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Old 03-27-2008, 10:10 PM   #21
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RE: Kemah to Pensacola

The next installment....



Ok, last we talked, our little band of Gypsies was headed out of the anchorage at Clearwater. We headed down the coast, and got to cross Tampa Bay fairly early in the day. A little rolly, and from the port quarter, which made the boat wallow pretty bad. Could have been much worse, and we made it across in a couple of hours. All in all, a beautiful, sunny uneventful day in Paradise! We ended up in the shadow of Sarasota anchored in Sarasota Bay. This new "little" 40 lb Danforth anchor is doing a fine job. Still am amazed it will hold better than my monster Supermax, but looks like it will!

Headed out Wed morning for Boco Grande! We get underway, and I get on the "puter looking for the best deal on fuel, or should I say the least offensive price. We find out that there is a fuel dock right on the waterway, just south of Venice, so we made plans to stop. What a fabulous place Venice is! I can't believe how cool the intersection of the ICW and Gulf entrance is. Very cool place.

We get the fuel and press on. Get into Boco Grande Marina about 4:00. I had been there about 8 years ago when Boca was "fairly" popular, and Millers was just a junky old marina with an in-house fish market, kind of a catch of the day place. Now Boca is wildly popular, and the old Millers is now the gold plated BG Marina. It is truly a unique and wondrous place, but I think I liked it much better the old way. We rode a golf cart around and visited a restaurant at the south end. Rode back into town and watch the sunset over the Gulf. It was so romantic, just the 4 of us, Ron and Karen, Jim and I. Very nice place to visit, but to ritzy for me! We sit down and do some route planning, and hit the sack.

Up and atem at 7:30, to get underway by 10. We didn't have a very long day ahead, so decided to bleed a little bit more out of out Boca stay. Made the decision to skip our original lunch stop, Cabbage Key, and move on south for a little different territory. We go inside to Sanibel Island, then out into the Gulf for 25 miles or so to Naples. In through Gordon Pass, through the incredible canal community there, then into the inside system of canals that take you to Marco. This is uninhabited ditch, like most of the ICW in Texas, except there is clear blue water, and mangroves everywhere. Supposedly a huge Manatee area, but I still didn't see one. Jim may have seen the snout of one, but we're not sure. Still, much more colorful an scenic that the Texas and La ditches!

We had an anchorage in mind that the guide books all talked about, right behind Coconut Island. We go the 11 mile trip inside to get to this magical place, only to discover that not only was it not a good place to anchor, Coconut Island doesn't exist anymore! Strange to come around a bend expecting to duck in behind an island that has vanished since the charts were updated. Fortunately we had noticed a nice place to drop the hook just up-river from the original spot, so we turned around and backtracked a few minutes. Threw the anchor down, it hung right away, and had a great dinner co-prepared by Jim and Karen. No shortage of great food on this trip!

So here we sit, waiting for morning. We've traveled 1,163 miles since we left Clear Lake, and have under 100 miles to go (95% off shore) to be in Key West! We have a long day tomorrow, but plan to head out at daylight. Plan on getting to KW well before dark if at all possible!

I'll talk to you all again, on yet the other side!

PS. One interesting thing. The Coast Guard has been broadcasting an all out search for a 35ft Sailboat that left Clearwater the same morning we got there. They were headed for Panama Beach, esentially the reverse of the crossing we just did. A week later, they still haven't been heard from. Kinda scary.
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Old 03-28-2008, 09:13 PM   #22
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RE: Kemah to Pensacola

Well, we made it! The anchor is down just at the southwest corner of Flemming Key, a short dingy ride from Duval street!

And, Patrick and others, whoever had the "they'll never make it" square in the betting pool, pay up!! )


-- Edited by Brent Hodges at 22:14, 2008-03-28
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Old 03-28-2008, 09:15 PM   #23
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RE: Kemah to Pensacola

Oh, and maybe the name of this thread should be "Kemah to Key West"??
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Old 03-29-2008, 09:16 AM   #24
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RE: Kemah to Pensacola

You will have to get with one of the moderators for that or start a new topic. Im sure Doug is too busy surfing porn, so John will have to do it.
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