2014 Ranger Tug Winter Rendezvous – Palm Island, Florida

2014 Ranger Tug Winter Rendezvous – Palm Island, Florida

Kismet is hustling to get to Palm Island Marina, in Cape Haze We are attending the 2014 Ranger Tug Winter Rendezvous. Over the four years we've own our Ranger Tug, we've met lots of other owners, some we'll see again at this rendezvous and we looked forward to making new friends during the rendezvous. The event was hosted by fellow tug owners, Ted and Carol Whittier and Mike and Jess Rizzo. Many thanks to all of them for a well-organized and fun Ranger…

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Two Options For Our Stay – Sarasota, Florida

Two Options for Our Stay – Sarasota, Florida

We always enjoy stopping in Sarasota for a few nights. Sarasota is vibrant and provides a nice break for two salty tugnuts. For our first two nights, we choose the mooring ball option, just outside the harbor, instead of docking at Marina Jacks like we usually do. It was calm enough and just a short dinghy ride to the marina offers us access to town and the ability to get our daily exercise while visiting the Farmer's Market or stocking up at the grocery store.…

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Blog Readers SPECIAL

Blog Readers SPECIAL

Blog Readers SPECIAL $24.95 for Both Paperback Books When the Water Calls... We Follow and Women On Board Cruising (Regularly $44.90 for both books) Christopher Shustak (above) When the Water Calls… We Follow Charlotte Snider (below) Women On Board Cruising   WOMEN ON BOARD CRUISING FOR CONTRIBUTOR SLIDESHOW AND EXCERPTS – CLICK HERE Twenty-five seasoned women boaters including editor, and long-distance cruiser, Lisa Targal Favors of Traverse City, are sharing the trials and tribulations of life aboard in the newly released book, Women On Board Cruising. Conceptualized,…

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Waiting Out Bad Weather – Longboat Key Florida

Waiting Out Bad Weather – Longboat Key Florida

Longboat Key Florida, Waiting Out Stormy Weather Longboat Key Florida is a regular stop for us whenever we are cruising the west coast of Florida. However, this visit, the weather turned bad on our second day on the hook. So we moved to shore and tied up at Moore's Stone Crab Restaurant for our second night. Dockage is free if you have dinner at the restaurant. Dinner was great and we felt better tied to the dock during the high winds and…

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Exploring Egmont Key National Wildlife Refuge

Exploring Egmont Key National Wildlife Refuge

Egmont Key National Wildlife Refuge – from Fort to Ruins Fort Dade was built during the Spanish American War and remained in military control for many years. In 1974 the island was turned over to the State of Florida and became a state park in 1989. In 1974 the southern portion of the island became Egmont Key National Wildlife Refuge (also a bird sanctuary). Visiting Egmont Key should only be done during fairly calm water. Because there are no docks,…

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Pristine Anchorage At Mullet Key – Fort DeSoto State Park, FL

Pristine Anchorage at Mullet Key – Fort DeSoto State Park, FL

Two Fortresses Were built to Guard Against Invasions that Never Came, Mullet Key is one of them As one leaves the Gulf of Mexico to enter Tampa Bay, Mother Nature provides two keys that stand sentinel to the entrance of Tampa Bay. In 1889, Mullet Key, to the north, and Egmont Key, to the south, had fortresses built to guard against invasions that never came, remnants of both forts remain today in the parks that were created in the late 1800s. Robert E Lee made the…

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One-night Stay – Gulfport, Florida

One-night Stay – Gulfport, Florida

Gulfport Florida – Always A Nice Stop Bordering St. Petersburg and Boca Ciega Bay, Gulfport, Florida is always a good stop, the little town is within a short walking distance of the marina and has lots of little beach restaurants and gift shops. We are just here for one night. It was rainy and overcast for our entire stay, but we still enjoyed docking in Gulfport again. I loved the pine needle crafts I saw in one of the shops, very "Old Florida," with all natural ingredients, long…

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Laid Back Beach Town – Pass-A-Grille, Florida

Laid Back Beach Town – Pass-A-Grille, Florida

Lots of sights to see on the water today as we made our way to Pass-A-Grille. We anchored in a big well in Pass-A-Grille, just behind the beautiful Don Cesar hotel (above). It was a quiet anchorage, well-protected from the elements and had a little boat launch and dock where we could tie our dinghy up to. We passed two "Rangers" today. The one above, looked like an interesting yacht. During our night at anchor we met the crew on…

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Peaceful Night On The Hook – Redington Beach, Florida

Peaceful Night on the Hook – Redington Beach, Florida

Redington Beach Provides a Well-protected Anchorage for the Crew of Kismet. Redington Beach is located in Pinellas County, west of Tampa on a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico, the town is only one-mile square and has four parks, five public beach accesses, and a causeway with benches for relaxing and fishing. We've stopped here before, it makes a good spot to anchor when traveling north or south on the ICW. The dolphins were loving our boat action today, they love to swim just…

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Lunch And A Walk – Keegan Clair Docks – Indian Shores, Florida

Lunch and a Walk – Keegan Clair Docks – Indian Shores, Florida

Keegan Clair Docks – "Let's Stop for Lunch." Something new today, we found Keegan Clair Docks, a free day dock for boaters, just off the ICW, six miles south of Clearwater. We thought we'd take a break on our day's cruise to stop and have lunch on the boat followed by a short, two block walk into Indian Rocks with access to the beautiful beaches. The dock is free during the day, but has one of the longest list of rules we've…

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Caladesi Island – Trails And A Beautiful Beach!

Caladesi Island – Trails and a Beautiful Beach!

Caladesi Island –  An Island Paradise! In our experience Caladesi Island is never busy in January. This is our third stop at this state park, we never tire of its beauty. We stayed a few nights, one of only a handful of boats at this time of year. When we tire of walking the virgin pine forest trail around the island to the natural water hole, we take the return route, back to the marina, by way of the beautiful sandy…

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Launch Day – Tarpon Springs, Florida

Launch Day – Tarpon Springs, Florida

Tarpon Springs is a Favorite Stop for Kismet! Kismet was launched at the usual place, Anaclote River Park, just northwest of Tarpon Springs across the river. Turtle Cove Marina was our choice for dockage during our week-long stay while we did all of our usual activities which included, food shopping, visiting our favorite Greek bakery and restaurant for Greek salads. We walked all over town and the sponge docks soaking up the distinctive aromas and unique sounds of the Greek culture. In between all that…

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Spaghetti Dinner And Poker Night – Homosassa Springs, Florida

Spaghetti Dinner and Poker Night – Homosassa Springs, Florida

Boaterhoming Homosassa Springs – Florida Nature's Camp Grounds provided a "Old Florida" experience and spot to ready the boat for launching in Tarpon Springs. We used the laundry facilities and enjoyed a spaghetti dinner and poker in the activities room at the campground. We liked the spaghetti, but really stunk at the poker game. Boaterhoming while traveling to cruising destinations has become one of our favorite activities, second to boating of course. Being able to use our boat as an RV while on…

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“Oysters Rock Yo Fella”

“Oysters Rock Yo Fella”

In Search of Apalachicola Oysters! First we stored Kismet at TTC Storage in Eastpoint, then we went in search of a well-deserved oyster feast. We found TTC to be a great place to store the boat. We feel confident she will be in safe hands during our return home for the holidays. After Kismet was stored in her spot in the building and with the recommendation of Mike, owner of TTC Storage, we headed out of town to Lynn's Quality Oysters.…

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Eastpoint, Florida – A Heart As Big As The Bay!

Eastpoint, Florida – A Heart as Big as the Bay!

Retrieving Kismet from Storage – Eastpoint Florida Seems like it was just yesterday when we left Kismet at TTC Storage in Eastpoint Florida, in fact it has been several months. We like to cruise in the fall, somewhere south of Michigan and then leave our boat in storage somewhere near where we plan to cruise after the holidays. This time, after our trip to the AGLCA (America's Great Loop Cruisers' Association's 2014 Rendezvous and cruise through Florida's Panhandle, we ended up in Eastpoint…

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If You Rest… You Rust!

If You Rest… You Rust!

The crew of Kismet is On the Road Again! If it appears that we are eating our way back to the boat, you are right, we are! Seems like we are always on the move, north, south, east or west. Not much to report on during our road trip south to Florida to pick up Kismet, however we found some exceptional food stops along the way. When trailering our boat, or driving back to where she is stored, gives us an opportunity to explore…

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Apalachicola, Land Of The Friendly People

Apalachicola, Land of the Friendly People

The Little Fishing Village of Apalachicola is the End of the Line for Our Fall Cruise Apalachicola is definitely "Old Florida." Famous for their fresh oysters, Appalachicola employs a variety seafood workers. It's our favorite place to eat oysters. Apalachicola Bay is well protected by St. Vincent Island, Flag, Sand, St. George Island and Cape St. George Island. We'll leave Kismet tucked away in TCC Storage's building, just across the bay in Eastpoint, while we drive the truck home to spend the holidays…

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Last Leg To Appalachicola Looks More Like A Rorschach Inkblot

Last Leg to Appalachicola Looks More Like a Rorschach Inkblot

Cruise to Apalachicola, a Photographer's Dream Cruise Smooth sailing today as we cruised the last leg of our fall cruise through Florida's Panhandle. A little stormy and overcast but we still got some nice photos of some of the beauty available to see while cruising this area. the cruise to Apalachicola did not disappoint, even though it was overcast, the water was mirror calm and the reflections on the still water gave pause to crew on board Kismet. Nature provided us with…

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Cruising The “Grand Canyon” Cut To St. Andrews

Cruising the “Grand Canyon” Cut to St. Andrews

Grand Canyon Cut – A Favorite Cruising Channel in Florida's Panhandle Today we cruised Florida's "Grand Canyon Cut," after crossing Choctawhatchee Bay to a man-made, 18-mile channel (statute mile 255 to 260, east of Harvey Lock) that leads to St. Andrews, aptly named due to the steep, up to 100' high, sandy banks lining this cut. Tall pine trees grow along the ridge of the sand dunes and down to the water. One of our favorite areas to boat in the Panhandle.   The clouds provided a stormy…

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Remembering The Last Time We Were In Destin, Florida

Remembering the Last Time We Were in Destin, Florida

Fond Memories of Our Last Trip to Destin Florida Destin Florida is a popular tourist destination located in the Panhandle of Florida. It rests on a peninsula separating the Gulf of Mexico from Choctawhatchee Bay. Well known for its pristine beaches and turquoise waters, Destin claims to have the largest fishing vessel fleet in the state of Florida. The last time we stopped in Destin was in 2008, while on our second Great Loop boat trip. It was Thankgiving Day and…

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Chilling – McRee Cove At Perdido Key – Pensacola, Florida

Chilling – McRee Cove at Perdido Key – Pensacola, Florida

A 15 mile cruise to a well protected cove next to Perdido Key – McRee Cove The barrier island between Orange Beach, Alabama and Pensacola Bay is called Perdido Key – Pensacola Bay inlet and Santa Rose Island are directly east of Perdido Key. Following the War of 1812 three major forts were built to strengthen the United States defenses in this Pensacola Bay area – one being Fort McRee built at the eastern tip of Perdido Key. Fort McRee is…

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Ingram Bayou – “I’m Going Back Someday, Come What May, To Blue Bayou”

Ingram Bayou – “I’m Going Back Someday, Come What May, To Blue Bayou”

After a smooth cruise through Mobile Bay, from Eastern Shore Marina, we made a port-side turn into the protected Intra-Coastal Waterway where we soon passed our first tug and tow (above). First landmark we see on the ICW is Lulu's Cafe (below). Not stopping there this time though as we were both in a hurry to get settled into our night's anchorage. Returning to Ingram Bayou... Ingram Bayou is one of our favorite anchorages, this will be our third time stopping here. The afternoon was spent…

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National Naval Aviation Museum – Orange Beach Marina – Pensacola, Florida

National Naval Aviation Museum – Orange Beach Marina – Pensacola, Florida

Staying at Orange Beach Marina so that we can take a day to visit the National Naval Aviation Museum. We arrived late afternoon, got settled then borrowed the marina's loaner car to take a tour of the area and visit one of the beautiful beaches. Some folks stopped by (above) that knew us because they also own a Ranger Tug. It's a small world! The National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida – A Must See Museum! On our third…

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Fairhope Alabama – Starting Our Cruise Through The Panhandle From Mobile Bay

Fairhope Alabama – Starting Our Cruise Through the Panhandle from Mobile Bay

Boaterhoming Our Way to Fairhope Alabama After leaving Joe Wheeler State Park after the AGLCA rendezvous we headed south with Fairhope Alabama as our intended launch site. However, after a late start and a long day's drive, we called it quits when we got to Greenville, Alabama and found this rustic RV park about a mile off I-65. Stopping here for the night gave us the opportunity to arrive at Fairhope early in the day. The park was quiet except for…

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Great Loop Adventure – Loopers Rendezvous At Joe Wheeler State Park

Great Loop Adventure – Loopers Rendezvous at Joe Wheeler State Park

Great Loop Adventure! The Great Loop Adventure! We packed up our boat and truck and headed down the highway to Joe Wheeler State Park in Rogersville, Alabama for AGLCA's 2014 Fall Rendezvous. Jim and I have been Loopers almost ten years (we have done the Loop almost twice). The excitement and camaraderie we feel when out on the water cruising new territory, meeting other Loopers in far off ports, and especially while connecting at one of the rendezvous, or Gold…

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