|~ Anna Maria Island ~ |
members provided me with a place to stay on Anna Maria Island in the Tampa Bay area, while
I found a marina to live in. Don would follow as soon as he found employment. We put the house
up for sale, sold the contents on the internet and gave the rest away, then waited for the
boat’s documentation to go through.
In early July
of 2005, I packed up my car and left for the long drive south. Leaving Don, my family
and my home of 17 years was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but
living right on the beach and watching the beautiful sunsets each night raised my spirits.
Finding a marina was not as easy as we had first imagined. As
well as cost, I considered things like whether the docks were fixed or floating,
how clean the shower and laundry facilities were, and what all the added fees
were; live-aboard, electricity, parking, pump-out.
|~ Bradenton Beach Marina ~ |
When I made calls to the marinas listed
in the phone book, a little known fact was quickly revealed. Live-aboards are not
always welcome. It is best to visit the marinas in person, talk to the harbor master,
let them know that you have a ship shape vessel, and that you are a conscientious
sailor who would be a reliable tenant. Too many dispossessed individuals living
in neglected boats have clogged the waterways in Florida making it difficult for
those of us who want to leave a clean wake.
a lot of research, I narrowed our choices to 4 marinas and waited for Don to arrive. I
signed the contract for our boat on July 19th—Happy Birthday to me!