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Old 18-10-2015, 23:02   #1
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Miami to St Petersburg in early November in 6 days.. Best route. Sailing a 45 ft Cat

Thanks for any experience


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Old 19-10-2015, 02:17   #2
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Re: Miami to St Petersburg in early November in 6 days.. Best route. Sailing a 45 ft

Day 1 Miami to chanel 5 bridge, day 2 chanel 5 bridge to Marco island. Day 3 Marco to Venice, day 4 Venice to St Pete. 4 days minimum with good speed and weather.

Be very cautious for crab pots the whole distance. Predominant wind NE so should be good sailing most of the way.

If you want to use all 6 days stop at Cayo Costa state park, anchor in Pelican Bay. Dinghy to Cabage Key for burgers, beautiful spot.

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Old 19-10-2015, 10:49   #3
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Re: Miami to St Petersburg in early November in 6 days.. Best route. Sailing a 45 ft

Thanks for reply..

Makes sense..does this require any night sail..I guess not..of course in that area not really advisable. I was considering a 24 hour type sail from keys (channel 5 or 7 mile), staying off shore a little more ? This may offer 1-2 days in the keys..all weather permitting.

What do you think ? Thanks for your input.
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Old 19-10-2015, 18:07   #4
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Re: Miami to St Petersburg in early November in 6 days.. Best route. Sailing a 45 ft

Cayo Costa is a better place to spend a day than the middle keys, IMO. I'm with poster #2.


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Old 19-10-2015, 18:19   #5
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Re: Miami to St Petersburg in early November in 6 days.. Best route. Sailing a 45 ft

[QUOTE=David Hughes;1941370]Cayo Costa is a better place to spend a day than the middle keys, IMO. I'm with poster #2.


===

I agree with Cayo Costa. It's one of our favorite cruising anchorages and it's closer to your destination if you have any weather issues. Stay close to the beach on the north side of the entrance and you'll be fine. There is lots of room to anchor after you get inside. If you'd prefer a marina consider Tween Water Inn, South Seas Plantation or Boca Grande.
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Old 20-10-2015, 05:13   #6
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Re: Miami to St Petersburg in early November in 6 days.. Best route. Sailing a 45 ft

Overnight will be fine once you get through to gulf side. From Marco to St. Pete, the issue this time of year is stone crab season. If you overnight careful running under power full of crab traps unless you go way offshore. Not always a comfortable trip offshore in November Unless you get luck with wind direction the day you want to go.
You would not like it out there this week.

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Old 20-10-2015, 21:02   #7
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Re: Miami to St Petersburg in early November in 6 days.. Best route. Sailing a 45 ft

Thanks...

Another question, from Miami to channel 5 or along the keys.. Drakes Channel or outside or just weather depending ? Is it challenging to navigate the channel ?

Appreciate your feedback


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Old 20-10-2015, 22:25   #8
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Re: Miami to St Petersburg in early November in 6 days.. Best route. Sailing a 45 ft

Was offshore at St. Pete Beach today. Took a nice young local woman for her first sailboat ride.

The crab pots are out, but not too thick yet. Four miles out was far enough to be free of the trap lines. Not sure how far out would be necessary further south though. Depth dependent I assume.

Great sailing wind today, and sea state was mild with the offshore breeze. Probably around 18 knots with some gusty stuff thrown in. Full main and a reefed headsail, not too much heeling and bumping hull speed several times. Pretty much just the way I like except for the gusts.

My first timer was all smiles, even giddy.
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Old 21-10-2015, 15:08   #9
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Re: Miami to St Petersburg in early November in 6 days.. Best route. Sailing a 45 ft

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gboy View Post
Thanks...
Another question, from Miami to channel 5 or along the keys.. Drakes Channel or outside or just weather depending ? Is it challenging to navigate the channel ?
-----
Do you mean Hawk Channel? I usually prefer it to outside the reef, same winds and smoother water. Easy to navigate, just watch out for the crab/lobster pots. Running down the outside is not a guaranteed way to avoid the pots, I've seen them in 200 feet of water. I do not usually sail at night in Hawk Channel but lots of folk do.
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Old 21-10-2015, 16:29   #10
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Re: Miami to St Petersburg in early November in 6 days.. Best route. Sailing a 45 ft

Caya Costa is nice. But pay strict attention to the prior post about sticking close to the beach. There was an anchoring guidebook by BAIL I believe that have headings from the day markers. ITS WRONG, the day marker numbers were later changed. A friendly TowBoat US operator led us in. He also received a nice tip for his kindness.

We often anchor on the SW side of Useppa island in about 20 ft of water across from Cabbage Key (Cheese burger in paradise). Caya Costa can be reached by dinghy from there.

Rich


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Old 21-10-2015, 17:31   #11
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Re: Miami to St Petersburg in early November in 6 days.. Best route. Sailing a 45 ft

Cayo Costa is a nice anchorage. It's not hard to enter, just look at your charts, keep close to shore and make your way in slowly. Personally I would spend a couple of more days in the Keys.


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Old 21-10-2015, 17:56   #12
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Re: Miami to St Petersburg in early November in 6 days.. Best route. Sailing a 45 ft

There is another route that's not as good because you miss the Keys, but is a little shorter and may provide an alternative in bad weather.

Sail north along the coast to Palm Beach Inlet or St. Lucie Inlet, depending on conditions, then enter the Okeechobee Waterway, which crosses the state and comes out at Ft. Myers.

Your mast needs to be under 49 feet to get under a RR bridge.

It takes a couple of days to motorsail across the state. Bucolic, some fun with locks, a sailing trip across Lake Okeechobee, a chance to see some of the headwaters of the Everglades. I sailed past a couple of gators, which was a change from the usual dolphins.

Again, not as nice as the Keys, but interesting to do once.

If weather forces you to stay inside, the ICW is slow, 40 or 50 miles a day with a careful lookout for uncharted sandbars. Do your research before entering or leaving an inlet; a fair number are shoaled, shallow and very tricky when the wind and seas oppose.

The outside is much better.
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Old 26-10-2015, 19:17   #13
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Re: Miami to St Petersburg in early November in 6 days.. Best route. Sailing a 45 ft

Hi all

The charts indicate the pelican pass is only 4 ft ... Is that the case.

Thanks


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Old 26-10-2015, 19:42   #14
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Re: Miami to St Petersburg in early November in 6 days.. Best route. Sailing a 45 ft

No Pellican pass is a bit deeper but you have to hug that beach scary close. I draw 5 ft. But it was dead slow ahead. Best to give a shout for a local IMO.

Rich


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Old 26-10-2015, 19:52   #15
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Re: Miami to St Petersburg in early November in 6 days.. Best route. Sailing a 45 ft

2 boat lengths off that beach is the deep spot into Pelican Bay. I've seen N57s and full keel sailboats in there, but I bet they are using the 1.5 feet of tide as needed....


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