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Old 12-11-2010, 12:43   #1
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Eastern Gulf of Mexico

My wife and I plan to sail our Hunter Passage 42 (5 foot draft) from Gulfport to Key West in February. Are there sufficient harbors / anchorages along this route to make the trip without overnight legs?
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Old 12-11-2010, 13:00   #2
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We detailed our trip from Houston and covered much of this trip along the coast. It is all on our Sea Trek site. Scroll down the left column and under Our Posts, go to post 0008. That will be the first post covering this area and follow the others until we reached the Keys. We did go to Marathon rather than Key West so you would have to adjust your course from the Shark River to Key West instead. It was a great trip for us. we actually did it both ways and both trips are on the website. Good luck. Chuck
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Old 12-11-2010, 13:05   #3
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CHUCK:
Were there sufficient harbors / anchorages along this route to make the trip without overnight legs?
I expect the details may be available on your site.
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Old 12-11-2010, 13:14   #4
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Gord, There are lots and lots of anchorages along the way. We did have to do some in and out jumps along the upper Gulf Coast because of fixed bridges but all were not more than a few hours at the most. The only exception is Carrabelle to Tarpon Springs. This is an overnight and there are really no alternatives since the Big Bend Region is too shallow and no real stopping places. Then you transit the west coast of Florida with lots of anchoring options. And yes it is all in detail on the website. Chuck
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Old 12-11-2010, 13:31   #5
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These are my old cruising grounds and yes, there are a multitude of wonderful anchorages. The "ditch", however, the ICW, is very tedious and very shallow, so you might want to think about staying "outside" as much as you can. With 4 1/2 feet of draft we found it difficult and bumped quite a bit; 5' is that much worse.

There are quite a bit of crab pots on that coast so you will want to be careful doing night sailing -- stay well offshore and make sure you have a rope cutter on your prop shaft, and snorkel gear handy just in case.
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Old 12-11-2010, 13:39   #6
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That is interesting that you say it is shallow. We traveled in both directions with our six foot draft and never had any issues at all with depths. Much, much less than we found along the Florida west coast and the Atlantic ICW, and we did the "ditch" as much as we could since we kind of like that cruising. That is why we went to the new to us trawler. Tedious to some is an adventure to others. We found our first trip down the Atlantic ICW 20 years ago fabulous and the 15th trip tedious so I understand how that can be. Chuck
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