On Saturday morning we were at Cannon's Marina on Longboat Key bright and early to get our boat.
This is a new tradition of ours, we rent a boat for the day every Saturday over the Memorial Day weekend.
First we headed down south to a little island off of Siesta Key were we like to stretch our legs, walk around and have a snack. To get here we have a nice, long drive south, and we were rewarded by seeing several dolphins and also a Manatee (sea cow).
After our island stop we headed back up north to a super spot we discovered last year, just in between Longboat Key and Anna Maria Island, on the Intracoastal side. It is a natural sand bank where lots of people cast anchor and then enjoy themselves snorkeling and swimming in the shallow, crystal clear and WARM waters. We saw lots of interesting sea creatures and found many beautiful shells.
Bob LOVES the boating life and he swims in the ocean, he is a very good swimmer. We have to hold him on a leash while driving, since he hangs out over the railing, almost falling in the water. Both dogs where life jackets while we are moving, but you definitely need to keep Bob on a leash as well.
Stan, on the other hand, would much rather be home in the AC with a cozy blanket. He is terrified of the ocean and the boat noises. No swimming for him! This is how Stan prefers to spend his time while the boat is in motion:
|Stan the Comfort Hound|
Bob just love boats, but he is getting old and he had a lot of joint pain when we got home, he is not used to all that action...
|Bob the Boater|
Ken and Sarah went exploring on the more shallow end, finding all kinds of fun stuff.
Otherwise snorkeling was the thing to do, opening up a whole new world below you.
|Sarah snorkeling while Bob is checking out the crabs on the bottom|
For lunch, we took the boat to Mar Vista, a great restaurant on the north end of Longboat Key. They love dogs there, and after we got a nice table in the shade, they came out with a big bowl of water for the dogs. We had a wonderful day, 8 great hours on the water!
On Sunday we headed to the beach, early enough to beat most of the crowds. This time we headed to the north end of Anna Maria Island, on the Gulf of Mexico side. This beach we have named Sand Dollar Beach, since it is common to find sand dollars here. And did we ever! We found 29 sand dollars!
We had our new beach tent with us, so we could go and sit in the shade when we needed a break. I think Sarah and I were in the water for most of the day, snorkeling for shells and sand dollars. It was gorgeous and absolutely perfect at the beach! We had one of those days when you just say "Wow, this is nice!"
7 hours later we headed home, had a little BBQ and then just relaxed in front of a good movie. A perfect day for sure! (No camera on the beach...)