November 17, 2003 3 Comments
The ICW (Intra Coastal Waterway) takes you down to Tampa Bay past hundreds of condos and fancy homes. It is quite narrow and shallow. At one point I was not paying attention and got on the wrong side of a green buoy. When I realized it I slowed and took the engine out of gear waiting for the crunch as we ran aground. There was no crunch so I put the throttle forward but we didn’t move. Thinking we must be aground it took a while to discover I had to put the transmission in gear. We rounded the buoy on the proper side and continued without running aground. The channel runs beside the Tampa Bay Skyway. Southward we entered the Manatee River where Marlow Marina is located. The boat traffic was heavy and no one slows down here for anything. Worst behaving boaters we have seen yet. At the east end of Snead Island I realized that there is a bridge between the Manatee and Marlow that is too low to get under. We will have to go back around Snead Island. Instead of 5 miles to travel Tuesday morning we have 16 miles. So it’s time to change plans we will stay at Riviera Dunes only one night and the travel to Marlow Monday afternoon and spend the night at their dock or at anchor near there. Riviera Dunes is a brand new marina created out of a dolomite mine. It has floating docks, two floating swimming pools and a fancy club house. By spring it will have a restaurant. The newspaper is delivered to your boat each morning. Several loopers are spending the winter here.