Monday, October 13, 2008

On our way

Well, we've made it as far as Venice and now we're staying a day or so at Pat and Peter's place.
I hope everyone is getting the SPOT updates. Make sure when you click on the Google Map link that you hit the "satellite" button. This will change the image from a map to a satellite photo of the exact spot we have set our anchor. For example, if you click the link for Oct 7, you will see the spot where we anchored off the little sand bar of "Three Rooker Bar."
So far on this trip we've done quite a bit of sailing, as opposed to motoring. For example, yesterday we had a glorious day of sailing across Sarasota Bay. The day before, we crossed Tampa Bay under sail. The wind was light crossing Tampa Bay, so we got the chance to play with the "reaching spinnaker" a bit.
The on hassle we've had came just at the end of our sail across Tampa Bay. We dropped the sails as we entered the ICW and called the Anna Maria Bridge. It was about 2:30 in the afternoon and we were told that we had to wait until 5:00 due to construction. Well...after anchoring for 2 1/2 hours, it turned out that they didn't open the bridge until 5:30. Then, to top it all off, the Cortez bridge wouldn't open until 6:30. This meant that we didn't get to set anchor until nearly sundown. Just as we were getting into the anchorage, the sailboat ahead of us ran hard aground. We tried to help tow them off, but it didn't work. As it turned out, they had hit the most shallow spot in the anchorage exactly at low tide. After about a half hour, the tide floated them off.
We saw this same boat again as we sailed across Sarasota Bay the next day. They ended up anchoring near us in Sarasota so we all dinghied in to the tiki bar and they bought us a round of drinks. "Thanks, guys!"
We plan on spending a day or so in Venice to re provision for the next leg. Then, as weather permits, it's off to Lemon Bay, then Boca Grande and Fort Myers.
Here are a few pics of the trip so far.

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