We motor-sailed 52 miles from Cabbage Key to Sarasota, Florida, by going out Boca Grand Inlet to the Gulf of Mexico and then back into the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway at Venice Inlet. The Waterway above Venice is interesting and easy, so this was a great section to enjoy. The homes along the waterway here are beautiful and some are almost "New Englandish" looking with peaked roofs, cedar shakes and colonial style shutters.
Along the way, we had a tiny green bird take a break from flying the ocean. He landed on the dinghy and then walked all around our deck. Once he saw land near Venice, he took off. It was nice to give this bird a much needed break 4-5 miles offshore!
It was a surprise to find an unusual type of swing bridge at Blackbyrn Bay, where the bridge tender must walk out onto the bridge to operate it! In the photo below. look for the bridge tender wearing her bright yellow and orange safety vest. During the opening or swing, the bridge tender is actually "stuck" in the middle of the bridge while running the controls. Very interesting to see this for only the second time in all the bascule bridges we have traveled.
We reached Sarasota after a 10 hour motor sail and dropped the hook near several other sailboats in what we thought was the approved anchorage area of Sarasota Bay. Well, the next day, we were visited by the marine police in a very large boat with twin 300 hp motors. The officer was wearing a different kind of vest - a bullet proof one! We were told, very politely, that we needed to move because were were encroaching on the mooring field. WHAT? So, we moved to the other side of the anchorage area, which is further away from the fast fishing boats. All in all....Sarasota is a beautiful location and a great place to visit....
Time to explore Sarasota and spend time with our good friends Debbie and Craig. Then it will be one final push up to Bradenton, Fl where we will take a dock at SNEAD ISLAND BOAT WORKS.