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Old 07-11-2015, 08:24   #31
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Re: Best Stops In Florida

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Just lazy I guess. St Pete is another one. The "Cotee" River just south of us is actually the Pithlachascotee River. Too much work.
Oh yeah, I forgot that my homeport is Jax!
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Old 07-11-2015, 08:47   #32
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Re: Best Stops In Florida

Sorry tarpon springs sucks for cruisers. 1 spot to tie to and you have to eat at their restaurant and then leave . Capt jacks will let you spend more time but again you have to either pay them for dockage or eat and drink there, and then a long walk over to the actual town.

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Old 07-11-2015, 09:02   #33
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Re: Best Stops In Florida

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Sorry tarpon springs sucks for cruisers. 1 spot to tie to and you have to eat at their restaurant and then leave . Capt jacks will let you spend more time but again you have to either pay them for dockage or eat and drink there, and then a long walk over to the actual town.

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I wasn't thinking that "best spots" meant "free spots". We usually take a transient slip at the City Marina in Tarpon Springs for a few days. "Free" usually has some other costs such as a long dinghy ride or walk.
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Old 07-11-2015, 09:32   #34
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Re: Best Stops In Florida

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Sorry tarpon springs sucks for cruisers. 1 spot to tie to and you have to eat at their restaurant and then leave . Capt jacks will let you spend more time but again you have to either pay them for dockage or eat and drink there, and then a long walk over to the actual town.

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The Municipal Marina has 6 transient slips & there's usually an open spot. Jack's is directly across the river so the walk is just across the bridge, roughly 1 block but I'd go for the city marina if possible. This is a historic destination & an easy ride. Well worth checking out. We usually go to dinner there a couple of times a month.
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Old 07-11-2015, 10:48   #35
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Re: Best Stops In Florida

They've, been full every time Ive asked. And no cat slips

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Old 07-11-2015, 11:10   #36
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Re: Best Stops In Florida

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They've, been full every time Ive asked. And no cat slips

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Not to sound argumentative but if you have a cat & you know they don't have any cat slips why would you call to see if they're full?
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Old 07-11-2015, 12:10   #37
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Re: Best Stops In Florida

Adding to my husbands post ( rain dog) We also loved Tarpon Belly , north west of Marathon.
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Old 07-11-2015, 12:29   #38
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Re: Best Stops In Florida

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Not to sound argumentative but if you have a cat & you know they don't have any cat slips why would you call to see if they're full?
We had a mono before, and before that we lived on the cottee river and took quite a few trips over the last 20 +years to Tarpon springs and it was always a hassle to go if you wanted to do more than eat at their restaurant. If it's not small boat friendly it sure as heck isn't large boat friendly and has gotten worse over the years. No real good places to anchor and dinghy in, they don't allow lives aboards at the marinas anymore, so aside from the food what's good about it not what I consider a cruiser friendly town considering its on the water whether you pay or not.

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Old 07-11-2015, 15:02   #39
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Re: Best Stops In Florida

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We had a mono before, and before that we lived on the cottee river and took quite a few trips over the last 20 +years to Tarpon springs and it was always a hassle to go if you wanted to do more than eat at their restaurant. If it's not small boat friendly it sure as heck isn't large boat friendly and has gotten worse over the years. No real good places to anchor and dinghy in, they don't allow lives aboards at the marinas anymore, so aside from the food what's good about it not what I consider a cruiser friendly town considering its on the water whether you pay or not.

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You are absolutely right that Tarpon's not small boat friendly but it's a great stop for cruisers passing through, especially if they've never been there before. Man, this conversation's giving me a hankering for a Greek salad & some Greek Chow Mein at Souvlaki's!
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Old 07-11-2015, 15:14   #40
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Re: Best Stops In Florida

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They've, been full every time Ive asked. And no cat slips

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Now wait just one minute.....we had no problem docking our cat at the Tarpon Springs city Marina. Never mind, just remembered that cat had a 13' beam😁
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Old 07-11-2015, 15:21   #41
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Re: Best Stops In Florida

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Wife and I are newly-retired as of November 1, with plans to do some extended cruising thru Florida and the Bahamas next year. We moved the Seawind from Texas to Orange Beach, Alabama last month, where it will be for the winter. We plan to come back in late February and spend month of March working our way down and around Florida, and meet some friends on the east coast around April 1 to cross over into the Bahamas. Spend April thru early June in Exumas and Abacos, and then start back to be back in Texas by July 1.

So, to get to the point, I've done a lot of planning of the Exuma stops, but very little of the Florida leg. I know we can make it the distance in less than five weeks, but would like to make some stops at a mix of marinas and anchorages and hit some of the more-beautiful spots. Certainly catch more marinas than we will in Exumas, and ease our way into this cruising stuff (since we've never spent more than two weeks on the boat, but are both looking forward to it!) Maybe even some tourist destinations. Plus I have a new watermaker and the Florida leg will give me a chance to try it out and make sure it is all working before having to depend on it in the Exumas.

So what should we plan to see? We've spent some time in Pensacola on this delivery, so probably going to skip that. First stop maybe Destin, but wondering about marina. (Likely a bit chilly in late Feb, so prob best if we can be in a marina.) Beyond that, fully open to advice. Suspect we will be back in the Florida panhandle next year, so more game to spend time further south.

Thanks in advance for any advice. Would like to make this trip really nice. Happy wife = happy life and all that. (One reason I got a watermaker!) Have spent months changing out rigging, new electronics, maintenance on motors and systems, and am really ready!
Mike, we've done that route many times. If you want give me a call, maybe we could meet somewhere and mark some charts if your still in the area. There's a lot of nice places to visit on that route.
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Old 20-11-2016, 01:47   #42
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Best Stops In Florida

We've spent three seasons (Jan-June) poking our way from Orange Beach to Key Largo on our Leopard 42 and I'd love to do it all over again. So many great stops! Most offer either fine anchorages or marinas. Marinas can be a challenge with a catamaran - not so many double slips available. After the Nature Coast, our favorites where we could dock or anchor and walk to arts, shops and dining incl. Crystal River (anchorage with manatees, Tarpon Springs (sponge docks), Dunedin (city marina at the foot of old town with great dining), Clearwater Beach, Gulfport (anchorage, dinghy dock, eclectic downtown w/ great Tuesday street market), St Pete, Manatee River / Bradenton, Punta Gorda, Cayo Costa for fabulous anchorage and beach, Matanzas Pass. Then the wild beauty of the Everglades, anchoring at Indian Key/Russell Pass, Little Shark River (sure there're bugs - be prepared). Then the Keys, which we've just begun to explore after a week in Boot Key Harbor and hauling the boat for storage in Key Largo. We'll return in Jan. to revisit the Everglades, Cayo Costa, and then explore the lower Keys.
Regarding your watermaker: Love ours as well, (happy wife, as you say) but you will be in shallow silty water much of the time. I recommend a good pre-filter.

Safe Sailing - Hail us on JAMU should you see us!
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Old 02-12-2016, 08:13   #43
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Re: Best Stops In Florida

As an FYI, Crystal River now has a pump out boat. I believe it's 5 bucks.

Pump-out Boat Services

The City of Crystal River provides for pump-out services in order to keep the waters of Kings Bay clean. Fore Services call 352-586-0588 of Channel 16.
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