Day 235, December 12, 2012 (Longboat Key): This is high end! Longboat Key Club Moorings is a five-star operation with tons of amenities and superlative service. There is a Boat US discount on fuel and dockage, too. Here is Sequel in front of the Harbormaster’s office. To the left is the pool and an upscale restaurant,Portofino. Below, a juvenile  tricolor heron sits on our shore power line fishing. You could anthropomorph the message to Mom, “Okay, Mom! I got it.”

We started our day with laps in the pool (heated) followed by muffins and coffee compliments of the harbormaster. Then off to the beach. We walked the beach for miles and had only one problem, trouble getting back to the road because there are few public beach access points. We walked passed No Trespassing and Private Property signs as if we owned them to get off the beach. We were challenged once and kept on walking!

After our beach recon, we met old friends, Bobbi and Donnie, Cynthia and Stanley, for lunch in St. Armand’s Circle, the classy hub of Longboat. Columbia is a Spanish style establishment. There are many other places on the circle with European, Italian, American, bar food, and varied cuisine. Afterwards, we visited Casa Bernstein with its enviable contemporary decor  and art plus a killer view of the Gulf of Mexico.

The weather turned on us exiting Tampa Bay. We beat an ugly squall line into Galati’s Yacht Basin on the north end of Anna Maria. We weren’t the only ones racing for shelter. This workboat next to us with the Sunshine Skyway as a backdrop was doing its best against a rising wind and foul tide.

The next morning on the way down the waterway during a break in the weather we seepieds-a-terre like this one or in canals cut into the mangroves, most with boats on elevators out back. In many instances, the mangroves probably looked better! I find the intense salmon pink a bit nauseating. 

We met some old friends on the beach, too. The pics are worth a thousand words. Below, I try to join a gaggle of pellies. A handsome black-crested night heron won’t give me the time of day.