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Old 29-06-2010, 20:10   #1
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Location: Bahamas, US Gulf Coast, and East Coast
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East Florida Hangout

We are looking for suggestions for a good place to hang out on the East Coast of Florida for about a month twice each year while my wife flies around the country for work.

Here's the deal:

My wife works part time giving educational seminars in November/December and in May. Her employer will fly her from any decent sized airport in the US to the seminar location which can be anywhere in the US. She gives the 3 day seminar and flies back. She does 5 or 6 of these in May and again in mid-November to mid-December. The rest of the year we are free to cruise.

Here's the plan:

Mid-November to mid-December - hang out at a marina or good anchorage on the East Coast of Florida with excellent access to an airport with a reasonable number of flights. Wife flies back and forth to seminars while the cat and I mind the boat.

Mid-December - Wife finishes last seminar. We scurry to Lake Worth, wait for a weather window, and go to the Bahamas.

January-April - Cruise Bahamas, drink Kaliks, and so on.

Mid-April - Return to East coast of Florida (via Ft. Pierce or St. Lucie maybe?) to hang out in a good anchorage or marina while wife does her thing during May.

JUne-October - Cruise Keys and/or East Coast, drink Coronas, etc.

November - Repeat.

So what we need is somewhere good to hang out while she does her flying around the country thing. A marina would be OK if it is not too expensive ($300 to $500 for the month would be tolerable) and they allow liveaboards for a month. An anchorage would be OK with good facilities like access to shore, no hassles from locals, access to drinking water, etc. We will need EZ access to a decent sized airport because she will be traveling back and forth. Access to public transportation or a cab is important. Groceries, laundry, etc within walking distance would be nice. It should be not too far (less than a week by sailboat) from Lake Worth/Ft. Pierce so we can maximize the amount of time in the Bahamas.

Anyone have any suggestions?

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Old 29-06-2010, 20:30   #2
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Hi Zydeco,

East coast FL if you want the most direct flights you will have Jacksonville or south FL: Miami, Ft Lauderdale. S FL will not be cheap.

If you don't mind connections you can fly out of Daytona, maybe some other smaller cities have commuter flights. Or if you don't mind a bit of a drive from the coast, Orlando has lots of flights.

I would stick with Jacksonville myself. You can anchor in the St John's River or there are some inexpensive marinas. Another benefit to anchoring in the St John's River, when you get bored you can drive over to Gainesville and help me work on my Pearson.


The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
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Old 30-06-2010, 01:54   #3
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For the need you describe, I would look at Cocoa Village Marina in Cocoa, FL. It's about 2 days from :ake Worth and 45mins from the Orlando airport. There are airport shuttles that will stop at the marina as well as taxis. The village is just across the street as is public transportation. We stumbled upon it in 2007 and have stopped there every year since.

Nice people, nice motnthly rates with good laundry on site. There's also a good dentist next to the marina should you need one.
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Old 30-06-2010, 04:27   #4
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Of course, you realize you're asking for two incompatible things: an airport with lots of flights (ie, a big city), and a cheap marina (not found in big cities, especially in FL). You're going to have to loosen one of those criteria. You seem to be leaning to the mid-coast area (talking about Ft Pierce, St Lucie, and Lake Worth), but what you'll find there (I know this for sure) is a very limited number of flights. And not-so-cheap marinas to boot! I know nothing about Jacksonville, there is a decent flight schedule there, but nothing like MIA or FLL. These latter are also much closer to the Bahamas and the Keys, which you indicated were of interest to you. pete
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Old 30-06-2010, 04:28   #5
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Ft. Pierce

Several very good marinas and decent anchorages, 1 hour drive to the airport in West Palm, no extended traveling to make the jump to the bahamas.
Jim - Bahala na!
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Old 30-06-2010, 05:44   #6
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Is a nice affordable spot. Walking distance to everything. And it is brand new.
Denny and Diane
Lagoon 37
"The only way to get a good crew is to marry one." -Eric Hiscock
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Old 30-06-2010, 07:13   #7
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Kittiwake seconds the suggestion of Cocoa Village Marina - 45 min to Orlando Intl and all the flights you want. I use it to dock Kittiwake while visiting friends in Orlando, and it's the closest marina to the airport... Peace and Fair Winds, BW
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Old 30-06-2010, 07:14   #8
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The only place in east FL that will fit your requirements, especially the $300-$500 marina is to get a mooring at Vero Beach ($300) and fly out of PBI (Palm Beach) one of the nicest airports on the FL east coast, much nicer than Miami or Ft Lauderdale or Jacksonville.
Rick I
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.
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Old 30-06-2010, 07:22   #9
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The city marina in hollywood is 10 min from the ft l airport The cost is .68per ft per day little more then you said but close to the beach and all stores Good security and nice people
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Old 30-06-2010, 07:35   #10
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If you want to keep it cheap, there are lots of places to anchor in the Miami/Biscayne bay area. Miami international is not my favorite airport, but it has good connections to anywhere and is easy to access by bus or Taxi.

Lake Worth is another place one can anchor for free that offers an easy walk to the beach, marine stores, restaurants and groceries. It's straight out the inlet to or from the Bahamas. I've never checked, but I'd bet you could get a bus to the Palm Beach Airport. There are many unoccupied boats as well as some very on the cheap live aboards in this area.

Heading north will offer less crowding, as mentioned by the Fort Pierce and St. John's River options. I know several cruisers, who meant to stop in Fort Pierce for a day or two and stayed a month or more.
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Old 30-06-2010, 08:19   #11
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you might try the Dinner Key Mooring field. It's around $250 a month with showers and a dinghy dock. Plus you have all Biscayne bay to get away for a few days Transportation is good and MIA close
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Old 30-06-2010, 08:53   #12
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the train "Tri Rail" goes from miami to west palm beach
very cheap
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Old 30-06-2010, 15:48   #13
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Many thanks to all for these excellent suggestions. Exactly the kind of information and ideas we were looking for.

I guess we're spoiled by Panhandle prices. South Florida is clearly out of our price range except for moorings. It looks like there might be some good options in Mid and North Florida though we may need to adjust our price range slightly.

And hard to pass up the offer to work on Skip's Pearson.....
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Old 01-07-2010, 04:29   #14
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Try Seafarers Marina in Jacksonville. 904 765 8152. We left the boat there a couple of years ago and were very satisfied. Near the Jacksonville Airport. A bit basic but very friendly and inexpensive.

Dick Pluta
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Old 01-07-2010, 12:40   #15
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Another option is Welcome to Harbor Town Marina & Boatyard!

It's near Cocoa Village Marina and a straight shot on 528 to Orlando International Airport. Say 30 mins?

It's a liveaboard marina. Maybe make nice with a local and just borrow a car to pick up/drop off the wife in exchange for filling the car up with gas.

Titusville also has a nice inexpensive liveaboard marina but it'd be a little farther from Orlando. Titusville has a greyhound bus station that goes to Orlando for $18. Maybe use that and then use the Lynx(public bus) from there to go to the airport?

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