Summer Love

February 14, 2010

Summer Love

DSCN0985

Last Saturday, our spell of cold weather let up just a tiny bit and I was able to get the boat out on the water for a couple of hours.

I have to say, I know that people up north snort a little when we Florida folk complain about the cold. It’s like when my mother (everyone’s mother?) used to say, “You’re not going to eat that? There are people staving in Africa!” Talk about cold weather in Florida to your family and friends up north, and you’ll hear a little shaming! I tell them, move on down here for a few years and see if your notion of what is cold doesn’t get rejiggered a bit.

Okay, but back to Summer Love, which is the name of this incredible 105-foot yacht I ran into.

Well first, how cold was it? The high was about 64 and the wind was straight out of the northwest at 25 knots with higher gusts. That meant it was blowing straight down Sarasota Bay, so there was no lee anywhere. Our M.O. on real windy days is to hug the shore to windward and enjoy the relatively calm water there, but that trick wasn’t working this day.

The only thing I can say is that at least if I was going straight into it, it was a bumpy ride but dry. Turn to put the wind coming over the side of the boat, and the spray kicked up by the pounding will blow over you and wet you. Just a minor problem unless the temperature is under 70, in which case you will be cold indeed.

So straight into it I did go for a few miles, to anchor up in the lee of a little mangrove island out in the bay and enjoy the relative peace and quiet, reading a book or watching the mullet jump. On the way I stopped for gas at the Longboat Key Moorings Marina, where fantabulous craft like Summer Love arDSCN0989e gathered thick as wasps in winter.

Even in a high-end place such as that, Summer Love stands out. She has those strong good looks that had to come out of the 50s. Built by Feadship (Holland, and still in business, thank you very much) of wood, she has obviously been well-loved. The dockmaster said she was 70 or 80-some feet long when built but added to later. She does look a little long and lean, but you can’t fault her for that.

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Big Rig!

April 25, 2009

Last weekend was the 4th Annual Small Boat Festival in Cortez, which is just up the road a bit. I could have kicked myself for not taking more pictures — there are always some really great smaller craft there, and interesting people doing interesting things with boats.

On the way back, we stopped by a tiny old marina on Palma Sola Bay to see what’s happening, and we saw that one of the neighbors has a clever approach to getting his/her  small craft down the street to the water’s edge:

Nothing shabby about this "tractor-trailer" rig

Nothing shabby about this "tractor-trailer" rig

Don’t laugh — it works! And you can’t tell from the photo, but that is some first-class aluminum fabrication on that custom trailer. Somebody who know something about aluminum spent a lot of time getting this just right.

You gotta love it!