View of the sunrise while leaving Tarpon Springs.

In our last post, we arrived in Tarpon Springs. I wanted good food and there were two options for marinas with restaurants. One was full and the other one would let us tie to the end of the dock and still get electricity. We could not get the boat in or out at low tide, so we would have to time our departure. Regis was not pleased with the dock and was worried it was going to rip away and drift away with us. He tried to fix it but it was not fixable.

The restaurant was a wine/beer/margarita bar with food. The place was packed, so we got takeout and ate on the boat. Regis said his food was fine, mine was barely edible. At this point, I was so tired from the trip across the Gulf, I could not stay awake and went to sleep at around 4 and slept for over 11 hours. We awoke to a lowering tide. Regis checked with the marina, and they said if we left now, we could make it. We rushed out and made our way south.

It was Sunday and it appeared that everyone who owned a boat in the area was on the water. There were boats going every which way. The most exciting wildlife sighting were some magnificent frigatebirds. I saw about 7 of them. With the boat traffic, narrow channels, and draw bridges, we were busy navigating through the congestion. Regis wanted to set anchor before we hit Tampa Bay, so we tucked into Boca Ciega Bay to look for a spot and got stuck. Since the tide was rising, I sat back and typed the last post while Regis fretted over the situation. He could not relax and tried everything but jump in the water or call for a tow. He was seriously considering jumping in the water to try to get the boat off himself. He was concerned the tide would not save us until too late in the day for enough light to anchor somewhere else. Not long after I finished the post, the tide rose enough to float the boat and Regis hurried out to a new anchor spot.

We have friends and family in Tarpon Springs, Clearwater, and Longboat Key and do not have time to visit on this trip because I must catch a flight back to Seattle by December 13. So, we waved as we passed each of those cities.

Krakens (Collie) Update: By Jason

Day five and the start of the weekend – though Clover and Raven clearly don’t understand what a weekend is yet. They were just starting to get used to the new schedule and now we changed it up on them yet again. They’re young and resilient though and took it in stride. Clover spent most of the morning having lots of conversations with the neighboring dogs. Between that and her constant harassment of the construction workers out back the whole neighborhood knows that we have new dogs. 

We were planning on going out dancing later that night so made a point of going on extra-long walks to tire them out. In the process we learned that Raven does not like construction sites. Between the nail guns, saws, hammers, and people standing on the roofs of buildings he was about ready to pull himself out of his harness and flee the area as fast as he could. We managed to find a shortcut that took us past most of the site and made our way to our favorite dog-friendly neighborhood restaurant for attempt number two at being well-socialized-city-dogs. This was better than the previous night, though it’s still hard to get them to settle. I was able to get them to quiet down by getting on the floor with them. That worked for a bit, but they started getting antsy again before too long. Fortunately, we were able to make it through our meal and only had to chug about half of the second drink before they became too obnoxious.

Our plan was to take them to our neighborhood dog park/tap house for the afternoon to really wear them out. Unfortunately, it turns out that if they are older than seven months they have to be spayed or neutered. (Linda: Their vet recommends doing it at 10 months and they are scheduled for the procedure when I return.) Darn! That takes that off the table for this entire stay. Oh well, another long walk it is. We had some friends over to meet the collies and they all loved them. Then off for dancing and back for bed. This time it was much better than the concert experience on their first night. Nothing destroyed, no running around the house at night. We’re figuring out how to make this work.

Clover and Raven taking a nap.
Raven taking a nap. It is easier to photograph them when they are asleep.
Raven chewing on an uprooted plant. Most likely, Clover pulled it out and he took advantage of it, but it may not be fair to accuse her.

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