Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Time to Turn Around....

Well, we have come as far north on the Gulf Coast as we are gonna go, so it's time to turn around. We have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, we are sad to know that our adventure is going to be coming to an end for a while. On the other hand, we are excited to get back home and see family and friends. We do still have another 10 weeks of our trip left and we will surely make the most of it, but it seems like so much has happened while we have been away. Babies have been born, friends have passed away. That's another reason why we are glad we have taken this trip. To often we are reminded how short life can be, and after planning for so long, we were glad to be able to bring our dream to fruition.

We just spent a week in Punta Gorda. After 3 days of rain things started looking up. We were able to explore the town a bit and get some much needed laundry done. We also hit the farmers market and got some provisioning done, thanks to a friend of Jill and Tim's (also a Gemini owner).

On Saturday, Jack and Irene came for another visit and took us for a boat ride and back to their house for dinner and a dip in the pool. Oh, but the fun didn't stop there! After getting back to the anchorage, we all headed out on the town. We hit a few places, found a few great bands, danced and had a great time.

Sunday was a lazy day. After a morning walk we took the all hopped in the dinghy and went to a nearby marina, Fisherman's Village. For a small fee they let you use their facilities for the day. We hung out at the pool, played shuffleboard (Jill & I beat Tim & Bud!) and had nice, long, mostly hot showers!

Monday we  took a bike ride and picked up a few last provisions. The city has a free loaner bike program, so it was nice to not have to lug our bikes to shore. Monday afternoon Jack and Irene came back on their way to drop off visiting friends and we also had a visit from our nephew Chris. His team has been training in Sarasota, so he drove down for the afternoon. The weather was perfect, so we all went out for a nice sail. It's been a long time since we went out for a sail to nowhere. Jack and Irene left after happy hour and Chris stayed for dinner and Farkle. It was great to have another little piece of home!

Tuesday morning we were on our way again. We saw dolphins when we left the harbor and after a great day of sailing, saw more dolphins when we entered our anchorage in the afternoon. That never gets old for me. As I was typing this post I jumped up 3 times because Bud spotted dolphins!  We are on the move again today. In the next few days we are hoping to meet up with friends that we met in the Dismal Swamp, and also friends from Marathon! We have been very lucky to have met such great people in this cruising community.

One last note. We would like to send our prayers and condolences to the family of George Francis Sr. who passed away this week. George (Big George, Grampy) was a great man and friend and helped us out enormously while we prepared for this trip. He will truly be missed by all who knew and loved him.

~ Jen & Bud