Thursday we took a day to rest after all the parties with cruising friends. We slept in, (07:00 WOW)and played with the girls on the beach, they haven't had much play time while Mom and Dad have been playing. Thursday evening we had a farewell cocktail party (just one more for the road) on Gypsies in the Palace, they have become such good friends. Today we said farewell to the last of the group in the anchorage and headed for Marina Jack in Sarasota where September Song will rest while we go home for a few days to take care of some business. Tomorrow and Sunday we will do more provisioning for our Bahamas trip here in Sarasota, then drive to Georgia on Monday for five days, then come back to Sarasota, load what we bring from home, (well, from Georgia, September Song is our home for the time being) and head south to Marathon or somewhere South, where we will stage and wait for a weather window to cross to the Bahamas. Can't wait!
September Song (counting the days) out Bob
Farewell cocktail party on Gypsies in the Palace
Traveling on the Gulf
Beautiful water as we come into the pass at Sarasota
Today was the last day for the group of Defever cruisers in the anchorage to get together before several of them leave tomorrow. We all took our tenders to Cayo Costa Island which is a state park on the Gulf of Mexico. The weather was perfect and as usual, we had a good time. It's sad to have to say goodbye to good friends after such a great time, but our paths will cross again on the waterways. Mid afternoon some of us who are going to the Exumas in the next couple of weeks got together on September Song, and Steve and Diane Koch gave us tons of information on routes, things to see and do, fishing, places to snorkel and dive, provisioning, and alot more. Steve and Di have been there many times, and it was great to get a wealth of information from someone who has been there, done that, and got many t-shirts. Tonight we were invited to Rick and Lynnie's boat, Rickshaw, for a Carolina Bar-B-Que. As usual it was outstanding, and the spice cake Vickie brought was great. It is going to seem strange tomorrow when most of them are gone after being together these last few days, but we will see most of them from time to time when we are in the Exumas.
Rick and Lynnie's boat Rickshaw has a custom deep freeze on their fly bridge that is about the size of a body. If, God forbid, something should happen to one of us while we are in the Bahamas, we decided we could empty the freezer and keep the body frozen until our Bahamas cruise was over. Why ruin a good cruise!
We arrived at the Pelican Bay anchorage yesterday afternoon with Adventures and Lucky Stars and we all got together on September Song for Stephanie's spaghetti and meat balls. (YUM) Robin and Jim invited us to breakfast Tuesday for fresh fruit, scones and what else, MIMOSAS! Great job Robin, we really enjoyed it. While we were at Adventures enjoying a wonderful breakfast 7 other Defever Cruisers joined us in the anchorage which makes it a total of ten beautiful boats. It must be party time. Today everyone was enjoying the beaches, especially Cassie, Godiva, and Salty, their new friend from Sea Pearl, kayaking and just in general having fun. This evening we joined Steve and Diane on Sea Pearl, Joe and Julia's boat for dinner. I have to tell you, it was the most fabulous dinner. We started off with a wonderful French cheese to die for, then salad made by the salad queen Stephanie, the most wonderful linguine and clam sauce, (clams came out of the water fresh one hour before they hit the pot) wine, bread, and after dinner a desert wine with biscotti's. Is life good or what? I don't know what we are doing tomorrow, but it will be tough to top today.
Sunday was the final day of the rendezvous. It was warm and sunny when we woke up, but by 09:30 it turned ugly when a cold front rolled through. We were all ready for it because no matter what you are doing you always keep track of the weather while on a boat because you never want to get caught with your *&$%s down or your lines not set for a storm. All the boats did fine, a little rough for the boats in the anchorage, but seasoned cruisers are always prepared. Sunday was the day for open boat tours at the Cabbage Key Marina where we are docked. We had about 70 of our fellow Defever cruisers tour September Song because this is the first time she has been to a rendezvous and the first chance alot of our friends had to see her. She got all dressed up and looked beautiful for the tours. Sunday afternoon we all got together at the Cabbage Key Restaurant for a closing dinner and farewell party. The food was good and the 100 plus cruisers were great. It is always sad to say goodbye to such great friends, but we all have different directions to go cruising and exploring and our paths will cross again. We will see many of them in the Exumas in a few weeks as that is the next destination for many of them. Several of the boats, including September Song are going to have an after rendezvous rendezvous at the anchorage in Pelican Bay for a few more days. When there are two or more cruisers, PARTY, PARTY.