Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Leaving Tarpon Springs

After three nights in Tarpon Springs the crew of Viridian is refreshed from the Gulf crossing and ready to head South for the Keys.  We will be going down the Gulf side of Florida to reach our winter destination of Key West. (A final word on Tarpon Springs, FL. You don't have to be Looping to enjoy visiting this great spot.  There is a ton of history surrounding this town founded on the sponge industry and populated by the largest Greek community in the US.  The food is fabulous and and so are the people.  Plan a trip to spend a few days at Tarpon Springs.  Its is certainly worth a visit.)

Today's destination takes us out the Anclote River, into St Joseph Sound, past Clearwater, FL, to an anchorage just below the "Narrows" called Redington.  A four hour cruise under cloudy skies gave our eyes a rest from the bright sunshine and the temperature was a perfect 72 deg.  A lot of the route went through "idle speed" since it's pretty much one continuous marina and housing area.  Once we got to Clearwater our speed was controlled by no wake zones but there were tons of interesting sights along the way.

Redington anchorage is a great little cove just off the GIWW surrounded by houses to the East and North, hi-rise condos to the West and more houses South.  We were careful to follow the approach instructions laid out in the Active Captain comment section so as to not run aground in the narrow inlet.  Once inside we had the whole cove to ourselves.  There were still two hours of  daylight left so we rowed Jazzy over to a city park and tied her up to a piling at the dock where a sign said, "NO INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINES ALLOWED".  No problem. A short walk North to the public beach access point got us on the Gulf side beach where we walked until the sun set picking up hand fulls of sea shells, coral and sponges that had washed up.  On the way back we stopped by the 7-11 and got two gallons of Zephyrhills Spring water and two packs of caramel M&Ms.  A short walk back to "Jazzy" with our booty and we rowed like pirates through the dark, smooth water to dock up with Viridian.  Kale & chick pea soup without the kale was heated on the gas stove while tomorrow's passage to Jack Marina in Sarasota, FL was entered into the chartplotter.  Another great day on the Loop comes to a close.  Here are some Views of today's passage.

That's the news and here's the views:

We are here

Turtle Cove Marina at Tarpon Spring's FL

Route of today's Passage

Another View

Redington Cove Anchorage (red circle)

 Pelican hang-out

100 year old home belonging to the minister of music at Tarpon Springs 1st Baptist Church
on the Anclote River near Turtle Cove Marina in Tarpon Springs.  He is the 3rd generation family member to live here

The "Narrows"

One of the three bridges opened for Viridian to pass

 On the beach

 Sponges strapped to backpack

Red at night, a good sight

Viridian as seen from Jazzy