Today was the official start of the Great Loop — we got our prop repaired after a week of waiting, and set out from Sarasota Bay to Venice, Florida. We had a great run up the inter-coastal waterway today. We did one bridge raising, and one swinging bridge opening. The Bridge raise was in a no wake zone and we were trying to hurry to get through the bridge. People on the bank shouted out to us to let us know that we were going too fast and needed to slow down — which we promptly did… The Blackburn Bridge is Sarasota county’s only swinging bridge. There is only 9 foot clearance under the bridge, and we need 19.5 feet. The bridge tender has to walk out to the middle of the swing bridge to operate it. We took a video of the swing bridge and will post it sometime later.
We got to Venice at our overnight docking at Crows Nest Marina. They have a great restaurant here, and it is very popular with the locals, however we opted to grill out hamburgers on our new grill which is awesome. Just before sunset we borrowed complementary bicycles for a 7.5 mile round trip ride to the a local produce market. The trip included riding by Venice Beach, several parks, the historical district and a draw bridge, see a few photos below.