snow Birds from everywhere planet Earth,

The entire Beach scene.....

The tent was a nice shelter from the Sun....The Port A Sand Fest is right out in it.

Manta Rays are in all the Florida Waters...see them all the time.

A Sea Dragon!

Never get tired of the Dolphins, friendly and so Playful.

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They throng here by Land, Sea, and Air.

After the Sand Fest we walked down the local pier where this huge blow up water slide was....We could not believe their offensive sign!

Every Florida has a Pirate ship to cruise on. This one had Cannon that fired at all the
Beach comnbers

Everyone was having a Sand Fest!

And every Florida Beach Community has a Catamaran to sail on as well. 

The street performers come out for the crowds.

We had a lot of fun hanging out with Bill and Pam just relaxing, and enjoying St. Pete Beach. It is interesting how each beach community you visit in Florida is unique and has it's own flavor. Very different from Texas Beaches.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Dali Museum, St Petersburg, Florida

We did not make the Salvador Dali Museum the first time we were in the Tampa/St.Petersburg area even though several told us not to miss it. But after touring the Earnest Hemingway house in Key West we knew we had to go the next time we were in the Central Florida area. There was a connection drawn between Hemingway, Dali, and Picasso on the Hemingway tour so that definitely led us to the Dali on our return to St. Pete.

Designed by architect Yann Weymouth of HOK, the building combines the rational with the fantastical, a large free-form geodesic glass bubble known as the "enigma" erupts from the walls.

A lot of cool spaces

The stair case going up to the Gallery has many different perspectives, just like Dali's art. 

The Water and sailboats were an interesting theme to Dali

The only piece you could take a pic of.....

you write a message to the world on your ticket and hang it on the tree

The labyrinth

See http://thedali.org/about_the_museum/the_building-gardens.php

Salvador Dali had to be many different things to many different people.  This is one of those  museums where you could easily return time after time and see something new even though you are looking at the same art. Great Art makes you think differently and perhaps even behave different? Be sure to see it if your in Florida: http://thedali.org/home.php 

Friday, July 12, 2013

How Far is it to Seattle, Washington From Marathon, Florida?

I took this pic from the Ferry on the way over to Orca's Island, whoa, that could be us on Wand'rin Star.  It looks Mystical because it is!

Took this from Orca's, you can just see Sucia Island http://www.parks.wa.gov/parks/?selectedpark=Sucia%20Island in the distance from this Very Special Spot

The front entrance to our new digs.

It is somewhere up there on the top floor where the sun is shining through....that means it has a view of Elliot Bay.

In this pic the Condo building is the third one back from the water front where I took the pic.

Also in walking distance to the Space Needle

This downtown Marina was one of my favorites till the Cruise ships messed up the Aura .

You can learn some interesting facts about the Octopus of Puget Sound at the Aquarium 

Had to put out all the Canvass to get as much shade as possible to complete the work on the deck of Wand'rin Star

I love my Drimmel Tool, it took only 6 hours to sand the entire caprail, about a third of the time it takes by hand.

About to start the touch up with Cetol Marine, then two complete coats of Cetol Gloss. The Black Pad is for my Knees, all of this is hands and knee work!

Took this from the Roof Top deck of our daughters condo building.....Spectacular Sunset  over South Puget Sound with the Cascades in the background. 

How Far is it to Seattle, Washington From Marathon, Florida?

We did not even consider this when we got news our daughter and son-in-law called and told us they were pregnant with their first child. We were so excited that we canceled the plans to continue up the East coast and set our course back to St. Petersburg to prepare to cross the Gulf and return to Corpus Christi, TX. 
Well our route took us 1133.7 Nautical Miles Sailing from Marathon Florida via St. Petersburg and across the Gulf of Mexico to Corpus Christi plus our upcoming 4 day 2600 Statute Miles from Corpus Christi to Seattle WA.Our cruise around the Gulf of Mexico totaled 2,673.3 NM and consumed 1yr. 4mo. 15days.

By the first week in August, after driving the Western half of the U.S. we will be moved in to our new digs in downtown Seattle. We are so excited to have this opportunity to move up there for an indefinite time to help them both as they enter parenthood and maintain their very busy professional lives. June and July in Corpus is filled with preparing to depart Texas and Wand’rin Star. We have successfully emptied most of our storage unit in Corpus and what remains will get to Seattle by the US Post or in the back of the Admirals car. We also put both of our vehicles in the shop, one to get ready for the road trip to Seattle and the Little Truck that Can needed a bit of work to meet Texas vehicle inspection requirements after it’s long trip to and from Florida. Both are now prepared to take on whatever comes next. 

I am taking advantage of all this rainless weather to do the bi-annual re-finish work on the wood, deck and topsides. Today I will have all the teak on the deck re-finished and then all I have left to do is get the topsides waxed. This will be about a 4-5 day job depending on my stamina in the 101- 108 heat indexed temps. After that it should be just the small stuff to do and Wand’rin Star will be good to go for a while.
We flew up to Seattle for an awesome Baby Shower in June and got lucky with a day trip over to Orca’s Island in the San Juan’s by rent car and Ferryboat. Being on beautiful Puget Sound has me biting at the bit to get Wand’rin Star up there to take advantage of the wonderful cruising grounds, but that will have to wait for a while so we can get up there and get our bearings on our new assignment as grandparents and caretakers for the newest family member. If we determine we will be in Seattle for more than two years then Wand’rin Star will ride back up their by truck. In the meantime I have an excellent Sailor and his wife along with friends on H Dock to keep an eye on Wand’rin Star. We will be back in Texas every few months for routine maintenance and Mexican Food!
I have already turned in my application to volunteer at the Center for Wooden Boats on Lake Union http://cwb.org/ . This lake is right downtown Seattle and in walking distance to the condo where we will be living. It is an awesome center for the local boating culture and I can’t wait to participate and learn from the craftsmen and sailors in this area. The Admiral is looking forward to volunteer at one of the various Museums in Downtown Seattle or possibly the Seattle Aquarium. We were lucky again as all of the family who made it to Seattle for the baby shower went together to the Aquarium as a pre-shower outing. We have been fortunate to see a lot of aquariums on our cruise around the Gulf Coast and we have seen some really great ones but the Seattle Aquarium is definitely different and very exciting with all the deep rich colors of the Pacific Northwest Sea Life. We are both shopping for some new walking shoes as walking will be our primary mode of transportation in our new very Urban neighborhood.
I still have three topics I intend to blog about left over from our time in St.Petersburg so I will get those done next. Of course the Road Trip to Seattle should be interesting enough to warrant a Mighty Fine Blog. I look forward to sharing our exploration of the Seattle area and the Pacific Northwest as we go forward in this new direction. We have 3,519 NM under our Keel since we first stepped aboard Wand’rin Star, she will rest for a while but I can’t help but wonder where she will sail next?

Friday, July 5, 2013

The Bridge Walk

The Admiral heard about "The Bridge Walk" and Tai Chi, Yoga and other free events occuring on the first Saturday each month within walking distance from the marina. We decided to go try it out, she wanted to do the Tai Chi and Yoga and I was up to do the Bridge Walk. Evidently I got there at the tale end of the Bridge Walk as I neared the sidewalk entrance on the North bound lane the last of the 50 or so Bridge Walkers were finishing up. I decided to just go anyway and check it out. 

Here you see the last of the Bridge Walkers on the right as I entered the North bound sidewalk of the bridge that  crosses over the Corpus Christi Ship Channel to Portland. 

This is a narrow sidewalk, those Bridge Walkers had to go single file for sure!

I was glad to have the Admirals Camera to take advantage of the  view and get some  neat shots

You could easily see the three huge offshore platforms being built across the bay in  Engelside/ Aransas Pass

Several Corpus Christi Museums dot the South edge of the 

Corpus has the replica Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria. Two are being restored here at the museum and the other is in the water at the Corpus Christi Marina and occasionally sails now. 

We have yet to go on board the Lexington, maybe we can find time before we head to Seattle. 

Pretty long walk just to get to the top of this 138' tall Harbor Bridge.  It is getting risky just walking up here since all that separates you and the fast traffic is that little concrete wall that is just over knee high. 

Looking back is a great view of the Bay front and the Marina

A close up of the Marina

Starting down, the Huge semi's screaming by are starting to make me think  I will be lucky to survive this  Bridge Walk, I  wondered what it looked like to the passing motorist when there were 50+ walkers up here???

This is Corpus North Beach that is making a bit of a comeback with  restoration of the roads and  hotels here. 

The Area wind farms to the North West are easily varible

I wished I could have captured one of the huge tractor trailer's that passed with just a couple of feet to spare!

I was about out of the water I brought along and I thought about  stopping here at Black Beards and getting a Bloody Mary and just calling the Admiral to come pick me up....but I did not bring my cell phone!

I was ready to get back so I took a short cut off the walkway.

Starting back up on the South bound side, it is starting to get hot and Humid!

The views on this side are not so great, you get a miles long view of the  Chemical/Petro industry that is so prevalent all along the Texas Gulf Coast. 

Driving over the bridge I always thought this was a Navy ship but I do not see any Military markings, It has been docked here for at least since before we left Corpus on our Cruise, lots of activity on the ship, I guess it is getting some major re-fit or something. 

Who knows what they just unloaded off a ship, I just hope it is not toxic.

I guess he will be underway soon since the have it all unloaded

Interesting name for a freighter.

Lots of activity on this aging coast guard cutter, seems like a crew change was taking place lots getting off, and lots getting on. 

Big Gun under that Blue Tarp

What? They havbe to carry their stuff off in plastic bags, did these guys lose their duffel bags overboard?

This is a really big Tug but it looked small in the Harbor

I am getting really thirsty now, forget the Bloody Mary...just need  Hydration!

If it all blows up can this one little fire boat put it all out?

Lots of Wind Mill blades waiting to be shipped to the wind farms across Texas.

This big double wide passed just under me

They are huge and to think that we passed within a few yards of the guys  lots of times on our way around the Gulf Coast in the Inter-coastal waterways. 

Some come in and unload and others come in and load up. 

Here is the Whataburger Basball Field and Hurricane water park.

I envied this guy, I was so hot by now I just wanted to lay in that water.

Looks like the End to me?

I always wanted to go here for a beer...I will just need at least 1 glass of water first!

This guy is one of the smartest Layers in Texas. I would definitely hire him if one of these friggin trucks  hits me. He was intelligent enough to put his sign next to the most dangerous sidewalk in Texas.


Let me off here please. 

short cut

It looks so innocent from H dock!