Champ III: Going Places

The adventure starts here.

Marina Jacks, Sarasota Florida

Delayed 2 days in leaving Treasure Island, we had a prop removed and recondition. I had a low rpm vibration since the Pan Handle and I had a diver go down and look at the bottom and the props. The starboard prop had some damage so I called around and was able to take it in on Tuesday about 1:00 and get it back on Wednesday at 3:00. By 5:00 it was back on the boat. What a great bunch of people I worked with to get it done.
Weather has been great and it has been a little windy the last 2 days. Tampa Bay had a moderate chop on it today. We had maybe 8 miles of open water to motor across but the wind was behind us.
It never ceases to amaze me how really small this world is. One of the boats that came into Treasure Island on Tuesday was a SeaRay My M, from Orange Beach Alabama. We got to talking and they spent January 2011 in Marathon next to Bill Carver who gave me loads of info from his Loop last year and who I have rented my slip from for the last 9 years in St. Clair. My M is a great couple and fun to talk to.
Pretty quite on the water today. Not many boats and the most exciting thing was we approched a causeway bridge in the St Pete’s area and they are building a new high bridge next to the existing bridge. They had barges with beams across the marked channel ready to hoist into place so we ended up with a Sheriff escort around and under one of the lower side spans.
We had dolphins following the boat for a short time today. I think there were 4 of them and I first spotted them off the starboard bow but they like to jump in the waves behind the boat. We had one jump as close as 5′ from the boat. Lenore tried to get some pictures but it is like shooting at a ghost. One of these times we will get lucky and have a good picture.
Marina Jacks is a nice upscale marina that was recommended by the folks from Clearwater that we met in Tarpon Springs. Merle couldn’t say enough good thing about it so we scheduled it. The boats range from 20′ to 60′ and there is one large 3 story yacht that must be 80′ long. A little suprising considering the ICW is not all that deep. They have floating concrete docks and we are right downtown Sarasota. Candy liked the marina office because they had dog cookies when we went in.