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Old 30-06-2011, 20:18   #16
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Re: What are the best places to visit in Tampa - Keys ?

According to this link someone has challenged the Bradenton anchoring registration and fee and the whole thing may be dropped.
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Old 30-06-2011, 20:33   #17
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Re: What are the best places to visit in Tampa - Keys ?

+ 3 for Cayo Costa/Pelican Bay. One of our favorite places. Cayo Costa is a state park and a wonderful beach and state park. We also liked the Cape Haze anchorage just across from Don Pedro State Park, a bit further north on the ICW.

If you want to tie up for a night at a marina and your draft permits, my high school aged son and friends loved Tween Waters Marina on Captiva. The pool is fabulous, the beach is right across the road, you can walk (if you don't mind a mile walk) to great restaurants - our favorite is the Mucky Duck, Ok, maybe not great, but lots of fun. Don't ask for a window seat.

We liked the 10,000 Islands and Little Shark River -- we dayhopped to Marathon/under the 7 Mile Bridge. First stop Ft. Myers Beach, next Marco, then Indian Key in the 10,000 Islands, we anchored further back because there wasn't enough protection out there. The Indian Key anchorage allows easy access to one of the Everglades ranger stations at Everglades City -- they had ranger programs and interesting stuff going on that we enjoyed. Then Little Shark, but we anchored just inside, kayaked for one afternoon/evening and left the next morning so I don't have much info on that.

Then on to Marathon. If we weren't in a hurry, we would have spent more time in the anchorages behind Indian Key. Not sure what your draft allows, ours is 5 1/2. The current was wicked part of the time, but the dinghy had no trouble.

Enjoy the West Coast of FL, we haven't had a chance to really explore, but other than the fact there's no clear water for snorkeling, we loved the area!
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Old 01-07-2011, 11:47   #18
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Re: What are the best places to visit in Tampa - Keys ?

anchor in newfound harbor between big pine key and ramrod outside of no anchor zone. large anchorage and about 5 miles to looe key reef with mooring balls and some of the best snorkeling in fla. just make sure you dont fish inside the park. dinghy ride to dolphin marina about a mile from anchorage and they have ice, beer, fuel, and small marine store. ditto on loreli in islamorada, great bar and food pretty water and if you like to fish, behind shell key is some of the best bonefishing in fl. key west is great for partying but have heard stories about water police so if you go there please share you experiences after your trip as i am planning a visit this winter. have a great trip
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Old 01-07-2011, 12:01   #19
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Re: What are the best places to visit in Tampa - Keys ?

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Enjoy the West Coast of FL, we haven't had a chance to really explore, but other than the fact there's no clear water for snorkeling, we loved the area!
You have to go north of Anclote for that.

Mar Vista inside Longboat Pass is a well protected, small (15 or so) anchorage. A fair walk to where a bus runs will get you to Publix and more.
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Old 01-07-2011, 12:03   #20
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Re: What are the best places to visit in Tampa - Keys ?

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key west is great for partying but have heard stories about water police so if you go there please share you experiences after your trip as i am planning a visit this winter. have a great trip
Stayed three days in April. Never saw no police.
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Old 01-07-2011, 12:11   #21
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Re: What are the best places to visit in Tampa - Keys ?

If you're going to "Cayo Costa",and I recomend that you do,go to "Cabage key" just a couple miles south. It's a beautiful island, has a nature walk and accomodations to stay if you want. There is also a very good restaurant that at lunch has a great burger and in the evening has real gormet meals and of course the best Keylime pie in Lee county.
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Old 01-07-2011, 12:50   #22
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Re: What are the best places to visit in Tampa - Keys ?

dry tortugas if you love nature---is absolutely gorgeous there-- takes some time butis definitely worth it-- either go via ferry from key west, round trip in one day or sail there on an adventure all by itself...no supplies , no fuel, nothing but solitude and nature --is beautiful. oh yes-- CAN buy camera batteries and postcards there.
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Old 01-07-2011, 12:55   #23
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Re: What are the best places to visit in Tampa - Keys ?

dry tortugas-- by ferry from key west or if you go by sailboat on an adventure for itself--is awesome there-- by ferry you take a day and round trip--you can tour fort and go to beach--is beautiful.
by private boats-- there are no supplies nor water nor fuel there--CAN buy camera batteries and postcards there.
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Old 02-07-2011, 09:05   #24
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Re: What are the best places to visit in Tampa - Keys ?

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According to this link someone has challenged the Bradenton anchoring registration and fee and the whole thing may be dropped.
thanks for the link, the news photo has a little red O'Day 18' as well as a floating hunk of trawler in the fore ground, these were the two primary offenders. The O'Day folks would be drinking Natty Ice tall cans by 8:am on the floating dock, the man in the trawler (nicknamed Fat Bastard) was notorious for stealing anchors.

the people in the O'Day would be nice and liquored up by noon then start with the fighting, they would occasionally motor around the anchorage screaming at each other, the woman would try and board other vessels to "get away from him". There was an incident where they approached Waltzing Matilda in an unsafe manner and stated that they were gong to board, I made it clear that if they boarded me they would both be crab bait.

I only spent 2 weeks in that anchorage and saw some of the craziest things..... Ahh FloriDUH...
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Old 03-07-2011, 12:15   #25
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Re: What are the best places to visit in Tampa - Keys ?

And, as I have said before, those types of boaters are almost always in violation of numerous laws that are on the books already (sounds like BUI and theft in this case, at a minimum), and there is no justification for rousting out everyone who wants to anchor in order to eliminate the problem boats. And, on the other side of the coin, what's to stop those two from registering and still carrying on their unpleasant activities?

To me it would be like a city saying nobody can park on the streets downtown because people we don't like part there on occasion. Landlubbers would never put up with that, so why should we on the water?
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