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Old 05-03-2010, 09:35   #16
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I think the OP could run up the outside on the east coast of Florida without too much risk of storms (after all the last few weeks our cold fronts over Florida have all come out of the Gulf not the Atlantic).. It depends on the weather window, but sailing in the stream will give him a great boost. Plus he can jump inside at Ft. Pierce, at Port Canaveral, or at St Augustine / Jax. Using the ICW will limit him to daylight motoring only and will take much longer.
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Old 05-03-2010, 09:40   #17
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yeah I'm just planning the West side and Okeechobee right now. I will do the overnighter to Ft. Myers tomorrow night, then motor through the Okeechobee waterway till Friday when I end up in Stewart. I'll keep the boat on a mooring there for a while until I get a good weather window. I'd love to sail up the East coast, but will do the ICW if I need.
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Old 05-03-2010, 09:46   #18
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I assume you have checked recently with the Army Corps of Engineers on on whether all the locks and bridges are operational...
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Old 05-03-2010, 09:59   #19
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Yep everything checks out. I'll need to do the Okeechobee limbo at the 49' bridge though.

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Old 05-03-2010, 11:57   #20
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Ok it looks like good weather to head outside on an overnighter Saturday night. We will leave Gulfport around 3:00 p.m. Can anyone recommend a route to get south of the bay? Should I go out and west of Egmont Key then southeast, or go south on the channel next to the Skyway, and exit the bay south of Egmont Key? The charts make the southside look a little narrow, would I have any problems with my 5' draft?
Head out via Pass a Grille... It all depends on how far offshore you want to go before you turn south. I would mosdef stay west of the of the green #1 south of egmont on the SW channel.

My last cruise south to Fort Myers was out that channel then south along the coast.

Are you going straight south? Offshore by 5 miles and you have plenty deep water. Once you get to Boca Grande you can either go around the main channel or use your chart to pick your way past the shoals. Then continue south.

There is a swash channel just off Mullet Key,but as you are heading south not into the bay I would suggest you head directly west out of Pass a Grille and then turn south when you are between the NW Channel Green #9 and 11 markers. That will keep you off the Egmont Shoals. Stay At least 5-6 miles off Ana Maria, there ARE rocks out there. Its a great sail.. if you wish to break it up..

Gulfport to Venice... to Boca grande (nothing like anchoring in 9 feet of water right off the lighthouse) to fort myers.. short days and a nice sail.

The mooring field in Venice..once you make that turn up the venice inlet channel past the crows nest.. go just along the docks to your right and enter the mooring field that way.. the way marked on the charts can be a pia.. there is deep water by the docks.
AM

ps..the passagrille channel will save you sailing time..
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Old 05-03-2010, 12:15   #21
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Ok sounds good. I've charted a course from Pass-A-grille straight to Marker 11 of the main channel, then turn southeast towards green #1, then a direct line to red #2 outside of Boca Grande. Then around Sanibel towards Ft. Myers Beach.

I'll be leaving Saturday around 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. Hoping to arrive Sunday around the same time or less at Ft. Myers Beach.
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Old 05-03-2010, 12:38   #22
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Once you go out Pass -A- Grill, about the only "safe" places to come back into the ICW are Longboat Key, Venice and Boca Grand Pass. I would not try to come in at New Pass or Big Pass (Otter Key) Once you come through Boca Grande Pass, a great anchorage is Pelican Bay, just south of BG Pass. Once you leave Pelican Bay, be very carefull (look behind you) when crossing the Misserable Mile. Lots of strong side currents. A good place to anchor past Ft. Myers is Power Plant Slough. Then through the Western part of the Okeechobee. A good place to spend the night is Rollan Martin Marina, just before crossing the lake. A good place after crossing the east part of the Okeechobee waterway is the municipal mooring field in Stewart.

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Old 05-03-2010, 17:12   #23
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Definitely want to keep up with the Lake water levels.. do NOT do the rim route, it is full of debris.

Here is a Link to current water levels.
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Old 05-03-2010, 17:18   #24
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Definitely want to keep up with the Lake water levels.. do NOT do the rim route, it is full of debris.

Here is a Link to current water levels.
Yep, definitely taking the cross lake route.
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Old 06-03-2010, 06:21   #25
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There are many joys in those waters, however. Charlotte Harbor has a lot of interesting spots, and I love Pelican Bay, Safety Harbor, the Cheeseburger in Paradise on Cabbage Key, Useppa Island, Ding Darling at the southern tip of Sanibel. There are a few good marinas in those parts, all of them very expensive, but worth it for a break and a hot shower/laundry splurge -- South Seas, and Tween Waters.
Cabbage key is an absolute must stop. There is cozy anchorage on the other side of the ICW from where the pitstop is located. The placement made the digny ride quite interesting in heavy fog (I ended up in the mangroves at one point). Cabbage key itself is a treasure. If you are lucky you might run into Mr. Wells that owns the island, he is the most knowledgeable man in that area about how to go about your trip and gave us very sound advice about our in and out day plan for the next day.

During a frigid January visit we were lucky enough to be greeted by a warm fireplace and glass of scotch when we made the trek over. The bar itself is a testimony to the sailor's need to have a warm welcome on the hard once in while. Its ordained with pictures of all our heroes that have done the same, including the Kennedys.

Best of luck to you, we did that area of the ICW with a 6' draft and didnt have any problems other than conflicting charts. Just keep an eye on the sounder and prepare to crab your vessel as the currents get quite strong in the worse places.
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Old 10-03-2010, 07:25   #26
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If you go into Venice be aware of the tide/wind situation, as the current can be really strong and choppy there-- and it's pretty thin between the rocks, and the powerboaters/jetskiers. Good motor confidence is essential and if you have a choice, run down the jetskiers instead of the rocks! Venice is nice though, have fun.
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Old 04-05-2010, 10:35   #27
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Is there a cut between the Keyes to avoid having to go to Key West on the Tampa to St. Augustine run? My buddy wants to move his new Hunter 46 to St. Simons.
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Old 04-05-2010, 10:44   #28
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Is there a cut between the Keyes to avoid having to go to Key West on the Tampa to St. Augustine run? My buddy wants to move his new Hunter 46 to St. Simons.
There are passes in a couple places, but have to be able to fit under the bridge.
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Old 04-05-2010, 10:58   #29
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You can go through at either the Channel 5 bridge or the 7 Mile bridge. Water is a bit skinnier if you try to use Channel 5.
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Old 04-05-2010, 11:31   #30
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Both bridges are 65 feet at hi water. Don't know how tall your buddy's 46 is.
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