Crabby Bill

Hello virtual crew members and fellow adventures!

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Crabby Bill Dolphin

Eric here catching you up to date on the latest travels of Still Waters II. Click on this link to see the day- to-day travel log.

I would also like to welcome new virtual crew members Port Canaveral Transportation. I am not sure where we will put the limo yet, but I am sure we will figure something out.

Welcome aboard!

Lastly, I will be dedicating this post to a good friend of the skipper, Bill Nix.  The skipper and Bill met back in 1987 and became good friends and fishing buddies.  Bill was also a huge fan of Salvador Dali’s work.  He also has an uncanny resemblemce to Crabby Bill.

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Bill Nix, friend extraordinaire
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Crabby  Bill ‘s is a favorite restaurant of the crew

 

Summary of week:

The crew left Clearwater and cruised to Gulfport to visit the Salvador Dali Museum.  After a surreal experience in Gulfport they made their way to Venice.

Monday February 6, 2017

With only a short run of 25 miles to Gulfport, the crew got a late start.  What a difference a few days makes.  With everybody back at work there were very few boaters on the water today.  A much more comfortable and enjoyable time today on the water.

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Condos lining the GICW

Much of the run was through condo lined beaches and shores.  When there was not a condo there would be private residences.  This meant that the NO WAKE signs were posted along most of the run today which slowed progress down.

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McDonald’s on the water = milkshakes and hot apple pies for crew members

The skipper noticed that a McDonalds was positioned along the water with a private dock.  The crew decided to dock and go buy milkshakes for an afternoon snack.  An added bonus was a Publix grocery store next door, so the Admiral also made a small provisioning run for a few items that the crew needed.

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Arriving at the McDonald dock

After arriving in Gulfport, the crew took a short walk to check out the waterfront part of town.

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Overhead view of Gulfport Municipal Marina

 

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Manatee mural on side of business

Of course, the Admiral found the swing overlooking the Bay.

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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Today’s destination was the Dali Museum which houses the largest collection of Salvador Dali’s work outside of Europe.

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Dali Museum

The crew wanted to stay at the St. Petersburg Marina which is next door to the museum, but the transient docks are under repair and their was no slip available.  Thus, they went to Gulfport which is about eight miles from the museum.

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Spiral staircase inside the museum

The skipper found a bus route that was near by (1 mile walk to pick up bus) and that would drop the crew off within a quarter mile of the museum.  The bus ride took them through some of the finest neighborhoods in St Petersburg, NOT!

After arriving at the museum, they purchased tickets and took the audio tour of the museum and exhibits.  The audio tour was excellent.  If you would like to participate in the audio tour, go to the app store and download the free Dali Museum Virtual Tour app.  The app will show the works on exhibit and give a brief explanation on the piece.  The app is the same tour we had at the museum.

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17 year old Dali self portrait
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The Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory

The above painting was a redo of his Persistence of Memory painting that he completed in 1932.  The above project was completed in the 1950’s after atomic energy was discovered and shows time melting away while the other parts are breaking down into their subatomic pieces.

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Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean

The above painting is a double image.  At the museum, if you stand 20 meters from the painting you can see a portrait of Abe Lincoln.  If you squint your eyes while looking at the pic you can see Lincoln.  Also, if you hold a mirror up to the painting or pic and look at the reflection you can see Lincoln.

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The Rolls Royce was an interesting piece.  Usually you get in a car to get out of the rain.  If you look at the driver, you will notice he has on a deep dive suit and helmet.  The backseat has been enclosed and water is falling along the windows.  The passenger is a mermaid.

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Famous Dali moustache in the gardens.

Another neat exhibit was a virtual reality tour of the painting Archeological Reminiscence of Millet’s “Angelus”.

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The virtual reality tour put you in the painting and you could walk around inside the painting to explore it closer.

Overall, this was an exceptional day for the crew at the Dali Museum.

Now all they have to do is figure out how to get back to the boat using their all day bus tickets.  There is always adventure around every corner.  They got on a route 23 bus that should have taken them within about half a mile of the marina.

But somewhere on the route the bus driver stopped and got off the bus.  A few minutes later he got back on the bus and took off again.  The skipper noticed that they were now on route 14 verse 23.  The skipper pulled up the route maps and laid 14 and 23 out together.  He found a spot where 14 and 23 intersected.

At the intersection, the crew got off the 14 bus and had to wait 20 minutes for a 23 bus.  Once on the 23 bus they were once again headed in the right direction.  The 7 mile distance back to the marina took almost two hours to execute.  hmmm

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

As the crew traveled further south on the west coast of Florida, the competition for marina slips has begun to increase.  The crew had planned to stay in Sarasota for a few days, but the marina slips were not available because a Yacht Club had arrived and taken most of the spots through the weekend.  There was one mooring ball available, but the wind is supposed to kick up to 20 mph on Thursday and the crew did not want to be out in the middle of the water bouncing around in the wind and waves tethered to a mooring ball.  The crew opted to move further south to Venice.

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Crossing Tampa Bay

The 52-mile run was made even longer because the course went through some narrow channels that were marked for slow speed due to Manatee Zones.

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Following a sailboat in a manatee zone

When the crew was not in a manatee zone they were in areas with houses and canals which were posted No Wake.

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One of hundreds of canals lined with boats in this area

Overhead view of a few canals.

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Then there were the million dollar homes that lined the shore also.

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This home has water on three sides

The crew eventually arrived in Venice where they will hang out for a week because the marina provides a  pay for 5 nights, get 2 nights free.  The skipper has trouble passing up free.

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Docked at Crow’s Nest Marina

Saturday, February 11, 2017

The crew spent an uneventful day cleaning and working on the boat yesterday, so today they decided to walk around historic Venice and check the place out.

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One of the places the locals and snowbirds come to watch the sunsets.

The first observation is that this is definitely a place that the retired crowd has taken over.  There are not many folks under 50 even visible.  The beach is full of older folks but no youngsters.  It is a very quiet and peaceful town.  There also is a very large snowbird population here based on the license plates driving around town.

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Sailing at sunset

The crew finally discovered an historical marker that explained the retirement vibe going on in town.  The town was actually designed and built to be a retirement community for railroad employees.  The ‘city plan’ was completed in 1926 by John Nolen.  George A Fuller was selected as the contractor to build the town according to the plan.  The first road was completed in 1926.

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Folks watching the sunset from the jetty

The Great Depression put a major hit on the development of the area and much of the plan was put on hold.  The town got a kick start when an Army Air Base was established here  in 1942.

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A sad claim to fame is that three of the 9/11 hijackers completed their flight training at Huffman Aviation which is located at the Venice Municipal Airport.

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February Snow Moon from Marina

 

Next Week – The goal is to actually make it back to Sweet Water Landing Marina by the end of next week.  You might recall that this is the marina where this adventure started back on June 28, 2015.

The skipper is watching the weather and wind to determine the actual path and travel days to make these last 58 miles before crossing their wake and  hoisting the gold flag.

Loop On – The water goes on forever and the adventure never ends.

Eric the Red

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