Category Archives: Redington Shores

My five-hour tour

If you live in Pinellas County it just makes sense to own a boat. But if you don’t, the next best thing is to have friendly neighbors invite you to cruise on their boat. Such was our good luck on Memorial Day (Thanks Jimmy and Lori!).

Jimmy launches his Scout into Boca Ciega Bay from the Jungle Prada boat ramp on Park Street. He backs the boat and trailer into the water so smoothly you’d think any fool could do it.

From our launching point at Boca Ciega Bay we headed southwest in the channel out under the Treasure Island Bridge and under the Blind Pass Bridge. I soon recognized Sloppy Pelican, Philthy Phil’s and Fisherman’s Park at the end of Corey Ave.

From there we entered the Gulf and cruised along Upham, St. Pete Beach, and past the Don CeSar.  Then we decided to re-enter Boca Ciega Bay and take a tour of the Tierra Verde waterfront homes. We went out in the evening, so there was a warm tropical breeze in the air.  Lori says a ride on the boat is her personal favorite cure for stress. We stopped at a little island long enough to talk to a young couple who had an 8-week old Dalmatian out for a romp in the surf. (Sorry, no picture 😦 — but so cute!)

We then turned north to South Pasadena, Causeway Isle, past Blind Pass and into John’s Pass to go dolphin watching. There was plenty of activity at John’s Pass Village and the Dolphin Cruise was full of people. We got the show we were hoping for. There were several pods hanging around. They aren’t shy, but getting a picture is a challenge. One dolphin jumped about 10 feet out of the water. But it’s the one that got away. We missed the shot.

By the time we were chasing the dolphin, the sun was setting and there wasn’t enough daylight left for photos anyway. So we watched the clouds build up into the familiar sunset orange, pink and blue towers. That’s when we noticed fireworks in the distance. Pretty soon it was completely dark and we headed back across the bay to our launch site. The end of a typical day on the water in St. Pete.

The spontaneous five-hour tour was a surprise for my husband on his birthday. I agree, Lori, a cruise around the Gulf waters is nature’s massage.  Ommm. When can we go again?

Salt Rock Grill and Trivia about Largo Narrows

July 26, 2009

Everyone knows the food at  Salt Rock Grill is delicious; but don’t miss  the  natural atmosphere. It’s worth giving up air conditioning.  We ate on the Patio about a month ago and watched as a boat pulled up to the restaurant’s dock and two couples hopped off. The sky was that deep blue just before sunset and a warm orange light made everything glow. I felt like I was part of a photo shoot for Architectural Digest or Gourmet Magazine, the scene was  so idyllic. The evening we were there, a school of dolphin swam up and down the Intracoastal Waterway along The Largo Narrows. The Largo Narrows is a mangrove tract that Pinellas County purchased around 1984 to save it from development.  I remember this story because I worked for the Evening Independent in 1984.  At the time, I covered Indian Rocks Beach and the Town of Belleair. Patsy  Pressley (she wrote the story I linked to) covered Largo. We worked in the same one-room news bureau. I’m glad the county commissioners were forward thinking enough to save this environmentally sensitive land so I could enjoy it 25 years later!

Ancient evidence of climate change found on Redington Shores!

This story  about a utilities worker who found a fossilized horse’s toe bone really grabbed my attention because about ten years ago another teacher and I (I was a teacher in a previous life) partnered to create a middle school curriculum called Kids Dig It! It was a great hands-on curriculum that explored Florida’s pre-history: the Miocene, Pliocene and Pleistocene.  Imagine Tampa being about 100 miles inland during the Plio-Pleistocene 12,000 to 18,000 years ago.  Our coastline changed with the rise and fall of the sea level. That explains why mammal fossils are found way out in the Gulf when the sea bottom is dredged and dumped on the beach and why giant sharks’ teeth are found in inland rivers.