Life is Good!

The journey continues with more fun in the sun. We spent Easter in Sarasota moored out in the harbor. It is a very nice city with lovely canal homes, parks and gardens. Our neighbours from St Petersburg came down to visit for the day on Sunday and took us to Patsie’s sister’s house for Easter brunch. It was a fabulous day, great weather, and great company. They live in an older Floridian style home on a canal, a very picturesque setting.

Ringling Circus Bridge Sarasota
Monday saw us up at 6.00am to watch the space Shuttle launch. It was really spectacular even from so far away. We did manage to capture pictures of the vapour trail it left behind but missed getting the flames from the rockets.

Space Shuttle Vapour Trail over Sarasota

Sarasota Skyline

We pulled up the anchor about 8.30 and headed down the intracoastal water way to Venice. The trip, although slow particularly as you have to pass under several bascule bridges and wait for them to open was really beautiful. You were in a canal passing gorgeous homes and lovely boats but also cute little restaurants sitting out over the water with docks for diners to tie up to while they ate. Such a pity we do not have the same sort of thing in our area. We arrived in Venice around midday and tied up at the Crows Nest marina. We were alongside a group of very large cruisers who were all travelling together for a five day trip. Very nice people. The next morning they all headed off out to the Gulf and on the their way to St Petersburg. Peter and I decided to use the marina bikes and head into town. The bikes were a bit ordinary but we had a fun ride. We had lunch in a small Italian restaurant in the main street, then headed back to the marina via the supermarket. Our bikes were even slower coming back as we had them pretty loaded up with groceries. Just as we got back to the boat a very large, 75 foot, gorgeous motor launch was berthing beside us. If anyone is interested in looking at thse lovely boats on the internet it was a Marlow Explorer. It was new and we got talking to the owners and a friend of theirs who was onboard for a few days. Both the owner and the friend Douglas, were Scottish, however during the course of the conversation Douglas told us he owned property in Cotton Tree!! How small is this world? His wife has taught at the Mooloolaba TAFE and she is about to retire from her teaching position in Scotland and is planning to return to the Sunshine Coast . He will commute from Scotland for a while then join her permanently.

Anything Goes at Crows Nest Marina next to Fiddlers Dream

Swing Bridge along the Intra Coastal waterway near Venice.

On Wednesday 7th we left Venice at around 8.00am and followed the canal through Lemon Bay making an overnight stop at a small anchorage in a nice bay at Cape Haze. Off early the next morning to Charlotte Harbour. The wind was blowing pretty hard and was right on the front of the boat which made it a bit uncomfortable, however after an hour or so we had to make a turn up the harbor to where our friends Rob and Sue live, and we had great sailing conditions. We were making 7.5 knots with winds gusting to 25 knots. A bit hairy but we made great progress. Rob and Sue were waiting in their dinghy at the entrance to the canal system and we followed them in tying up at their dock. They have been fantastic company, taking us around Punta Gorda, and last night they had twelve of us for dinner, all Manta owners so there was a lot of boat talk going on around the table. It is so good to talk with people who have been to the areas we are looking at going to, and getting lots of hints and ideas.

Rob & Sue Lineham’s home Punta Gorda. “”Anything Goes” on the right,  “Catalyst” on the left.

Tomorrow we head to Pelican Bay on Cayo Costa. Keep tuned for the next update!


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