It's been an interesting week to say the least. Sunday, Coleen and I took the Glass Slipper out in to the bay for a little afternoon sail. We stopped first at the St. Petersburg Municipal Marina - just on the other side of The Pier for a pumpout, water and gasoline. It was an easy job tying up to the courtesy dock for the water and gas. I then had to scoot over to the weirdest little place for a pump out. It's just amazing that I did not run aground. I went past a boat ramp, and tied up a few feet from the concrete seawall. It was like parallel parking a car - and a vessel much larger than mine would not have fit at all. I managed to scoot in and grab the aft piling - put a line around it and then by holding it tight and using the engine I pivoted her forward until Coleen could wrap a line around the forward piling. I was pretty amazed that it worked!
After taking care of business we motored out into Tampa Bay for a sail. The forecast was for 5 to 10 knot winds and isolated thunderstorms. I could see a thunderstorm brewing over St. Pete but there wasn't much wind at all. Coleen and I put out the sails anyway. She did a great job helping me hoist the main and she unrolled and cleated the roller furling on her own. Then she tidied up all the lines. Of course after that she went inside to watch a movie!
A few minutes later as the storm made it's approach we got hit by a hard, but short lived gust of wind. It was just enough to temporarily push us over and send a few things flying in the cabin. The captain - had actually left a few things sitting on the galley counter and now they were all on the floor including a broken, shattered Corelle plate. Not such a great start. I could see the rain was fast approaching and decided to take down the sails and grab my foulie jacket. About the time I finished the rain hit hard. It was actually quite lovely watching it make its way across the water. Not really much wind, just a LOT of rain. We had a little bit of a rolling chop and after experimenting a bit, I found it was more comfortable to have the rain, waves at my back rather than hitting me in the face. It was raining so hard I couldn't see very far around me, but I knew I was far enough from land it would be OK and actually wasn't a bit afraid. I also knew that it wouldn't last long. After a few minutes the sun was out and we had a nice breeze. I put up the sails again and we enjoyed sailing for a couple of hours before heading back in to the anchorage around 7 p.m.
Sometime around 10 p.m. the wind picked up and was coming from the East. The waves were just pouring into the anchorage and it was rolling so bad it was very uncomfortable - and about every 5th roll included a loud slap on the transom. It was nearly impossible to sleep. I was awake most of the night.
On Monday, Coleen and I made a picnic lunch, grabbed our art supplies and headed over to spend the afternoon at the park. Coleen insisted that she knew the perfect place - between two huge trees - and she was right. They were actually banyan trees. A little boy in the park showed her how to grab a handful of roots and use them to swing. We had a lovely afternoon in the park overlooking the anchorage and great view of the bay.
I had a vacation day on Tuesday so we went to the Fine Arts Muesum which was also just across the street. They had quite a collection and we were there for several hours. The only bad part is that I wasn't feeling well as my blood pressure was high for some reason. I spent the rest of the day taking it easy. The anchorage was quite pleasant all day, and then once again around 10 p.m. the wind picked up and we started rolling. It was even worse than the night before (which was hard to believe). At least it had a little rhythm to it --- up/down back to front about 5 times, then a slap on the transom and a side ways motion. Eventually I fell asleep on the settee.
I had a whirlwind business trip planned for Wednesday, but my blood pressure was still very high and I felt awful. I made it as far as the airport and then turned around and decided to reschedule. I was not up to 8 hours of flights.... but I also couldn't bear the thought of sitting in that rolly polly anchorage so I came up with a drastic plan, logged onto Priceline and booked myself a room at the hotel across from the anchorage - The Vinoy - a four star resort. I actually got a good deal on the rate too. I was lucky they had a room ready and let me check in when I arrived around 10 a.m. They even upgraded me to a Bay view room and I could see the Glass Slipper from my windows - while laying in the nice cozy bed. I ended up sleeping most of the day and even treated myself to a room service lunch. I was feeling much better by early evening.
Later in the evening we made a quick trip over to the boat to get the laundry and then Coleen and DJ enjoyed the pool while I made use of the laundry facilities. I totally enjoyed spending the night in the nice cozy bed, with a down comforter and pillows. I had rescheduled my business trip to leave the next afternoon, so we spent Thursday morning hanging out at the hotel. About an hour before I was to leave for the airport - my customer decided he wanted to meet with me on Monday instead! It didn't hurt my feelings too bad - as I still didn't feel that well and was not looking forward to the long flight!
Somehow DJ managed to fall in a hole in the grass and twist his ankle while holding his bike in one hand and groceries in the other. It needed propping up and some ice. I took his dinghy to shore to get make an ice run - my first time driving it. I tied up in our usual spot and actually had a fellow cruiser help me pull it up as far as possible on to shore. It was only a couple of blocks to the convenience store and I also stopped at a fruit stand. I was feeling quite proud - for actually doing something to help DJ – since he helps me all the time. Then I arrived back at the dinghy to find it nearly full of water and waves splashing in. It was so heavy I could barely move it. I tried lifting up the bow to dump the water, but it was splashing in just about as fast as it was going out. I couldn’t move it farther in – as it was already at the seawall. The fuel tank was upside down and floating. I had ice melting, nothing to use a baler and one oar. It didn’t look good. I had to break down and call DJ who came to rescue me in the kayak. So much for my taking care of him! He brought a bucket and a gas can and soon we were on our way.
Now I must say the best thing about this anchorage – that almost makes up for the rolly polly motion is the Gelato cafe across the street!