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Old 05-04-2016, 07:04   #1
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Punta Gorda to Key West

I will be sailing from Punta Gorda, Fl to Key West from April 24 to April 29. I would appreciate advice from those who may have done this route before. I've never sailed these waters before, but have extensive experience along the East Coast of the US. I plan to stop each night and anchor or tie up at a marina. My initial thoughts for stops are: Sanibel Island, Naples, Little Shark River, Marathon, Key West.

Does this itinerary seem reasonable, and if not, any suggestions for alternate stops?

I would not be opposed to an overnight sail (have done several overnight sails up and down the east coast of the US), but have heard that the crab/lobster pots are numerous in these parts of the Gulf. Any thoughts on this?

Thanks in advance for any input!
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Old 05-04-2016, 08:02   #2
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Re: Punta Gorda to Key West

This should be very easy sailing, none of your stops are all that far apart. In the Sanibel area you could choose Sanibel Marina, or Pink Shell at Ft Myers Beach. Marco has some good marina choices as well. Little Shark is desolate and full of bugs. No cell service and once it took me over an hour to raise anyone at all on VHF. You are on your own down there. You've got good daylight hours now so maybe pulling out of Marco at 3 or 4 am would enable a nonstop sail/motor the 90 miles direct to Key West in the daylight. Going direct avoids the shallows and many crab pots. Just a thought. Have fun!


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Old 05-04-2016, 08:10   #3
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Re: Punta Gorda to Key West

Quote:
Originally Posted by Resail View Post
I will be sailing from Punta Gorda, Fl to Key West from April 24 to April 29. I would appreciate advice from those who may have done this route before. I've never sailed these waters before, but have extensive experience along the East Coast of the US. I plan to stop each night and anchor or tie up at a marina. My initial thoughts for stops are: Sanibel Island, Naples, Little Shark River, Marathon, Key West.

Does this itinerary seem reasonable, and if not, any suggestions for alternate stops?

I would not be opposed to an overnight sail (have done several overnight sails up and down the east coast of the US), but have heard that the crab/lobster pots are numerous in these parts of the Gulf. Any thoughts on this?

Thanks in advance for any input!
===

There are a lot of crab pots but you can avoid many of them by going offshore from Sanibel directly to Key West. You'll want to approach Key West in daylight however because the crab pots become more numerous as you get closer. We usually go Ft Myers Beach to Big Marco Pass and then Marco to Key West. Little Shark River is scenic and well protected but it's out of the way and very buggy in warmer weather.
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