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Old 24-01-2018, 15:57   #1
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Exploring Florida

My wife and I are currently in Fort Pierce working for the next 3 months. We left the boat in NC so are land-bound for now. We want to use this time to explore Florida searching for the right sailing community for later trips/winters south. Ideally, we prefer smaller towns with a Hospital on the coast as we are both traveling nurses. Would love to find something like New Bern or Beaufort, NC or Camden, Rockland, Bar Harbor, Maine.
We usually live aboard.
Thank you!
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Old 24-01-2018, 16:34   #2
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Re: Exploring Florida

Personally, I would head over to the west coast of FL. Much more interesting cruising than the E coast.

I used to live in Bradenton, on the Manatee River. Great area.
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Old 24-01-2018, 16:47   #3
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Re: Exploring Florida

Never sailed the west coast but for cruising the east coast of FL north of Miami sucks, unless your idea of cruising is motoring up and down the ICW.
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Old 24-01-2018, 16:55   #4
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Re: Exploring Florida

New Smyrna Beach. Ten miles south of Daytona Beach. Has a hospital, Bert Fish in town 1 block from intracoastal Small town and good people. Has a few marinas and a yacht club. Couple of miles to Ponce Inlet and blue water. I lived there for 12 years and enjoyed it. Wife's family lives in So Cal so ended up moving there. Yuck! The things we do for love.
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Old 24-01-2018, 17:14   #5
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Re: Exploring Florida

I loved visiting St. Augustine. The small city is very nice for charming atmosphere.

I also like Pensacola on the Pan Handle.

Sarasota on the west coast of Florida is nice, as is Naples.
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Old 24-01-2018, 17:32   #6
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Re: Exploring Florida

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Never sailed the west coast but for cruising the east coast of FL north of Miami sucks, unless your idea of cruising is motoring up and down the ICW.
Yeah, far N, like Jacksonville, is nice and then S of Miami: Biscayne Bay - Keys, but in between not very interesting.
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Old 24-01-2018, 17:34   #7
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Re: Exploring Florida

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I loved visiting St. Augustine. The small city is very nice for charming atmosphere.

I also like Pensacola on the Pan Handle.

Sarasota on the west coast of Florida is nice, as is Naples.
Panhandle is another good option, good cruising in the area starting with Mississippi Sound all the way thru the Panhandle.
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Old 24-01-2018, 17:35   #8
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Re: Exploring Florida

Florida keys all day long. When you come south, if your draft allows, take the cut south of key BISCAYNE and head south down the icw. Cruising 7 knots through the mangroves is unbelievable.
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Old 24-02-2018, 17:50   #9
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Re: Exploring Florida

If you’re in ft. Pierce, go north a couple towns. I have been in Vero Beach for 11 years. Just recently reconnected with sailing and working my plan to get back on the water. Vero Beach city marina has mooring under the north bridge. Over the bridge and less the 2 miles is the hospital and doctors row. Vero Beach Is completely different vibe then ft pierce. Sebastian is very small town feel, it’s “home of friendly people and 6 old grouches”. Like I said iv lived here 10 years. If you check it out and have any questions let me know.
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Old 25-02-2018, 03:25   #10
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Re: Exploring Florida

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, MJ.
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Old 25-02-2018, 06:09   #11
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Re: Exploring Florida

Lots of choices

New Smyrna as mentioned and the Keys all good

Punta Gorda / Charlotte Harbor pretty tough to beat if your looking for small town with protected sailing. Beautiful clean city marina only a a couple blocks from the hospital
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Old 25-02-2018, 06:31   #12
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Re: Exploring Florida

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Originally Posted by mjupdyke View Post
If you’re in ft. Pierce, go north a couple towns. I have been in Vero Beach for 11 years. Just recently reconnected with sailing and working my plan to get back on the water. Vero Beach city marina has mooring under the north bridge. Over the bridge and less the 2 miles is the hospital and doctors row. Vero Beach Is completely different vibe then ft pierce. Sebastian is very small town feel, it’s “home of friendly people and 6 old grouches”. Like I said iv lived here 10 years. If you check it out and have any questions let me know.
I second this. Vero Beach City Marina /moorings is as close as you will find to a "sailing community" on the east coast of Florida.
Great spot. Nicknamed " Velcro Beach" by the cruisers.
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Old 25-02-2018, 08:04   #13
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Re: Exploring Florida

I live near Panama City. There are several nice marinas/towns with hospitals along Florida’s north gulf coast. Nice water, lower cost of living and friendly residents. I worked as a nurse here for a few years before retiring.
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Old 25-02-2018, 08:20   #14
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Re: Exploring Florida

We've found the panhandle to be the best, the west coast to be next best, and the east coast to be the worst.
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Old 25-02-2018, 13:10   #15
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Re: Exploring Florida

Update.....We’ve Been here about a month. So far our work schedules haven’t allowed us to venture too far abroad. We have been up to Vero Beach a few times and do like the atmosphere...kayaked around the mooring field and about the east side of the waterway. It is very nice but not much water for actually sailing...still, a nice place to hang out for the season.
Here in Fort Pierce, as long as you’re staying close to the water the town is very nice, walkable, and several nice tiki-type bars to enjoy music and food/drink. The marinas are nice and the water in Indian River Lagoon has more breadth here to allow for sailing. Haven’t ventured out the channel but it seems very convenient here. Had hoped to find a sailing charter nearby since our boat is still up in NC but none here. We’ve only been on power boats here.
Across the waterway on South Hutchinson Island it is very nice with more of a tropical feel.
We hope to head down to Marathon to check it out when work permits but understand it’s still in pretty sad shape from this past season’s hurricanes. Also am hoping to head on over to the west side...i’m A Phillies Phan and would love to experience some pre-season baseball.
We have a cruising friend that lives aboard over in Apalachicola but that’s getting a little too far away
Thanks for the advice!
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