Quiet Anchorages and Busy Clearwater Beach

From Tarpon Springs, we traveled a short distance to an anchorage near Dunedin and Caladesi Island.   Amanda left with us as we traveled out of Tarpon Springs. We were treated to an amazing Dolphin escort while moving out the river to the Inter Coastal Waterway (ICW).  The dolphins put on quite a show as a local tour boat followed us so their customers could photograph the dolphins swimming off Sanctuary’s bow waves.  I am not sure who was the most excited Amanda or Teresa–they both sounded like toddlers as they watched the dolphin show.

We anchored by a very small island just off the ICW–so small it does not even have a name.  You can walk all the way around the island in less than 5 minutes unless you stop to pick up more shells (which we have been known to do from time to time).  Locals use the island as a camp site. We traveled from that island to Moonshine Island and anchored again.  Moonshine Island is near Clearwater Beach, so we could use the dinghy to go to town and the beach.   The island is covered with mangrove trees making it difficult to go ashore there.   Picture the opposite view: million dollar houses on Clearwater Beach. We watched Osprey and Egrets on the island. After a night there, we moved on to Clearwater Beach Marina.   The marina is in the center of lots of activity, tour boats, charter boats, high-rise motels, and beautiful pure white sand beaches.    A trip to Clearwater would not be complete without visiting “Frenchy’s Restaurant,” where we enjoyed grouper and a spectacular sunset.

Today was the time Amanda had to return home.   So we sadly sent her off on an Uber to the airport.  It’s hard to believe a week could pass so fast! We enjoyed a lot of fun things together and are so thankful she was able to experience another part of our Great Loop journey with us.

From here, we will travel to another anchorage and then to Marker 1 Marina where we will stay for the month of December.   Family visitors will come for the Christmas Holiday.   Decorations on the boat have commenced and YES we have a few Christmas lights!   Feeling the warm temperatures, swimming in the ocean, beach walking all make it hard to imagine Christmas is coming soon. 

Dolphin Escort





No-Name Island near Dunedin provided a nice anchorage for the night



Camp set up by locals on No-Name Island near Dunedin. All the gear was packed into a small center console boat upon their departure from the island.



Amazing Sunset at No-Name Island near Dunedin



Osprey on Moonshine Island–they make a chirping call that you would think would be coming from a small bird not a large predator bird.  They have a 5-6 foot wind span.  The Ospreys, also known as “fish hawks,” are expert anglers that like to hover above the water, then swoop down for the capture with talons extended.



Osprey on Moonshine Island.




Osprey on Moonshine Island visits Sanctuary



Clearwater Causeway bridge leading to Clearwater Beach.   The ICW passes under this bridge.



Breakfast at Clearwater Beach right next to the marina.   Shrimp and grits, Sweet Potato Pancakes, and a Spanish waffle all very tasty.



White sand of Clearwater Beach


Sunset from Frenchy’s at Clearwater Beach



Night scene at Clearwater Beach



Sanctuary adorned with Christmas Lights!



Closer view of Sanctuary Christmas Lights


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