|The girls remembered what to do and took their places.|
Also strange, was the fact that we just got up in the morning, piddled around waiting for the fog to lift a little, and left. That's it. We. Just. Left. No worries, no fanfare, just a wave from our new friends on the dock and wishes for a safe journey... I guess that's how it's going to be from now on.
|Fog swallowed the Causeway Bridge as we motored past.|
|Bruce on Fog Watch|
The winds were to be 10-15 mph and from the South, which would mean we would be traveling directly into the wind and the associated waves. So in order to sail, we would have to add many miles to our track. It just wasn't worth it, and with the thick fog that was still hanging around, our decision was made.
Our first hour and a half were slow. The fog was so thick, there were times we couldn't see the next channel marker. Several times we would fall in behind a faster moving boat, but lose our nerve and slow back down. Luckily we have radar and several navigation apps that kept us on the right path until the way became clear at around half past noon. Then we kicked it up a notch and made almost 6 knots.
|The poolside was packed.|
|They REALLY DO play Shuffleboard here!|
It was quite the show. The channels were winding, requiring total engagement in the process. We peeled off layers of clothing as the sun shone down on our excited smiling faces as we looked forward to the next new sight, and the next, and the next. It was such fun!
We passed girls in bikinis and boatloads of dudes with water toys, and poolsides crowded with geezers trying to get into one another's pants. It was so cheesie! So Florida fun! There was even a shuffleboard game in full swing! How cliche is that???
What about those bridges? Well, we started off with resignation about dealing with them as a necessary evil, but we breezed through!
The bridge tenders seemed to take pride in getting the bridges open without causing us to alter speed...
Even the restricted bridges were not a problem. Our wait time was short, and it was kind of fun trying to get there by the next opening.
Maybe we were just high from being on our way again... whatever, we'll take it!
|Well except for the one bridge.... but we made it just fine!|
The day was sublime!
Even the fact that we didn't make our intended anchorage did nothing to dampen our spirits. We're used to early nights. Most of our journey it's been dark by 5:30. Here in Florida it's 6:30 but we still weren't going to make it. We had over 15 miles still to go after our last bridge and it was 4:30. Not happening! So we ducked into one of the many alternate spots, North Tampa Bay Skyway anchorage.
|None the worse for wear after our travels.|
|Sunshine Skyway bridge about to disappear.|
We talked a bit, but mostly just watched as the day became evening and then night. The Sunshine Skyway Bridge began to slowly be enveloped in the fog rolling in from the Gulf of Mexico. First just the bottom, then the roadway, and finally the two suspension structures. All gone! Tampa Bay turned to pink and purple and blue. A cruise ship departed from off to our left and slowly made her way across to disappear beneath the bridge. We could hear her long fog horn sounding.
The Bay melted into the sky, or maybe it was the other way around... Slowly undulating and causing my eyes to blink as I tried to make sense of it. It was indescribably beautiful. Once again, we found ourselves marveling at how lucky we are to live this life.
We made the right decision in being here. We hadn't thought of the fog. If we had tried to make the dash for Egmont Key, we would have encountered dark and fog before we arrived and our day would have had a different ending. This was perfect. Our day of Eight Bridges is done.