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Old 23-10-2008, 16:27   #1
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Anchorages from Ft. Lauderdale to Mobile

We are on our way out of Florida, having left Ft. Lauderdale today. We are presently anchored in No Name Harbor near Miami. Our mast is 68 feet and our draft is 4' 11", so we believe we have to go all the way to Key West to get to the Gulf. We are traveling with a dog and prefer not to sail overnight. Obviously, it would be nice to have anchorages where we can walk her but know that might not be possible. We also need to be out of Florida by November 6, as our 90 day decal is up then.

We'd very much appreciate some suggestions on anchorages around the state up to Mobile. We could also stay at an occasional marina. As relatively inexperienced sailors, we prefer to take the safest route. We've read several threads here about this route, but would like some recommendations with our time frame and our inability to cross over at Marathon which seems to be a popular route. Our plan is to take Hawk Channel to Key West.

We'd appreciate any and all recommendations we can get.

Thanks.
Jan
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Old 23-10-2008, 16:51   #2
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Jan, Have a look at our web site for Sea Trek and you will find the anchorages we used along the way. The 7 Mile Bridge is 65 foot so if you need to go south to Key West, just use your charts and anchor where depth and protection is best. We just covered the entire Gulf Coast from Houston to South Carolina. The trip from Key West is pretty straight forward to the Little Shark River AS LONG AS YOU KNOW WHERE YOU ARE. There are a lot of shoal areas but they are all charted.
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Old 23-10-2008, 17:00   #3
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Thanks, Chuck. I've read your blog on this trip and it has been very helpful. We have Cruising Guides, paper charts and an 120 Chart Plotter, so we feel we can find the way - just wondering if there are some good places for going ashore with a dog, and also if we have to do an overnight after leaving Key West, or if there's some place we aren't seeing to anchor out.
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Old 23-10-2008, 17:05   #4
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Not many of places you can land with a dog in the Keys. Not many places to land in the Keys. believe it or not, unless you are a mega-yacht tied to a dock the Keys are not very welcoming. A mooring in Boot Key will get you shore access and the public dinghy dock in Key West will get you the same. The rest of the Keys are going to be a challenge other than finding a spot to anchor and landing the dinghy in the mangroves. But be careful it is not private property, they do call the Sheriff
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Old 26-10-2008, 09:10   #5
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Jan,
I recommend Claiborne Young's Cruising Guides (you'll want Western Florida and Northern Florida). He's very (maybe too) conservative but will give you some good ideas on places to visit along the way.

Places I've stayed (where you can fit) in the last two years and would visit again from South to North:

1) Captiva Pass - anchorage;
2) Pelican Bay at Cayo Costa -anchorage;
3) Boca Grande Marina;
4) Venice (free park, Crows nest, or YC);
5) Sarasota marinas at Capt. Jacks or Sailing Squadron;
6) Long Boat Pass - anchorage behind Jewfish Key
7) Manatee River - anchorage at Desoto Point;
8) Egmont Key;
9) Caladesi Island;
10) Anclote Key - anchorage;
11) Cedar Key - anchorage;
12) Dog Island- anchorage;
13) Appalachicola - City or private marina (bridge Height may be a prob for latter);
13) Port St. Joe - anchorage or City Marina;
14) Panama City - Bay Point Marina;

From Panama City you need to go straight to Pensacola outside because of your mast height.
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Old 26-10-2008, 19:27   #6
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Jan-I agree w/ most of Curtis' suggestions, except if you go in Boca Grande Pass at Charlott Harbor, turn rgt and go so. on the ICW a mile or two-great anchorage opposite Cabbage key off Ussepa. As an alternative pull into small marina at Cabbage Key-walk the dog and visit the quaint, old Fla style resturant there up the hill from the docks. Suggest you stay on the outside going past Tampa/Clearwater-Anclote key pretty good anchorage, little tricky going in-do it the light. Ceder Key is good anchorage.
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