ICW, Tampa Bay, Manatee and Anclote Rivers


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Published: May 12th 2011
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Venice InletVenice InletVenice Inlet

connecting the ICW and the Gulf of Mexico
Tuesday morning we left our anchorage and continued north in the ICW. One of the prettiest places was Venice, with its beautiful water and scenic view of the Gulf of Mexico through the Venice Inlet. They have a pretty park and beach at the inlet. When we reached Tampa Bay, we turned more easterly into the Manatee River near Bradenton. Just past De Soto Point is a small cove, where we dropped anchor. We put the dinghy in the water and motored to shore, pulling the dink up onto the beach at De Soto National Memorial. We walked the path to the Visitor Center, where I got my stamp and patch and Kerry bought his National Parks Senior Pass. He was thrilled. The De Soto Natl Mem is near the site of where Hernando De Soto and his men came ashore and began their exploration of the southeastern part of north america, a trip of some 4,000 miles.

Wednesday we went back out of the Manatee River and crossed the southern part of Tampa Bay to the Sunshine Skyway Bridge with a clearance of 175 feet, a very high bridge. We ran parallel to the highway for about 4 miles
Sarasota from Sarasota BaySarasota from Sarasota BaySarasota from Sarasota Bay

it's not the sleepy little town it used to be
before rejoining the ICW for the winding trip through Boca Ciega Bay. This bay separates the beaches and beachfront cities from the mainland cities of the Tampa Bay area. The air was extremely hazy, almost smoky looking. Visibility was not more than a mile. I read that today was the third day this week that they had issued an advisory for people with respiratory problems to stay indoors due to high ozone levels. They said the lack of clouds and wind combined with the heat of the sun was cooking the nitrous oxide in the air (from fossil fuels and cars) and creating ozone. In other words, pollution. Florida sure has changed.

Just north of Clearwater the ICW ends and we went up the Anclote River to Tarpon Springs. A marina with laundry and showers is just what we need tonight. We are really starting to study the weather for the right time to cross the Gulf of Mexico again.

More later…


Additional photos below
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Gumbo Limbo treeGumbo Limbo tree
Gumbo Limbo tree

in De Soto National Memorial, Bradenton.
branch of gumbo limbo treebranch of gumbo limbo tree
branch of gumbo limbo tree

It's also called the tourist tree because it sits in the sun, turns red, and peels.
Clearwater BeachClearwater Beach
Clearwater Beach

through the haze


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