Opa!!! Its all Greek to me.

Yes we are finally in Tarpon Springs, the Greek village that was once was the sponge diving capital of the world and now is a mecca for tourists who buy trinkets and eat great food. We have visited here by car years ago and we always wanted to arrive by water. Now how did we get here…

Yesterday we arrived at the boat after a month’s absence. It was a bit dirty and alarms were beeping constantly. We had to prioritize and we were hungry, so we all went out to eat lunch at Fiddler’s, which is about the only decent place to eat there. After lunch we bid so long to Dr. Bell and Colonel Reece and waved as the Bell & Reece Limo Service headed for home. What good friends these men are.

Next we needed to pump out but the beeping was getting irritating so I took out our old faithful portable Schumacher charger and hooked it up. Beeping stopped. This means I will have to remove the Xantrex charger and try to convince West Marine to take it back and give me some other manufacturer’s model. After three failures with the Xantrex I have lost faith in it. This is a project for Clearwater where they have a West Marine store.

The boat had a distinct odor about it indicating a full waste tank and there is only one working pumpout in Steinhatchee. It was at River Haven Marina about a mile upstream and under the bridge. So off we went to eliminate our odor. An easy job and back to Sea Hag again to begin washing with Kool-Aid. This time we are using Invisible Watermelon Kiwi with our detergent.

Finally we go inside and begin the seemingly endless task of stowing away all the stuff we hauled from home. After all that work we were whipped and headed back to Fiddler’s for more delicious food and turned in early.

Up at 0600 but the tide was so low that we had to wait to leave when there was a bit more water. So at 0830 we shove off and move toward the Gulf. The water was like glass. It took 45 minutes to get into the Gulf and we jumped up to 2500rpm and made for a waypoint about 15 miles offshore where we turned south toward a distant point outside Tarpon Springs. 

The water was near perfect. This was the day we had wished for in early December but never found. Porpoises jumped along the route and we ate the rolls Allyn had baked for us. All seemed a nearly perfect day until we were riding up the Anclote River within a mile of our marina and the perfect day came to an abrupt end. I was standing in the cockpit having just come down from the flybridge when the boat came to a shuddering stop throwing me against the rear cabin wall! Once again we were aground. Now how could this be? I raced back up the ladder and Jan was standing there dumbfounded. She did not know either. She had at least pulled the throttles back but the boat was still in gear so she shifted to neutral saying that she was in the middle of the channel. But that was not so. We were 50 feet out of the channel on a sand bar. She had been talking to the marina on the phone getting directions and missed a dogleg to starboard. 

I took the helm and threw the engines into reverse and nothing happened. I threw up a prayer and gunned up the throttles. She moved slowly at first and picked up speed. I kept her moving backwards for about 50 yards as we steered to the middle of the real channel. There is no way to tell if we damaged anything permanently but that will have to wait until another day. We resumed our ride to Turtle Cove Marina. 

Turtle Cove is the newest addition to this lovely area. Floating docks in a circle around an artificial island sitting in a cove. And all this just on the back side of town a block from all the action.

We decided to postpone cleaning the boat until tomorrow and clean up ourselves. Then off to our favorite Greek restaurant. Mama’s Greek Cuisine is outstanding. Dolmades for an appetiser, Greek salad and fried smelt(Marides) washed down with beer and did I mention the bread dipped in olive oil and special seasoning? A meal fit for a king. 

I will download and post the pictures tomorrow. Once again we have packed too much fun into one day. See you all on the morrow. Oh, Opa! is what the Greek’s say when they are excited like when they light up the flaming cheese at the table. I think I will order that tomorrow too. Much work in the morning and then off to see the town and our first manatees.

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