Yesterday we left Englewood Beach and traveled up the waterway to the Sarasota area. We had a friend in their sailboat following us. It was a beautiful day to travel. I read Claiborne Young’s description of an anchorage nearby, and wanted to check it out. It’s called Robert’s Bay.
We pulled in just like the photo shows and had at least 6 feet of water (mostly more) all the way in. We set the hook mid island and settled down to enjoy the scenery. Within minutes a boat approached honking his horn and waving his arms.
“You can’t anchor here,” he yelled. Then he did the same to our buddy boat. He had a big sign on his vessel that said Custom Private Charters, with a phone number. 941-312-0800
I called the number as he drove away to discuss the matter. I can’t say he was totally rude, but he did mention running back and night on plane and possibly running us down. He said the area was a designated recreation area and therefore we couldn’t anchor. There are no signs, nor any mention on any charts or guidebooks that I have. I figured he was full of crap, but didn’t wish to start a confrontation. After consulting with our friends, we decided to leave.
It was a lovely spot, we were a little tired from the days travels, so our departure was reluctant. Today I went back over everything I could find, and remembered the Florida Sea Grant Anchorage Inventory. Here’s the listing:
I don’t see how that prevents a cruising vessel from anchoring there. We were only planning to stay the night and move on in the morning. I’ve since contacted the offending boater via his website.
I’ve also emailed the FWC for further clarification. It’s a shame, because the anchorage is quite pleasant, (if you draw 4 foot or less). So this time, it was not a landowner causing friction, it was a fellow boater. A boater who is ignorant of current Florida law apparently.