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Old 20-07-2011, 22:37   #1
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Dog Island - St. George Island - Apalachicola Bay

In the process of planning a trip to Dog Island from Panama City, FL in a couple weeks. In considering my westward approach, I'm not sure if I will enter through East Pass by the west end of the island or continue on the gulf side, pass the island and swing around the eastern tip of the island which is where we will make anchorage.

I would love to hear from anyone familiar with the approach from the gulf around the eastern tip. Charts clearly show plenty of depth between Dog Island and Dog Island Reef to enter the bay. My concern is that there may be shoaling in that area that may present problems. To top it off, we may arrive at night or near sunset and this may present challenges as well.

Anyone have recent experience in this area?
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Old 21-07-2011, 03:14   #2
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Re: Dog Island - St. George Island - Apalachacola Bay

I made the jump from Carrabelle to Tarpon Springs last May and also considered using the East side of Dog Island on the way out. However, after reading a cruising guide and the requirements to stay within about 50 yards of a particular marker to avoid the shoals, I played it conservatively and used East Pass (between Dog and St. George Islands). At the time I had a Map Tech chart, which did not even show the marker to which I was supposed to stick close. I'm now strickly using the NOAA charts. I definately would not want to come in from the East at night. If my memory serves me correctly there is fairly long north/south shoal just behind Dog Island. I'm not sure why you would want to go all the way around the Island rather than use the closer well marked East Pass.
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Old 21-07-2011, 07:30   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjop
I'm not sure why you would want to go all the way around the Island rather than use the closer well marked East Pass.
My rationale for this this is the time factor. I would like to make anchor before night fall and since I am headed to a point just around the tip of the eastern tip, it just seemed to make sense to stay in the gulf on the same heading until I reached the eastern edge.

You have confirmed the navigation issues that I anticipated and unless I receive different information, I'll liken opt for East Pass.

Thanks for your comments.
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Old 21-07-2011, 07:41   #4
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Re: Dog Island - St. George Island - Apalachacola Bay

I would also recommend East Pass. We transited with a 6 foot draft with no problem. Chuck
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Old 21-07-2011, 12:05   #5
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Originally Posted by Waterwayguy
I would also recommend East Pass. We transited with a 6 foot draft with no problem. Chuck
Sounds like East Pass it is...
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Old 09-08-2011, 21:03   #6
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Re: Dog Island - St. George Island - Apalachicola Bay

I agree that East Pass is a wise choice especially given that you may be coming in at night. It's well marked with lighted bouys unlike the east end of Dog Island. We have been in and out East Pass many times with a 5 foot draft and no problems. We've come in to the east of Dog Island before after crossing the Gulf from Cedar Key, but we stayed to the east of Dog Island shoal.

If you come in East Pass, you have the option of anchoring in Shipping Cove if it is getting late and then going on to the east end of the island in the a.m. Shipping Cove is good anchorage and very easy to get in and out of even in the dark.

Have a great trip!
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Old 10-08-2011, 06:58   #7
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We had decided to come in through east pass but due to foul weather we ended up coming through sikes cut or government pass. Even at low tide we managed to get through with a minimum of 6' depth. We ended up staying the night in Apalachacola Bay and hitting Dog Island the next day. Since the bay was rough and winds were stiff, we risked the entrance into Tyson's cove which turned out to be an ideal anchorage. Caution is advised as it is shallow, especially at low tide and depending on where you anchor, there may not be much swing room.

On a side note, we spent two nights in Carrabelle and the Moorings Marina which I highly recommend. Great facilities.
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Old 14-08-2011, 16:25   #8
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Re: Dog Island - St. George Island - Apalachicola Bay

anyone still on this thread? Am in Charleston but will depart Tarpon Springs direct for Carrabelle Spring 2012. Just picked up Skipper Bob which states East Pass "only recommended settled weather". Was going to opt for East end Dog Is. and then anchor down Shipping Cove til I ck'd this thread out. Will be solo, can do about 30 hrs without nap time. Make any sense at all regards attempt to decrease distance by sailing to Cedar Key? Tide timing looks good outbound for mid March out of Cedar. OR...a better idea to sail direct in April? Experienced skipper, epirb onboard, Beneteau 393 5ft draft. Other side comments welcome as well. Destination Galveston.THANKS
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Old 14-08-2011, 16:50   #9
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Spring 2012? Talk about planning ahead. East Pass will put you right next to shipping cove, but east end of Dog Island is a better anchorage IMO. Either just inside the hook or in Tysons harbor if the winds are a blowin. I would avoid Tysons if you draft more than 5', but that's just me.

Carrabelle is a great place to spend a day or two or more. The Moorings is likely your best bet in marina selection. Be sure to visit Harry's, Old Salts Cafe, Carrabelle Junction...

Enjoy!
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Old 14-08-2011, 16:56   #10
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Re: Dog Island - St. George Island - Apalachicola Bay

About a month ago I chose to jump from Anclote Key to Cedar Key. It seemed too far for me to make Carrabelle single handed. But I'm limited in average speed as well in a 32 footer. Some of the old salts in St. Pete said head straight for St. George Island. But single handed on my first off shore cruise I didn't agree. Too long without sleep.

No docks in Cedar Key, and limited anchorage locations. Usually in a tidal wash so some issues when wind is against tide.

The approach through a winding channel deserves attention but it's deep and not a problem in the day.

City dock says 15 minute limit to tie up, but if you tie up well back of the end of the dock out of the way nobody cares how long you stay tied there. I stayed several hours at a time with no problems.

Waited a week on weather and then left in the afternoon, sailed all night and most of the next day for Carrabelle. It was a great overnight sail.

Just to be clear, East Pass is on the west end of Dog Island. The approach is deep and well marked. I spent a month in Carrabelle. I guess the "settled weather" warning is because it can be a bit of rock and roll on approach when the winds are strong. I was dodging storms coming to the bell marker, at an angle to the swell, motoring, and it wasn't exactly comfortable after an all-nighter. But with plenty of room and depth it was not a cause for concern. This is on my first off shore cruise, so maybe I'm naive.
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Old 14-08-2011, 17:23   #11
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East pass is at the west end of Dog Island. It is well marked. St. George Sound (bay side) can be rough. Was there two weeks ago and there were 3 footers in the bay! Tysons Harbor was an answered prayer after staying over night in Apalachacola Bay and St. George Sound for 5-6 hours with 3 footers.
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Old 14-08-2011, 17:41   #12
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Re: Dog Island - St. George Island - Apalachicola Bay

thanks everyone-the call is direct shot Tarpon Springs anchorage to Shipping Cove anchorage--approx 144NM, Rhumb line. Perhaps 22 hrs with right wind. Will rest that day, put into Carrabelle next. Just ck'd out route and saw marks for 100' Air Force Towers. Anything else out there I might not see in time? Radar onboard but only 2K and iffy. PS you're right, won't even think about Tysons Harbor.
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Old 15-09-2011, 20:39   #13
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Re: Dog Island - St. George Island - Apalachicola Bay

If you go to Shipping Cove through East Pass, do be careful not to cut too close to the island as you head to the cove. Earlier this summer we ran aground while racing a shallower draft boat as we came around the end of the island (we draft a little over 5 feet). It was particularly embarrassing because there were some boats anchored in Shipping Cove and they got to watch with delight as we cranked up the iron genny and heeled her over until we could motor off.

P.S. You can see if you can find the shipwreck of the Norwegian bark, Vale when you anchor in Shipping Cove.
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Old 15-09-2011, 20:55   #14
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Re: Dog Island - St. George Island - Apalachicola Bay

There is also a sunken fishing boat close to shore at the west end of Dog Island not far outside the East Pass channel. Don't try to cut the corner or you may find the wreck the hard way.
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Old 15-09-2011, 20:58   #15
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Re: Dog Island - St. George Island - Apalachicola Bay

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There is also a sunken fishing boat close to shore at the west end of Dog Island not far outside the East Pass channel. Don't try to cut the corner or you may find the wreck the hard way.
Are you referring to the shrimp boat in East Pass? Fortunately I think you can still see part of it sticking out of the water, so that should help. But Zydeco is definitely correct. Give Dog Island a wide berth as you come in the channel.

Boy, there are a lot of wrecks scattered around Dog Island!
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