Thursday, December 16, 2010

Events & Weather - St. Petersburg

The first of what was to be three strong cold fronts chased us into the St. Petersburg Yacht Club three days earlier than planned, two weeks ago. This gave us the chance to have Lippincott Marine Canvas come to remove our original bimini in order to make a new one at their shop just a mile away. In five days the new one was up and our enclosure reattached. It looks great and is keeping the cockpit dry and warm, as the next two cold fronts have come through, preceded by rain and bringing temperatures in the low 40s on several nights. Three days ago, it was 71 yesterday 52 with winds 10-30 knots. Highlights of St. Petersburg: A terrific Saturday Farmers Market, just 2 blocks away. The fresh produce (Florida Strawberries are in) and diverse ethnic food vendors along with French pastries and fresh squeezed orange juice are treats. The restaurant selection is also varied and within walking distance of the Yacht Basin. Our favorites are “Ceviche” with wonderful tapas, “Moon Under Water” featuring entrees from former British colonies along with a great beer selection and “The Lucky Dill”, a New York style deli, offering both a large breakfast and lunch menu. This illustrates the saying “Getting there is fun, but being there is even better”! Now for the focus of our two-week stay. The St. Petersburg Boat Show was Dec 2-5. We attended several seminars, explored tents full of vendor stalls and it was fun to see the new sailboat models. Fortunately for our pocketbook none appealed to us more than our “Zephyrina”. Then on Dec 10-12 Helen’s good friend, Jan from Pennsylvania, came to town. Her granddaughter was getting married near by. So we did what we love to do, and entertained her with a sail in Tampa Bay. As is often the case, the forecasted light winds quickly turned to 12-18 knots and we “streaked” east across the bay at 6 to 7 knots for over an hour. When we came about to return, thinking we’d sail back on the reciprocal we discovered that Zephyrus, the Greek God of the West Wind had spotted his wayward daughter, Zephyrina, and aimed his wind right on her bow. This change of wind direction now had our sailing angle at 90 degrees off from a straight shot to St. Petersburg and towards the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. With winds gusting to over 20 knots out of the west we tried a few short tacks, then furled the sails and motored back. The high winds and chill of the third cold front are subsiding today and tomorrow, Dec 15; we plan to motor sail over to Snead Island to meet Keri and Lisa for a 4-day visit to include sailing in the Manatee River and biking to Emerson Point.

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