Out on the water

I went for a long walk around by the Dunedin marina on a cool morning in late February (this was one of those perfect Florida winter days, sunny and 58 degrees). I had left my camera in the car and was walking along the front of the marina and saw all of the sailboats out in the water.I snapped the above with my phone and then hiked back to my car to get my camera.

There was some sort of sailing class or group out in the water. It looked like fun. It got me thinking I might need to take some sailing lessons.

I drove over to Weaver Park, just north of the Dunedin marina. From that long pier you can see most of Clearwater Beach.

Of course as I’m standing on the fishing  pier I had to snap pictures of the anhinga watching me and the osprey cruising by. I’m glad I had left my camera in the car. I wasn’t planning on taking any pictures this morning but you never know what you’ll see out there.

My Corner of the World

Out on the water

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.

SkyWatch Friday

Looking for dolphins

The weather was too nice during the week of Thanksgiving not to be outside all week. My sister and I booked a dolphin tour out of the Clearwater marina one morning. Even if we didn’t see any dolphins, it would be a fun trip out on the water.

We were not going out to far, staying in the intercoastal waterway area. The tide was super low so we had to stay right at the channel markers. I could see Sand Key beach far off to the right.

Right away we saw a dolphin! We were cruising along next to another tour boat and a dolphin was right behind them, chasing the waves. Of course we were facing right into the sun so it was hard to get good shots. I see a lot of dolphins down at Fort Desoto but rarely see them coming out of the water this much so this was fun.

Some of the birds we saw cruising around including two white pelicans flying high up.

We also saw several dolphins chasing fish into the sea walls. They were flapping the water hard to stun the fish. After all of the dolphin sightings we headed out to a small spit island to look for shells. More on that later.

Our World Tuesday Graphic

The perfect spot

More shots from my sunset walk at the Dunedin marina.

You can see why this is one of the best places to watch the sun go down but don’t tell anyone else. It already gets crazy crowded.

People in the surrounding neighborhoods ride over in their golf carts since parking is limited in this area. I park several blocks over and walk in to the marina. Many of them decorate their carts which makes it more fun.

I decided to head back to my car before it got too dark but I stopped for one last shot in front of the sailboats. All shots taken with my phone.

SkyWatch Friday

Always a perfect sunset

Nothing says Florida like a walk around a marina especially right before sunset. If you want to get a good sunset spot here, you have to get here early.

This was actually back in late October when I headed out for a long walk before sunset at the Dunedin marina. Even thought it sits on the intercoastal waterway and Clearwater beach is across the water, the sunsets here draw a large crowd. There was still plenty of room around the pier and marina the night I was there. It’s totally worth getting up off the couch on a late Sunday afternoon and driving 30 minutes away.

Since parking is hard to find around the marina, a lot of people who live close by have golf carts. It’s easier to get a spot for dinner at the nearby restaurants. The one above was decorated and they were very friendly, talking to everyone. I had to take a picture.

It was time to start hiking back to my car but I turned around and took one more shot.

SkyWatch Friday

Things at the marina

Trying to stay off my legs (due to hip bursitis) but not wanting to stay at home, I headed out for the Dunedin marina and fishing pier early one morning in mid-November. I spent the morning just hanging out, sitting on benches watching the activity around the marina. From the shots above, it was pretty quiet that morning.

I did see a manatee cruising around the boats in the marina.

This anhinga was having fish for breakfast.

Some of the birds also hanging around the marina, a green heron and lots of pelicans.

A spotted sandpiper was digging around the exposed muck at the boat ramp.

image-in-ing: weekly photo linkup

Our World Tuesday Graphic

Rush hour traffic on the bay

Things were quiet in the area in late October. Fall migration was pretty slow but I still wanted to get out for a walk so I headed to North Shore park that sits on the bay near downtown St. Pete.

It looked like rush hour traffic far out in the bay with all of the sailboats. People were also kayaking and wind surfing. It was still warm out so the water was the place to be.

I had a nice walk along the water before heading home for lunch.

image-in-ing: weekly photo linkup

Our World Tuesday Graphic

Skirting by

How do you get a big beached sailboat back out into the water?  Very carefully with a big truck. For many people in the Tampa bay area, we were really lucky when Hurricane ETA skirted by us last week. It was a little nerve racking on Wednesday night as Brett and I were trying to go to bed and 70 mile winds were blasting through our channels. There wasn’t a lot of wind damage to the area but a lot of flooding. We kept getting up and peeking out the window to see how far the water had gotten into our yard. High tide was around midnight and by 10:30 we had water over our seawall and a few feet into our yard. We had some minor damage to our dock but many people had flooding in their homes. Even people who didn’t live near the water had flooding in their streets and ended up with flooded homes.

The news was saying there were sailboats beached in the small town of Gulfport in south St. Petersburg. I was out running around on Saturday morning and stopped by. I had heard there were 12 boats beached but by Saturday there was only 6 left on the beach. They were craning one of the boats to put back in the water. That’s a big task.

It looks like there is just minor damage to these boats. Mostly lots of dings but I’m sure that expensive. Some of these boats had people living on them so they have been displaced until the boats can be fixed.  Gulfport doesn’t sit directly on the gulf. It’s a small bay off the intercoastal waterway and many boats stay anchored in this area.

Otherwise, it was a beautiful morning and you would never know a bad storm came through 2 days earlier if it wasn’t for the sailboats sitting on the beach. I could see the pink hotel across the bay (Don Cesar Hotel) that sits on the beach.

The Christmas tree was up in front of the beach. I’m assuming someone put this here the day before since there wouldn’t be any balls here after that storm. The restaurants in front of the beach were opening up for breakfast. They had spent the last 2 days cleaning up the sand off the floors.

SkyWatch Friday

Cranes and Sailboats

Not so early in the morning, the sun had just come up over Port Tampa, across from Davis Islands yacht basin. I was out for a walk on a Saturday morning.

More shots from my walk around the yacht basin.

I stopped by the Marjorie Park marina before leaving Davis Islands and took the above shot of downtown Tampa. There was a storm coming from the far left.

A wide pano of the basin taken with my phone.

SkyWatch Friday

North Shore Park

Far out in the bay, it was rush hour traffic on a Saturday morning. Lots of boat activity on this beautiful morning.

I found another great blue heron/ great egret hybrid at the small beach near downtown St. Pete.

After a quick walk around North Shore park, I was heading back to my car and saw the above flying into the trees in the parking lot.

All of a sudden, the tree was full of nanday parakeets. Even at the end of summer, they were in pairs and flirting. Maybe they are like humans and flirt all year round instead of just nesting season. Although due to the warm weather most of the year here, nesting season could still be going on. This couple was very affectionate.

The next tree over had monk parakeets in them. This one kept chewing on a branch.

Then his mate flew in and they started preening each other.

There were so many parakeets here on this particular morning that the sound was deafening. The wild parakeets in the area have really taken over. They are very comical to watch and are not skittish at all.

image-in-ing: weekly photo linkup

Our World Tuesday Graphic