We left Ft. Myers a day later than we had anticipated, we decided to stay put in the face of predicted winds, it was a good decision, since the winds really cranked up, 35-40 kts. and didn’t let up all day. Our slip was along the face dock/breakwater, and the wind-whipped river was slopping up over the dock. The sailboat on our bow was heeled over about 7 degrees all day from the wind in his rigging! We took the opportunity to bike to the Publix a mile away, and do some minor provisioning. We left Tuesday morning, and made the 31 nm run to Cabbage Key, where we anchored just off the ICW in the lee of the island. Winds were still in the 20 kt range, but it was a relatively calm night once the ICW traffic subsided. We shoved off in the morning for the 48 nm run to Sarasota Bay, traveling outside the ICW to Venice, where we headed back inside and continued the rest of the run on the ICW. Lots of small boat traffic on the route, prompted by a beautiful clear sunny day. Still, temps barely made the 70’s, so we were inside all day. Cruising the ICW is generally relaxed, save the occasional roll from a passing sport fish or large cruiser, many of whom are notoriously inconsiderate, and typically unrepentant. Not much to do other than crank up the stabilizers to dampen the roll. You can lambaste them on the VHF but those calls fall on deaf ears.


We arrived in Sarasota Bay, and anchored off Island Park. The anchorage is fairly busy, but large enough to provide adequate room. Daytime traffic provides a steady procession of passing boat wakes, but nightfall brings calm waters. There’s easy access to downtown, O’Leary’s Tiki Bar & Restaurant provides a nice beach landing and stakes to tie & lock dinghys, they request a reasonable $2/day fee for the privilege. I imagine this spot can be a bit rough in strong north component winds, but our weather has been great, and we’re thoroughly enjoying warm, sunny days and cool nights.


Friday we boarded the bus and headed south to the Tervis Tumbler store at Osprey, about 12 miles south. We picked up some of them last season in Cocoa to replace some of our acrylic tumblers and liked them, so we thought it would be interesting to see the factory store. Tervis makes about a half dozen different types of tumblers, coffee mug, and ice bucket. Not a huge product line, but they’re unbreakable, insulate, and have a lifetime guarantee. Good product for on a boat, and are popular with many boaters. The hallmark of the product is the embroidered design that is inserted between the two halves of the cup during production. The factory store has a huge variety of inserts, and a section devoted to sports team logos. We were pleased to happen upon a buy 3 get one free sale, so we have 4 more glasses to find homes for, and new travel lids for our 16 oz. tumblers, perfect for taking Dark & Stormy’s to BYO cocktail parties or pot lucks!

Now, the bus ride is entertainment all on it’s own! Sarasota has an extensive bus system that is inexpensive, will get you anywhere in the county, and the buses are clean and well-maintained. Our experience with crusing and public transportation has taught us to utilize the local systems. It’s an inexpensive way to get around, you get to see a bit of the area while riding, and meet lots of REAL interesting people! It’s not the speediest or most direct route, but it beats walking and is a lot cheaper than a cab!

Next, we head to the Ringling Estate and the big show!

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