After getting Shelby strapped into place we left Boca Ciega Bay and Gulfport City Marina and cruised into Tampa Bay heading up to the Endeavour boatyard for a few days to get a window leak fixed and a few other items looked at from the manufacturer of our powercat.
As always cruising along and watching dolphins is a favorite. Check out our video above to see a mother and baby together which was the highlight of our morning.
Soon we could see the Tampa skyline and Harley enjoyed soaking up the sun while the engines were running. She is such a sucker for an engine running and the warm sun shining down on her black coat. We were able to get tied up and docked before sunset and enjoyed the evening tied to the dock excited about getting some work done and having some new areas to explore.
We spent the next five days at the boatyard. Along with the work that was done we were able to explore the areas back in the mangroves, where we saw pink flamingos and enjoyed the local wildlife. Much of that was the comings and goings at the Getaway Bar next door. The weekend was packed and we just sat on the deck and watched. Finally, we ventured over one week night to enjoy happy hour and get some great photos of Journey at the dock.
Valentine’s Day we headed back out into Tampa Bay and then under the Skyway Bridge, Harley once again was in her happy place and we were finally free from the dock and looking for some white sand.
We anchored out along Egmont Key just before the sun went down and the next day we enjoyed some warm beach time! Harley was happy to run along the beach and explore. We tucked in the Manatee River for the night in order to catch up with Allie’s parents the next day before heading further south.
After lunch with Allie’s parents in Palmetto at the Riverside Cafe, (the link actually takes you to same area but a favorite restaurant of ours in Palmetto) we picked up some supplies they had brought and headed back out to Journey. Trying to get a jump start south we pulled anchored and headed down to Longboat Key just outside of the Mar Vista restaurant. We didn’t get a chance to eat there but have heard it is the best! We had a nice evening and were able to get out again early so we could get in early to Sarasota and secure our first mooring ball for the night.
The wind was picking up as we headed into the Sarasota Mooring field and Allie soon learned that she was not the one to pick up a mooring ball. After finally securing ourselves to the mooring ball we were able drop Shelby and ready ourselves to head in to check in with Marina Jacks. Next order of business was for Harley to enjoy some time off the boat. She enjoyed the Bayfront park and stretching her legs and her ears enjoyed the wind. The winds were up while in Sarasota and Journey did some swinging but the evening skyline around Sarasota was spectacular. With all the winds we chose a window and left the mooring ball after a few days to head further south tucking in for the night around Siesta Key. Dee has just finished replacing the shower pump in the guest head and was ready to use it for the first time when the generator cut off by itself. We spent the evening figuring that one out. Impeller was shot and would need to be replaced. Thankfully we had that part on board.
The next day we headed down toward Venice with Dee tucked into the garage changing the impeller. Other than have to work while we moved he was able to make the change and the generator was happy again. We headed around Venice and into Port Charlotte. Finding a little hurricane hole in Caya Costa for the night. This was a quiet no rocking spot and we enjoyed exploring Caya Costa and sleeping well.
After securing their Uber and waving by to Eddie and Joan as they headed back to NC. We set out down toward Marco Island with our first experience out in the Gulf since crossing in January. Now we were south and warmer and looking forward to enjoying some time in Naples with friends.
We tucked into Gordon Pass for the night in among some very expensive homes and anchored with 3 other boats near by. The next morning we headed down toward Marco Island and the gulf was beautiful. We had been looking for an affordable marina in the area and stumbled across the Port of the Islands. We didn’t know then that this would become a safe haven for Journey during the coming Hurricane season.
Before heading in to Port of the Islands which takes about an hour something we did not really know at the time. We spend a night along Panther Key. Panther Key is among the Ten Thousand Islands area in the Everglades. This was a place totally different from anywhere we had been and the quiet and lack of light pollution at night made the stars reach down and almost touch you. We enjoyed the evening here and a beautiful sunset.
April began just like any other month. We are busy working our day to day lives but constantly looking for any 44ft. Endeavour Boat for sale that met most of what we wanted to find in a boat. Earlier in February we visit one on the coast of North Carolina and felt that this might be our boat, but negotiations just could not get us close to where we wanted to be on price We could not meet them near their price just yet in our budget, but we were working on someways to possibly purchase this boat. Since we had been watching and looking at boats for awhile, we knew that on any given day it could sell, so we continued to look for any new ones that entered the market. April brings my spring break from school where I work. My husband and I were planning to head to Florida and check out a few while we were down in the Tampa Bay area.
On this trip we visited some Endeavour owners and looked at their boats. One couple was actually selling theirs and we looked it over but just wasn’t sure if it was the one for us. On one of the last days of break, we noticed that a boat had been moved to St. Petersburg, Florida from further north where it was originally docked. We did not care for the layout so had decided not to make the long trip north to see this one. But now it was close to where we were staying, so it made it a little more enticing to drive across the Skyway Bridge and have a peek.
Making a Decision: April 5, 2018
The Colorado Cat had just been moved down to the St. Petersburg Municipal Marina, and after speaking with Lou Hodac of Pier One Sales we were able to set a time to get a look at her. Even though we went to see this boat, again we did not think we would like it enough to even consider an offer. It was just another boat to go and look at and learn more about Endeavours.
As I toured this boat I just took random shots of the layout just to have as a memory. I did not take a video camera on this trip and left not really thinking I was interested in the boat. As we discussed the electronics and the layout that we didn’t think we really wanted, we kept coming back to the price. What could we actually get this boat for? Maybe this boat was worth making an offer to see if we could get closer to where we wanted to be. I just knew that I wanted to start low since it was not the boat that we thought we wanted.
The next day as we made the drive back to North Carolina we had a conversation with Lou again boat to get several questions we wanted answered. Lou encouraged us to make an offer. I told him he might not like our offer and he said just make one so we have some place to start. So we did. We knew it was not an offer that would be accepted and the counter was very little off the original price, but this began another discussion about what stayed and left the boat. We began to feel like this would not be a good deal, but Lou encouraged us to make one more offer. We came up some from our original and the next day got a call that we would soon be boat owners! We Bought A Boat!
Survey Day: April 12, 2018
Thus began our journey to own Journey. So much to learn, schedule, and do over the next few weeks. D began immediately setting up all necessary contacts for a boat survey day. I was working, so he headed back down to St. Petersburg to give her another once over and learn all he could on the survey day which was April 12th. Boat Surveys are serious business and all have to align from engine to hull. The previous owner was gracious and also spent another day with D showing him how to operate different areas on the boat. After several long days and a quick trip back to NC, we waited on the survey results that showed the boat had few issues for us to worry about. We were ready to close.
Closing Day: April 28, 2018
It was here and we were ready. We drove into St. Petersburg the day before and stayed in a KOA cabin in St. Petersburg for the night. Our truck looked like the Sanford and Sons because it was so loaded down. Finally on the afternoon of the 28th, we took possession our boat! We were new boat owners and super excited! The fun was just beginning we had so much work to do! Our dream of adventures and living on the water was becoming a reality.
Yes! We Bought OUR Boat
Oh Captain, My Captain!
In late 2015, D focussed on his Captain license which is finally at completion. We felt this was a necessity as we moved forward with this plan for both knowledge of navigation and possible moneymaking alternatives for our future. Along with this began the research for a boat to navigate the Caribbean. Honestly, like many already out there living the dream we researched and discussed sailing, but in this research we found the powercats. A powercat is a catamaran boat that functions like a trawler without a sail. This we feel is the route we want to take to navigate the Caribbean. We love the idea of the catamaran for stability, but at our age we want to enjoy retirement and since we have not been sailing all our lives we feel this is the perfect match for our future!
Check out the Endeavor Boats
Our research has lead us to Bob Bennett in St. Petersburg, Florida and the Endeavor Powercats. Although, we went to look at different types of powercats, our trips to the Tampa Bay area to visit our daughter in college made this a great place to start. While visiting the Endeavor marina where haul outs take place for repairs we were able to see both a 44ft and 36ft Endeavor boat. Here is a brief glimpse of our tours.
Bob Bennett with Endeavor boats was informative and answered many of our questions about the boats and traveling on an Endeavor powercat. As we left the facility in St. Petersburg, we knew for sure we were interested in the powercat, but unsure of the size and type of boat we would like to purchase as we plan our future and the exploration of clear blue waters. Come along with us as we begin the journey to find the boat of our dreams to live the life of our dreams.
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