The pizza. Oh, the pizza.
We had a great stop in Venice (our old stomping grounds a la two months ago). We managed to eat at our favorite pizza joint twice, hit up the farmers market, and do a killer TRX workout, all within a 24 hour period.
We had a nice lazy Saturday morning, planning to leave Venice mid-afternoon and get 2-3 hours down the ICW to drop the anchor before sunset and shorten our ride to Port Charlotte on Sunday.
So we untied the boat, calling the Hatchet Creek Bridge to request their next opening. There are 5 bridges between Venice and Port Charlotte, we were hoping to clear at least 3 of them on Saturday.
That’s when the nice bridge tender lady said, as an aside, “Captain, you are aware that the Boca Grande Bridge is closed for another 3 or 4 days, right?”
Um, what? How do they just close a bridge and not tell anybody?
“Yep…it broke 3 days ago, latest estimates are that it’ll be down for another 3 or 4 days at least.”
We tied back up to the dock to regroup and check the weather. Offshore was our only option, which I’d actually prefer since it’s typically a set the autopilot & read a book type situation. The only trick is, it’s an all or nothing thing. There wasn’t any option to go 2 hours then drop the anchor, so we knew we’d arrive in Boca Grande Pass just after sunset.
The actual sail out Venice pass down to Charlotte Harbor was quite nice. Oh, and there was that little thing about watching history being made at Belmont when we got to see American Pharoah do his thing while we were 3 miles offshore. Pretty cool.
Once the sun went down & we made the left hand turn to enter Boca Grande Pass, that’s when it got fun. This is where I wish I had video to show you of Allison wearing her mission control-esque headset standing at the front of the bow with a spotlight yelling at the hundreds of boats tarpon fishing in the middle of the pass with no lights.
Looking back, it was hilarious. At the time, I just wanted to get inside the dang pass, drop the anchor, and make a strong rum drink. I’m sure she just wanted to be asleep in her old Atlanta condo. Or anywhere but the bow of the boat wearing a funny headset.
We persevered regardless, and the anchor finally hit sand at 10:30 pm and a good night of sleep was had by all.
Venice to Charlotte Harbor Green “67” Anchorage: 6:55 hours, 36.47 nautical miles, 5.4kt avg speed
Total trip so far: 74:19 hours underway, 404.59 nautical miles, 5.4kt avg speed.