Sarasota

Once we made the left hand turn into to ICW, we had two bridges to go under- Anna Maria Island and Cortez, before sunset. Being as that we did not know how many miles we would get under our belts before the sun set, we did not plan our marina stops in advance (and we would have to stop at marinas on this trip, as the tiny brown and white fur children STILL will not go aboard the boat- despite my newest effort of collecting dirt from their preferred potty sites to entice them to go on it… Why are they so stubborn?!? We ended up calling Marina Jack’s in Sarasota to inquire if they had a transient slip 45 minutes prior to arrival- indeed! We were in luck! While this is not a cheap marina ($3/foot per night), the crew and facilities are AWESOME! Atlas and Luna were grateful for the dog walk and park, which were really nice. The marina has a few restaurants, which were hopping, and the bathrooms were incredibly clean as well, which was paradise compared to our marina in St. Pete. While it was an early night for us, we did get to meet our really nice neighbors aboard another sailboat, and have thus deemed, this is a great marina! The next day, we departed early and our attempts to get to Port Charlotte were hindered by the bridge schedules. Sun was setting on day 2 and we found ourselves in Boca Grande after the last bridge closing. We called Uncle Henry’a Marina, and hence began a fiasco- Irma knocked out a few pilings, and the navigation was not showing up for this marina on the RayMarine Dragonfly. We ran aground, and hard. Stuck and embraced, I flagged down a guy in a pontoon boat (who was skeptical initially at helping us, but succumbed to my desperate pleas… This marina is not for those of draft beyond 3 feet- we ran aground again near our designated dock, and we able to free the boat. What a PITA. While the marina is charming, clean, and has concrete docks with shore power, it is not really depth friendly for sailboats. The pups were happy to have land to do their business on, but what a pain. We left early, so I taped money to the office door for our slip- ironically, we ran aground a few more times trying to leave the channel during high tide. SMH… The last leg of our trip consisted of more bridges and the turn into Charlotte Harbor- seas were still confused, and this made a bumpy ride for which Atlas was not pleased, and Luna, well, it is Luna- she slept. We found our main channel to our lot, and once again ran aground when making the turn. Remembering what our powerboat neighbor said, “Cling to the wall- it is deeper there!” I swear the final turn of going into our channel was the worst part of the trip- “FML- will it be deep enough? Did we buy a sailboat access house we can not even access?” No worries- the channel is actually deeper than the main one, and we were easily ably to maneuver Serenity into her new slip (oh, vey, it was close though- if we had a bigger boat, we’d be crying.) The look of surprise on Atlas’ face, though, was priceless to pull up to his new beloved backyard.