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Old 08-05-2017, 14:04   #1
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pirate Key west to New Orleans in August?

Hello Everyone

We will be taking delivery of a new 45 Leopard in August and would like some advice on the best Ports/Marina's along the way for sailboats, following the coast? We are in no hurry, but know some Ports are more fishing and others are more Sailing etc. Any good experiences you may have had would be good intel! :-)

Any help is appreciated.

Cheers
Sandy & Paul
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Old 08-05-2017, 15:47   #2
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Re: Key west to New Orleans in August?

activecaptain.com is always useful.
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Old 08-05-2017, 16:54   #3
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Re: Key west to New Orleans in August?

I'm jealous. Congrats on the new boat, AND not being in a hurry!
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Old 08-05-2017, 19:17   #4
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Re: Key west to New Orleans in August?

Pensacola is a nice stop. Are you doing the ICW or a Gulf Crossing? August is pretty much as hot as it gets along the Gulf Coast. Not to mention the hurricane season will be starting to crank up by then.
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Old 09-05-2017, 08:34   #5
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Re: Key west to New Orleans in August?

I am biased but Apalachicola, St. Joseph Bay (Port St. Joe), Panama City, Destin, and Pensacola all have either terrific or interesting anchorages with things to do on shore.
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Old 09-05-2017, 09:14   #6
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Re: Key west to New Orleans in August?

Hi Sandy and Paul
I am from Thibodaux, La and have done the crossing (Willard Searcher) from Hurricane Pass (Calaidesi Island) to Carrabelle Fl. I crossed over from the Atlantic side via Okeechobee waterway. There are so many great stops all the way to Bayou country. I would have to put my vote in for Cabbage key for one and Horn Island over on our end. Mississippi sound is such a great cruising ground for the Cats and very underutilized. Have fun! https://goo.gl/maps/pJ6xJ5CYSBT2

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Old 09-05-2017, 10:39   #7
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Re: Key west to New Orleans in August?

Your goal should be to be someplace secure by September. Very high chance of named storms.

Two choices: up the Keys and along the Everglades or across Florida Bay.
If you go along the 'Glades keep tethered in so the mosquitoes don't carry you off. I've never gone that route.

Directly from Key West depends on how fast you go. Closest stops are Marco Island or Naples, about 90 nm. Next up the coast is Fort Myers Beach at 120 nm. Good mooring field and many marinas, restaurants etc. all accessible by boat or dinghy.

From there you can go up the ICW to Cabbage Key/Boca Grande (about 20 mn) or outside and in at Boca Grande Pass. Charlotte Harbor and Punta Gorda are up the Bay.

Back outside is Venice with the Crows Nest Restaurant and Marina just inside. Current can be very strong and the channel in (red right returning) becomes ICW (red towards the mainland) at the first turn.

Sarasota is next but tricky to find the Big Pass entrance coming from the South. New Pass is the other way in: it has been dredged in the last year or so. Inside is Marina Jack, a mooring field and Sanibel. Also Longboat Key Moorings on the West side of the Bay. High end resort if you need to unwind.

Tampa Bay is next, whether in-or-outside. South side has Bradenton Beach and Cortez on the ICW, Bradenton is around the corner and up the river.

St Petersberg or Gulfport Municipal marinas or the Harborage would be my choices in the Bay. Skipping Tampa Bay Clearwater would be next place to stop. Last place is Tarpon Springs and its' Greek sponge fishing heritage.

Can't help you from there north except that the water is very skinny a long ways out with long narrow channels.

My best advice would be to go to the Dry Tortugas while you're in the Keys. I would spend a week there then leave from there for the West Coast. But that's me.

Watch out for crab/lobster pots in Florida Bay and all along the coast.

Have a great time.
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Old 09-05-2017, 12:39   #8
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Re: Key west to New Orleans in August?

Heading north
1. Ft Myers Beach, good marinas, restaurants, easy walk to stores, bicycle to Publix
2. Charlotte Harbor - north side marinas at Gasparilla or Boca Grande, or further in to Burnt Store, marina with swimming pool!
3. Tampa Bay - south side go up Manatee River to either Palmetto or Bradenton for marinas and anchorages
4. Tampa Bay - north side go up ICW to Pass a Grill or Tierra Verde marinas
5. Clearwater - busy in August, but easy in/out to Gulf

From there I would bypass the shallow coastline and go straight to Carrabelle or Port St Joe.
Then Panama City, Destin and Pensacola.
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Old 09-05-2017, 18:24   #9
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Re: Key west to New Orleans in August?

Paul and Sandy
Congratulations! I am so jealous. The Leopard 45 is an magnificent Cat. I am sure whichever route you chose you will be surrounded by beautiful views and super fantastic wonderful people! If you have a really TALL mast taking the ICW will not work. I personally have been to Caladesi Island just north of Tampa/Clearwater and loved it. Sponge docks at Tarpon Springs with Greek restaurants.... interesting. Panama City has good pass, no bridge,good anchorage. Destin has protected Anchorage just in the pass and a boardwalk of restaurants and bars. If you need a guide I volunteer! Fair winds! Cheers!
Rob & Angela
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