My, my, my…..I have been a lazy girl! Falling down on my blogging!!! Let me catch up. After leaving Tarpon Springs we headed for Bradenton up the Manatee River.
When we reached Bradenton we decided to get a slip at the Twin Dolphins Marina. This is a very nice marina….got the royal treatment! This marina is located in the old downtown area. We enjoyed walking around the area and found some local places to get a good hamburger and tasty dinner! I also found an antique/thrift store which I spent more than one day browsing through.
Here we met up with Al and Melinda again, a couple we met in Tarpon Springs who actually live in Apalachacola, and are spending the winter exploring south Florida in their cabin cruiser. We had dinner with them a couple of times and Melinda and I took a taxi to Wallyworld to stock up on supplies.
I liked Bradenton, the people were friendly and the area we were staying was charming. The night before we left they had the Christmas Boat Light Parade. I tried to take a few pictures but none turned out.
After leaving Bradenton we headed for Punta Gorda. Punta Gorda is located at the mouth of Peace River about twenty miles up Charlotte Harbor. We did not stay at the famous Burnt Store Marina, but opted to tie up at Fishermen’s Village Marina. We borrowed the marina bicycles and cruised around town. Very lovely old homes in the area to look at! We stayed only a few days and decided to continue our passage south. A few hours outside Charlotte Harbor, along the inside we spotted an island that looked interesting and inviting! We decided to call it a short day and drop anchor for the night. Since it was early we took the dinghy on shore and explored the island, which was actually a bird sanctuary and park. There we found the best shelling area ever. I collected so many shells that I had to leave some behind. I also found sea-urchins and starfish. I plucked two out of the water and kept them…I have since then been riddled with guilt for letting them die so I could keep them. I vowed to never remove another starfish from their happy watery home!!!
The next day we headed to Ft. Meyers…planned to spend the night on the other side of the bridge and head off shore the following morning. Although we have 2008 Waterway guide it did not show the new fixed bridge right where we needed to go off shore. Of course this bridge was 70’ and we need 73’, 74’ optimum, to go under. We turned around and went back to our little island for the night and went off shore the following morning at Charlotte Harbor.
Our plan was to head to Marco Island for the night and leave early the next morning for Key West. Our friends, Ronda and Derry decided to meet us there and spend Christmas with us. My next post will be Key West….can’t wait to get there and see Tami and Thane.
I will add pictures ASAP!!!