Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Fun times in St Pete- 2015

A small shark has been swimming around the boat.

With a lot of company and busy time spent  with old and new friends, the past month has flown by. The temperatures here are much higher than normal for this time of year, but we are surviving in the heat.

For two weeks the AVP – Association of Volleyball Professionals – has been setting up near the pier for the Olympic qualification games. Truck loads of sand was hauled in creating several sand volleyball courts. Bleachers were built on all sides of the main court, tents with vendors and portable potties were brought in. The games started on the 14th and ran through the 21st. It’s a big event and quite exciting to be so close. General admission was free; we managed to stop in for a short time to watch some the players competing. We saw a girls U.S.A. team and Polish team play. They are fierce and swift. With the games over, the crew is disassembling in it all.

We’ve had a few visitors on Sanibel. A friend from Jimi’s younger days, Rose and her teenage daughter came through Florida. They stopped for a full afternoon and evening. We took them out for a sail in Tampa bay and then enjoyed a meal made for a King. Rose brought us beautiful steaks, which Jimi grilled on the grill, monstrous crab legs and plenty more goodies.

Jimi bringing Rose and Cassandra to Sanibel.

Rose on the bow as we motor out of the basin.

Jimi and Cassandra at the helm.

Cassandra found our live-aboard gecko.

Cassandra learning how to blow a conch shell.

Cassandra jumping overboard for a swim.

Jimi playing with our food.

Steaks on the grill - yummmmm.

Finally, cooking the crab legs.

A few days later Jeff, Jimi’s brother, and Jeff’s wife, Karen, came through Florida in their semi truck. We met them at a truck stop in Tampa and all went to dinner. Then we came back for a brief tour and visit on Sanibel.
Lorie, Karen, Jeff & Jimi at dinner.

Jimi and Jeff

 We’ve made friends with a couple Nate and Jenn. They own an Allied princess, which is a sister boat to Sanibel and they are from Denver. It’s nice to have friends from our old stomping grounds. In addition, they like to play volleyball, as we do.

Two weeks ago, we were ecstatic when our boat buddies, Eric and Sandrine arrived in the basin. It’s so good to hang out with them again. They are staying until the 9th of July and then, sadly, we’ll part ways again. In the meantime, we’re making plans with them for the 4th of July spoiling ourselves with s/v Jingle’s company.

Jimi took his final test for his Captain’s license. He’s putting the final touches on the big package to send in to the U.S. Coast Guard and will wait for their approval.

We’re always excited and giddy when we have guests, but having my daughter and her family here was the cherry on the ice cream for me.  Jennifer, Joel and Liam arrived last Tuesday evening. 

Sanibel was indeed  a full house. Liam and Joel were more than willing to sleep in the cockpit and when it rained they relocated to the saloon. Jennifer took the port side of the V-berth and their bags and suitcases occupied the starboard side of the V-berth. With temperatures in the high 90’s everyday and not much breeze they were relieved to be able to take showers at the marina every morning.
On Wednesday we saw the new movie “Mad Max” in the theatre and then with Eric and Sandrine joining us, we ate at our favorite Chief’s Creole CafĂ©. Some had the Gumbo, Jambalaya and Jenn ordered the Shrimp, Grits and Cheese.  It was fabulous.

We left the basin for an overnight trip Thursday, but after two hours had to turn around and come back when Jimi noticed the motor overheating. The rest of the day was kind of a slump day. That evening we walked to the Salvador Dali museum with a picnic lunch of brats, corn on the cob and chips and ate dinner. We walked the pier and watched a bit of the APV Olympic try out games.

Friday we loaded ourselves, Eric and Sandrine and headed for St Petersburg Beach. The beach was clean and the sand was soft. We swam in the Gulf of Mexico ocean, which is clearly a much nicer experience than the Bay. After a couple of hours and freshening up we attended a BBQ event. There we watched pig races, ate BBQ, had a drink or two and listed to a great local band called the Soul Circus Cowboys.

Saturday was spent doing some laundry and getting groceries. That afternoon all five of us flopped out all over Sanibel in a vegetative state for a few  hours. That evening we joined Eric and Sandrine on Jingle grilling up steak, skewered vegetables, and Asian cabbage salad. We introduced smores to our French friends for the first time.

Making dinner.

Jenn made us pina-coladas

Sandrine trying a smore for the first time.

Eric being silly with a smore.

After getting the engine sorted out, we were finally able to go on our overnight trip. We left about 10am on Sunday and sailed to Beer Can Island. The area was full of boats when we arrived, but come sunset we were the only ones in sight. We went to shore, built a fire and made more smores.

Monday was their final day with us. It was spent mostly preparing for their long drive back to Kansas. To close out the night we walked downtown St Pete to Starbucks and enjoyed each other’s company over coffee.

All of our guests are gone now and we have a couple of days to clean Sanibel before more arrive. Fun times in St Pete- 2015.