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Old 01-05-2013, 08:37   #1
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Halifax, NS, Canada
Boat: 47' Steel Roberts Cutter
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upcoming transit

Hi-

in mid June we'll be taking our boat from the Tampa area, down thru the keys at Marathon and up the east coast of Florida - probably stopping in Canaveral or area (got to spend a day at the space port with the kids!); before pushing on for points North.

We're hoping to stop somewhere overnight near Marathon or in that area in general to get a little snorkeling in first, maybe an overnight to allow folks to acclimatize to movement aboard; then on to Canaveral area.

I'm looking for advice/cautions/suggestions on both locations (where is good to stop? where should we avoid and why?) and any info that would be helpful along the way.

My wife and I are experienced cruisers, but we have not cruised this area before. She's a US citizen, rest of us are Canadian. We'll have 3 kids (twins 9 and a 5 yr old) aboard with us. Boat is 47' cutter, 6' draft, 59' air draft.

Thanks in advance!

bg
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:04   #2
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Location: St. Petersburg, Fl.
Boat: Alajuela 38 and Cambria 44/46
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Re: upcoming transit

Hi,
I live in St. Pete and have done the Fl. West coast and Keys trip many times. At one point I had a 40' ultra shoal draft leeboard yawl and left from Marathon across Fl. Bay and up the west coast. Fl. bay is shallow and good light is important to get through.

Having done that trip, I suggest not leaving Tampa bay and rounding Romano Shoals for Marathon direct in a 6' draft vessel. Especially if you'll be there after dark. I would think Tampa to Key west via the NW passage would make a pleasant overnight and fun day stop with lots of opportunities for snorkeling as you go up Hawks Channel. Marathon is an easy day trip from KW.

From Marathon you could easily go outside and up to Canaveral in one hop.
It's a nice time of year to sail Florida.
Have fun,
Dennis
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Old 01-05-2013, 19:52   #3
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Location: Halifax, NS, Canada
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Re: upcoming transit

thanks for the info!
bg
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Old 01-05-2013, 20:27   #4
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Re: upcoming transit

The nicest thing about making distance is once you setoff for canaveral you'll be running in the stream... I LOVE this time of year making runs up the coast... Tend to get more s-se's than winter months.

I would definitely stop along the way coming up the hawk channel at all of the differnt snorkeling reefs. (There are mooring balls at all of them) Molasses Reef, Sombrero Reef, Alligator Reef, etc etc...

Should be a nice trip, and as you know from being experienced cruisers... Take your time, and enjoy the cruise!
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:21   #5
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Location: Bahamas/Florida
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Re: upcoming transit

With a 6' draft Hawk Channel is much better for you than the ICW in the keys.
You will need to stay outside until at least Fort Lauderdale due to 55' bridge clearance at the Julia Tuttle bridge just north of Government Cut in Miami.
Check out activecaptain.com and cruisersnet.net.
Have fun.
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:13   #6
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Location: Halifax, NS, Canada
Boat: 47' Steel Roberts Cutter
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Re: upcoming transit

Thanks guys. I'll check out those sites. Am I right in thinking that I can get thru under the bridge at Marathon? I'd like to not go out to the end (Key West) if possible - adds a bit more to the trip - but it's not a disaster if I have to.

I spent some time looking at the Navionics charts for the area on my ipad last night. Those block designators for the GOM areas offshore are a real pain in the neck - they really clutter up the chart and obscure soundings in a lot of places. I can't seem to turn them off... anyone else find this?

thx-
bg
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