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Old 21-08-2012, 19:14   #1
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Fort Lauderdale to Fort Myers

I am planning a trip in late September from Ft. Lauderdale to Ft. Myers down through the Keys and up the west coast in a 26' Pro Line with a 225 Merc. Any recomendations on what to watch for, places to see or places to stay?
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Old 22-08-2012, 13:49   #2
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Re: Fort Lauderdale to Fort Myers

There isn't much between the keys and Marco Island except crab pots, no-see-ums, and horse flies. In the winter, Little Shark river is a nice place to anchor, but in warm weather, the bugs will carry you away.
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Old 24-08-2012, 07:30   #3
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Re: Fort Lauderdale to Fort Myers

I've made the trip stopping at Cape Sable and then going across Florida Bay on the outer channel. Absolutely beautiful. Went under the Seven Mile Bridge and stopped at Marathon; there are numerous mooring options including the municipal anchorage. The trip up Hawk Channel is about as easy as it gets. Have fun. Watch the weather.
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Old 30-08-2012, 10:45   #4
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Re: Fort Lauderdale to Fort Myers

Weather will/should be your main concern. After Flamingo you are in open water with no place to hide till you get to Ft Myers. Make sure you hold enough fuel to make the trip...
Have done deliveries leaving Key Largo and running the inside channel which saves a lot of mileage, but you must have clear calm water to see it as there are not markers..
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Old 30-08-2012, 14:47   #5
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Re: Fort Lauderdale to Fort Myers

Why not come up to Stuart and cross the Okeechobee to Ft. Myers? Chuck
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Old 30-08-2012, 15:22   #6
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Re: Fort Lauderdale to Fort Myers

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Originally Posted by HOTSHOT View Post
I am planning a trip in late September from Ft. Lauderdale to Ft. Myers down through the Keys and up the west coast in a 26' Pro Line with a 225 Merc. Any recomendations on what to watch for, places to see or places to stay?
I've spent a lot of time in Everglades National Park.


What to see? All of it. Running a 26' proline with an o/b, there are numerous spots to see. Depends on how much time you have.

Guides from Key Largo scoot across the bay and take fares to Cape Sable and back in a day. But if it is your first time, I would plot the course in Garmin's Mapsource or some other product that allows you to see the course on Google Earth or some other aerial photo. Seeing the intended course on the aerials will validate that the course is in the channel. All that said, the first time you cut across the Tin Can Channel or Crocodile Dragover, I would go VERY slow. I've run kayaks aground! Once you reach Flamingo, there is a hotel and a marina. Watch out for the wildlife there, saw a gator one night chewing on the cement pilings.

From Flamingo on a 26 footer you can make Pavilion Key in a day or even Marco Island. If the weather cooperates, you can anchor out and enjoy one of the rare quiet spots in FLA. FYI- Shark River, Lostman's River, Chatham River and several rivers in the Everglades City area offer good hiding spots from the weather given the size and draft of your vessel. Be sure to have a current chart and run with care as there are several oyster beds that will mess up the gelcoat. Also Lostman's has a wicked tidal current and Chatham has very rough (for kayaks) waves about 1/2 mile out when it is wind vs. tide.

Bill
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Old 30-08-2012, 15:41   #7
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Re: Fort Lauderdale to Fort Myers

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Why not come up to Stuart and cross the Okeechobee to Ft. Myers? Chuck

'Cuz it'll still be bug season ...
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Old 30-08-2012, 15:46   #8
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Re: Fort Lauderdale to Fort Myers

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Any recomendations on what to watch for
Running out of gas. Not sure where you can get any between Key West and Marco.
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Old 30-08-2012, 15:47   #9
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Re: Fort Lauderdale to Fort Myers

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Originally Posted by jaxfishgyd View Post
After Flamingo you are in open water with no place to hide till you get to Ft Myers. Make sure you hold enough fuel to make the trip...
Don't know how long it's been since you made the trip, but now one can duck in at Everglades City, Marco Island, Naples, lots of places.
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Old 09-09-2012, 11:49   #10
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Re: Fort Lauderdale to Fort Myers

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'Cuz it'll still be bug season ...
I've done it in "bug season"....and only had to make sure we were below at sundown when the biting helicopters swarmed...other than that...is was a nice trip.
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Old 09-09-2012, 12:50   #11
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Re: Fort Lauderdale to Fort Myers

I recently did both ways - down south along the west coast to Marathon then after the Bahamas back up to Stuart then across Okeechobee. Unless you want the experience of Marathon or the Keys, the lake route is the most direct and the five locks are easy and even fun. Other than the lake it is rather scenic (the lake itself is dog-arse ugly). Fort Myers Beach mooring field is probably the best value along the route at <$14 per night with great facilities.
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