1. Florida - USA boatbook

 

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    Florida - USA

    Arrival 12.12.12

    Despite what people said arriving in the US from a security point of view was a doddle. Finding someone to stamp our passports was a different matter. We reported our arrival by phone to a central CBP office who instructed us to proceed to Sarasota Airport to clear immigration and customs. Fortunately, my sister living in Sarasota, took us by car, When we got there nobody knew what to do with us. Numerous phone calls and lost hair later we ended up making a two hour car journey to Tamper Bay Port where after some difficulty we found a friendly official who cleared us in. Then we realized this part of the USA has few foreign visiting yachts !

  2. Passage Honduras to Sarasota Bay

    7 - 12 December 2012

    Even though the winds are predominantly Northeast in December we were lucky to get a weather window with Southerly winds to take us the 700NM from Honduras to the USA. Providing we made reasonable speed we would make it just before a cold front approached would meet us coming the other way. If we were too slow we could stop over half way at Isla Mujeres and wait for another window. With luck we could make the USA by Christmas. Each day as we moved north the wind turned to the South and behind us it turned north again.

  3. Thunder Storms 23:00hrs

    11 December 2012

    Shortly before midnight after almost 5 days at sea and 42NM from our destination we encountered server thunder storms and winds gusting 0 to 30kts. I had never seen such dense rainfall on the radar. In the morning following a hair raising entrance into the ICW through Longboat Pass (later we learned a notoriously difficult pass) we arrived safely in Sarasota Bay. We had spent exactly 5 days at sea.

  4. Our first anchorage was adjacent to Cortez Bridge on the ICW in Bradenton. It was not the most scenic of places but well protected from the winds and 10 minutes from my sisters' house as well as the beach. It also had easy access to land which believe it or not is not easily found in this part of the 'civilised' world.

  5. Our Route & Anchorages

    December 2012

    During our visit to the USA we moored or anchored at:
    • Cortez Bridge - ICW Sarasota Bay
    • De Soto Point - Bradenton
    • Yacht Basin - Saint Petersburg
    • Blackburn Point - ICW Sarasota
    • Venice - ICW
    • Useppa Island - ICW
    • St. James's City - ICW Pine Island
    • Naples City Dock
    • Fort Jefferson - Dry Tortugas
    • Garrison Bight - Key West

  6. Bradenton and Surroundings

    A Snake Sleeping on the Road

    Bradenton and Surroundings

    Approaching Skyway Bridge

    Bradenton and Surroundings

    Xmas at Diana's

    Bradenton and Surroundings

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    Bradenton and Surroundings

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    Bradenton and Surroundings

    Photo 6

    Bradenton and Surroundings

    Christmas Day at Diana's

    New Year Eves Party

    Helen, Diana & Alan (Richards' Cousin, Sister 6 Brother-in-law)

    Bradenton and Surroundings

    New Folding 'Boat' Bikes

    Bradenton and Surroundings

    Photo 10

    Bradenton and Surroundings

    Photo 11

    Bradenton and Surroundings

    Photo 12

    Bradenton and Surroundings

    Photo 13

    Bradenton and Surroundings

    Photo 14

    Bradenton and Surroundings

    Photo 15

    Bradenton and Surroundings

    Photo 16

    Bradenton and Surroundings

    Photo 17

    Bradenton and Surroundings

    Photo 18

    Bradenton and Surroundings

    Photo 19

    Bradenton and Surroundings

    Photo 20

  7. Christmas 2012

    December 2012

    This was our first Christmas we spend with some of Richard's family for 15+ years ! Richard's sister Diana and her husband Alan moved to Bradenton only a few months before.

  8. Alison was Richards' friend from University days. They hadn't seen each other for 30 years. Alison and her Husband had a house just a few minutes away from Cortez where we were anchored. What a small world.
  9. Bridges

    January 2013

    During our travels we had never encountered bridges before. After the ICW no bridge was a challenge. Tampa Bays' Skyway bridge was our first fixed bridge. It had 90' clearance and when we first passed under it looked like we were going to collide despite having 20' clearance. Eveline hid below deck ! When we returned back under we had full sail with Gennecker.

    bridge 1sky bridgecortez

  10. Animal Life

    January 2013

    Despite America being pretty destructive towards it's environment we were surprised to see so many varieties of mammals and birds. Most of the ICW markers were home to Osprey.
  11. The furthest we sailed north was St. Petersburg. We stayed in the Yacht Basin in the center of the city. Dali's new museum was within walking distance. A lot of the exhibits were copies and it didn't quite have the same feeling as the one in Figuress.
  12. ICW & Dry Tortugas

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    ICW & Dry Tortugas

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    ICW & Dry Tortugas

    Photo 3

    ICW & Dry Tortugas

    Photo 4

    ICW & Dry Tortugas

    Photo 5

    ICW & Dry Tortugas

    Photo 6

    ICW & Dry Tortugas

    Photo 7

    ICW & Dry Tortugas

    Photo 8

    ICW & Dry Tortugas

    Photo 9

    ICW & Dry Tortugas

    Photo 10

    ICW & Dry Tortugas

    Photo 11

    ICW & Dry Tortugas

    Photo 12

    ICW & Dry Tortugas

    Photo 13

    ICW & Dry Tortugas

    Photo 14

    ICW & Dry Tortugas

    Photo 15

  13. Naples

    January 2013

    The ICW is too narrow to sail and we had to motor long distances each day. While it was possible to find anchorages it was very difficult to find access to land and virtually impossible to find easy access to provision unless you have a car. This was just one of the big democratic planning failures in Florida. The banks of the ICW in Naples were strewn with mansions and villas. Most of them looked unlived in. The middle photograph below is the entrance to the ICW from the open sea at Naples. Our mast was too high to navigate the ICW between Fort Meyers and Naples so we sailed the coastal waters.

    naples houseicwhouse

  14. Our last port of call in the USA was Key West. We took up a mooring in Garrisons Bight as the anchorages were too exposed and overfull full with boats. Even the Bight was very rolly in north winds. It is difficult to believe a popular place like this offers so little protection. In Key West we visited the most southern point in the USA only 90 miles from Cuba our next destination. When we cleared out, the US immigration refused to acknowledge our departure if we were heading for Cuba. I dad to tell them we were going to Mexico.

  15. We sailed from Naples straight to the Dry Tortugas and anchored opposite Fort Jefferson one of the biggest white elephants we have seen. It was used more as a prison than a fort and was a depressing place. We had to wait 10 days before the wind gave us a chance to escape.

  16. In the Dry Tortugas the pilot was desperate for a space to take off.


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