Tampa Bay to Charlotte Harbor

Tuesday proved to be a promising travel day and we left the anchorage at Egmont Key soon after enjoying our apple and walnut-studded oatmeal.

Once across the mouth of Tampa Bay, we entered the narrow channel that makes up the ICW north of Sarasota.  This is a very populated coastline and though it was a chilly weekday, folks in kayaks, paddle boards, sailboats, and small fishing boats enjoyed the beautiful water and sunshine.

At Sarasota Bay the navigable water widened and we could maintain a constant speed across.  South of Sarasota the ICW again narrows as it winds along the coast in a well-marked and well-protected channel.

The sun glistens on the ICW

The sun glistens on the ICW

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Sailboat at anchor off the ICW on Florida's west coast.

Sailboat at anchor off the ICW on Florida’s west coast.

Two ferries crossing the busy ICW; cruisers must maintain constant attention on the waterway.

Two ferries crossing the busy ICW; cruisers must maintain constant attention on the waterway.

 

Ferry docking at the barrier island.

Ferry docking at the barrier island.

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After a long day of cruising, we reached Charlotte Harbor and headed east 10 miles  towards Punta Gorda.  We hoped to reach Burnt Store Marina before sunset, but manatee zones and bridge opening schedules delayed us.   The waning light on the water in Charlotte Harbor was beautiful as dozens of dolphins fed on the fish around us.

Dolphin jumping belly-side up to watch the Traveler as she crosses Charlotte Harbor.

Dolphin jumping belly-side up to watch the Traveler as she crosses Charlotte Harbor.

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I know that the shutter was clicked a bit late but I just love the splash.

I know that the shutter was clicked a bit late but I just love the splash.

The approach to the marina is well lit by a flashing red marker and we left it to starboard as we picked our way through the dark into the channel.  The harbormaster had given us a slip number earlier in the day and we found it easily in the light from the docks and the stars.  We tied up and washed down the hull and deck, removing the salt from our Gulf crossing two days before.  We were tired and happy to have made another 84 miles into warm weather.  We were so close to Sanibel Island that we could almost taste the grouper sandwiches at Gramma Dot’s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This entry was posted in U - 2014 Fairhope to Sanibel Island. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Tampa Bay to Charlotte Harbor

  1. bridgeof7 says:

    As of Feb, 18: Heard you were back home now. Love your blog. Wildlife and green things–beautiful.

  2. Patsy Potter says:

    Good to hear from you…. I am so happy for you…. Wish I were there. Love the pictures, especially the splash with the dolphin. We see them out the window of the hotel in Biloxi, and really enjoy their playfullness. Safe journeys my friends. When do you reach the land part of your journey? Hugs, Patsy

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