Gulfport Marina -Kayaks and Dingy rides

The channels are like roads through the water- traffic flows along between the buoys aware that it might be less than 2 feet deep beyond the channel markers.

IMG_5247

The day is spent with binoculars on the markers;  comparing to our charts to make sure we follow the correct route.

BRIDGES

The typical causeway bridges are about 25 foot clearance- our boat is 20 feet, so we don’t need them to open for us.

IMG_5249

The signs at each bridge indicate the level at the current tide. Then in the small print will note “plus 4 feet at the center”.   So glad we have a good pair of binoculars!!

IMG_5254

Or the sign might say bridge clearance on a board;  and no additional center height.

IMG_5241

Sometimes it has the ladder board and figure it out yourself…

IMG_5250

We learned at the rendezvous that there is a stiff fine if you request a abridge to open and your boat is actually low enough to have passed under.    The disruption in traffic isn’t appreciated.    We measured and remeasured, and found that with our antennas up; we clear 19.9 ft.   Now do the bridges measure  at low tide or high tide??

Occasionally Dave will say take a look; are we clearing?    I just hold my breath!

IMG_5255

Enough about the bridges…   We traveled about 25 miles,  and left the ICW to cross the boca ciega  bay to Gulfport Marina.

GULFPORT MARINA  

We chose Gulfport based on its marketing materials as a funky artsy town and proud of it.  We found the marina is about a 20 minute walk from town, and still being updated.   The parking lot is tore up, and the new building is so close to completion; but not quite ready for occupancy.  Thus we did not have access to the new lounge, the laundry facility is not set up, and the wi-fi was so so.    However, the slips had floating docks so we didn’t have to be concerned about the tides like on fixed docks.  The dock hands welcomed us in and were happy to make recommendations of places to see in town.

gulfport marina

We kind of had the place to ourselves- one other looper boat came in for a night and left the next day.   A tour boat came and went, otherwise the parking lot was empty most of the weekend.

After walking to town, we could see that it might have been a better choice to anchor near the free town docks!  They have a day dock and also a dingy dock for visitors- you just can’t stay overnight at the dock.  Note to boaters- check Active Captain for warnings- there are two sunken boats in the harbor marked by small buoys similar to crab pot markers!

Gulfport

GROCERY RUN TO TOWN ON THE DINGY

We thought we were so smart; took the dingy to the free dock in Gulfport to get groceries.

Stellas

Stopped for breakfast at Stellas (excellent choice) then walked through town.

Gulfport

No grocery stores with in walking distance!    No groceries today.

Did get some nice shots around town though.  Billed as a funky , artsy town- we saw mostly laid back residents relaxing at outdoor venues.

kayaking Gulfport

kayaking Gulfport

this mural covered both sides of a building.   We are still hoping to see a manatee on our trip…

gulfport

CITY BUS TO ST PETERSBURG      

Since we decided not to boat to St Petersburg, a bus trip seemed a good option.   We caught the city bus and arrived on a Saturday morning to a large farmers market and also an art and craft show.

gulfport

Farmers market and more at St Pete:

gulfport

st pete (5)

KAYAKING IN PRESERVE    

Finally had a chance to air up our inflatable kayaks.  The nature preserve was adjacent to the marina.   We visited  Clam Bayou Estuary of Boca Ciega Bay and explored the marsh and mangrove forests.

kayaking Gulfport

kayaking Gulfport

Osprey, and mussels growing on the roots

kayaking Gulfport

interesting vegetation:

kayaking Gulfport

gulfport

gulfport

On the walk to town, this sign caught my attention…   not sure why; but i walked a bit faster past this block!

gulfport

Next up- moving on to Bradenton for a stop at Twin Dolphins marina.

Advertisements

About mnsailors

Our blog will highlight our travels along America's Great Loop. We sold our sailboat on Lake Superior for a Trawler to do America's Great Loop in 2016.
This entry was posted in Moon Shadow Log and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s