December 7, 2015 – Monday – Turtle Cove Marina to Clearwater Harbor Marina – 20.1 statute miles traveled

After provisioning with ice for the cooler and water in the water tank we were ready to continue our journey after a nice sojourn at Turtle Cove Marina. I checked the engine oil before firing up the Lehman and found it was full. This means that I had probably overfilled it a little when putting oil in mid Gulf of Mexico crossing. I was pleased to know that not that much oil had been used in the crossing.

This was where we were going to part ways with Jim, JoAnn, Sammy and Namaste at least for a while. We were going to Clearwater and they were going on with the intention of leaving their boat at Gulf Shores in St. Petersburg while they took a three week trip home for Christmas. We had enjoyed traveling with them since Chicago and during the three months had developed what will undoubtedly become a life long friendship.

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Pelicans perched along the Anclote River to Tarpon Springs

The Anclote River has boat mooring all along its banks so the trip down river was pretty much no wake speed until we got back to St. Joseph Sound. Wind was coming out of the north at about 15 mph so we had some waves on the beam until we were able to turn south. While St. Joseph Sound is quite large the channel itself is very narrow. Depths of less than 10 feet were the norm.

When we got to Dunedin Causeway Bridge I had expected to go under a 24’ vertical clearance but when I arrived it looked more like 19’ on the elevation board so I called the bridge tender. She said I could probably get under the middle portion but since Namaste was not far behind us I elected to wait so she could open the bridge for both of us.

I had talked to Clearwater Harbor Marina about a possible long term stay there if the doctors visit tomorrow ends up with the decision to do the ACL repair surgery here. They are not able to allow stays of longer than 10 days so we will have to look at other options if a long term stay is necessary. In any case CHM is a very nice marina with floating docks, an uncommon situation in this neck of the woods with tides of 3’ or less.

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Clearwater Harbor Marina under the bridge to Clearwater Beach

Vicki’s cousin, Liz Johansen came and picked up us, gave us a tour of the area and then we went to their home for dinner with her husband John and two grandsons. They loaned us their pickup truck for use over the next few days so we were able to drive ourselves back to the boat.

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