Leaving the dock at 8:30 this morning, we were greeted by a gorgeous day of sunny skies and calm winds. Checking the weather one last time, we made the decision to go “outside” in the Gulf and down the coast to Venice where we would re-enter the ICW at the Venice Inlet. In doing so, we would avoid the large collection of tarpon fishermen blocking the channel off of Bean Point. It was a calm ride south as we kept a keen lookout for any stray crab pots waiting to foul our propellers and spoil our day.
The beaches along Longboat and Casey Keys were swarming with sun worshipers early in the day. Entering the Inlet at Venice around 11:30, we made the 49 mile trip in exactly 2 hours from leaving our dock without having to wait for 2 bridges to open and avoiding all the Sunday boaters and “slow, no-wake zones” in the ICW. The Inlet was teeming with fishermen and women on both jetties and sunbathers on the nearby beach.
Once inside the Inlet, the small island where everyone likes to gather and party was encircled by boats of all kinds enjoying the day.
Boat traffic was heavy, but not surprising for the Memorial Day weekend. We’ll spend our first night at anchor in the Englewood pocket near the State Park and the beach. We dropped anchor around 1:00 and settled in for a relaxing afternoon, watching the boats go by on their way to Englewood Beach. Auggie got in some naptime and all was right with the world. It will be a peaceful evening after all the beachgoers head for home and the evening cools off after the sun goes down.