Florida Time


Entering Marina Jack with restaurant ahead. Downtown Sarasota in the background.

We spent a few days in Apalachicola FL before the Gulf crossing. While there were few services other than power and water at the docks, walk 100 feet off the boat and you were in town. They also supplied a golf cart for just our two boats, since no one else was at our dock. We used it to tour the town and the ladies for hair appointments and such. This was one of the early Florida ports for lumber and then fishing. It’s a small sleepy place that seems to have more in common with Alabama than Florida. The Florida panhandle is a great area and we are already thinking about spending much more time there on our next loop.


Star Gazer behind Hallelujah at Apalachicola. Waterfront is old, but town behind me is nice.

After crossing we spent two days in Pasadena Yacht club as guests of other DeFever club members. We had a great time visiting with them and learned more about boating life as we always do. The club is very nice and very upscale. We even liked the restaurant, where we ate with 8 other DeFever club members. We do like being downtown when we walk off the docks. At Pasadena you’re instead in the midst of a golf course and condos. Very coastal Florida, but we don’t golf.

On Friday we left at 8 with several club members to see us off and even taking a few pictures. We went about 25 miles south on the ICW. There were several draw bridges which we were able to sneak under until we turned in at Cortez Cove Marina. This is where Star Gazer sat for 6 months after we bought it and had its initial refit.


Local DeFever Club group at Pasadena Yacht Club.

Cortez Cove is more of a boat yard than a marina, and several oversized boats were at the outer docks, giving us an incoming passage about 20 feet wide between them with a fairly sharp turn at the end. This was by far the tightest entry I had ever made into a marina. Bumping into docks is one thing, but into other boats is another. We spent a few hours there for them to check out some work we want done later this month. We then had a dramatic if uneventful exit this time with several of marina staff on our and the other boats with boathooks ready to push us off if needed. We then went south the remaining 10 miles to Marina Jack in Sarasota.


Star Gazer leaving Pasadena Yacht club. Taken by a DeFever club member.

Marina Jack is easily the fanciest marina we have stayed at. Walk out of the marina and we are in downtown Sarasota. After country living along the Tennessee and Tombigbee rivers we are struggling to adjust to one of the most sophisticated upscale areas in Florida. We’ll be here until we leave for a one week Thanksgiving visit to Austin.


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