Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Sarasota to Fort Myers

The layover at Marina Jack's (floating docks) in Sarasota turned out to be a good idea as severe weather moved in overnight & clobbered nearby Siesta Key overnight with strong winds and at least one twister.  Staying an extra day there seems equally wise in retrospect -- had we tried to make it to Venice & dock at Crow's Nest, between the stiff wind and strong current we probably would have ended up in the restaurant's parking lot before coming to a stop there.

Making the Most of the Guest Stateroom
The trip down the ICW from Marina Jack's (Sarasota) to Gasparilla on Monday (1/18) was uneventful, and certainly calm compared to the offshore seas of 6-10'.  And since it was a holiday, the bridges were generally operating on demand, so the journey was quicker than planned. The only real drama was whether we had enough depth in Gasparilla for Ghost Rider's draft.  On arrival day the answer was 'yes'.  Upon departure the next morning (1/19) -- with a brisk north wind pushing water out at low tide -- the answer was 'not so much'.  We definitely stirred mud and bumped the bottom on our morning departure, and it seems we may have tortured the stern thruster a bit much in the process of getting off the dock...will know for sure when the repair bill comes in.

In the interim, however, we had a great time with our son Nick, his wife Danielle, and their 3 beautiful children aboard.  Sleeping quarters were a bit tight, but youth proved adaptive, at least for a few days.  We had an absolute blast spending such quality time with our family and stirring up our grandkids.

We arrived back in Fort Myers late Tuesday afternoon (1/19), sans stern thruster, but docked up uneventfully and got the grandkids some much needed dirt dweller time to run off some energy.  And today we put them on the plane back home. Missing them already.