Cruising with Soggy Paws
Soggy Paws is a 44' CSY Sailboat. In 2007, we set sail on a 10 year around the world cruise.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Gator Football / Boat Show / Shopping!
Sherry Hanging out at the "Hub" at UF
(waiting for game time)

Nothing Like a "Gator" Game

Dave Pricing New Dinghies at the St. Pete Boat Show


This is what we call "Civilization"?

We have been having GREAT weather here in Florida this week, cool and sunny.

Gator Game: Yay, lots of fun! The Gators won convincingly, and so did the 'Noles and Navy (Dave's teams).

Boat Show (Strictly Sail St. Petersburg): On Sunday, light attendance. Fun socializing with several old friends manning booths. Poking around the displays looking for something new (not much). Beautiful weather!

Shopping: Walmart, Bealls, Target, West Marine, Office Depot, etc... We have already filled one large suitcase with the stuff we've bought, and still have a few more items on our list.

I4 Traffic: Bleah!!

Our plans for the month: Thursday we drive across the state to Melbourne for the WRCC and SSCA gatherings, with hopefully an appearance at MYC too on Friday night. We'll be based in the Melbourne area until Dec 5, with some side trips around Thanksgiving. We have a bunch of doctors appointments and social activities lined up, and we need to attend to Sherry's 2 rentals (anyone want a 2 BR / 2 BA furnished condo on the beach in Indialantic?)

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Saturday, November 03, 2007
Back in the U.S.A.
We got up at 4:30am and were at the airport at 5:30am. The Guatemala City airport has been recently upgraded and it looks pretty much like any other airport.

Security wasn't particularly stringent at the Guate airport. For example, we saw a bag left by itself up near the front of the line at the ticket counter for nearly an hour--this probably would have triggered a massive security incident in the U.S. And I got through the security checkpoint without any hassle or a close look at my stuff. I was carrying a laptop and a backpack with lots of wires and electronics. And nobody questioned my water bottle. (However, later, Spirit Air had their own bag search as we got on the plane, and they did confiscate my water bottle there.)

The Spirit flight was uneventful. Our tickets, booked online a couple of months ago on SpiritAir.com cost only $99 round trip, but then they added all the Government taxes on both ends, which brought the price up to about $210 pp (still VERY reasonable).

However, this price does not include any checked luggage. Checked luggage costs $5 per bag if reserved ahead and $10 per bag at the airport. They do no free snacks or beverages, but will sell you the average array of stuff for $3 a can (credit cards only).

Our bags arrived on schedule, unmolested. We'd taken the precaution of using a cable tie to tie the zippers together, so we could tell they had not been opened.

The trip through Customs and Immigration was no problem, and efficiently managed in fairly pleasant settings, and by 1:30pm we were in our rental car headed out of the airport.

Dave had planned a couple of stops in Ft. Lauderdale on our way out.... At the Sailrite store, his favorite sushi place for lunch, Sailorman, and the watermaker place. We struck out on the first two. Sailrite has closed their Ft. Lauderdale store (too expensive to operate, not enough true cruisers to support it). The sushi restaurant had been levelled and there was no indication that they'd relocated somewhere else. A large CVS pharmacy was under construction.

After finishing our business in Lauderdale, we hit the road headed for Dave's college roommate's in Clermont, where we'd stored Dave's car. We enjoyed a nice night a Jimmy's house and left for Dave's cousin's house in Largo in the morning.

We had one little wrinkle we forgot about. When we stored Dave's car, we had to turn in the license plate, so they didn't suspend our driver's licenses when we canceled the insurance. We'd forgotten the paperwork--left it on the boat. However, the county tax office in Clermont had it all on their computer, and in 5 minutes we had a new tag and we on our way. Dave had activated the insurance via phone on our way out of Ft. Lauderdale.

We dropped the rental car at the Clearwater Airport and made it to Bryan's (Dave's cousin) house in Largo by noon.

Our plans are to stay in the area here until Thursday (Nov 8) and then head for Melbourne, to attend the SSCA Gam. We'll make Melbourne our base for the next month.

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