June 26 Palm Island Marina to Palmetto

We were up at 7:00 and had a very restful sleep. It was already a repeat of so many other days on this trip--sunny, humid, and already warm at 80 degrees.  We had a trip of about 75 miles and 5 hours to get home today, so we left the dock at 8:30.  Being a Sunday, I'm sure the weekend boaters will be out in droves today.  There were already a ton of people out on the water when we left the marina.  Now the fun begins!  I don't remember this sunken boat on our trip north, but it looks like it's been there awhile.

There were many more people than we've ever seen on the South Venice Beach Ferry today.  It was a great beach day!

We had given some thought to going "outside"  in the Gulf at Venice, but with these pop-up storms we've been having lately, we didn't want to take a chance and get caught out there in one.  A bunch of people seemed to be on a kayaking tour in Venice.  It was a beautiful morning for that!

At the Albee Road bridge we saw these guys bringing out the rental jet skis using this floating dock.  Cool idea!

It's unusual to see a barge and tug on the ICW near Sarasota.  It had Port of Iberia on its name plate.

The lockmaster opened the Blackburn Swing Bridge for us.  She's always such a happy lady.

There were fewer crazies on the water today, but remember this rule---always avoid any boat with a phone number on the side!  It's a rental and you never know what kind of boater they are.  We recognized the familiar Sarasota skyline which is even prettier at night.

Sarasota Bay was a little choppy, but it wasn't due to the wind.   It was due to all the boat wakes!  I haven't seen so many boats out on the water in one place in a long time.  It was full of activity!  Jet skiers joined us to play and jump in our boat wake.

Four "go fast" boats zoomed past us.  They were flying!

We were able to travel at cruise speed much of today which is great for the "wind factor".  Boat traffic got heavier as the day wore on and we got closer to home.  The "go fast" boats came back to visit and screamed by us! 

One of our favorite hangouts, on the sandbar, near Mar Vista Restaurant was busy with people hanging out.  We also saw that Moore's Stone Crab House was gone and construction was underway with something new. 

We noticed the "go fast" boats ended up at the Seafood Shack when we went by, but not for long because they passed us again on their way down the Manatee River.  They were part of the Poker Run Grand Prix.  Things were getting crazy out on Tampa Bay. 

The Le Marquesa, a commercial fishing trawler, sat and waited for the bridge opening at Cortez, but it was sitting right in the middle of the channel blocking the way.  Really?

I couldn't believe how many boaters were out today!  It was time to get off of the water and the storms seemed to be building out in the Gulf.

We arrived home at 1:00.  Auggie was anxious to get back on dry land.  We took our time unloading most of the boat.  It was hot and we would do the rest tomorrow. The boat will get a thorough cleaning inside and out so it will be ready for our next adventure.  All in all, we traveled 938.5 miles, bought 1027.5 gallons of gas, had no major mechanical issues, experienced great weather, spent time with my brother, and made lots of memories.  Put it all together and that makes for a great trip!  Thanks for traveling along with us!  Till next time......