Time to move on and explore the Sarasota area. By land about 14 miles south; by water it will be almost 30 miles! By car – 25 minutes; by boat- 4 hours. Its a different pace traveling by water! We left Bradenton on Thursday, Dec. 1
LOW VISIBILITY- SHOULD WE GO?
The marinas have been great – and so appealing that our plans to anchor out continue to be postponed. This trip can be so different one boater to the next. We met friends that have been anchoring at different locations for the past 5 days. We need to look at the anchor sights with an open mind- at times they look too shallow, too unprotected- too close to boat traffic. We are certainly spoiled comparing the ICW anchorages to the remote Lake Superior spots! At some point we will just accept that the wakes from passing boats will rock you during the night; and the view may be condos along the shoreline. As the marina rates creep upward, the free anchorages are even more appealing. With the best intentions, we left the marina to go to an anchorage, then altered our plan and made a reservation at Marina Jack’s!
As we left Twin Dolphins marina, the coast guard was warning of low visibility in the Tampa Bay area. At this point, it was clear in the Manatee River- we suspected that would change in a few miles as we poked out into the bay and headed toward the south.
It is a calm day, and a Thursday- not much boat traffic; we discussed turning back or anchoring to wait for the fog to lift. Always ready for a challenge, we chose to continue on and use it as a good day for practicing our fog navigation skills.
At some points we did not spot the channel marker until it was within a quarter mile! The binoculars were not much help today. We relied on the charts, GPS , chart plotter and radar screen to guide us along.
The boats came out of the fog as we approached them.
The channel is so narrow- we got a good look at the homes along the shore; and of course there are a few fisherman- usually just off the channel. It most places it was less than 3 feet deep beyond the dredged channel. Yes we confirmed that at one point by touching bottom! The “slow Speed” signs often refer to Manatee areas- we haven’t seen one yet.
There were several bridges on this stretch connecting the mainland to the islands. We knew the bridge was ahead of us according to the chart– oh there it is!
There are more sailboats along this stretch. We are always in the ICW- so they are motoring just like us. The ICW is a dredged channel following along inside the protected waterway. We have not gone out through a pass to see the actually Gulf waters since we crossed. I didn’t know this would be how we travel- Had envisioned a lot more open water!
AND MORE FUN
Every once in a while the fog lifted and we could see where we were headed. Imagine passing close to little islands with out even seeing them! What an eerie day.
Four hours later, we had traveled 28.8 miles and arrived at Marina Jacks in Sarasota Bay. As we approached the final bridge we could see a little further; but we didn’t get a true feeling of the view until the next day when the sun was out!
Backed into our slip and power connected- our home for the next few days.
Stay tuned for photos of Ringley Circus Museum and the Sarasota Farmers Market!! Please send any questions you may have about the trip or what parts you are curious about and we will answer in future posts!
Enjoy the journey!