Friday, December 14, 2018

December 13th & 14th

Today is the day Nana and Nandad have their interview for provisional membership to SYC. After a wonderful lunch at the Blue Dolphin in St Armand’s Circle we cleaned up and were ready to go. 

A wonderful evening to celebrate our provisional confirmation at the Ca’Da’Zan house all decorated for Christmas at the Ringling. A great dinner at the Muse restaurant at the museum.

December 14th our good friends from the BWSC Sue & Dave joined us for the day and despite a very rainy and windy day we had a lovely day. IE is ready for the month’s stay at SYC club - tucked between two over 70 foot yachts - while Nana and Nandad return home for Christmas. Will be back on January 14th 2019. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

December 12 th IE returns to Sarasota Yacht Club

After a beautiful cruise, where we had to pay attention to the channel markers, IE arrrived back to SYC where she will stay until after Christmas. The picture is of the Anna Marie Princess paddle cruise which leaves from Bradenton Beach Marina.

This morning before leaving Nana took a walk along the beach while waiting for the tide to change. When passing  a beautiful home, with a magnificent upper balcony railing, Nana had to take a picture of course for her blog! A wonderful young couple were sitting on the balcony and invited Nana to view the house. They had just had their dream wedding right here on Bradenton Beach and their family had stayed at the Anna Maria Grand Beach house. It might be the perfect vacation spot some day for all Nanas’s children and grandchildren. It sleeps 28!!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

December 11th IE docks at Bradenton Beach Marina

The journey back south had moments of concerns due to low tide, currents and shallow waters. Not for the faint hearted and intimidation might come to mind. The picture on the left gives you an idea how close IE is to the sand bank and the picture on the right shows a small ferry heading out the Clearwater Pass.

It is really something else to watch the egrets and herons standing along the shallow edges so close to the boat! Keeping a watchful eye is important along this section. IE arrives at the Bradenton Beach Marina after cruising for almost five hours. A busy marina, when in season, tucked beside the Cortez bridge with the beach right across the street. The perfect sunset at the Beach House after a walk along the Bradenton Pier. 

Tomorrow we will head back to SYC.

December 10th IE arrives at Clearwater

A very cold morning so Nana and Nandad had to wrap up with hat, scarfs, gloves etc. A thirty three mile journey which took us under nine bridges from Tampa Bay into Boca Ciego Bay up the Narrows. The bridges connect four islands which include Long Key, Treasure Island,Sand Key, and Clearwater Beach Key. This will be the fifth yacht club however the club closes on a Monday which we were aware and due to inclement weather we decide to leave early on Tuesday morning. We did manage to walk the beautiful beach despite the cold. It is very much a beach resort area with lots of options as far as accommodations goes. The heater was turned on, the electric blanket switched to high and a quite evening with dinner onboard.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

December 6th Irelands Eye arrives at St Petersburg Yacht Club

Captain Aedan was in his element today crossing Tampa Bay at 15+ knots with lots of spray. Very exciting that the engine is going well - fingers crossed. Finally Nana got a great snap of the Dolphin along the way. Families everywhere frolicking along side IE. Arrived at the beautiful SPYC where we can stay for three nights which means we will be here for Lighting of the Yachts and the boat parade. We are very thankful to John the Dockmaster. A beautiful walk along the Pier with dinner reservations for 7pm. 

A very stern looking Nandad! The inside of the club is beautifully decorated. 

December 7th Friday Nana and Nandad decided to take the Providencetown ferry to Tampa - it did seem a little odd but obviously the ferry comes to St Pete’s for the winter months. It was a great day for a trip across the Tampa Bay. The busiest pier I have every seen with so many barges and tugs. Lots of construction going on in the city so they have made the trolley ride downtown free. It also seemed strange as the ferry dropped you at the Aquarium and many security persons made sure you did not linger at the museum. We spent the day visiting the Henry Plant Museum which is at the Tampa University and used to be called The Tampa Bay Hotel - a very luxurious hotel for the wealthy which took three years to build at a cost of 3 million in 1891. It operated as a hotel for forty years. We had a great lunch at the University Campus which was delicious. A quite evening on the boat with a nice dinner onboard. Lots of sounds from the city where celebrations were taking place for first Friday.

Saturday Dec 8th. Well the early bird catches the worm here at St Pete’s. Before 8am the City Trail is busy with bikers, walkers,& runners. The town swimming pool is jam packed with some regatta taking place. People are working out at the outdoor gym in the park, the tennis courts are full and players are getting ready to play volleyball. After breakfast onboard Nana and Nandad set out for the Chihuly Museum on Central St has a spectacular selection of his glass work and a wonderful video of his ongoing accomplishments around the world. We attend a glass blowing exhibition at the Morean Arts Center which was fascinating- a very complicated and skilled art.

After a wonderful lunch at 400 Beach Club we hopped on the looper which took us on a very fast loop around the city. Once again IE took part in the Lighting of the fleet - thanks to a donation from John - joined in the cocktail hour at the dock and admired the boats that went to a lot of effort to decorate their boats. Nana and Nandad will need to be better prepared for next year. Great dinner at the bar at SPYC where the jazz group were getting ready to entertain. 

Sunday December 9th a very cold, stormy, rainy day so IE will stay at SPYC one more day and head to Clearwater tomorrow. A decision was made to head to indoor activities so a visit to the MFA where we heard a wonderful chorus group and admired their fabulous art displays. After a trip to the Sundial AMC to watch A Star is Born - a box of tissues would definitely help for the end of this movie. Lots of popcorn, soda, and M&M’s left little room for dinner. Oh the advantage of being right downtown.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

December 4th Ireland’s Eye is at Longboat Key Club Moorings

Monday December 3rd was a very busy day cleaning the vinyl covers on IE. Nana also happened to catch a yoga class at Pineapple studio which was a geart experience- a lovely Italian instructor from Milan with one on one instruction - the best. The bike ride over the bridge was tough on the way back with the wind! Now Nandad always seems to do great work from the cockpit so when Nana returned he had rented a car and arranged for a diver to come clean the bottom of the boat. We took a wonderful ride to Siesta beach , however the red tide had a strong presence which caused Nandad to cough quite a bit so Nana finished her stroll on the beach which really has this amazing sand that almost feels as soft as putty. Nana forgot to put her smile on at the beach!!Again we had a wonderful dinner at BKYC to finish the evening. 

December 4th Tuesday Ireland’s Eye makes the short cruise to Longboat Key Club Moorings. This is a private club which is reciprocal with the Yachting Club of America so officially our 4th club to visit. There is a 291 slip Marina with a Yacht Club, Golf & Tennis Club, dockside dining, swimming pool, and resort amenities which include The Spa, The Fitness Center and a pristine white - sand beach. You can pick from seven different type restaurants on this compound with a shuttle service to take you back and forth. They also have Firepit Beach Barbecue events, Beach Olympics, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Eve special celebrations. Enough entertainment to keep you dizzy. A wonderful plunge in the pool followed by a great dinner at Portifino which is directly beside IE. 

Tomorrow IE has reservation at the SPYC so onwards and upwards as we continue to cruise up north.

December 5th a very windy day so Nana and Nandad decide to stay. The shuttle service takes us over to the Longboat Key Resort which is at the Beachside. It is way too windy to attempt a walk along the beach so we have a delicious breakfast. When we return to the boat it is the perfect day to change all the covers on the salon. A nice new look. Lots of walking today with great dinner onboard. 

Sunday, December 2, 2018

December 2nd Sunday at Bird Key Yacht Club

December 1st while strolling the beautiful neighborhood of Bird Key Nana was reminded of two of her grandsons who are crazy about dinosaurs. Anything goes as yard decoration in Florida - a wonderful red brontosaurus right in your yard. While taking a walk on Lido beach we were exhausted watching the Kite boarders sailing along the waves - their strength and stamina was amazing to watch. Tonite is the Blessing of the fleet followed by the lighting of the boats. The dockhand offered to put lights on IE so we were very happy to oblige. The cannon was fired, the fleet blessed and the lights switched on. This was also a very formal celebration at the SYC where David and Jane invited us back to watch their celebrations which included the boys band, the pipes, Mr & Mrs Clause and many boats to visit with offerings of Procecco, candy, appetizers and of course lots of comraderie.

December 2nd Sunday started with an early morning walk, followed by a bike ride over the bridge to attend Mass  at St Martha’s, a wonderful brunch at the yacht club which overlooks Sarasota’s downtown - the perfect setting- a relaxing few hours up top reading, another bike ride to St Armand’s Square to watch the sunset at the beach. The perfect warm, sunny, windy day.