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Friday, January 17, 2014

Clearwater to Bradenton Beach

Our little sailboat spent the night in Clearwater Beach tucked away in the most protected corner we could find. Even so, the gale force winds rocked the docks.

The next day we woke to small craft advisories, so you all know what that meant -finally, some good wind for sailing. The narrow channels of the ICW protected us from the worse of the waves, but we still got plenty of wind. With only one sail up we made a consistent 4 – 5.5 knots. That's not bad for a 19 foot heavily laden sailboat.

A good day's sail put us right on the north side of Tampa Bay at a protected anchorage near a causeway. In the morning a neighboring sailboat hailed us and asked if we wanted to come over for coffee. We gladly took him up on it. The guy had a wonderfully rattly old boat. He'd been living on the water, on and off, for 40 years. We had great conversation and good coffee.

Friday, it was deal calm and we motored all day. Since we were crossing Tampa Bay, I really didn't mind having glass smooth conditions. The only fright was from the massive ships crossing the bay. It was with some relief when I put the ship channel well behind me.

We anchored at Bradenton Beach, took the kayak to shore, landed next to some outside restaurant tables and ordered coffee and grouper fritters. It's all good.

Funny thing about taking the more protected ICW route. There are a lot of bridges that need to be opened so the mast of the sailboat can pass through. Many open on demand. A polite request to the bridgemaster and they open right up. Some, however, are on a schedule. Do you ever drive your car and get all red lights? Sometimes it felt like that with bridge openings. I kept just missing the time so I had to hang around in front of the bridge for 15 -20 minutes to catch the next scheduled opening.

Tomorrow we'll figure out how long we want to stay at this anchorage. There's a lot of things to do, but only so much room in the budget It might all depend on the wind.



  1. Glad you got a little sailing in. Are you catching any of your supper, or do you not fish down there?

  2. Great question, do you guys fish? I truly enjoy reading of your adventures. Take care and be safe.

    1. The price of a license doesn't make it worth it. No refrigeration either.

  3. It must be nice to just go where ever the wind takes you.

    1. Sometimes we just wait for the right winds for where we want to go.

  4. If the wind isn't blowing the way you want to go you can always change your mind and just go with the wind.
    You can do that when and if you don't have a schedule.
    Sounds like you're having a great time...

  5. I really should learn to sail! Get me a boat and live on it!