12-16-09 Clearwater Fl II

[Rick] On Tuesday, 12-15-09, we did very little, choosing to take it easy. We did walk down to Pier 60, the Beach area for the sunset, but the fog had other ideas.

On Wednesday, I talked to the harbormaster and found that the monthly rate for a boat here is $15 per foot, including electricity. The daily rate is $2 per foot, including electricity. So, if you stay over 7 days, it is better to have the monthly rate. Since we are sure that we are going to be here for at least 7 days, maybe more, we signed up for the monthly rate. This does not mean that we will stay here until January 14, 2010, but we can if we wish. If we do stay the entire month, the daily rate will be only $.51 per foot. The marina is in the center of a lot of things, post office, beach, etc, so we may stay at least a couple of weeks. We have called some friends that live in the area and are planning to visit with them over the next week. We will probably rent a car for the weekend and get to some of the attractions.

Last night we left a blue folding deck chair on the finger pier beside the boat. This morning, it was gone. Our bikes were untouched, so either the chair blew over, which we doubt, or the thief was tired (and stupid!).

We rode the Jolley Trolley to the Publix supermarket today. This little bus, with transfers to the city system, has a route all over Clearwater Beach and one of its stops is in front of the marina. Cost is $2. You can buy an all day pass for $4.

For supper, one of the loopers we met this summer, Fred and Sharon Clarkson on “Perfect Remedy,” came over, picked us along with Dan and Biddi Lankford (“Biddi and the Beast”), and took us on a tour of the area, including their home, before taking us to Naked Bonefish for supper. We had a perfectly delightful dinner, hashing over the loop trip. Dan and Biddi live full time on their boat, having sold their house, cars and most possessions.

So, the bottom line is we will be here for a while. Blogs will not be daily, as there will be days with nothing to tell. But, when there is something to tell, you will be the first to know.

The only disadvantage to this place is that the docks are stationary and there is quite a tidal range…at least 4 to 5 feet. I’ve had to get up both nights we’ve been here so far and adjust the lines in the middle of the night. In the morning, when the tide is low, we have a terrible time getting off the boat, especially when we’re trying to get Beamer to shore. Fortunately here in the gulf there is only one tide cycle per day instead of the two we are used to on the east coast.

Here is a picture of one of the 6 cruise boats that call the Clearwater Municipal Marina home. In this season, they are all booked with Christmas parties and seem to sail very regularly.

Betsy has been laid back and enjoying the sunshine and warmth after the cold and wet weather we had just a few days ago.

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