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Old 27-02-2013, 12:29   #1
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Panama city, Fl, Area Navigation fairway

I am looking leaving out and crossing the gulf at around tampa,fl to panama city Florida, which route would be the best bet, since weather is always a condition this time of the year. Also NOAA chart 11401, mentions a huge area where it
Mentions "danger missile testing area" highlighted, I guess this area is totally
Off limits, should I go on the west side, or could I navigate around the east
Side and stay in good water depth ?

Thanks

Thomas
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Old 27-02-2013, 12:41   #2
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Re: Panama city, Fl, Area Navigation fairway

I just went across the area exactly a week ago, and I'm here to tell the tale. Don't worry about it, go straight across. Be more worried about fronts.
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Old 27-02-2013, 12:55   #3
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Re: Panama city, Fl, Area Navigation fairway

I appreciate your reply, can you tell me how long it took, and when you started off day or night ? What size boat, and speed did you maintain ?
Any major wind/Waves you had to deal with ?

Thanks

T.
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Old 27-02-2013, 17:00   #4
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Re: Panama city, Fl, Area Navigation fairway

Actually our path was from the Southwest Channel just below Egmont, to Pickens Pass (Pensacola). Took 2 days, almost exactly. Left late AM.

Boat is a 40' catamaran. We sailed quite conservatively. Speeds ranged from 3 to 10kt.

We left Tampa Bay in a southeasterly 15-20, which laid to about nothing, and then picked back up into the 20s from the east. Then we passed through a front and the wind went exactly northwesterly, ergo the direction we were headed ;-) that's when we saw the 3kt, motoring into that. The wind later clocked north and northeast and went all the way into the high 20s with some 30 gusts.

Given the various directions from which the wind came, you might imagine the sea state was, well, confused. Whilst the wind was steady southerly I guess it was 5-8 ft, and then about 3-4 ft when it was on the nose, and as it picked up out of the north-northeast, we did see occasional 10-footers.

It was my first crossing, and the thing I noticed was how short the wave periods were. We brought along a very experienced friend who remarked that the waves were normal for the Gulf.

It was a very kewl experience. We had porpoise with us almost the whole time. The moon was beautiful, and when it set, so were the stars.
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