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Old 13-06-2011, 04:46   #16
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Ok, just checked the lake levels and they seem a bit shallow because of the drought, so I guess it is the outside route. I'm debating if I should just head to Key West then head east or try the mysterious yacht channel i've been reading about. Key largo is no longer our destination. It is now Stuart. I have four days to make the trip. ( Fort Meyers to Stuart) I can make 18 kts but would prefer to keep it around 10 kts. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Any info for a cruising guide that covers the Everglades Park - Yacht Channel route? Thinking about running off shore from Miami to Stuart, weather permitting, to take advantage of the Gulf stream, which I heard is fairly close into shore in that area. thanks in advance for any info.
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Old 13-06-2011, 06:25   #17
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Re: Fort Myers to the Keys

4 days is going to require over-nighters. The good news is the crab pots are picked up (or suppose to be). That'll make crossing Florida Bay a lot easier, you can do it at night without fear of snagging a pot. I would round the Romano Shoals light south of Marco (025 41.2728N/081 41.7491W) and head for 024 46.6892N/081 01.1971W just west of mm 1185 on the ICW. I would plan to arrive here in daylight, being able to see in the ICW is nice. That'll keep you west of the Yacht Channel and in deeper water. From there I would follow the ICW to Channel Five and then head out to Hawk Channel. From there on around to either Angelfish Creek to get back inside or stay outside. I don't like the ICW from Channel Five to Pumpkin Key due to shallow and narrow.

Once in the Keys, there are lots of places to anchor and get some sleep. Take a look at Cruisers Net - Cruiser's Net All Florida Keys Anchorages

Have fun!
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Old 16-06-2011, 17:52   #18
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Ok, we left ft myers and overnighted in marco island. A bad storm went thru busted up some boats. We left around 8:30, I know, late start. Made it to marathon around 1800. Used the compass steered around 157 M. Made it in with a quarter of a tank. Gps said we were averagingo between 10 and 12 kts.
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Old 16-06-2011, 19:18   #19
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Re: Fort Myers to the Keys

That's a fun trip. If you stop at Miami, come by my shop and say hello.
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Old 17-06-2011, 14:29   #20
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Re: Fort Myers to the Keys

Just did the same trip yesterday and though the night 6.4 knots left Marco Island area and now in Key West Oceanside 15 hr travel time but we did get held up in a storm 50 mph gust sea 6-8 but in all easy travel no water police that I seen left coon key light and set to 180 till around Cape Sable then headed west to the NW channel so I wish you also have a fun and safe trip
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Old 20-06-2011, 08:54   #21
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Glad you made it safely. Let me know if you see any yards where I can haul out during your travels. I'm having a generator problem and would like to have it pulled and rebuilt. I need to find something between Marathon and Stuart Florida.
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Old 09-12-2012, 16:52   #22
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Re: Fort Myers to the Keys

Similar to original request...

I am considering buying a power boat in Key Largo and would like to cruise it up to Carrabelle -- draft is 3 feet. I have seen some people post GPS Data of their routes (see blog "Cruising with Freedom") and this is extremely helpful for visualizing the path and to clarify my planning. I am looking for the most protected route possible up the West Coast of FL (I know about the Intracoastal from Ft Meyers to Tarpon Springs -- its the rest that is hard to figure).

Anyone have GPS Data of the path they took up the West Cost or know of where I can find some?

I have attached an screen grab the route they took, but it appears to have a fair amount of open water travel.
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Old 09-12-2012, 22:44   #23
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Re: Fort Myers to the Keys

Charles, I've made that run from the Keys in a 25 ft outboard. We stopped for the night in Marco Island. The second day we made it to Punta Gorda. Just pick your weather. It's a nice run. If you can't make it to civalization in one day, you can hide in Shark River overnight.
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Old 10-12-2012, 00:55   #24
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Re: Fort Myers to the Keys

Follow up to my own post


I wanted to provide an example GPS track so folks could see what I mean. See attached file which will open in Google Earth.

I welcome comments on this track, but its a completely hand drawn track which I made using this cool web-based tool:

GPS Visualizer: Freehand Drawing Utility: Draw on a map and save GPX data

To make this, I merely zoomed into the satellite images on that site and spotted what looked like channels. Its quite rough since the satellite data is not available offshore.

I am looking for ACTUAL GPS data from real cruises, but maybe this will jog someones curiosity.

If you download this .kml file and have Google Earth on your machine, you should be able to double click it to see the track from KeyLargo to Carrabelle via the intracoastal.
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File Type: kml KeyLargoToCarrabelle.kml (5.0 KB, 80 views)
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Old 10-12-2012, 06:29   #25
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Re: Fort Myers to the Keys

[QUOTE=HopCar;1103917]Charles, I've made that run from the Keys in a 25 ft outboard. We stopped for the night in Marco Island. The second day we made it to Punta Gorda. Just pick your weather. It's a nice run. If you can't make it to civalization in one day, you can hide in Shark River overnight.[/QUOTE]



Given the wild python situation in the glades, be advised to stay far away from the mangroves. This might not help anyway as my guess is that a large, wild, free-swimming python, could easily board an anchored boat, particularly one with a small dog/cat aboard or a sugar scoop stern.

Just trying to help.
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Old 10-12-2012, 06:36   #26
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Re: Fort Myers to the Keys

Quote:
Originally Posted by charlesclloyd View Post
I am looking for ACTUAL GPS data from real cruises, ....
Why? You either use Yacht Channel or head west on the ICW until you have a clear path across Florida Bay. Pick your stops, Little Shark, Marco Island, Naples, etc. It's not a hard passage.

Have you looked at a chart?
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Old 10-12-2012, 08:39   #27
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Re: Fort Myers to the Keys

Hi DotDun,

I have looked at a lot of charts and, at least with the tools I have been using, its difficult to find these things people refer to when I have no experience in the area. Being able to see the track makes it very easy and unambiguous.

Charles.
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Old 10-12-2012, 08:47   #28
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Re: Fort Myers to the Keys

Do you have paper charts? It would be easy to plot/pick a route on paper charts.
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Old 10-12-2012, 09:14   #29
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Re: Fort Myers to the Keys

1) You can run the ICW on the bay side or Hawk Channel on the Atlantic side, either would work for a 3' draft.
2) Assuming you stay on the bay side (or go under Channel 5 bridge), at ~1175mm, the Yacht Channel takes off to the northwest. Again, a 3' draft will not be a problem, but one must be able to read charts and stay in the channel as markers are very far apart (and there is an "S" curve in the middle). Lots of shallow water outside the channel. This will bring you to East Cape.
3) Pick and choose your course going north - lots of protected overnight anchorages - Little Shark River, Russell Pass, Panther Key, Marco Island, etc.

I personally don't like the Yacht Channel, it's too shallow for my tastes. I stay on the ICW for another 10-11 miles and round Bamboo Banks on the west side, Then it's a clean shot to the Cape.

Beware of the Park markers around the Cape (they are charted). There are reports (NTM) of them rusted off just below the water line, that would certainly ruin your day if you hit one.

There is ICW around Marco Island and from Marco Island to Naples (Gordon Pass), then back outside to New Pass or Big Carlos Pass to take you behind Ft. Myers Beach. ICW from there to Tampa Bay.
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Old 10-12-2012, 09:14   #30
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Re: Fort Myers to the Keys

We did all of that route basically with our Mac 2 years ago except we went from the west coast to the keys and up. The route and anchorages and lots of pictures and other info is below. Just follow the link...

Our 37 Endeavour -- Our26 MacGregor -- Our Trips

Note: The server is having problems while I'm posting this, so maybe try back later if you are having the same problem,

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