|Locals going for a ride under a bridge.|
Leaving our anchorage at Desoto Point we headed out the Manatee River to the ICW just a couple of miles away. Our plan was for a short run southeast to an overnight anchorage by Bishop's Point in Sarasota Bay. Although it is only a 16 mile route there are two bascule bridges we needed to have opened for us. Both the Anna Maria and Cortez Bridges open on the hour and every half hour, so we had to time our passage.
We followed another sailboat down the ICW route as it appeared to be going slowly to arrive at the 10:30 a.m. opening like us. Well before the bridge the other sailboat started speeding up which we thought was a mistake according to our calculations. We sped up a bit for a while thinking maybe we were wrong and would miss our opening. When the sailboat hailed the bridge on VHF requesting they hold the 10:00 a.m. opening for them we realized he'd never make it. We slowed way down to arrive near 10:30 a.m. as planned.
We arrived at the bridge a few minutes early which is perfect, as we wouldn't have to do many circles in the channel like the sailboat that tried to make the earlier opening was doing. We putted through the bridge and figured we would need to average just 3.6 knots to make the Cortez Bridge 11:00 a.m. opening. This time the other sailboat kept pace and arrived just before the opening. Two birds decided to ride under the bridge on our bow pulpit and lifelines. That was pretty cool.
|Bishop's Point anchorage|
We motor sailed when we could after the bridges and finally had some wind to go sailing once we entered Sarasota Bay. After a nice sail we dropped our anchor a couple hundred yards from shore and tidied up the boat. In a day or two we will be headed out again. It has been 9 days since we were in a marina to fill the water tanks, empty the holding tank, get groceries and do laundry. We'll need to take care of those things pretty soon.