TOTAL MILES TRAVELED TODAY: 11 NM
Another brilliant sunrise accompanied by the dockside primping and preening by the egrets.
|STRUTTING AND CHECKING OUT HIS OWN REFLECTION|
After good buys and many helping hands, we shoved off from our little oasis in the state park and carefully wove our way out of Caladesi. Now we were only traveling a short distance but the path was fraught with shoals, making it trail of zigs and zags.
We managed to follow the convoluted path and found our way to the dock at Frenchy’s Saltwater Cafe where pelicans greeted us as Dan masterfully parked Quest.
|THE DOCK AT FRENCHY'S|
|CAN YOU SEE THE FISH TAIL STICKING OUT OF HIS MOUTH?|
|YES, I AM KING!!|
Having secured all, we strode up to check out Frenchy’s. Since Jim Gilmore and Elsie were meeting us here for dinner we wanted to get the street address and make sure it was really an OK place. Well, it looked good but after only a slight hesitation we felt it was our duty to investigate a little more thoroughly. A dozen fresh oysters, conch ceviche and a pitcher of sangria later we were satisfied that this Frenchy’s would do.
|THE GATE THAT LEADS FROM FRENCHY'S TO THE DOCK|
|COME ON IN , FOLKS|
We meandered the beautiful, white sand Clearwater beach for a while then jumped onto the Jolly Trolley for a quick look at the area. This winter getaway has some huge hotels and condo complexes as well as a smattering of small, old retreats.
At 5:00 we rushed back over the narrow strip of populated land to watch the progress of the sun setting over the ocean. Everyone seems to gather on or near the pier for this nightly show with vendors capitalizing on their predictable congregation.
|SUNSET FROM CLEARWATER BEACH|
|ON THE PIER|
We imbibed in another tasty fish meal at Frenchy’s and enjoyed visiting with Jim and Elsie, a little touch with home back in Vermont. After retiring back to the boat for a quick tour and more chatting, Dan walked them out to their car and waved them off. Well, it seems that in those few minutes, the dock gates were locked and Dan was stuck on the outside. As you can see from the sign below, there is really no allowed dockage but they are totally lax on this. However, once they lock the gates at 11:00 (it was barely 10:30 tonight) you are stuck either in or out. Dan rushed over to the closing restaurant and found someone to reopen the gate for him so he didn’t have to spend the night on the pavement. Of course, he didn’t have his phone with him so I just assumed he was doing the Dan “thing” and talking with Jimmy or some poor sole at the bar.