Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 06-03-2007, 17:18   #1
Registered User
 
francie's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Full-time cruiser
Boat: Gulfstar Hirsh 45, Anam Cara
Posts: 23
Cruising around Florida

I am looking for information on an iternerary that will take us from Miami to Sarasota, we have a 45 ft. sailboat (5'4 draft) and about 6 days to make the trip. It looks like the best and only place to turn the corner at the bottom of Florida is at Marathon Key if you don't want to go as far as Key West. Going north from there looks shallow but do-able.
Any ideas or advice from those that have make the trip?

Francie
__________________

__________________
francie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2007, 17:59   #2
Marine Service Provider
 
AnchorageGuy's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Wherever the boat is!
Boat: Marine Trader 34DC
Posts: 4,618
Francie, You are correct in your assumption that you will need to go down to Marathon then head for Cape Sable. You need a good set of current charts and be aware at all times as to where you are since there are very shallow areas near the Keys. Once you get a bit further north it is still not deep but the problem areas are fewer. Your draft is borderline but you may be able to go down the ICW on the bay side of the Keys. It will save you a little ground but not much. It really depends on where the wind is coming from as to which side is better anyway. Click here

Captain Log List Page

and start at post 799 to get some info on our recent trip along the west coast. We took our time but you might find some info that will be helpful. we pretty much just did day hops but you can plan some offshore runs but keep a close eye on the weather.
__________________

__________________
Chesapeake Bay, ICW Hampton Roads To Key West, The Gulf Coast, The Bahamas

The Trawler Beach House
Voyages Of Sea Trek
AnchorageGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2007, 22:59   #3
Registered User

Join Date: May 2003
Location: East Coast & Other Forums!
Posts: 913
Skip Gundlach just lost his boat in that passage. Recommend Key west then overnitght to Sarasota offshore. 3 days from Miami to Key west in Hawk Channel...+ 24 hours to Sarasota if the weather is favorable.
__________________
camaraderie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2007, 07:57   #4
Marine Service Provider
 
AnchorageGuy's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Wherever the boat is!
Boat: Marine Trader 34DC
Posts: 4,618
Skip's unfortunate incident happened west of Marathon and was due to a number of errors that don't need to be repeated. There is no need to travel another 50+ miles to Key West to get to the west coast. The area north of Marathon is safely traveled by thousands of boats going in both directions so I think we should not try to brand this area as a ships graveyard because of one persons mistakes.
__________________
Chesapeake Bay, ICW Hampton Roads To Key West, The Gulf Coast, The Bahamas

The Trawler Beach House
Voyages Of Sea Trek
AnchorageGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2007, 08:31   #5
Registered User
 
Cruisingdad's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: SW Florida now, then Bahamas and carrib 2010
Boat: Catalina 400
Posts: 143
Well, I will jump in here for a moment. I have not heard about SKip or what happened, but I have sure weathered some storms there. There seems to be a misconception that with some people (especially new cruisers) that the gulf is easy and protected and nothing more than a big pond. Nothing is further from the truth. The water is shallow and the bigggest threats outside of tropical storms are northerns. The fetch coming across the gulf (and deep water) will lend to tall, square, breaking seas at the shelf. Watch out for the northers!!! Anchor in Marathon in a nice Northern and you will get a rough idea of what I mean.

As far as the thread:

After Marathon you can head up NW. Not a lot of good places (if any) to duck once you hit the gulf until about Naples. You can anchor there in the bay. About 61 miles north. Take a good map/cruising guide. You will need it. We would run aground at 5 1/2. Once you hit Fort Myers, there are several options if your stick is under 65. You can anchor at Fort Myers Beach. Easy run in and mooring balls (used to just be an anchorage). Lot of nice restaurants and some not so nice. But you will have fun and everything, (including a Publix just up the island) is available. If you break anything you can call Olsens. Salty group of guys but they know their boats. They are on that bay. Their number is: (239) 463-6750. Keep that number handy. Ask for Casey, he runs the yard. Be cautious about the other places around there. Both good and bad.

Outside of FMB, you can take the ditch up or sail it. If you take the ditch, you are stuck in shallow water with lots of traffic. There is a spot right around Sanibel that is called the Miserable Mile for a reason. I cannot tell you how many times I have run aground there. Still, there is some decent anchorages just outside of it, including one on the S end of Pine Island (close to ST. James City, just to the west), another on the east side of the Miserable mile is just as you come in off the gulf and turn on the ICW east. One is there around to your south and another around cattle point to the north. Stay IN THE MIDDLE of the channel and keep looking behind you to make sure you have not drifted out or you will be calling sea tow. You can walk beside the ICW there and just get your ankles wet.

If you decide to sail it (which I would) around, go into Charlotte Harbor. Nice deep enterance, though choppy with west wind and ebbing tide. Head south on the ICW and just up and to your left is Useppa Island and Cabbage Key. Nice anchorage and good in everything except a NW blow. Holds good and many cruisers use that as a stop point before heading up to Tampa. Cabbage Key has a nice restaurant (albeit expesive) where you can have some beer and a nice meal. It is rumored that that restaurant is the inspiration for Cheeseburger in Paradise by Buffett (who has a dollar posted there), but I have heard a couple of other restaurants say that too... so take it with a grain of salt. Make sure you take a fresh dollar to hang on the wall. If nothing else, there is a nice nature trail and a LOT of history on that island. They have written books about it. So, it is worth checking out and is an easy run to Sarasota from there.

Hope that helps. A cruising guide will help. If you need specifics, let me know.

- CD

PS My suggestion outsdie of Marathon is not a direct course but head further offshore and come back in. I personally would not stay in sight of the coast there, at all. I track about 50+ miles, where the water is a bit deeper and the ride a bit smoother. Storms everyday about 2:00 in the summer with a lot of lightning, so be prepared to weather a few. You will have contact by VHF for most of the way as I thinkg the CG maintains towers in the pond. I personally thing the Thousand Island area is dangerous becuase of its depth and no place to duck, so would give it a wide berth. THese are just my opinion, so take them as such.
__________________
Mainsheet Technical Editor, C400
Cruisingdad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2007, 08:55   #6
Registered User
 
Cruisingdad's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: SW Florida now, then Bahamas and carrib 2010
Boat: Catalina 400
Posts: 143
Hey Chuck,

I think I have seen you on sailnet?? Just wanted to say, "Nice log."

- CD
__________________
Mainsheet Technical Editor, C400
Cruisingdad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2007, 10:29   #7
Registered User

Join Date: May 2003
Location: East Coast & Other Forums!
Posts: 913
Chuck...understood...but for a first time passage...my advice is that the KeyWest route is the safer one with more leeway for errors. I understand about skip's position and errors. The original poster seems like a first time passagemaker in real shallow water with a new boat so I felt prudence was called for. Obviously, if they have high confidence in their nav skills and are willing to take the risk of a norther and limited visibility you route is do-able. Just trying to build in a little extra safety into a passage with limited time to wait for weather.
__________________
camaraderie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2007, 10:59   #8
Registered User
 
Cruisingdad's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: SW Florida now, then Bahamas and carrib 2010
Boat: Catalina 400
Posts: 143
For what it is worth, I wholeheartedly agree with Cam, as you can guess from my first post.
__________________
Mainsheet Technical Editor, C400
Cruisingdad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2007, 13:05   #9
Registered User
 
svHyLyte's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Tampa Bay area, USA
Boat: Beneteau First 42
Posts: 3,434
Images: 25
Six days is very little time to make that trip. Overall you’re looking at about 350 miles including side trips for anchoring etc. You’d have to average 60 mile days which is unlikely, and unwise near shore.

If you have a bit more time one alternative is a two day trip to Marathon via the Hawk Channel and then a route through Moser Channel to the Little Shark River on the northwest side of Cape Sable where there is a good anchorage in an oxbow of the River just northwest of Marker 4, about 42 miles. The only real hazard is a reef on the east side of East Bahia Honda Key, just west of Marker 15, that’s easily avoided. The Little Shark River can be “buggy” at sunset and sunrise so good screens are a must.

From the Little Shark River it’s about 64 miles to a nice anchorage in Naples, a short way inside the entrance at Gordon Pass. From the Shark River to Cape Romano Shoal Light is about 35 miles at about 311 deg and mostly in deeper water and away from hazards. By leaving at say 6:30 AM one should be at Gordon Pass by 4:00 PM and have plenty of time for the entry, even at this time of the year.

From Naples to Punta Rassa (Sanibel) is an easy reach of only about 30 miles. There’s a good spot to anchor just north of the Sanibel Causeway Bridge, off the main channel in 12 feet of water just northeast of marker 13. One can pull further east if one has less draft. This is also near the beginning of the “Miserable Mile” which we’ve never had a problem with despite 6.5’ of draft so long as one times ones passage for slack water (here currents are more important than tide).

If on has time, there’s a nice anchorage on the south side of York Island which can be reached easily by steering about 290 magnetic from Marker 13 on the west side of the Miserable Mile (which is actually 2.6 miles long!). There’s also a great sport to stop in Roosevelt Channel on the west side of Buck Key where “’Tween Waters” resort is located. Alternately one can go one channel further north to the South Seas Plantation Marina which my wife favors ‘tho it can get costly if one does not watch one’s spouse’s spending.

A little further on there is a good anchorage at Useppa Island, directly across from Cabbage Key. We’ve visited Cabbage Key a few times and it’s “interesting” and one can usually pick up a transient berth without too much difficulty if one chooses. From there one can take one’s dinghy over to Cayo Costa for a day-trip to the beach, which can be fun albeit buggy (take lots of insect spray). Past Useppa, on the south side of the Boca Grande entrance, one finds the entrance to Pelican Bay which has good holding. It’s a bit shallow at the entrance so one’s draft can be an issue but one should be able to carry 5’. Once inside it’s no problem and it’s a beautiful protected anchorage.

Above the pass at Boca Grande is the little harbor for the town of Boca Grande itself that has a good anchorage inside, just north of the entrance, stern tied to the Mangrove.

From Boca Grande to Sarasota is easy either inside or outside. The only caveat to that is the channel at Boca Grande which can be a real pip if one hits it wrong. We always try to come and go at either slack water or on a flood before the stream gets going too fast. Transiting that channel with an ebb, particularly if there is a westerly component to the wind, is very unwise as we have seen very large yachts rolled down to there beam ends by the waves—which don’t look that bad until one gets to them. If necessary, we will heave-to and wait for the right time to make the transit unless conditions are very benign.

From Boca Grande to Venice is an easy 35 miles or so, inside or outside. We prefer outside as I dislike fooling around with bridges but many of our friends make the trip inside and find it quite enjoyable and there are a couple of good anchorages enroute.

From Venice to Sarasota is similarly easy although the entrance to Sarasota can be a trial and we’ve never gone in there as we simply draw too much water and I don’t want to fool with it. We usually go through Long Boat Pass, north of Sarasota, although that’s quite a bit north of Sarasota itself. The inside route from Venice to Sarasota is easy and scenic I’ve been told and supposedly easy in any weather.

Just a few thoughts!

Cheers,

s/v HyLyte
__________________
"It is not so much for its beauty that the Sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."
svHyLyte is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2007, 20:50   #10
Registered User
 
francie's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Full-time cruiser
Boat: Gulfstar Hirsh 45, Anam Cara
Posts: 23
Appreciate the information

We bought the boat last September and have spent a couple of weeks on it so far. We are in Chicago and the boat is near Miami. We are comfortable sailing, we have spent 15+ years racing and sailing on the Great Lakes, with some cruising in parts of the Gulf when it was really cold up here!

My concern is that we do have just those 6 days in the spring, and our experience is that being on a timeframe and sailing really don't mix well. We may do a couple of overnight sails or potentially just get as far as we can get and leave the boat there till we can pick it up in June. Any suggestions for good places for a couple of months of storage about half or 3/4 way through the trip?
__________________
francie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2007, 21:17   #11
Registered User
 
blahman's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Charlotte Harbor, FL
Boat: Westsail 32
Posts: 301
Images: 50
Francie,

If you have somewhere safe lined up to take the boat, you may better off finding someone to deliver the boat there if you can't make it. Best to have the boat "home" for a few hundred dollars rather than somewhere sucking up money.

Cheers,
Aaron N.
__________________
"Only those who see the invisible can do the impossible."

W32 #482 Asia Marie


blahman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2007, 15:22   #12
Registered User
 
svHyLyte's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Tampa Bay area, USA
Boat: Beneteau First 42
Posts: 3,434
Images: 25
Francie-- If I were king for a day I would advise your to use your 6 days to do a nice trip and get used to the yacht before launching off on a trip, to Key Biscayne or something. Then, once you've worked out the bugs on the boat, come back for the traverse in June. It will be a bit hotter, with less wind, but if you do it early in the month it can still be quite enjoyable. A 6 day trip is not likely to get you to someplace where it will be easy to find a temporary berth at anything close to a reasonable cost so, if you already have a good slip arrangement in Ft. Lauderdale, I'd stick with what you have for the moment. In early June you can take your time and do the trip properly. That's when we do our annual cruise and its always been very enjoyable. If you happen to belong to a yacht club in Chicago, have your Club Secretary write to some of the Florida Clubs you'll be passing close to on your behalf. Florida clubs usually do not offer reciprocity to non-Florida council club members but, with a letter of introduction, most clubs can be very accomodating and there are several excellent Clubs along your route, particularly the Naples YC, the St. Charles YC in Ft. Myers (my wife's favorite); Venice YC; Sarasota YC, et al. In fact, it might be worth trying to join a Florida YC if you intend to keep the yacht here as the convenience of being able to use Clubs along the route is one of the greates advantages of membership in a Florida YC and usually there is little or no charge for visiting yachts from other Clubs. If you are interested, send us a PM and we can offer some suggestions and introductions if you like. The Tampa Bay area is a great place to keep a yacht and, thankfully, one of the few places in the southeast with a relatively low statistical probability of getting hit by a hurricane! Good Luck! s/v HyLyte
__________________
"It is not so much for its beauty that the Sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."
svHyLyte is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2007, 19:25   #13
Registered User
 
francie's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Full-time cruiser
Boat: Gulfstar Hirsh 45, Anam Cara
Posts: 23
We are certainly taking into consideration the wisdom of your suggestions. We spent two weeks at Christmas time sailing in and around Miami working out some of the bugs. We are planning to take the boat up to Chicago in the summer. Our hope was to get to Sarasota to be nearer to family this spring and do some additional work on the boat. Having done many Chicago to Mackinac (300+ mile) races we also thought if we could find crew we might just sail it in one shot. All this goes against the grain of our purpose with the boat, which is to stop being racers and start being cruisers!
__________________
francie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2007, 08:34   #14
Registered User
 
svHyLyte's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Tampa Bay area, USA
Boat: Beneteau First 42
Posts: 3,434
Images: 25
Francie-- If you are experienced sailors, confident in the yacht, and can come up with the watchstanders, I'd suggest you make the run to Marathon through Hawk Channel, cut through Moser Channel and sail directly to Bradenton--north of Sarasota and a much better place to sail and have the yacht bundled up for the trip north. From the Bridge at Moser Channel to the Regatta Point Marina in Bradenton with entry to Tampa Bay through southwest channel is a distance of about 215 miles. If you spend the night in Marathon and leave at sun-up you'll have plenty of early light behind you to make the traverse to Marker 17, north of the bridge. Head north to a point about 3-4 miles north of marker 17 (about 11 miles from the bridge) before turning north westerly to ensure you avoid getting involved with Bluefish Bank, From that point steering about 320 will get you out of Florida Bay and into (relatively) deeper water after about 14 miles--at a point about 12 miles southwest of Middle Cape (Sable). If you hold that course for a total of about 70 miles, you'll pick up the 10 fathom curve about 20 miles west of Cape Romano Shoal Light, pretty well clear of dangers. From there steer about 340-345 for about 85 miles to a point about 12 miles southwest of Venice. This course will keep you pretty close to the 10 fathom curve about 10-12 miles off the coast once you pass Sanibel. From the point at Venice you can come up to about 350 which, after another 32 miles or so, will bring you up to the South-West Channel Sea Bouy. Assuming you leave Moser Channel at sun-up and average about 6 knts, you should hit the Southwest Channel Sea Bouy at around 9:30 or 10:00 the following morning. From there to Bradenton is only another 14 miles which is quite easy sail mark-to-mark. Your greatest danger will be traversing Florida Bay but if you get yourselves a good night's sleep and leave at sun-up you should have relatively calm morning conditions and good light and be well away from shore when the wind pipes up. The trick will be to set your watches early and keep everyone well rested so that the watch-stander's at night are well rested. Your boat should have a sea-kindly motion and the odd's are good that you'll have favorable winds, so it should be a decent trip. In Bradenton you'll want to contact either the Regatta Point Marina (Regatta Pointe Marina) or the Twin Dolphins Marina (Welcome To Twin Dolphin Marina) both of which seem to have slips. Likely the best yard for packing up the yacht for the trip north is Snead Island Boat Works (Boatyards - Tampa Bay Soundings and Floridian: Old-school boat man ). Jimmy Alderman and his son Gary--who now runs the yard--are friends and are good folks. They have been servicing our yachts for years and recommissioned our First 42 when we shipped her down here from Annapolis. They also have a small marina and, if you let them know you'll be using them for preping your yacht for the trip--they might be able to find a spot for you. Somehow Gary always seems to be able to shoehorn one more yacht into the Marina 'tho' I've never figured out how he does it. N'any case, I hope that's helpful. PM me if you'd like some more specifics. Regards, Scott 'n Kitt s/v HyLyte
__________________
"It is not so much for its beauty that the Sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."
svHyLyte is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2007, 07:41   #15
Registered User
 
svHyLyte's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Tampa Bay area, USA
Boat: Beneteau First 42
Posts: 3,434
Images: 25
Oops! After re-reading this I realized I'd used an average of 8 knts rather than 6 to calculate timing. At 6 knots average, one would reach the Tampa sea-bouy by about 1530 the day after departing from the bridge at Moser Channel! Still adequate for reaching Bradenton during day-light hours. Cheers, HyLyte
__________________

__________________
"It is not so much for its beauty that the Sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."
svHyLyte is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
florida

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Florida regulations Harriet Liveaboard's Forum 11 27-10-2015 15:24
Live Aboard in Florida Boot Key Harbor lowryjim Liveaboard's Forum 15 15-12-2008 07:53
Boat size and cruising question shellback Liveaboard's Forum 34 21-03-2007 13:11
Cruising Club of America Awards GordMay Cruising News & Events 1 21-01-2007 11:41
Boot Key Harbor, Marathon Florida lowryjim Atlantic & the Caribbean 1 05-05-2004 18:00



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:18.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.