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Indian Rocks Beach, Indian Shores

We leave the Clearwater Marina with our captain carefully watching the channel.  The bay is shallow and the blue and green waters are clear.  We turn right, idling past a small island of mangroves and white seabirds.  Passing under the Sand Key bridge, we see hotels on our right including the Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites and Shephard’s Beach Resort.  Slipping into the Gulf of Mexico, we head south a safe distance from beautiful Sand Key, waving at the people sunning and swimming.  We pass by the Clearwater Beach Marriott Suites on Sand Key, Sheraton Sand Key Resort and the Sandpearl Resort.  Picking up speed, we enjoy the open water and watch for dolphins.

The sky is clear, and the Gulf has turned a deep green.  Leaving Sand Key behind, we pass Belleair Beach and soon Indian Rocks Beach is to our left. Legend has it that the island got its name from a story about a fresh water spring surrounded by rocks located in what is now Kolb Park that the native Indians believed could heal the sick.  Indian Rocks Beach offers a quaint mix of old Florida cottages, condominiums and hotels. The beautiful stretch of beach is a favorite of many visitors.  Indian Rocks Beach offers great places for casual Florida dining along Gulf Boulevard. 

We watch a formation of pelicans gliding low over the Gulf water on a layer of dense air.  So regal in flight, pelicans are rather comical on land with their long bills and mouth sacks.  The brown pelican common to North America finds its meals by plunge diving and catching fish in its beak sack.  Careening from the air and plunging into the Gulf, the pelicans are quite a show!

Our captain continues south along Indian Shores, home to the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary on Gulf Boulevard.  This organization is dedicated to the care and release of injured birds of all kinds native to the Gulf Coast, pelicans being among them.  We pass Tiki Gardens, a beautiful seven-acre park and public Gulf beach access, a great place for a family outing with its beautiful landscaping, native plant life, restrooms, showers and water fountains.

Say hello to the folks at the Doubletree Beach Resort by Hilton and the RamSea Rental Condominium Resort on N. Redington Shores, great beach resorts where you may be staying.  This is another primarily residential Gulf city with many visitors to its beautiful beach. Passing close to the end of the 1200 foot long Redington Long Pier, we are able to wave to the people fishing and sightseeing there.  This beach was once the home of the famous Tides Bath Club, a resort frequented by celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, Joe DiMaggio and Alfred Hitchcock.  On the same beach property today stands a new Tides Bath Club, a complex of six condominium buildings.  

The dolphins suddenly appearing to jump and play love the big wake made by our monohull boats. We attract more dolphins than anyone else.