Christmas Day at the Beach on Honeymoon Island, Florida

You can enjoy Christmas on a boat complete with a Christmas tree, decorations, presents, and a nativity! After opening presents with the kids and grand kids on the boat, we rode out to Honeymoon Island finding waves to jump in, shells to collect, and sandcastles to build.

Teresa had special T-shirts made for a photo op on the beach.   Christmas in the white sand and sun is so much better than snow regardless of what “Currier and Ives” scenes advertise. #FeelingBlessed




Christmas in Florida 2016




Sun, Sand, Shells, Swimming, Snorkeling, Shopping, Special Friends and family, getting ready for Christmas

There are many things to do in the Dunedin area.   Popular attractions include Honeymoon Island and Caladesi Island—both state parks.  There are miles of beaches on Honeymoon Island.   We took our dinghy over to Caladesi Island which is also accessible by ferry. While there, I captured quite a few bird pictures and shells.

A few days later when Amanda arrived, we took the dinghy to Honeymoon Island.   We collected shells on both islands, but found the north end of Honeymoon Island scattered with hundreds and hundreds of Fighting Conch Shells.   Scott and Karen from Last Call also took their dinghy along for the trip.    We took lunches and enjoyed a long day on the beach.   After swimming, snorkeling, and shelling, we continued around Honeymoon Island in the dinghies completing a circle of the island.

We visited the stores in downtown Dunedin with Bob, Vicki and Angie Rehkopf who drove over from their place in Lakeland Florida.  There are many unique shops to investigate, and unlike many waterfront towns, they are not all T-shirt shops.

Sanctuary is looking very festive with a decorated tree and many Christmas presents.  Since our one and only tree is rather small, the presents are up on the dash area instead of under the small tree.   Stockings (shell collector bags) hung from the ship’s wheel with care. Current Christmas Day weather prediction: 81 degrees and sunny!


We are excited to share our lovely weather and venue with our son Andrew, wife Bethany, and the grandkids!  They’re currently making their way down to us by land, so we are getting ready for their visit.  This will be our first Christmas spent in Florida. Normally, we gather in either Michigan or Minnesota. Just think: opening gifts on a boat Christmas morning … space will be tight, but that is okay. All are eager to soak up sun and each other’s presence as we celebrate together the birth of Jesus, God’s only son.

Wishing you and yours a Very Merry and Blessed Merry Christmas!





Birds on the Beach




Teresa and Amanda enjoying the beach



Dinghys on the beach



Shell Collection



Collecting Shells



Loopers on the beach at Honeymoon Island



Loopers on the beach at Honeymoon Island Steve and Teresa with Scot and Karen from Last Call




Snowman “Olaf” on Sanctuary

Christmas in Florida



Heron visiting boat next to us in marina




Just another Sunset……….



What Were We Thinking……… white sand for snow……..

We left the sunshine and 80° temperatures of Florida for a trip home to Michigan.   Just where did I last see my coat, gloves, socks and boots? While it was great seeing friends and family we have not seen for a few months,  the weather was a significant change!    It was warm inside visiting with everyone, but somewhat chilly outside.

So this is our public service contribution for you loopers still south who thought you were experiencing cold weather and for those who might be missing snow.





Local 8-day forecast


This is what over a foot of fresh snow on the deck looks like



Sidewalk cleared of snow


We plan to head back to Dunedin FL tomorrow.   Looking forward to our children and grandchildren joining us for Christmas in Florida!



Winter and Christmas Lights in Florida


At Clearwater, we visited the Marine Aquarium where Winter the dolphin lives and the movie Dolphin Tail was filmed.  We saw Winter and Hope both swimming in their pool area.   So we can say we saw Winter in Florida.  While we were there, the trainer worked with Winter and gave her massages to help keep her spine as straight as possible due to her missing tail.

From Clearwater Beach Marina, we moved the boat to Marker 1 Marina in Dunedin.  On the way, we stopped by No-name Island where we had anchored before.   The plan was to stop for a swim and have lunch before we headed into the marina a short distance away.  Once anchored, we saw a flock of Roseate Spoonbills fly over.  They were such an unusual pink color and sight, they seemed almost like imaginary. After a short swim, we noticed a cloud and fog bank in the distance that seemed to be getting closer.   In just a few minutes, the weather changed from “sunny, let’s go for a swim” to “fog, misty rain, and I hope we can find our way.”  We quickly pulled anchor and headed for the marina.  The fog and misty rain did not last long and we soon found our way into the marina, but it did add some excitement to the trip.

The City of Dunedin has many interesting shops, restaurants, and hosts a Christmas Boat parade.    Marker 1 Marina is the staging point for the start of the parade where many boats displayed full holiday dress for the parade.  We have never seen that many Christmas lights and decorations on a boat!   Some of the boat installations took many days to create. One of the boats even had a live band on the bow.  It was great fun to see all the boats lighted and decorated.  The best part was watching Christmas lights in shorts, a tee shirt, and sandals.


Clearwater Aquarium where Winter and Hope live



Roseate Spoonbills fly over where we anchored for a swim and lunch


A swim and then storm clouds…..


Boats decorated for the Christmas Light Parade 



Sunset at Dunedin from Marker 1 Marina


Sunset at Dunedin on the Bay