Anna Maria, Sarasota & Venice
01 May 2013 | Venice Fisherman's Wharf
We left Twin Dolphin and Sailed/Motored out of the Singing Manatee River to Anna Maria Island. Found a nice spot to anchor just south of the city pier. Tricky getting in with the shallows and sand bar but with Dede on the bow we avoided grounding! Anna Maria Island is a true "beach town'. There are shops and restaurants that go on and on forever. The beach is easily accessible from any place and there is a free trolly to take you up and down the island or back to Bradenton if you need to. THe anchorage is adjacent to a city pier with free showers and heads and there is a great restaurant with a dingy dock right on shore. We enjoyed the stay but really wanted to move on to Sarasota so only spent one night on the hook. We will stop on the way back north next month.
The ongoing journey continues we spent a couple of days in Sarasota at Marina Jacks on a mooring ball. Nice place to stay but it required using the dingy to get back and forth to shore and there was a bit of wind -so it was a wet ride coming back out. It is also necessary to conserve electric power when on the hook or a mooring so we have no air-conditioning but the breeze kept it cool below and on deck. We rigged on sun cover and that kept the cockpit relatively cool. We did not spend a lot of time on board however in the three days we were there. We biked over to a delightful dinner with our niece Stephanie and husband Jerry at their home in Sarasota. Their home is only a mile from the marina.
Sunday morning we attended a very beautiful church service with full choir and ultra high rite at the Church of the Redeemer in downtown Sarasota. Hooked up with Stephanie and the kids and joined them for a day of paddle boarding around Lido and Longboat Key mangroves. Dede has discovered a new sport! Our brother Phil came down late Sunday afternoon and we all went to dinner at Marina Jacks. Phil spent the night on board Lady Lady but took off early the next morning (Monday) to spend a day with his grandchildren. Dede and I spent Monday keeping cool in the shops at St Armand Sq. It was not all of that cool but I went into every dress and gift shop that had air-conditioning!! (you can see where my heart lies with sopping) Phil met up with us after visiting the grand children and we took the opportunity to ride with him to West Marine for 'stuff''! WE then said our good byes to Phil and did a bike tour of downtown Sarasota. Some how we found a 'meditation' meeting in a local church and learned how to breath and connect with our inner self ;-} . Afterwards we biked back to Marina Jacks Dede had soup and salad and I connected with my inner-child-self and had Macadamia Nut frozen ice cream pie !!! What a supper!
Underway at 9 am on Tuesday after fueling, watering, pumping holding tanks and loading the bikes on board. Nice ride down the ICW from Sarasota to Venice. We were hoping to dock at the Venice YC but they have become a bit snooty and would not grant recropicity to us from the EG Yacht Club -unless I was the former commodore.. I don't have a printer on board so I could not 'fake' the proper documentation for such!! Several friends and relatives offered to beg our case but we opted not to grace the Venice YC with our delightful presence. WE headed further south into the ICW and found a delightful almost free dock at Fisherman's Wharf. The place is in bankruptcy and the receiver will accept 'cash' for dockage! Price was very right!!! No water or pump out but 50 amp electricity and nice floating concrete docks. The marina is right across the Rt 41 bridge into Venice Island and a 1/8 mile into the center of town. Great location , right price, nice facilities who needs the Venice YC !! WE unloaded the bikes and biked to Venice Beach -listened to an old-timers country music concert (we were the youngest kids there). Dede found a promotion sheet for the Venice Theater and we attended a delightful play ("Second Samuel") on and an even more delightful dinner at Louie's Italian restaurant..
It is nice being on a dock with power for our air-conditioning and we enjoyed a very confortable night on board. Today as I write this on Wednesday May 1st it is raining and we are comfortable on board reading and relaxing -except for a little 'shopping spree'! I mentioned Dede has found a new sport -paddle boarding--well that requires a paddle board so we went on line and found a seller that delivers! Dede's birthday in Friday so I bought her a paddle board. She is like a kid on Christmas morning wanting to play with her new toy.. I'm like a grumpy old parent saying "no ! you can't go sledding till it snows" just an analogy of course but this is not a paddle board location and beside were having a thunderstorm! Later this week we will be in Lemon Bay and Palm Island where the boarding should be delightful--now if I can only keep her from sitting on the thing on the for deck in the rain 'practicing' I would be thrilled!!! I can only imagine when we get back to RI she'll take up surfing--Becky guard your surfboards mother is coming!! Enough for now, we waiting for friends Elise and Roger to meet us for dinner tonight and then hooking up with Bob and Gail on Thursday. The adventure continues. Oh! thunder and lightning on deck--better go drag Dede below!