Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Finally, St Petersburg, FL..............

Tide Hiker is now for sale by owner. For a full description and photo gallery, please go to http://tidehikerforsale.blogspot.com

Season's Greetings to our loyal blog readers.  Nice to be back with you.  Please forgive us in this holiday season.  We know that we've been amiss at keeping the blog up to date.  So here goes...

We had intended to be in St Pete before Thanksgiving to enjoy a holiday meal with our friends, the Cicconi's.  Bummer......that did not happen.  We arrived in Dog River Marina on time for some scheduled maintenance which we were told would be completed in 2 weeks.  Then the skies broke, rain fell and winds accelerated.  Our promised 2-weeks "on the hard" (this is when the boat is hauled out of the water and situated on ground to facilitate the work)   turned out to be 1 month. That set us back considerably, but we still thought we could wisk on over to St Pete in time.  Bummer......that did not happen. 

Maintenance included new cutless bearings, bottom paint and spider crack repair.

Here, Tide Hiker is drapped for painting the spider crack repairs.

We were most fortunate to have met up with Bill and Charolette Rudy.  They were also at Dog River for some maintenance.  We all took a break one night and splurged at a great seafood restaurant downtown Mobile.

Tradesmen doing their thing "prettying up" Tide Hiker.  Work's almost done here and wax is being applied.

We also rented a car and drove over to Pensacola Naval Air Station to see the Blue Angles' final 2011 show.  It was fantastic.  Here's Norm in front of one of the birds they use.  If you are interested in more pics, including some video, just let us know and we'll send separately.

Work's done, time to get underway.  The weather did not improve much and we had to pick out the very few good cruise days just to get to Carrabelle at the top of Florida's Panhandle. There we waited longer for the right crossing day. That day finally came and we got underway in forcasted 1-2 foot seas.  We did cross, but not in 1-2 footers.  They were more like 3-5's.  Arrived safely in Steinhatchee plus three additional days to Cedar Key, Tarpon Springs and finally into St Pete. Many folks cross directly from Panama City or Carrabelle to Tarpon Springs. We were tempted, but good thing we decided to take the safer route around the panhandle.  Coping with 3-5 footers for 24 hours in the pitch black of night would not have been fun.  Here's a look at what we saw from the pilothouse.

Shortly after arriving in St Pete, our friend John Van Vliet visited us from Phoenix.  We had a great time exploring St Pete (again, for Vicki and Norm; but, first time for John).  As usual, lots of laughs, looks and liquor for John and Norm.  Vicki was on her good behavior.

Norm, Vicki and John at Sandbar Bills Grille on St Pete Beach.  The hamburgers were awesome.

Vicki never passes on a Farmer's Market.  And, St Pete's is by far the best we've ever been to. Live music, food and, oh yes, farmer's produce.   You can see by her coat it was a bit chilly that day.

Vicki's mom arrives tomorrow for another visit.  She loves the boat!!
More later..........