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Old 14-10-2013, 13:29   #1
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Have the time and boat in Nov - where to go from West Palm Beach FL?

Hi all,

I am looking for ideas for where to head to in November (I get back from lovely Iraq at the beginning of Nov so will hopefully set sail around the 10th, possibly earlier but could also be later - upto the 16th is the latest I would leave)

I was hoping to sail down to the dry tortugas but I believe its not a good time weather wise (from what I have been reading up on). Can anyone clarify that? I had Biscayne bay as a stop.

I was looking at roughly a week to 12 days (I'm flexible somewhat) including sail time.

I have a 40ft hunter legend for info, previously done a 100 mile trip nonstop to titusville for a haulout and repairs when I first purchased the boat and since then have done some day sailing around west palm down to ft lauderdale etc. She's well equipped with fridge freezer, plenty of freshwater etc etc.

I'd appreciate any information / advice.

Thank you in advance. ( I did search through the pages before I posted - struggled to find anything for Nov and my location - I even searched for 'November')
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Old 14-10-2013, 13:45   #2
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Re: Have the time and boat in Nov - where to go from West Palm Beach FL?

Your time span limits the Bahamas due to possible weather window waits and the worth of paying the $300 fee for a short stay. Down to Biscayne Bay is a good idea. You have excellent inlet options at Fort Lauderdale and both Governor's Cut and the pass south of Key Biscayne in Miami. With a draft over 6' these same passes out to lead down through the Keys by Hawks Channel would be good and with an easy stop and protected choice of anchoring around Marathon. Inside any of the ICW on this route is a foul weather option; however, some skippers are very troubled by the many bridges.
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Old 14-10-2013, 14:56   #3
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Re: Have the time and boat in Nov - where to go from West Palm Beach FL?

Do You really draw six feet??? Ole
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Old 14-10-2013, 15:13   #4
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Re: Have the time and boat in Nov - where to go from West Palm Beach FL?

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Do You really draw six feet??? Ole
Draft 4' 10"


CaptForce - thank you for the response

I am right in saying the Dry Tortugas in Nov is not a good idea?
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Old 14-10-2013, 16:48   #5
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Re: Have the time and boat in Nov - where to go from West Palm Beach FL?

The Dry Tortugas can be great in November for anyone not committed to a time schedule and willing to wait at times when the northers are blowing through for 3 to 5 days at a time.
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Old 14-10-2013, 18:42   #6
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Re: Have the time and boat in Nov - where to go from West Palm Beach FL?

Doesn't sound like enough time to make the Dry Tortugas. With weather a Good sail N from LWI to Ft Pierce Inlet anchor at Faber Cove or get a dock . Sail S down ICW OR back outside to St Lucie Inlet you could come up the St Lucie River to Stuart pick up a moreing or dock at Sunset Bay Marina. Very close to old downtown Stuart lots of resturants and shops. Or go S from the St Lucie Inlet on the Icw anchor at Pecks Lake dink ashore ocean just across the dunes.None of the afore mentioned compare with the DT or keys for water clarity or getting away from it all but considering your time frame wouldn't be all bad. Glad you are home safe.
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Old 15-10-2013, 03:35   #7
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Re: Have the time and boat in Nov - where to go from West Palm Beach FL?

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Doesn't sound like enough time to make the Dry Tortugas. With weather a Good sail N from LWI to Ft Pierce Inlet anchor at Faber Cove or get a dock . Sail S down ICW OR back outside to St Lucie Inlet you could come up the St Lucie River to Stuart pick up a moreing or dock at Sunset Bay Marina. Very close to old downtown Stuart lots of resturants and shops. Or go S from the St Lucie Inlet on the Icw anchor at Pecks Lake dink ashore ocean just across the dunes.None of the afore mentioned compare with the DT or keys for water clarity or getting away from it all but considering your time frame wouldn't be all bad. Glad you are home safe.
Too many people are pressed to get someplace else and find themselves unable to enjoy what is available where they are already located. Casual's plan should be considered as one of the best choices!
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Old 15-10-2013, 05:11   #8
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Re: Have the time and boat in Nov - where to go from West Palm Beach FL?

Go to Elliot Key on the inside. relax a bit, do some day sails in Biscayne Bay.
Bahamas or even Key West on a schedule can often be a bit tight, then you end up pushing the weather and then the whole trip gets un-pleasant. Been there, done that.

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Old 15-10-2013, 10:30   #9
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Re: Have the time and boat in Nov - where to go from West Palm Beach FL?

Hello Randomguy and welcome home (soon) from Iraq. We're glad you are safe.

I haven't been as far as the Dry Tortugas, but just offhand it looks like at least four reasonably long days of sailing from WPB to there, and that's assuming that you have a favorable wind (which is likely after you make the turn SW somewhere after Key Largo, 50:50 from WPB up to there), and that the gulf stream eddies don't slow you down. Overall, I think it's asking a lot. Even WPB to an anchorage in Biscayne Bay is really quite a trip, a minimum of 70 NM, again, you would need a favorable wind and no interference from the currents to make it in under 12-14 hours. Having said that you can anchor most places in Biscayne Bay, normally in the lee of the barrier islands, off of Key Biscayne and Elliot Key are common anchorages, but almost anywhere is OK in light winds. From there you can go out at either Biscayne channel or Angelfish Ck, next place to get back in for an anchorage is either Port Largo or Whale Harbor (both marinas), 50-70 NM depending on where you anchored, or to Rodriguez Key (I personally don't like the holding there). After that it's basically Boot Key or all the way to Key West, although there are a few marinas here and there where you can tuck in for the night, and Channel 5. Alternatively, if the weather is/has been good you can head to the Bahamas from any of those locations, going E is always the tough part (if you want to sail), you usually have a good angle on the wind coming back.

If you want to call me when you are back or during your trip send a PM and I will give you my phone number. Good luck. Pete
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Old 29-10-2013, 22:44   #10
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Re: Have the time and boat in Nov - where to go from West Palm Beach FL?

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Originally Posted by randomguy1981 View Post
Hi all,

I am looking for ideas for where to head

SNIP

I was looking at roughly a week to 12 days (I'm flexible somewhat) including sail time.

SNIP
Thanks for your service.

Can you provide more specifics about what you plan to do other than sail, eat, and sleep?

My suggestion is Biscayne Bay, Sands Key, and maybe Elliot Key depending on the weather. It is one thing to say you can do a 100 mile day, but a whole different thing to say you will feel like getting up the next day and dive/fish/enjoy the sunrise. Remember this is suppose to be fun.

My boat is at Boot Key. It took me six weeks to get from there to the Dry Tortugas and back and I feel sure my Seawind 100xl catamaran with a square top is faster than your boat.

The most important thing to remember about planning any cruise is you need to have a Plan B. The weather may mean you have to motor down the ICW and anchor in the canals of Miami Beach, which is not all that bad.

On the other hand you could get great weather and do something like get down to Key Largo for some great diving or fishing if you are into that.
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Old 31-10-2013, 02:09   #11
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Re: Have the time and boat in Nov - where to go from West Palm Beach FL?

Hi Tom

Thank you for the response

Dive and fish is pretty much bang on what I want to do down there besides sleeping and grilling

I think Biscayne bay needs to be my first stop to see what the weather is going to be like, I'm really hopeful for a trip to key largo.

Its my first time south of ft lauderdale so any marina, mooring field tips would be greatly appreciated!

Cruising the ICW is an ok plan B to me

Kind Regards

Guy
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Old 31-10-2013, 06:04   #12
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You have lots of options, depends though on how much time you have. If you have 10-12 days i would definitely do Bimini or key west. Bimini sands is a great marina and the cheap rates offset the 300. Entry fee. You can stay at marinas in the keys and there are lots as well as good mooring fields but the cost is triple that of Bimini. If you watch the weather u may need to leave a day later/earlier but you can cross quickly. Key west is a blast if you like bars lots of fun people and great food. If you are using navionics in the keys always be zoomed in on the 500 or 800ft range or it may not show the numerous reefs outsidenhawk channel.
You can hit some northerlies and i could suck. We just came home from keywest with 20-28knots of wind and waves on our nose on our 32ft cat. Our boat doesnt pound much but the constant 2-3 ft short choppy seas and the wind kept us at 3.5-4 knots most of the trip, the northerly lasted about 6-7 days. Took us 3 days to get home to Tavernier only 90 miles. Would be much longer for you so best advice have several back up plans but key largo/islamorada would be very doable.
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Old 31-10-2013, 07:18   #13
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Re: Have the time and boat in Nov - where to go from West Palm Beach FL?

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Originally Posted by CSY Man View Post
Go to Elliot Key on the inside. relax a bit, do some day sails in Biscayne Bay.
Bahamas or even Key West on a schedule can often be a bit tight, then you end up pushing the weather and then the whole trip gets un-pleasant. Been there, done that.

The most dangerous thing on a sailboat is a calendar.
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Old 22-11-2013, 06:20   #14
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Re: Have the time and boat in Nov - where to go from West Palm Beach FL?

Randomguy....give us a update>>>................
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Old 09-11-2014, 16:17   #15
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Re: Have the time and boat in Nov - where to go from West Palm Beach FL?

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Randomguy....give us a update>>>................
Sorry for such a long time responding!!

I took a bit longer off and went across to the bahamas and spent just over a week exploring different islands up to strangers quay!

Now wondering what to do for december
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