Last Sunday morning we woke to dense fog. It began to lift at 9:00 AM and we quickly got underway from our anchorage at Englewood, heading north through the GIWW (Gulf Intracoastal Waterway). I was surprised at the wild beauty in much of this area. It isn’t just a churned-up channel through areas of upscale homes. The GIWW from Englewood to Venice cuts through parks and lots of mangroves, and although narrow, is lovely. And on a beautiful, warm Sunday morning, we couldn’t have asked for better. It was especially nice traveling on a weekend, when most of the bridges we encountered were opened on demand (rather than having to try to time our arrival for bridge openings on the top or half hour). It also helps that there are many “no wake” areas.
We had lots of dolphin activity along this stretch of the GIWW. They seemed to enjoy surfacing right next to our boat, on our aft quarter, then would swim down under our keel, swim a bit behind us, and begin all over again. It was a game we didn’t understand, but they sure kept us entertained!
We arrived at Sarasota mid-afternoon. The town has recently put in a new mooring field with the large marina here managing it. For our $20 a night, we don’t worry about dragging anchor, we have a dock to tie to when we go to shore, shower/restrooms the best we’ve seen in Florida (not quite Duncan Bay Boat Club standards, but getting close!), unlimited water, free wifi (that is pretty good here on the boat with our wifi booster), and a daily pumpout boat. It’s very pleasant, not to mention the great town. Sarasota, here near the waterfront, is really lovely with lots of interesting shops and cafes, not to mention the Whole Foods store just two blocks away. It’s been a very nice place to spend a few days, especially since it’s meant spending some time with our friend Melissa, who has a home nearby.
The weather’s been lovely, but we’ve had very gusty winds out of the SE by late morning into the afternoons the past couple of days, so we’ve extended our stay by a couple of extra days. However, it’s beginning to feel like it’s time to push on.