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Old 20-05-2018, 13:43   #1
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Cruising to Marathon

We are planning to make a trip from Charlotte Harbor to Marathon Florida. Boat is a 38' Carver with a 3'2'' draft. Anyone have a good safe route and any advise?
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Old 20-05-2018, 14:28   #2
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Re: Cruising to Marathon

Watch the weather and go straight across. That's what we've done a couple of times. Can be an easy crossing and peaceful.
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Old 21-05-2018, 03:43   #3
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Re: Cruising to Marathon

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Devildog.
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Old 28-05-2018, 07:13   #4
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Re: Cruising to Marathon

We just did this trip in April. We did 30-ish mile hops down the coast and enjoyed seeing the different areas. We particularly liked the 10,000 islands area. From Shark River, we set off across the Florida Bay. The wind was predicted to be E, 15-20 and we thought we would have a nice beam reach sail. In actuality, it was 20-25, gusting to 30. The long fetch and shallow water (10-12') in the Fl Bay made for really uncomfortable waves on the beam. Then there were the crab pots. They were everywhere, and with the rough seas, we had trouble seeing them. Sure enough, we snagged three on our starboard prop and we weren't even motoring. We had to lower the sails, drop anchor and I dove under to cut them free in pretty rough conditions. The wind built as we approached the keys. You have to then head west to go under the 7 mile bridge, no problem, but once under the bridge, you need to go due east about 5 miles to Boot Key Harbor. That was the most uncomfortable stretch, motoring into the wind and waves. Finally got into Boot Key around 17:30 and picked up a ball. Good thing we had plenty of rum on board.

So, my advice is to watch the wind and avoid going in strong easterlies or southerlies. The other thing is that I would not try to sail across the bay at night due to the crab pots.

Boot Key was in much better shape than I thought it would be. Some damage for sure, but the mooring field is in great shape and the City Marina is open and functioning. Most all of the damaged boats have been removed. Call ahead and try to reserve a mooring ball.

Have fun!
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Old 22-06-2018, 10:02   #5
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Re: Cruising to Marathon

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Woodward View Post
We just did this trip in April. We did 30-ish mile hops down the coast and enjoyed seeing the different areas. We particularly liked the 10,000 islands area. From Shark River, we set off across the Florida Bay. The wind was predicted to be E, 15-20 and we thought we would have a nice beam reach sail. In actuality, it was 20-25, gusting to 30. The long fetch and shallow water (10-12') in the Fl Bay made for really uncomfortable waves on the beam. Then there were the crab pots. They were everywhere, and with the rough seas, we had trouble seeing them. Sure enough, we snagged three on our starboard prop and we weren't even motoring. We had to lower the sails, drop anchor and I dove under to cut them free in pretty rough conditions. The wind built as we approached the keys. You have to then head west to go under the 7 mile bridge, no problem, but once under the bridge, you need to go due east about 5 miles to Boot Key Harbor. That was the most uncomfortable stretch, motoring into the wind and waves. Finally got into Boot Key around 17:30 and picked up a ball. Good thing we had plenty of rum on board.

So, my advice is to watch the wind and avoid going in strong easterlies or southerlies. The other thing is that I would not try to sail across the bay at night due to the crab pots.

Boot Key was in much better shape than I thought it would be. Some damage for sure, but the mooring field is in great shape and the City Marina is open and functioning. Most all of the damaged boats have been removed. Call ahead and try to reserve a mooring ball.

Have fun!
Just came through there. Crab season is over so there are only a few traps here and there. Lots better than when we passed through in March. Weather was settled so we anchored offshore 3 miles 10 or 12 miles north of Little Shark River so it was easy exit. Had done Little Shark on way down and we have all chain rode so it was a very noisy night with strong currents moving us back and forth. We did it 1 day marathon to anchorage and then anchorage to Bunche Beach/Ft. Myers. Fairly easy hops and then inside for a couple of anchorages we like. Not a hard trip at all.
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