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Old 29-06-2012, 12:35   #1
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General Heading for Trip from Tampa to Marathon

hello,

i have been trying to find an answer to this question for some time... the discussion started between an old school type and myself, (chartplotter/gps user)

I did reference my paper charts as well and came up with the same conclusion...

I scoped out a general heading of 155degree after heading offshore about 15 miles...

the old schooler demands 180 and states 155 will not work... and that we will run ashore...

sorry, but I just dont see that...Is there a preferable heading?

thanks
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Old 29-06-2012, 15:03   #2
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Re: general heading for trip from Tampa to Marathon

A Rhum Line course of 155º M to Marathon (193 miles) roughly puts the starting mark at about the sea buoy at the Tampa Bay southwest channel and does pass through "land" at Cayo Costa, Captive and Sanibel. Moreover, there is no laying a straight course through Florida Bay unless one is sailing a Sharpie with the board up and miraculously misses all of the fish-traps. Click on the following attachments:
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Old 29-06-2012, 15:49   #3
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Re: general heading for trip from Tampa to Marathon

What is wrong with sailing with the shore 10 miles on your beam left from Edgemont Key down til you get past Marco Island, catch some fish along the way, and then (after your last visual fix) DR to Marathon? Worked well for me. Do be careful about the shallows along Florida Bay.
I just don't understand kids these days (as the grey haired old man shakes his head) Why does everyone have to use waypoints and rhum lines on sailing that is just fun?
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Old 29-06-2012, 15:57   #4
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Re: general heading for trip from Tampa to Marathon

The taste of wisdom is first bitter.


Unfortunately Salinman has his boat for sale now. Check out the classifieds.
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Old 29-06-2012, 20:26   #5
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Re: general heading for trip from Tampa to Marathon

the general course of 155 is not a course that couldnt be deviated from... and whether we are 10 or 15 or 50, the conversation was whether or not 180 degrees was 'way off' or a little off, or better off then 150degrees... and from what I can tell from the pics above, 155 was the better course, depending on wind, current etc...

thanks for the confirmation...
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Old 29-06-2012, 20:46   #6
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Re: general heading for trip from Tampa to Marathon

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Originally Posted by s/v Beth View Post
What is wrong with sailing with the shore 10 miles on your beam left from Edgemont Key down til you get past Marco Island, catch some fish along the way, and then (after your last visual fix) DR to Marathon? Worked well for me. Do be careful about the shallows along Florida Bay.
I just don't understand kids these days (as the grey haired old man shakes his head) Why does everyone have to use waypoints and rhum lines on sailing that is just fun?
i wanted to have a general heading, and take my time on the way down there, and poke in and out as weather might dictate... but the guy I went with was adamant about holding 180, even to the point of not raising sails when the winds were blowing from due north......

the course of 155 would have made raising the sails possible, but I could not convince the 'seasoned sailor' of this so we motored for 2 days straight, until we ran out of fuel three hours north of marathon...(he didnt want to stop in Marco Island for fuel as that would have taken 4+ hours...)

We actually ran out of fuel after I convinced them to raise sails and we heeled causing the fuel to slosh to the sides of the tank...

we sailed all the way to within 30 minutes of 7 mile bridge where we motored under the bridge, and then ran out of fuel (bone dry) 100 yards south of the bridge, and were getting blown back to the bridge... we were able to raise the sails and get out of trouble, but then, 15 minutes later, and about 1/4 mile from boot key, we got boarded by Homeland Security... where they found controlled substance in the guys duffle bag....

it was a small amount and he got off with a warning... I mean, I got lucky, that he got off with a warning...

but that was a side story... my issue was really the waste of time and fuel taking a course heading that caused us miles/time and the inability to sail instead of motor...
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Old 30-06-2012, 08:43   #7
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Re: general heading for trip from Tampa to Marathon

Don't make it more complicated than it is. Follow the shipping channel West out of Tampa Bay to the North side of Egmont Key and once past Egmont head South along the coast to Marco Island. We always sailed far enough out to take advantage of the offshore winds-- normally 5 plus miles out. At Marco you'll have to sail SW around Cape Romano Shoals then back E to Marathon. The water in Florida Bay is shallow and littered with thousands of crab pots so you would want to do this passage during daylight. Also be aware that since Florida Bay is so shallow, you'll feel like you've been through a washing machine if the headwinds are strong with the closely spaced bow bangers and if aft of the beam ,you'll be doing a frenetic cha cha. There are numerous sandbores in Florida Bay so be certain you don't carry too much draft. Some like to break up the trip and stop at the Shark River anchorage and sail to Marathon the next day. It's up to you. Also, you might want to consider going offshore straight to Key West from Egmont Key and then backtrack to Marathon in the Hawk's Channel. If you like to fish, you'll be certain to catch some Spanish Mackerel along the way and maybe even a grouper once you hit the banks. Good luck and good sailing.
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Old 01-07-2012, 05:29   #8
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Re: General Heading for Trip from Tampa to Marathon

that was my plan, but my help wanted deep water so he went 30 miles offshore outside egmont key... we were not able to 'follow land'... we had following seas at the heading of 180, and rather then turn towards land or 155, and avoid the cha cha, and gain wind he chose to motor, until we ran out of gas 3 hours north of marathon..

as for the crab pots... hardly saw one... it isnt / wasnt crab season at the time???

shallow waters didnt bother us until we got close to his home turf... he then circled back and forth looking for markers as he wouldnt look at the chartplotter to locate them...

i wasnt trying to make it difficult.. in fact I thought i was trying to make it easy... i didnt mean for them to 'trust' the chartplotter, but at least to allow the chartplotter to guide us to close enough to DR.. but DR was problematic for him...

my lesson learned was to not relinquish captain position, period...
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Old 01-07-2012, 06:51   #9
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Re: General Heading for Trip from Tampa to Marathon

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my lesson learned was to not relinquish captain position, period...
or at least not to a power-boater wanna-be sailor!
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Old 01-07-2012, 09:01   #10
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Re: General Heading for Trip from Tampa to Marathon

Quote:
...that was my plan, but my help wanted deep water so he went 30 miles offshore outside egmont key... we were not able to 'follow land'... we had following seas at the heading of 180, and rather then turn towards land or 155, and avoid the cha cha, and gain wind he chose to motor, until we ran out of gas 3 hours north of marathon.
I'm confused. If one steers 180º M from 30 miles west of the mouth of the southwest Tampa Bay channel, one's course would pass about 9 miles west of Loggerhead Key in the Dry Tortugas. At the CPA to Loggerhead on that heading the distance from Tampa Bay is only 171 miles. At that distance offshore, the Stream tends southerly at an average speed of approximately 1/4 knot or about 6 miles per day so the "through the water" distance would only be, roughly 165 miles. Yet you said earlier that you have motored for two days?
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Old 03-07-2012, 12:25   #11
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Re: General Heading for Trip from Tampa to Marathon

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I'm confused. If one steers 180º M from 30 miles west of the mouth of the southwest Tampa Bay channel, one's course would pass about 9 miles west of Loggerhead Key in the Dry Tortugas. At the CPA to Loggerhead on that heading the distance from Tampa Bay is only 171 miles. At that distance offshore, the Stream tends southerly at an average speed of approximately 1/4 knot or about 6 miles per day so the "through the water" distance would only be, roughly 165 miles. Yet you said earlier that you have motored for two days?
WE changed course west of marco Island and I thought we were heading to marco Island for fuel but we ended up going around and then south of Cape Sable, then took the course of 180 to marathon..

we also got the snot spanked out of us just west of Cape Sable in a blow that came in at midnight, so we dropped anchor for 8 hours, and then resumed in the morning...



we had no wind, or 3-5knts blowing from due north the first 1-1-1/2 day, and had following seas the first day...

I dont know the currents after that... as I was out of radio/cell range, and I didnt bother to try to figure things out after that as I was along for the ride at that point...

my gps speed was 4-5.5 knts... the burn rate for fuel was about .4 gallon per hour, or 2-1/2 hours per gallon... the only variable was holding course and not zig zagging...or having currents blow against us...(or with us)...
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Old 05-07-2012, 11:07   #12
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Re: General Heading for Trip from Tampa to Marathon

Sailinman,
Sounds like you had the cruise from Hell. A few words of advice for future passages: Do your own navigation, captain your own boat, and never relinquish authority to someone unless you are absolutely certain that they are more experienced and competent than you and find yourself in a situation that is clearly beyond your abilities. Better to start with short trips to practice navigation and boat skills and build on this foundation for longer passages. I once crewed on a boat as a young person with a "captain" that did not know how to sail his boat, did not know navigation and drank a fifth of Jack Daniels on his four hour watch. It was a terrible feeling to be aboard a vessel with someone who was dangerously incompetent and while I was offwatch and sleeping, we were nearly run down by a freighter at night and it was only the unusual rocking of the boat that awoke me to see a giant wall of steel less than thirty yards from our boat. I physically wrestled the tiller from the owner and threatened him with violence if he resisted. The next day after he sobered up and we were within sight of land, he wanted to helm the boat and I told him unless he headed to port I wouldn't relinquish the helm. He took the helm again and as we closed on the coast, he ran hard aground on a sandbar. I hailed a passing vessel and hitched a ride to harbor leaving the reprobate to sort out his problems for himself. Always captain your own boat. Never crew on a boat that you are not certain of the captains abilities. It's your life. Good luck and good sailing.
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