Monday, February 24, 2014


Much of the charm of cruising is getting to see so many interesting places. Pretty much every stop we make has something special, different, or interesting. But all of this moving around does have a downside as well. It takes time to plan the routes (Jeff's job), keep the boat well provisioned (my job), and physically move the boat from place to place, all while keeping up with ActiveCaptain (both our jobs). Wait, I don't see what the kids' job is....

So, every so often we like to pause for a spell to get caught up on things and take a mental and physical break. We pick our lingering place based on a variety of criteria and it is rarely the same from one time to the next. But always we factor in how Dylan and Dee Dee will like it.

This cruise we chose to spend a month in Sarasota. It's a place we had heard a lot about. It's very dog friendly. It was a good spot for Jeff to drive to the Miami Boat Show, while I stayed home with the kids - the floating docks at Marina Jack made that easy. But probably the biggest reason was there's a nice Castine contingent who have chosen to winter in Sarasota. We've had such a great time, it's hard to imagine it is coming to an end.

It is not possible for anyone to claim they are bored in Sarasota as there are numerous restaurants, shops, theaters and galleries, parks and wonderful walkways, all of which are just steps from the boat.

As for the kids, they've loved it. There are dogs everywhere, on the docks, in the restaurants, along each of their favorite walking tours. I think Dee Dee may have doubled her number of dogs friends. In our time here we've even named their three favorite walking routes.

There's the "Art Walk," a path running south along the water lined with a seasonal display of sculpture. It gives the kids a bit of culture.

The "Dolphin Walk" (Dylan's favorite) which circles through a park that has a dolphin fountain looking out over the water.

And the "Point Walk," a wide walkway that circles through Golden Gate Point to the north and takes us past the "Kissing Statue."

Staying for a spell has also allowed the non-canine crew to enjoy some sites. There was the Ringling estate which included the circus museum. Fun!

I even found some wheels I thought we would be able to fit on the boat.

We enjoyed a day at Myakka River State Park which was teaming with alligators. Dogs are permitted but not recommended. We left the kids home even though Dylan thought it would be a good learning experience for Dee Dee...

Selby Botanical Gardens was just a short walk away (thank you, Doug). And we did mange to visit just a few restaurants, do a bit of shopping, and never missed the terrific Saturday Farmer's Market.

The last week here we were joined by more Castine friends, Bill and Sheila, who arrived on Spray with their canine crew, Rigs and Katie. Then Dylan's long lost love, Tillie, along with Derby, arrived on Quest with their crew Mary and Duane. That was a few days of fun filled walks.

But alas we have been here a month and it is really time to move on. Castine friends and now winter Sarasota residents, Alex and Jeryl arranged a huge send off. But unlike many goodbyes when we're not sure where or when we will meet up again, we can look forward to seeing everyone in Maine this summer.

We know this will be a stop we will be making again and again. So what do the kids think? Just check out Dylan's smile.


Brigadier said...

Can't wait to join in on the fun. We just hope our "kids" will behave when meeting new friends.

Unknown said...

Looks like the doggies enjoy Sarasota as much as I do! Kinda makes me wish I had a dog of my own just so I could take them there since it seems so dog friendly. I'm sure it's a lot more fun to experience the area when you have a canine friend by your side :)

Mark Coppens | Sarasota Real Estate