70 miles to Venice

Feb, 3rd I departed Clearwater Marina at 8am for a 65 mile trip to Venice Fl going through both Tampa and Sarasota Bay, east winds had the gulf looking smooth so I ran outside starting from Clearwater Pass, because the south wind was building I went in at Tampa Pass.  Tampa Bay had some big waves, just like John and Sue my great loop pals had said it would be.  Pura Vida chugged through these 3-4′ waves for about 40 min.  once inside the GIWW from Tampa Bay to Venice it was beautiful, lots of mangroves and manatee zones where you had to go slow.  slow is the best, gives you time to look around you not just ahead of you.  We had 7 bridges to go under, and needed to have 3 bridges open because they were below my 18′ height requirement these bridges open on signal using VHF channel 9.  In Sarasota I actually saw where the tornado’s went through and did some damage to mangroves and totally destroyed homes.  My trip ended up being 70 miles because I went on the gulf side for a couple of hours.  This probably didn’t save me any time it just was nice that I didn’t have to slow down for smaller boats or no wake zones.  I was able to dock at Venice Yacht Club for two nights because the Pensacola Yacht Club is a member of The Florida Council of Yacht Clubs and so is the Venice Yacht Club.  This means I can stay one night free and the other nights 1/2 the price of normal.  No cash is exchanged here they bill it to my PYC account.  Venice Yacht Club rolled out the red carpet it felt like.  everything was ready for my boat upon arrival thanks to the awesome Dock masters Ted and Jim.  I met a bunch of boaters eating dinner at VYC they were all excited to hear about my trip.  Something about Venice Beach from what the locals told me was it’s really easy to find shark teeth on this beach, especially after a big storm, I wonder why this is.  My next three stops are Cabbage Key, Marco Island, and Key West.  VYC sold me a Council of Yacht Clubs book so I can keep in touch with all the right clubs that offer reciprocal privileges.  From here i will go home for a couple days get a few things I need and head back with my friend Jacob so he can ride and assist me to Key West.  Have a great weekend and thanks for reading.

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