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Old 04-12-2013, 13:53   #1
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Marathon to Ft. Myers Beach

Anyone made the trip recently? Any suggestions or cautions?
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Old 05-12-2013, 13:27   #2
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Anyone made the trip recently? Any suggestions or cautions?
Yeah... Done it a few times, bit of a milk run. Cape Sable, can be an interesting short stop over, however it's not a proper anchorage. Options to find civilization are a bit sparse but there is a few anchorages I've never been into any of them myself, always go non-stop. Biggest challenge I ever face on that run is the lobster pots! Wow!!!

How's Marathon these days? In route on the east coast should be there by the weekend.
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Old 05-12-2013, 14:31   #3
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Re: Marathon to Ft. Myers Beach

Well, that was the point. A friend here said the Yacht Channel, following the park boundary, was the way to go - no pots allowed. And anchorages to permit daylight cruising. Sounds good. A bit longer.

First time back in Marathon in a few years. It has its own flavor.
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Old 05-12-2013, 14:51   #4
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Re: Marathon to Ft. Myers Beach

Little Shark River is a great overnight spot (Bring bug spray)
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Old 05-12-2013, 14:57   #5
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Re: Marathon to Ft. Myers Beach

Look out for the pilot whales north of Little Shark!

I personally wouldn't use the Yacht Channel if the only purpose is to avoid the crab traps. They are manageable, just keep watch.
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Old 05-12-2013, 15:12   #6
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Re: Marathon to Ft. Myers Beach

If you are looking for a daylight only run, stop at Little Shark and Marco Island.
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Old 06-12-2013, 12:46   #7
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Well, that was the point. A friend here said the Yacht Channel, following the park boundary, was the way to go - no pots allowed. And anchorages to permit daylight cruising. Sounds good. A bit longer.

First time back in Marathon in a few years. It has its own flavor.
Can't say for sure on pots on Yatch channel I alway's go direct and try not to motor thru it. But I have been told they lay pot's in the channel too... You certainly find them in the channels around Marathon!
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Old 06-12-2013, 13:10   #8
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Can't say for sure on pots on Yatch channel I alway's go direct and try not to motor thru it. But I have been told they lay pot's in the channel too... You certainly find them in the channels around Marathon!
Way confused???? If you don't use the yacht channel how do you get across? Down to Key West and come back?
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Old 06-12-2013, 13:21   #9
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Nah... Just lay in a direct course... It's a big ole ocean. Only shoal area's you gotta watch out for are around Marathon,
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Old 06-12-2013, 14:36   #10
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Re: Marathon to Ft. Myers Beach

We recently made the trip the other direction. We draw too much to go thru Goodland, so we went outside from Marco Island. South on the seaward side of Romano Shoals, then turned in to Indian Key for an overnight. Next day was Indian Key to Little Shark River, then Little Shark to Marathon. Easy trip, but as others have said, watch for pots!
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Old 06-12-2013, 15:11   #11
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Made the trip a number of years ago. Went under the seven mile bridge and followed the channel north across Florida bay. Nice day sail to cape sable. There wind was from the east so we anchored just off the beach in the wind shadow. Left the next morning and did an overnight into Captiva by noon the next day. Easy trip.
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Old 06-12-2013, 17:28   #12
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Re: Marathon to Ft. Myers Beach

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We recently made the trip the other direction. We draw too much to go thru Goodland, so we went outside from Marco Island. South on the seaward side of Romano Shoals, then turned in to Indian Key for an overnight. Next day was Indian Key to Little Shark River, then Little Shark to Marathon. Easy trip, but as others have said, watch for pots!
Where did you anchor in Little Shark River? How was holding? Did you encounter crab pots inside park boundary?

Thanks for the post.
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Old 06-12-2013, 18:44   #13
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Re: Marathon to Ft. Myers Beach

At Little Shark River we had light easterly winds so we anchored outside the mouth in about 9'. Dropped our brand new 99 lb Spade and backed down on it. There were about 5 boats we could see anchored near the first bend in the river. Next morning we motored up to the anchor and could not lift it! The wind was almost calm so there was no wave action to help work the anchor free. I really thought we might have to leave our brand new anchor! I drew the chain as tight on the winch as I could and stopped it off. With the engine in forward I kept adding power. The bow dipped about a foot and then stayed like that a couple of seconds before the anchor broke free. Had a huge ball of sandy mud on it but we were free!
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Old 06-12-2013, 19:03   #14
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Re: Marathon to Ft. Myers Beach

I have a 4' draft and sailed from ocean side of Key Largo, ducked under the channel 5 bridge where we anchored for the night which was good holding in about 35 mph winds. We stopped again about 1/2 way to Marco Island and anchored out about 3 miles offshore then arrived at Marco Island the next day. Our friends with a 5' draft came behind us starting from Barnes Sound in Key Largo via the ICW under the Jewfish Creek bridge & then the same route to Marco Island. The crab pots were a pain on the outside of Everglades Park. I heard they don't allow pots inside the Park outer piling/markers. I have a 21' beam and collected a few pots before they came loose sailing on the outside of Everglades Park. Next time I'll be on the inside!
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Old 06-12-2013, 19:59   #15
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Where did you anchor in Little Shark River? How was holding? Did you encounter crab pots inside park boundary?

Thanks for the post.
There are no pots inside the park boundary it makes for a nice stress free ride. Holding is just fine outside of little shark, we anchor on the soft bottom or mud area. If wind is wrong you will get bugs,
Don't ride the boundary line as some markers are missing but posts still below surface. Stay 50+ feet inside it and youll be fine. Don't go through Romano shoals, go outside it, they are changing constantly and can be a headache.
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