Blue Turtle Cruising

New Years Trip to Cayo Costa and Palm Island Marina

Cayo CostaOur longest trip yet on Blue Turtle was after Christmas and during the New Year’s festivities.  We were gone for a total of 6 days while anchoring at Cayo Costa and staying at Palm Island Marina to celebrate New Years with a bunch of friends. On board with us were Randy’s son, Corey and his father, John.

Cayo Costa – Thursday (Dec. 27th) through Sunday (Dec. 30th)

On Thursday, December 27th, we left out of Snook Bight marina and headed to Cayo Costa to anchor there for a few days. During our stay at Cayo Costa, we met up with a few other boats: Regina and Steve (my parents) on Island Time, Ron and Mary on Royal Tease, Mike and Sally on Mystique, Pam and Frank on Nauti Time and Rich and Carol on Slowin’ Down. Even though the weather wasn’t cooperating (it was very windy and rained), we still had a great time. We were still able to do a little kayaking and fishing and took in a few sunsets. We also managed a couple of shore excursions.  One day, we took the dinghy over to the island and walked across to the beach where we relaxed and let Corey play in the surf.  Randy, Corey and I also took a dinghy ride over to Cabbage Key to have lunch. This was Corey’s first time to Cabbage Key and he had a good time adding his dollar bill to the wall in the restaurant as well as touring the island.

The boys at Cayo Costa
The boys at Cayo Costa
Cayo Costa sunset
Cayo Costa sunset
Corey and Randy at Cabbage Key
Corey and Randy at Cabbage Key

Palm Island Marina – Sunday (Dec. 30th) through Tuesday (Jan.1)

On Sunday, we were ready for the 12 mile trip from Cayo Costa to Palm Island Marina. We were delayed a bit because of the low tide in the area and we were expecting some very high wind and choppy water when crossing Charlotte Harbor. Once we tied everything down and secured on decks and inside the cabin, we set off.  Other than the bumpy ride in Charlotte Harbor, it was a nice trip. By mid-afternoon, we were all settled in and tied up at the marina. This is the second time Randy and I have stayed at Palm Island Marina. The first time was when we brought our trawler home from Longboat Key after purchasing it. We really enjoy staying at this marina because of the nice facilities and awesome staff/deckhands who go out of their way to make sure you get tied up and settled in.

Blue Turtle at Palm Island Marina
Blue Turtle at Palm Island Marina

The next day, New Years Eve, we had 3 more boats come into the marina for our New Years celebration. Among those were Herb and Maryanne on Sorry Kids and Nick and Holly on Knot Bad. We now had a total of 10 boats (and about 24 people) at the marina for New Years. Since the festivities wouldn’t begin until around 4pm, we had some time to kill. Randy, Corey and I took the dinghy over the Gasparilla Island. We tied up the dinghy at the Rum Bay restaurant docks and walked across the island to the beach where we found several sharks teeth along the shells. We stopped in at Rum Bay for a cocktail and then headed back to the marina. The New Years party was a blast. We took over the pool pavilion and had happy hour hors d’oeuvres and an excellent pot luck dinner. Since we had a few hours until midnight, many of retired to our boats to relax while others played scrabble to pass the time. Around midnight, we all converged under the pavilion for the countdown and to wish everyone a happy New Year.

A few boats in our group at Palm Island
A few boats in our group at Palm Island

On Tuesday, New Years Day, it was time to shove off and head home. Since we had travelled 12 miles north from Cayo Costa, this meant our ride home would be longer. It took us about 6 hours to make it back to Snook Bight from Palm Island Marina. It was a gorgeous day for a trip like this and we even had several dolphin riding our bow and wake on the way home. And as usual, the trip flew by way too fast!

Everyone waving us goodbye
Everyone waving us goodbye
Blue Turtle heading home
Blue Turtle heading home
Dolphin riding our bow
Dolphin riding our bow

Here are some additional photos from our trip:

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