On our dolphin tour during the week of Thanksgiving, we headed out to a small spoil island to walk around and look for shells. It’s a tiny oasis in the middle of all of these tall buildings.
The flag on the island was starting to look a little weathered.
We could see a kiteboarded across the waterway.
There were small sailboats all around the area. It was a windy morning and perfect to be out on the water.
I was looking the other way and heard my sister yell “Oh no, they went over.” I looked around and saw that the boat had flipped on it’s side. The 2 guys were working on pulling it back up. At first I thought they would need to be rescued but our captain said it happens fairly often and the guys on these small boats are good at getting them back upright. That has to take a lot of upper body strength to get that sail out of the water. (That big white complex in the background is Morton Plant Hospital in Clearwater).
The guys in another boat nearby were leaning pretty hard to keep theirs from going over.
Nice view heading back to the marina.
Cruising along Clearwater bay looking for dophins. Lots of big buildings going up around the beach including the new expanded Clearwater Marine Aquarium, home of Winter the movie star dolphin from A Dolphin’s Tale who lost his tail and was given a prosthetic tail.
Anyone want a boat real cheap? An abandoned boat near the marina.
Cruising by some of the big old historic homes along the intercoastal waterway.
Out along Sand Key.
Two osprey taking a bath on a sand spit during low tide.
We stopped at a spoil island near Sand Key and looked for some shells. The ones that were still alive were put back in the water.
The last day my sisters were here visiting we took a 2 hour dolphin tour out of Clearwater marina. After living here for almost 18 years it was the first time I had done that. It was fun being out on the water on such a beautiful morning. We finally did see some dolphins coming back to the marina but I didn’t take any pictures. The boat was fairly full and I hung back letting all of the tourists see them from the edge of the boat. It’s fun to see people’s reactions when they see one for the first time out in the wild. Living here we take things for granted. I saw 3 of them coming home from work recently while I was stuck in traffic on the bridge.
Least terns were just starting to mate on the beach at Sand Key Park in late June.
A crazed looking juvenile mockingbird was also on the beach.
On osprey was guarding the jetti with his fish.
A small storm was moving in across the beach. The tourist pirate ship started to head out into the gulf but then turned around and came back into the bay. That trip must have gotten cut short. It started to sprinkle as I walked back down the beach to my car but then the sun came out just as fast.
I think it was going to end up being a perfect day after the morning storms moved through. I had stopped by the park to see if the least terns were nesting yet. They were there but none of them were sitting on eggs yet. People were starting to come out to the beach once the sun came out. It was time for me to go home and have lunch.
The Saturday after Thanksgiving I took my sisters over to the beach for a walk before lunch. We walked around the marina and stopped in some of the gift shops there.
Later on that day we walked on the causeway from Clearwater to Tampa and watched the sun go down before heading home for dinner.
I barely remember going to eat dinner with my family at the Kapok Tree Inn in Clearwater when I was little. It was one of my grand parent’s favorite places to eat so when we came to visit we would eat here. The last time we ate here was probably in the mid 70’s though the restaurant didn’t close until the early 90’s. I remember the gardens in the back being so pretty. The building and gardens are still there but the main building that use to be the restaurant is now a Sam Ash Music Store. The back building where the grand ballroom was is a wedding and event venue. When my sisters were in town during Christmas, we stopped in to see if much had changed. The place looked exactly like it did 40-50 years ago.
The grand ballroom looked exactly the same. It would be pretty to have a wedding reception here.
The tiny details inside were still there.
It was fun going back in time to see a place I remember going to with my grandparents.
You can see some original pictures and postcards here of the restaurant.
More on the history from the Kapok Tree Inn Special Events page.
We headed over to the beach for a sunset walk on Christmas night. Clearwater beach was so packed that we didn’t stay long. We drove past the beach after a walk on Sand Key beach and then stopped along the causeway to take some pictures before heading home.
It was a beautiful night. Yes, that’s you standing in front of the water taking a picture Debbie.