So FWIW I just finished charting the keys passage
and the Okachobee cut through (which looks like it could actually be fun)....
Anyway going from Clearwater to a spot between Pompano and FLL (just off the coast - done for average because I haven't found a marina yet) its coming up to just about the same distance +\- 8 NM.
I can probably do 5 kts continuous under power, but if I get 15-20 kts of wind
with a decent reach and minimal tacking, I can do 6.5 - 7 kts on the open water
That combined with the draw bridge timing and lock operation, I'm guessing the saltwater route
will end up being the shortest by a little.
Nice to know I can go via Okachobee if the Wx isn't cooperating though.