Headed out this morning full of nervous energy. The dreaded Tampa Bay crossing was commencing.
We sprinted from Shell Key looking for any large ships headed in our direction. None seen.
Egmont Island sits in the middle of the bay and would be our first safe haven. There’s a lighthouse there to serve as a navigational aid for the commercial shipping. The water was a bit choppy as we entered the main channel but nothing we haven’t experienced yet.
The island provided us a bit of safety. Still no large ships spotted.
As we crossed the other side the water became even more choppy. Several swells slashed our spray skirts. Some even splashed our faces. Paddle on!
We crossed the next section without incident.
We paused for a moment as we reached the point across the bay to eat a snack before proceeding on towards Bradenton Beach.
We noticed several tourists pointing out into the ocean and discovered there were a bunch of small sharks feeding about 40 yards from us. Cool!
At Bradenton Beach the local lifeguard blew his whistle frantically at us. Apparently we got too close to the beach and were being warned to paddle further out. Marc blew his whistle back at him and waved.
A couple more miles and we land at Coquina Beach. The 600 mile mark. We find the Kokonut Hut. And enjoy some adult beverages and high fat appetizers to celebrate.
What a great day ….,.
Marc and Jim.