Thursday, December 24, 2020

At Anchor for Christmas!!


Daybreak 12/23/2020 Blackburn Bay, FL

Too much fun yesterday to update the blog so here’s a brief rundown…


After a great night’s sleep we pulled anchor at 7:31am and departed Blackburn Bay.  It was a beautiful travel day and we knew it wasn’t far to Cayo Costa State Park – our destination for Christmas!


Venice FL - one day we'll stop here

We passed through Venice FL – our 5th time to traverse this great looking town – and we still haven’t stop!!  With the sun in our eyes all morning we were very diligent at the helm, paying attention and making good use of 2 sets of eyes and the binoculars.  A lot of this area is Manatee Zones or No Wake Zones and just for good measure we were blessed to have TWO Law Enforcement Boats in front of us.  Good way to keep a check on our speed…


The Lower Place anchored Cayo Costa State Park 12/23/2020

By 12:24pm we were comfortably anchored at Cayo Costa State Park.  We fell in love with this place on our first loop in 2016 and stop every time we’re in the area.  You can too – if you have a boat or hop on the ferry.  It’s only accessible by water!!

 A quick bite of lunch and we launched the dinghy!!  Off to the island for some much needed walking, stretching and exploring.

One mile across the's the Gulf of Mexico!!

The perfect image of "old Florida"

Could there be a better named trail??

Back on the dinghy we cruised around the Pelican Bay side of the island looking for the Manatee pool.  The water temp is in the low 60’s so that’s a little cool for them but we enjoyed the exploration just the same.  We did see an alligator on the bank but it was difficult to discern in a photo…so you’ll have to take my word for it.


Headed to the Manatee Pool - or Manatee-free Pool in our case

12/23/2020 Sunset from the bow of The Lower Place at Cayo Costa



Christmas Tree on The Lower Place

Merry Christmas Eve!!  A beautiful start to the day and it’s time to put up (or unbag) the Christmas tree!!  So for the FIRST time on The Lower Place we have a Christmas tree!!  A fantastic idea from brother-in-law Wes and a special find from a special lady – I’m sure she’s shaking her head in heaven!!

And check out these treasures…typical 2020 Christmas gifts – gloves, masks, handheld VHF radio, seamanship books (Chapman’s a must-have), cocktail napkins, that dark box on the left is Alexa…she’s resting until tomorrow!!  And how about the fancy ornaments??  An aluminum foil star, key chain from Lulu’s, anchor-topped bottle stopper and a special ribbon!!  With the fiber optic lights, it really doesn’t need much more.  I’m sure it will be beautiful tonight when the sun goes down.

It's hard to tell - but the wind is stirring the water - a little

Speaking of sun…it’s 74°, super sunny and super windy as I write this.  We are under a small craft advisory until 7AM Saturday.  And that means we will stay onboard and anchored until things calm down.  I won’t bore you with all the wind directions & speeds or the threat of thunderstorms or the predicted wave heights 20 miles off shore…just know we have 150’ of chain deployed with a 66 pound anchor in 6 – 8.5’ of water depending on the tide.  While we will be extremely attentive to the weather changes throughout the night, we are confident in our ground tackle and our Lord.  We will be fine – just a little sleep deprived.


Looking to the west some brave boaters are flying kites - beautiful!!

So stop hiding in a room, reading this post.  Your family is wondering where you are and someone probably needs your help in the kitchen.  And while you’re at it take advantage of this unusual version of “togetherness” and call or text someone you haven’t talked to in a couple months!!  You will be glad you did!!  MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Stay healthy and God Bless

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