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Old 15-06-2011, 14:06   #1
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Avice For Anclote Key to Cedar Key - Tomorrow

Second leg of my first off-shore cruise. Any advice for arriving at Cedar Key at low tide in the evening is appreciated.

If it's dark and the weather light should I stay out for the night? Know a good spot? I'm 4.5 ft draft.

Some said (at my previous marina) to head straight to Carabelle. That's too far for me single handed. But I'm concerned I won't arrive at Cedar Key before nightfall as well.

Light air in the morning becoming better by noon. Looks like it's tomorrow or wait a few days here, which isn't really a problem. I'm thinking I'll motor with slack sails and catch the wind when it comes to make time to arrive before night.

Set me straight if I'm off base.


edit. . . Oh, dammit, see I typo-ed advice. I actually know how to spell it.
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Old 15-06-2011, 14:24   #2
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Re: Avice For Anclote Key to Cedar Key - Tomorrow

If you go into Cedar Key, use only the main ship channel, everything else will be too shallow. The Northwest Channel has only 2 feet of water. The town dock is unusable after being rebuilt. The anchorage north of Atsena Otie Key has a 3 foot bar at low tide but the anchorage area is 7 to 8 feet. You will not be able to go into any of the marinas. I would not recommend you do this at night with all of the shallow spots. Chuck
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Old 15-06-2011, 16:26   #3
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Re: Advice For Anclote Key to Cedar Key - Tomorrow

Those are the reasons many say just go for Apalachicola instead. But that's not a good option for me, too many hours at sea in one stretch.

Since I posted the thread I've decided to stay here at Anclote Key until the next favorable conditions. Might be a few days. When I go .......

1. I'll leave in plenty of time to arrive before dusk. 66NM anchor to anchor.
2. Use the main channel only, even when I leave to cross the bend.
3. Use the dinghy dock which fits my budget fine.


thanks.
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Old 15-06-2011, 16:45   #4
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Re: Avice For Anclote Key to Cedar Key - Tomorrow

Not sure about cedar key, been there many times but niot on sailboat. I hear it is very very shallow, and that it is not always consistent. There are many marinas nearby anclote if you need supplies or anything. whats your final destination?
Also watch out for the shallow fingers north east of anclote key, My bluechart said they we had 5-7' of water and at high tide we has less then 4'.
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Old 15-06-2011, 17:09   #5
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Re: Avice For Anclote Key to Cedar Key - Tomorrow

Yes, I've already noted depths shallower than charted on the way in yesterday. I'm a little concerned, and thinking about towing insurance before I head on.

I'm headed for St George bay and Carabelle to hang out for a while, not sure what my final destination is. Need to find a really, really cheap dockage somewhere.

...... just noticed I've dragged 30 feet today, need to go check on that.
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Old 16-06-2011, 04:55   #6
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Re: Avice For Anclote Key to Cedar Key - Tomorrow

Get to Cedar Key to late, just anchor offshore for the night and head on in at daylight...
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Old 16-06-2011, 06:16   #7
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Re: Avice For Anclote Key to Cedar Key - Tomorrow

I'm on delivery in Cedar Key on a 50 footer with a 6ft draft, headed towards Anclote, then on around Key West , bound for St. Augustine.No problems with water here. Someone was here ahead of us and marked all the shallow water with these red and green signs. We were at Dockside marine in Carabelle. Great people! The owner, a musician, has a waterfront bar right across the river from the marina/boatyard that has good seafood and music .
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Old 17-06-2011, 08:44   #8
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Re: Avice For Anclote Key to Cedar Key - Tomorrow

Thanks xs, I'm looking forward to making Carabelle. Going to hang out there for a while.

Still in Anclote, nice but looking forward to moving on. Got smacked by a strong storm from the east two nights ago. Had a sleepless night, learned some good lessons, and survived. I could do a sailor's confessional post on that one.

Probably stay in Cedar Key just long enough to plan the crossing to St. George.

BTW, I've noticed those red and green signs, I'm going to start paying attention to them.


UD, definitely not going into Cedar Key at night. Need to anchor off shore sooner or later anyway. But hoping not to have to.
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Old 17-06-2011, 08:51   #9
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Re: Avice For Anclote Key to Cedar Key - Tomorrow

we went to anclote key-- had exactly 5 gal of diesel remaining in tank--thought it empty-- so we anchored outside of the entrance to the channel tothe fuel dock-- we had 4 1/2 ft draft-- there are areas in that approach to the fuel dock that are shallower than draft-- but not many and only just in front of the marina with the fuel dock, we found in pivoting boat for dock approach, folks are nice and the area is asolutely gorgeous. go for it, by all means. then sail to carabelle--is gorgeous. outside there is whee i caught my first dorado..LOL..... have fun and smooth sailing.
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Old 17-06-2011, 10:31   #10
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Re: Avice For Anclote Key to Cedar Key - Tomorrow

Four Winds,

We're at The Moorings in Carrabelle. PM me if you need anything - even if it's just a cold beer.
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Old 17-06-2011, 10:58   #11
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Re: Avice For Anclote Key to Cedar Key - Tomorrow

it is still an overnight sail from ceder key to dog island east pass into carrabelle......forget ceder key.......leave anclote very early....4-5 am......get to dog island next afternoon.....its only 135 miles.....nothing to it
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Old 17-06-2011, 18:20   #12
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Re: Avice For Anclote Key to Cedar Key - Tomorrow

Thanks for the invite, Tripod.

Zeehag, I saw a comment you made about the haze in the Gulf blocking the view of a thunderstorm. You are so, so correct. Fooled me a couple of nights ago. Got me good on the lee shore at Anclote coming from the east. Dragged anchor in soft thin mud, must have been 40-50 knots for 25 minutes with strong wind all night, and blinding rain. Made it through with no issues except a little frazzled and up all night.

scajax, I'm considering the direct approach. Just not sure if I should go for it on my first off shore cruise single handed. Staying up all night is no problem, but my auto pilot is not the best. At least it needs some calibration or something I haven't gotten around to yet, cause you never go if you have to wait til everything is perfect, as they say.
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Old 17-06-2011, 18:26   #13
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Re: Avice For Anclote Key to Cedar Key - Tomorrow

four winds--we sailed with uncalibrated autohelm--LOL--- i sure love my simrad hydraulic..
just watch for signs if building winds and seas and be safe.... is a fun lil sea to sail--one of more difficult ones as currents and seas and wnds are all over the place-- mixmaster or norge style.. great fun!!!!! grit teeth and close eyes and sail ... dontlookat the lightning unless is only 1/2 in tall-- then is sooo far away you wont get there before it dissipates..whew..>LOVE the place--cant wait to sail MY boat there..LOL--just a few more thousand miles to go , yet.....and a coupla named storms away...
yes--lee shores sukk...
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Old 20-06-2011, 06:44   #14
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Re: Avice For Anclote Key to Cedar Key - Tomorrow

We must have passed . I am now off of Venice , after leaving Cedar Key at 04:00 Sat. Not much wind ! We'll put in at Punta Gorda to pick up a new starter. No engine since clearing out of Cedar Key .
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Old 20-06-2011, 12:28   #15
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Re: Avice For Anclote Key to Cedar Key - Tomorrow

I left Anclote at dawn yesterday, Sunday. Winds were light in the morning hours but better by afternoon. Seas were half a meter, so it was a nice ride on a reach all day as the winds clocked around matching my course changes. With wind aft of the beam on the turn into the channel marker. Great day to sail for me.

I'm anchored off the city marina in Cedar Key now. Arrived and anchored in time to take a sunset photo but I was tired and did not do so. A pod of dolphins escorted me into the channel. Close along side for several minutes. I'm beginning to see them as a some sort of good omen.

Main ship channel is plenty deep but I can see how it would be a challenge to navigate at night. The S curve to intersect the North channel presents markers in close proximity on both sides of the curve. Makes it hard to determine which are closer than others. The red and two greens at the apex of the turn are quite close together. No problem in daytime, but for me would be an added challenge at night.

Next leg is Apalachicola/St. George Bay.

If it's not too much trouble, could one of the mods please fix the spelling of Advice in the thread title. It bugs me a little.
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