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Free Range Human, Sailor, Writer, Artist, Videographer  

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

St Pete Beach FL Gunkhole: A Small Boat Sailing Cruise

Once north bound HideAway sailed on with a bone in her teeth joyfully tossing waves this way and that while her crew grew smiles from ear to collective ear. Only a radio alert from Miandros kept HideAway from trying to make Anclote Key before dark. Seems we had over shot the skinny little white church steeple that marked our anchorage.

Sailing HideAway off St Pete Beach, Gulf of Mexico Thanksgiving Weekend

By the time HideAway had gained the safe haven Miandros had set two anchors close to shore in calm waters six foot deep at lower tide. Both crews piled into their respective dinghies and rowed for shore surfing along the way in the gentle swells. Once on the beach a crowd of people met us as if we had just sailed in from Texas or some such. Well I may have told them so, but it surely is not often sailors are treated as rock stars.

Mihrandros & HideAway St Pete Beach Fl Gulf of Mexico

Frank Hurley Park with its modern flushers and showers is a short walk along the sandy street. A longer, but certainly doable stroll to the Hurricane is possible for those without chicken to grille. Those with longer legs and deeper pockets would find the Don Cesar a bit further the other direction and of course on the way the Nancy Markoe Gallery is always a fun place to visit. With chickens calling both crews reluctantly rowed back to supper.

The base of the Off bottle seals the Solar Shower and repels bugs! 

The HideAways are pretty much low tech when it comes right down to it.    So it should be no real surprise to find a jar of sun tea brewing at the stern.  No need to bring a stove to heat water when there is a perfectly good, hot celestial body to do the job.

A fine cup of fresh brewed tea is a satisfying way to begin the day especially if it is sun tea made the old fashioned way in an aged pickle jar. Apparently the former residents of that particular jar were quite flavorful. Thus the invention of Dill Pickle Sun Tea came to pass on a sunny morning in November. DPST is an acquired taste for the sophisticated palette with an interesting bouquet and a long finish. Gulpable, perhaps a bit coarse, Dill Pickle Sun Tea has an aromatic nose that leaps out of the glass. Some say it’s a real knock out. Did I mention it is an acquired taste?

Don Cesar Hotel between the bows Miandros & HideAway
 A mesmerizing sunset gave way to the darkness of night over the stern while the shore line buildings lit up like sparkling gems. Further north though, up Clearwater way, both crews confirmed they saw, at the same time, large, small and in-between sized red globules rising to the dark sky. They looked like a huge lava lamp belching its contents into the heavens. If you don’t know what a lava lamp is then have another swig of that Dill Pickle Sun Tea to help you see them.

The next morning brought the sun up from the bow after setting down at the stern.

A row to shore and a walk down a sandy street on a warm, sunny winter’s morn among the bikers and walkers that populate this little slice of heaven is a grand respite from the urban sprawl and strip malls that have become the new “Old Florida”

The ten am church steeple bell reminded us of a remarkable event scheduled for the same time. We dragged the dink into the gulf then zigged and zagged like a nervous whirly gig back to HideAway just in time to watch the launch of a rocket to Mars.
Rocket Launch to Mars!

How could a sailor possible want for more? A Wonderful gunkhole with a beautiful beach, great company, and a softly ringing church bell to tell the time provided first rate ambiance. Adding the Clearwater Lava Lamp and a rocket to Mars made this a splendid moment in time.

Do you suppose those red globules were Martian space ships coming to see what NASA was up to this time?

Or was it just a large Lava Lamp hallucination brought on by too much Dill Pickle Sun Tea?

Either way we sailed away from St Pete Beach mid morning in strong air with goofy grins on our faces bound for our next gunkhole at Indian Key.

Free Range Humans Only SV HideAway