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Old 04-01-2013, 11:24   #1
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Cruising Florida South of Venice with 5'8" Draft

Can anyone suggest anchorages and places to visit this winter between venice and key west that we can get into with 5'*" draft. Mostly west coast florida but may go to the east coast if worth while. We will have about 6 weeks to explore. Our boat is a 42 foot sailboat. We have sailed from tampa to key west a few times but have not visited much in between due to time and draft considerations. recent pass information also appreciated. Thanks
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Old 04-01-2013, 11:55   #2
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Re: cruising florida south of venice with 5'8" draft

Check out

Florida Sea Grant - Boating & Waterways - Anchorage Inventory
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Old 04-01-2013, 13:04   #3
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Re: cruising florida south of venice with 5'8" draft

You know about activecaptain.com, right?
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Old 04-01-2013, 14:43   #4
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Re: cruising florida south of venice with 5'8" draft

You might state, what things you are interested in doing. Some people just want to tie up at a marina and eat out. Others are looking for an anchorage with no other people.
I live near Venice, and have sailed up and down to the keys 8 times or so.
Personally, if there were places on land I wanted to explore, I would drive.
For sailing, I would sail direct to Marathon, and explore the keys from there.
Actually, just until the wind was right to cross the Stream and sail the Bahamas. Cooler than FL in the Summer, and warmer than FL in the Winter!
Great sailing, only 58 miles or so from FL.
Need a licensed Capt. to bring the boat back to FL, from the Bahamas? Hint hint!!

I've anchored:
Just inside, south of Boca Grande inlet on the west side of Useppa Island.
Just inside Boca Grand, north of the inlet.
Ft. Meyers
Along ICW between Boca and Ft. Meyers
Inside Gordens Pass
By mouth of Little Shark River (Bad mosquitos when sun goes down. Bad)
And by Thousand Islands.

Look at the charts and make a plan, then ask about the inlets you want to go in, and try to get local knowledge. This last year, storms have changed some channels.

Hope this helps.
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Old 09-01-2013, 06:58   #5
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Re: Cruising Florida South of Venice with 5'8" Draft

I sailed down from Lauderdale to the Dry Tortugas in 6' draft - bouncing along the bottom a few times - sprung the garboard in a squall while hung up in the coral somewhere near Marathon - had the bucket brigade going for a while - bounced out of the coral and when the sea came down, went over the side & put some saw dust in the seam, stopped the leak and kept going - had a bawl! Key West was a hoot - Jimmy Buffet was there at Capt. Tony's. The Tortugas are weird and wild and shallow - gave me the willies being there - make sure you water up in Key West before you go.
Stay in the middle of Hawk channel and you should be ok. Have fun!
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