Originally Posted by Gboy
Looking for 2-3 good overnight spots from St Pete to Dry Tortugas
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I tend to have a flexible plan when cruising. First consideration is the weather
. When I am at anchor
I will wait for a favorable wind
before leaving. I also like to be able to stay longer at an anchorage if I find something to keep me there.
As an example there are some domed houses at Cape Romano
that I spent a couple of days anchored off of. Took the inflatable
to the cape, took pix of the houses, birds on the houses, fished on the Cape Romano Shoals. My plan was to just go in for a quick look and then head
off early the next day. So I would definitely suggest you stop there and at least check them out. It should be easy to get to Charlotte Harbor
on the first night and Cape Romano on the second night. I also spent a night at Middle Cape and enjoyed the huge unspoiled beach there, possibly the least visited beach in Florida
(well maybe not but it is about seven miles long so places there really don't have footprints).
I would definitely stop at Boca Grande. In fact I spent a week there, great diving
, and quite interesting to visit. It is only about 14 miles across the Boca Grande Channel to the Marquesas
Islands, another place I spent days exploring, diving
, and watching wild life like birds and turtles. Cosgrove just South of the Marquesas
is often described as having the best soft corals in the Keys. Definitely look at Google
Maps to get an overview of what the interior
of the Marquesas looks like and take the inflatable
there, well worth the time.
It is about 40 miles to DT from the Marquesas. Depending on the wind
make sure you are on the leeward side of the Quicksands, makes the trip a lot less bumpy. Last time I went North of the Quicksands going out and South returning.
Once in the DT make friends with the fastboat captain/crew. They can give you up to date information about the weather
crossing from Key West
and help you plan your return trip. If they still have the all you can eat buffet on the fast boat it is a change from your normal routine. Definitely take your mask, fins, and snorkel and check out the North and South Coal Docks as well as the beaches next to the fort. Take the tour of the fort. If the weather is good head
to Loggerhead Key and snorkel on Little Africa
. Also hit the Brick Wreck for diving. The radio
room at the end of the dock
has no radios, but does have free maps that show where these things are. Here are some pix from my last trip
Enjoy and I am heading down there some time around that time frame.