Slow Cruise

Sailing Adventures of s/v Alpine Zephyr
"Sometimes dreams come true"
Crew

Intro

I have dreamed of sailing the seas since childhood. After years of family living, IT career and multitude of hobbies, I am following up on that dream. It is an open ended journey - no fixed plans and no end date - the time will tell.

My wife joins me on this adventure. As we sail, we learn not to rush, but rather to enjoy the life and beauty of the places we are in - staying as long as we like and moving on when new horizons catch our imagination.

This website is a casual photo chronicle of our journey - a more-or-less daily journal of pretty much what we have seen.
~~ Captain Alex

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
-- Mark Twain


Logs Archive

Sailing Log - Recent Entries:
Cruising Florida

At some point, we were wishing to have a seasonal condominium in Florida, to spend winters. Then we thought it would be boring to sit in one place for months. So, having a boat, it was logical to just cruise around the areas you like, experience its local life, moving form one place to another if get bored. This time our plan was to cruise around Florida, from East coast, to Florida Keys and then to West/Gulf coast.

Christmas in SouthEast Florida

Cruising SouthEast Florida

We have been this path before. It's mostly cities, some mid-size like Stuart, other major ones like West Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale and Miami. Also, we were there during Christmas Holidays, which was nice.
Travelled mostly inside Intracoastal Waterway (ICW). Oh yea - the "Bridge Hell"!

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Florida_Keys

Cruising Florida Keys

Honestly, I was expecting more form the Keys - clear waters, beaches, etc. - like in the brochure. Apparently, most of this is available if travelling either by car or by small shallow draft boat. With deep draft sailing boat like outs, many places are too shallow to reach. Also, some townships, having bad experience with liveaboards and derelict boats, became hostile to cruisers and boaters in general, blocking shore access in Key Largo, for example.
Liked "The Flats", with islands and water mazes, had pleasant stays.

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Key West

Visiting Key West

Log#: 309
LatLon: 24°34.100'N 081°47.909'W

Key West was an interesting town to visit - touristy, but has it own mixed character. Quite few places to see.
Good marine and other supplies.

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Everglades

Everglades

I've hared Everglades are an amazing place for nature lovers - mangrove forests, winding rivers, fishing, lots of natural life, etc. That's all true, however - THE BUGS! Depending where you are and at what time of the year (even in winter), they could be killing all the fun :-(. In one place, we were anchored a mile away from the shore on a calm day, and bugs would not let us to enjoy the place. In another place, just several miles away, there were no bug on the beach even around sunset.
Will be back to explore the area more.

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SouthWest Florida

SouthWest Florida

Marco Island and Naples were nice places to stay. We also traveled Venice during vacation some years ago, however the city does not have a suitable anchorage - next time we will get a marina if we decide to stay here.
Visiting further north just few month after devastating hurricane Ian hit SW FL. Lots of destruction around Ft. Myers and Sanibel/Captiva islands, so just passing through the area - will be visiting in some years later.

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West Florida

West Florida

We liked Sarasota and other places, such as Siesta Keys, Lido Beach, Bredenton and Palmetto. We sailed North, ending trip just before Tampa, were we've left our boat in the storage at the end of the sailing season.
Unfortunately, we were here during the "red tide" - time when algae depletes oxygen in the water, causing massive fish deaths, along with stinking smell and poison in the air. Oh well, it's unfortunate but sometimes it happens here.

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Pinellas Barrier Islands

Pinellas Barrier Islands

Starting a new cruising season.
Our original plan was to continue North, toward the Florida Panhandle and further West along the Gulf's North Coast, all the way to New Orleans. However, after spending unusually cold January in the Tampa Area and realizing by moving further North we will be chasing cold temperatures, we have decided to reverse our course and head South, toward warmer weather and to be closer to the Bahamas for the trip next season.
We had a good time in Pinellas, FL: St. Pete Beach, Treasure Island, Madeira Beach and Clearwater.
Visited John's Pass Annual Seafood Festival: was expecting more, as food choices are mostly fixed (combo'ed with rice, etc) and overpriced.
Gulfport was a nice little town to visit.

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St Pete Downtown

St. Petersburg Downtown

Log#: 314
LatLon: 27°46.418'N 082°37.320'W

While staying in Boca Ciega Bay, we took a bus trip to downtown St. Petersburg.
Very nice waterfont park area.

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