Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Time to Sail South

We stayed anchored in Manatee River for 3 nights waiting for the weather to clear. We saw winds of just a bit over 20 knots, which is not that bad, but we will be conservative. Monday, November 4th looked like a perfect day. The forecast was calling for 10 to 15 knots out of the east and then dying off around 2 PM. That is exactly what it did.

We decided to sail about 45 NM to Venice, Florida. We got up at about 6 am to make sure we would be anchored well before dark. It was a beautiful morning with the wind just as predicted. We set our sails before we left the river and stayed on the same port tack until we made the turn (a jibe) to go through the inlet and head south.

We set the auto pilot and just made minor corrections the entire way to Venice. The wind started at 10-12 knots and then picked up to about 15 to 18. We were doing between 6 and 7 knots most of the time. The boat was balanced and very comfortable. We both think it was our best day sailing yet.

Kim in her place of comfort. No seasickness on this day.
Perfect Day

Under full canvas
As we got to Sarasota, the wind picked up to 15 to 18 and it just got better.

We had some water over the rail, but still very comfortable. The boat is a bit salty now.
Kim contemplating life on a lean.
I have added one additional thing to my Navigation system. An Android tablet running Navionics software is great to double check the chart plotter and to give us some redundancy.

New tablet and mount. No lost visibility.
We got to the Venice inlet, but we were about 9 miles offshore. We had to do that to stay on the wind. We planned to make a tack and head to land. The problem was that it was now 2 pm and the wind just died. I mean like totally died. It became dead calm and the water was like glass. It was crazy how fast it changed. We fired up the motor and cruised on in. During that time we were greeted by a pod of dolphins on the bow. Kim went up to talk to them and they stayed there for about 5 minutes. She LOVED it! Sadly, no pictures.

We came in the inlet and motored up the ICW about 2.5 miles. We had to open one bridge and then dropped the hook in Blackburn Bay. It was glass smooth and we had a beautiful evening. We had another very cool dolphin encounter that I did get on video. Check out the video to follow to see that.

We had the local rowing team come by with their coach. They had a girl coxswain, just like my niece Katherine.

Our anchorage at Blackburn Bay. We were surrounded by beautiful homes and a nice sunset.

SHIFT ready for bed after a long days work.

Just one more sunset shot. 
We liked this anchorage so much we decided to stay 2 nights. It really had more to do with the weather than anything else, but we are not in any kind of hurry to get south. We have had a lazy day just reading and relaxing today. We are planning to sail tomorrow, but we will see.


  1. What a great start to your adventure, looks so peaceful and relaxing.

    1. It was a great day. We think this lifestyle will suit us.