We woke this morning to a gorgeous sunrise with clear skies and a light SW wind. We pulled anchor and set off at 7:07. Since the weather was so calm, we decided to go out into the Gulf and bypass a section of the ICW which has several bridges that have to be opened before we can pass through. We ran about 25 miles in the Gulf and then went back inland at Venice.
There were lots of dolphin and osprey today, as well as a couple of huge sea turtles and a manatee, who stuck his nose out of the water briefly in front of the boat just before we ended our day. As I'm writing this, a storm is blowing up - lots of wind, but so far no rain. We are tied securely to a sturdy dock, though, so it isn't anything to worry about.
We did a total of 66 miles today. Tomorrow we should get North of Tampa.
Daisy pooped and peed on the boat neither where I wanted her to. I ask her if she would rather be home chasing squirrels but she said no she just wanted to be with me! You can't beat that.
After the shakey evening with the storm I was a bit anxious when Tom wanted to go through the cut and go ahead and get into the gulf. But the captain said the water and the weather was just right. As we entered the gulf we were met by a beautiful rainbow. I got teary remembering God's grace and mercy to us. So with that reminder I was ready to face the day. The gulf was very calm and the wind was at our back.
Some fun loving Dolphins joined us for a bit riding our bow wake. I saw another gigantic sea turtle. I piloted the boat using only the compass while Tom did some research on the iPad. It made me feel very competent! We entered the ICW at Venice and stopped in Nokomis and ate at Pops sunset grill. Of course we were getting many compliments on the boat. We met a very nice couple sitting at the table next to us. They insisted on driving us over to their marina to get some ice. It just really made things a lot easier for us. They were very kind. Wouldn't it be nice if we could all just be the hands and feet of Christ wherever we go? They encouraged us to enjoy life while we can and we left them with promises to pray for them on their journey. We made it through 3 bridges that had to be opened for us with limited delays. Now I am sitting on the cockpit tied up to the dock at Moores stone crab restaurant. If you eat with them they let you stay overnight. Pretty good deal!