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Old 12-10-2014, 19:35   #1
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Three Brits Chartering out of Sarasota

We're chartering 'Clipper One' a GB42 out of Sarasota for 2 weeks in December. Any advice, suggestions, tips would be very welcome. We are not familiar with the area, and will be hoping to get some white sand, and clear water for a dip, see some Dolphins, and generally have a relaxing time in the day, and some life at night. (Not into mangroves, nature and manatees). Would appreciate guidance on any free overnight moorings, and great places to tie up and eat.

We hope to head South from Sarasota and get down as far as Marco. If that's a rubbish plan, please make your suggestions.

We'll be there over Christmas and New Year, so we'd love some suggestions for a great place to spend Cristmas, and another to for New Year's Eve. Oh, and where's the best illuminated boat parade?

Thanks in anticipation....




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Old 12-10-2014, 19:50   #2
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Re: Three Brits Chartering out of Sarasota

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Originally Posted by rtimmorris View Post
We're chartering 'Clipper One' a GB42 out of Sarasota for 2 weeks in December. Any advice, suggestions, tips would be very welcome. We are not familiar with the area, and will be hoping to get some white sand, and clear water for a dip, see some Dolphins, and generally have a relaxing time in the day, and some life at night. (Not into mangroves, nature and manatees). Would appreciate guidance on any free overnight moorings, and great places to tie up and eat.

We hope to head South from Sarasota and get down as far as Marco. If that's a rubbish plan, please make your suggestions.

We'll be there over Christmas and New Year, so we'd love some suggestions for a great place to spend Cristmas, and another to for New Year's Eve. Oh, and where's the best illuminated boat parade?

Thanks in anticipation....




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Click over to ActiveCaptain.com, register (it's free) and use the Interactive Cruising Guide for a good/detailed listing of anchorages, marina's and places to visit complete with reviews and evaluations by other cruisers. In my view there is no reason to go father south than Sanibel Island as, once you've gotten that far south, you've covered the best part of the southwest coast short of getting to Key West. Some of the most desirable anchorages include "Cabbage Key", "Pelican Bay", "T'ween Waters" et al, all in the south Pine Island Sound area, just south of Boca Grand.

FWIW...
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Old 15-10-2014, 13:30   #3
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Re: Three Brits Chartering out of Sarasota

I agree. Check out active captain. Maybe head north just a bit to Longboat Key/ Anna Maria Island. You can anchor just off Jewfish Key. Cabbage Key was a neat place to visit too.
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Old 15-10-2014, 13:37   #4
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Re: Three Brits Chartering out of Sarasota

Thank you both for your suggestions. I am hooked up to Active Captain, and it is a great resource. A contributor on another forum suggested going North a bit as well. I had hoped to get a better response here, but early days yet I guess.....


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Old 15-10-2014, 18:40   #5
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Re: Three Brits Chartering out of Sarasota

Great cruising grounds in SW FL, but....lots of shallow water inside the barrier islands. Lots of opportunities to run aground, but its almost all soft bottom so not likely to do any damage. Water is not crystal clear, but plenty of nice places for a dip. Lots of dolphins.

If you want night life, might be better to stay N: Clearwater, St Pete, Tampa. Further south is more mellow.

I always enjoyed the Central Ave area in St Pete at night. Great cigar bar there I used to frequent and lots of other bars/resturants to choose from. I assume its still similar. Clearwater has more of a tourist/spring break quality to it if you want to party a little harder.

There are beaches at Clearwater and on the outside of almost all the barrier islands, but access can be a bit restricted due to all the condos/resorts...worse these days I assume. There are also public/park beach areas like on Egmont Key, De Soto Point, etc....

Claiborne Young (RIP) wrote an excellent cruising guide:

http://www.amazon.com/Cruising-Guide.../dp/1589805062
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Old 15-10-2014, 20:21   #6
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Re: Three Brits Chartering out of Sarasota

Cont...

For a more posh experience, pick up a slip at the Vinoy hotel/marina in St Pete...you get access to the hotel amenities with your slip.

Re places to eat:

Moores Crab Shack, on Longboat Key, is perennial favorite and there is an anchorage right next door. They used to have limited transient dockage too. Stone Crabs, their specialty,

Lots of places along the ICW. Many have places to tie up. Some have transient dockage.

Cabbage Key, near Useppa Island, unique place. Great place for dinner and to hike around in the day. Not so good (in years past at least) for lunch because they bring in tourists and the food and ambiance suffer, but evenings are a whole different experience and much better food.

***** My all-time 5-star favorite: The Crows Nest in Venice! Awesome place: excellent resturant, pub, humidor, and marina all in one.
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Old 26-10-2014, 14:50   #7
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Re: Three Brits Chartering out of Sarasota

If you head north I recommend Dunedin & Tampon Springs. If you want to anchor off of a nice beach 3 Rooker or Anclote Island will work.
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Old 10-11-2014, 17:26   #8
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Re: Three Brits Chartering out of Sarasota

Thanks all. We arrive Fl on Dec 12 and explore land until 19th when we get on the boat. Boat is Clipper One. Give us a shout if you see us!!


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Old 10-11-2014, 17:52   #9
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Re: Three Brits Chartering out of Sarasota

Oh geez, I just noticed my phone auto corrected Tarpon Springs. Not intentional or Freudian.
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Old 10-11-2014, 18:47   #10
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Re: Three Brits Chartering out of Sarasota

What's the boats draft? How old are you and crew?

Night life will be best in St Pete (best), Sarasota(older crowd) , Venice, Boca Grande and Fort Meyers. All of those have marina, mooring ball and anchor out options.

An off the hip itinerary I would enjoy would be to head north from Sarasota up the ICW to the anchorage at Mar Vista and Jewfish Key. Dinner outside under the trees at mar vista is beautiful. The beach just near there on the north tip of longboat key is a great beach, and the beach community of Anna Maria is very nice. Also near there you can snorkel/dive/spearfish on artificial reefs only a few hundred yards off the beach and only 10-15 feet deep. You'll want a wetsuit.

If you want to go south From there head outside via longboat pass and sail south to Venice.

(If you don't mind going north, st Pete is about 6 hrs away and definitely worthy of a visit for its arts, museums, bars, restaurants and generally awesome hang. Stop off at egmont key on the way if you go.)

At Venice you could go inside and see that town. The beaches are nice there too and known for their plentiful sharks teeth.

From Venice head South to the Boca Grande/Cayo costa area. Great fishing there. Lots of nature on the Cayo side. The town of Boca Grande is quaint and fun. Great free anchorage at Cayo costa. Cabbage key is neat.

From there fort meyers is very close. Big waterfront town scene. Marina and a huge mooring field. Lots of night life and entertainment.

Or......... You could just sail straight to key west and hang there for a couple weeks. The water is waaaay nicer that's for sure.


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Old 11-11-2014, 05:30   #11
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Absolutely, head for the Keys! You can be there in a day & you'll love it. Marinas are crazy expensive but you can get a mooring pretty cheap in Boot Key Harbor or anchor out. Be sure & do the Dry Tortugas & of course Key West. Just make sure you don't run aground & pump to your holding tank inside 3 miles.
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Old 30-12-2014, 15:35   #12
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Re: Three Brits Chartering out of Sarasota

Thank you all so much for your suggestions. They were many inclusions in our plan. However, what we were not expecting was the quality of the charter boat. After much discussion we rejected the boat, lost our $3,000 deposit, stayed in a hotel for a week, and then flew to Jamaica. Book with care.......


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Old 30-12-2014, 15:51   #13
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Re: Three Brits Chartering out of Sarasota

That sucks!
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Old 30-12-2014, 16:00   #14
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Re: Three Brits Chartering out of Sarasota

What was the charter company?
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Old 30-12-2014, 20:12   #15
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Re: Three Brits Chartering out of Sarasota

Chitwood


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