Originally Posted by familycruisers
....So would the trip across be the "best" move? Alot of motoring? Hotter? We could leave the boat on the east coast and the sister could pick us up.
The trip down the west coast in winter? Prevailing winds? Obviously your with the stream that way. Pros and cons. What would you guys do with what we have "planned"?...
Considering what you want to do (family visit) I'd stick with you original plan and go across. We helped someone move their boat from LaBelle to Charlotte Harbor
and enjoyed the trip. We like to go across at least once all the way with the Endeavour
On the heat deal I don't think it is going to be all that bad in November and you will of already gotten use to it going south. We arrived down there with our Mac a couple years ago before Thanksgiving and about died in the mid 80 heat, but it was in the 20's-30's at home and snowing when we left there, so a big sudden change. Then it quickly cooled off after thanksgiving and got downright cold with a...
FL Fall 2010 page 14
...couple nights in the low 30's. We had long underwear, but no heat on the boat, except for the cook stove, and it was pretty darn cold for a couple nights. Also the fronts started coming in one after another. We left right before Christmas
So if you are going to be on the boat have warm clothing
and I would for sure get a heater. We didn't have one, but when we went back in the Spring took one of these....
Mr. Heater - America's Most Popular Portable Heaters
...but then of course it was warm and we only used it I think one morning. We decide on the one above vs. the more stove like ones as you can point it at you, heated the small cabin
quickly and stores in a small space.
The west coast I think is a little cooler than the east coast that time of the year as most of the wind (except for the fronts) is from the east so they get warmer air off of the Gulf Stream
. You won't notice the Gulf Stream
going down the west coast, at least we didn't.
The key is moving during the right weather
windows and not being on a time schedule. Sounds like that is in your favor.
You can stay on the ICW
from St. Pete down to Fort Myers
Beach if you want to or need to. Then it is open water down to Naples where you can go back inside if you want to Marco Island and even past there to Goodland and the 10,000 Islands. From there you can....
.. get into Everglades City and that is the last town until you go across Florida Bay to say Marathon. I would do the inland from Marco to the 10,000 Islands over going outside around Cape Sable with your boat. Much more to see and good places to anchor that are protected. Download this....
...book on anchorages
or try and find a used one.
All of that is on our trip report with pictures of the routes, anchorages
and more. With your 3 foot draft
you could go anywhere we did on that trip.
We really liked March/April much better than late Nov/Dec, but you could have a really nice trip. If you like anchoring
, we do, the west coast is great. If you need marinas
from Naples/Marco down with the exception of the Rod and Gun Club at Everglades City there are none.
Do you have a holding tank
that can be pumped? You need that at Marathon if you go in there and should really have it in the Keys period. We use wag bags on the Mac and it is a little controversial if they suffice. Marathon wants a holding tank
. We like the bags as we can haul up to 2 months for us in two 5 gallon buckets without having to go in and dump. You can't dump in the Keys on the Gulf side for a lot of it. Check the regs before you go.
So the key is just not be in a hurry and have good anchor gear
and be prepared for some cool/cold days and at times heavy wind.
It should be a great trip,