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The Great Loop

Sarasota And Venice    Chart
(Lat: 27º 20.014'N Lon: 82º 32.822'W )

Today we took Nauti Dreams insided via the ICW to Venice for a lunch cruise. Our friends Don and Shirley are visiting us for the New Years Holiday and it was theif first ride on our boat. I was a good third shake down cruise as we were able to test the repair to our bow thruster and we also wanted to check/confirm our bridge clearance as we had an 18' bridge to go under. We were able to check it by opening the hard top hatch and having Don look out the hatch as we went under the bridge to gauge clearance. We are now confident that we can clear a 17' bridge with all our equipment up and if we lower our running light we can clear 16'. We had a nice run, saw a number of dolphins, enjoyed the houses on the route and had a great lunch at the Crow's Nest Restaurant at the Venice Inlet. Boat performed very well. Some pictures of the trip are included.
(Lat: 27º 20.014'N Lon: 82º 32.822'W )

I mentioned in the section on buying our boat we co-brokered with Sarasota Yacht and Ship Services. Their VP is Jason and he his Office Manager (Alison) and entire staff have been great to work with. Jason brings his dog, Bill, to the office most days and we try to stop by and see Bill every chance we get.
(Lat: 27º 20.014'N Lon: 82º 32.822'W )

Today we were sitting on our boat resting from driving our vehicle back from Key West and Jackie saw a small bubble helicopter flying pretty low at the end of H dock, which our boat has its slip. She said isn't that helicopter getting pretty low and then it became apparent that they were landing on the top deck of a large, river type, house boat. We watched it land and Jackie took some pictures. Pretty impressive.
Sarasota and Brandenton
(Lat: 27º 20.014'N Lon: 82º 32.822'W )

First guest on board and second shake down cruise. Our son Kelley, flew in for a few days from the cold weather in Ohio and stayed on the boat with us. We needed to move Nauti Dreams from our temporary slip at Marina Jacks to it slip we will have for the next few months. It was a very windy day but sunny so we decided to take the boat up to the Twin Dolphins Marina in Brandenton for lunch and then put her away in her slip. The boat ran very well, we had the bottom cleaned by a diver a couple of days before, and we had a great run up Sarasota Bay, into Tampa Bay and then up the Manatee River. Boat handled well in the choppy water. At Twin Dolphins the wind was really blowing and the River was moving pretty well. Again, Nauti Dreams handled well and we had no issues docking. We had a great lunch and then headed back in some very strong wind and occassional rain to Marina Jacks. We had 2-3 ft waves on the nose and boat did well. Docking was exciting as the wind was really blowing and just as we were backing into the slip with a strong side wind, the bow thruster stopped working. Once we realized the thruster wasn't available we made some adjustments to position and approach and put her in the slip with no issues. Investigation of the thruster showed that the set screw holding the pin in place had come loose and so the pin was replaced and the set screw better secured.
Sarasota, FL
(Lat: 27º 20.014'N Lon: 82º 32.822'W )

Today Adm. Jackie and I took Nauti Dreams on our first shake down run since we purchased the boat. It had been 6 weeks since the sea trial and the bottom had not been cleaned by a diver but the boat ran well. At first because of some mild growth on the bottom there was a little vibration but after running about 20 minutes it was a very smooth ride. We travelled north up Sarasota Bay and enjoyed the scenery and how the boat handled. The boat hanlded very well at speed and in close quarter slow speed manuvering. Very nice first run.