Originally Posted by djmarchand
Here are my three favoirites in that area:
1. Boca Grande- Enter a narrow inlet from C H between R2 and G3 and then make a sharp right and stay to the port side as you come in. There is one low spot- maybe 5 1/2 at low. Then the inlet opens up into a wide area. Drop your anchor in the middle and tie your stern to the mangroves. The dinghy dock at the N end will let you take a short walk to this upscale town.
2. Cayo Costo State Park, Pelican Bay- Enter the inlet and hug starboard shore. Then the bay opens up wide. Anchor almost anywhere, except for a high spot- about 4' at low in the middle. Dinghy to the state dinghy dock and walk to the beach. No bar, little services, but peaceful.
3. Cabbage Key- Turn west at G61 and proceed down the channel for a 1/4 mile or so. The marina lets lunch patrons and maybe dinner patrons tie up for free. The restaurant is one of many that claim rights to Buffet's cheeseburger in paradise.
+1 on all of these places.
In Pelican Bay, be d*mned careful entering. What is your draft
? With my father's 4 1/2 feet it's hit or miss getting in there -- very shallow with a shifting bottom. I have run aground there! The navigable part of the entrance is pretty close to the shore on the N side of the bay as you come in. Be careful! But it's gorgeous!
As to Cabbage Key -- the restaurant is wonderful and atmospheric and a great place to spend an evening. If you don't want to mooch a spot on their pier (or if you draw too much water
to get into there), there is a good anchorage opposite -- just turn E instead of W off the ICW
-- consult the pilot books
. Then you can just dinghy across for dinner.
The anchorage is good with excellent holding -- weathered a really bad storm there a few years ago with a 180 degree wind
shift during the night! Didn't sleep a wink, but we didn't budge an inch!