We are off again! Today looked like a good weather window to cross the mouth of large Tampa Bay so we headed down the West Coast Intracoastal Waterway once again. The first fifteen miles was slow going as we passed through narrow channels lined with houses, private docks, marinas and bridges, all of which were in no wake zones. Toward the end of this section I followed a channel that would have been the shortest distance to discover a fixed bridge to low for us to go under. I had not looked far enough ahead at the chart data to discover this until we arrived. This was a round trip mistaken detour of 4.2 miles.
Once back on track we made for Boca Ciega Bay and the channel taking us south to the mouth of Tampa Bay. We were pleased to find the waters across the bay settled and comfortable for the crossing. The Sunshine Skyway Bridge reaching from shore to shore of the bay is quite impressive.
After crossing the bay we entered the very shallow and narrow channel of the Intracoastal Waterway into Anna Maria Sound. It looks like lots of water in a very broad sound but looks are deceiving. We squeeked under the Perico Island Bascule Bridge with a foot to spare and moored at the Seafood Shack Marina. Our slip was 50 feet from the Seafood Shack Restaurant outside eating area and since we backed in our stern showed the homeport of Orcas Island, WA generating quite a bit of interest.
Soon after getting settled our friends from Michigan, Ron and Marilyn Steiner, arrived from their rented condo. We spend the evening with them including dinner at the Seafood Shack where, once again, Shrimp and Grits was my first choice