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Old 05-10-2012, 20:27   #1
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Tampa Bay to Cayo Costa

I am planning a six night, seven day charter from Tampa Bay. Is it possible to make it down to Cayo Costa and return in this timeframe sailing on the outside?
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Old 05-10-2012, 20:56   #2
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Yes though outside will be dependant upon weather im guessing youll only be able to spend three to four days in cayo costa. But its a great time. Weve done the trip inside and outside if conditions are good you should make it in a day.
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Old 06-10-2012, 19:05   #3
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Re: Tampa Bay to Cayo Costa

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Originally Posted by betterdaze View Post
I am planning a six night, seven day charter from Tampa Bay. Is it possible to make it down to Cayo Costa and return in this timeframe sailing on the outside?
Do you need crew still? If so, let me know the dates, and I can get back to you regarding availability.
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Old 06-10-2012, 19:47   #4
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Re: Tampa Bay to Cayo Costa

Thanks, but I am all set with the crew. We were not sure if we would need to stop at Sarasota or Venice on the way. Ideally, we would like to leave from Egmont frist thing in the morning and make to Charlette Harbour, but we can only sail from dawn until dusk because it is a charter.
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Old 06-10-2012, 20:12   #5
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If you do stop in Venice its a very easy entrance and crows nest marina is just inside. Best loaded burgers and seafood bisque or you can just inside past the marina lots of good anchoring. When are you going?
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Old 06-10-2012, 21:31   #6
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Re: Tampa Bay to Cayo Costa

Thanks for the info. We are sailing at the end of this month. You said you can make it in a day, so with typical October winds, how many hours do you think it will take to make trip between the two?
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Old 06-10-2012, 22:07   #7
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From skyway bridge to venice inlet its exactly 45 miles. Its exactly another 30 miles running straight to cayo costa and into pelican bay. Really depends on wind conditions and boat speed. Plan for the full run knowing you can dip into venice if you need too, they have always had room whenever weve called, if u get there late tie up and pay em in the am! What kind of boat?
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Old 08-10-2012, 08:12   #8
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Re: Tampa Bay to Cayo Costa

To make it from Tampa Bay to Cayo Costa in one day you are going to have to start right at the crack of dawn. Even then, you're going to have to make awfully good time to get anchored before dark. You are talking about neighborhood of 80-85 nautical miles.

Personally, I would plan on two days and not try to push it. Trying to do too much, on a tight schedule, is a really good way to get yourself into trouble.
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Old 08-10-2012, 18:08   #9
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Re: Tampa Bay to Cayo Costa

That's good advice. Weill plan to make it one day, but if conditions are not ideal, we'll duck into Venice for the night. Thanks.
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Old 08-10-2012, 19:20   #10
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I don't know if the charter company will allow it...but with good weather on our Beneteau 32, we would exit Tampa Bay very late afternoon and sail all night to arrive Boca Grande channel into Charlotte Harbor at dawn and have breakfast at Cabbage Key by about 9am. Then took our time returning north to arrive when we had to go back to work.....
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Old 08-10-2012, 19:30   #11
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Re: Tampa Bay to Cayo Costa

If you come in Venice... PM me, I'll give you the $0.05 tour... I'm a mile north of the inlet.
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Old 08-10-2012, 20:21   #12
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Crows nest has free bike rentals for dock guests. Get there early enough ride the 100 yards to the beach and watch the sunset!
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Old 08-10-2012, 21:52   #13
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Re: Tampa Bay to Cayo Costa

I wouldn't call the anchorage past crows nest good. Last time I was there it required two anchors as there was no room to swing in the area that was deep enough for a sailboat. I quit stopping there when they stopped offering free dockage at the park. If the winds are east just pull up near the beach and drop anchor. I love that trip on east winds. Flat seas and nice beaches to watch as you cruise by. Cabbage key is worth stopping at. They gave us a free slip when we stopped for dinner and drinks. Met Randy Wayne White there who has written quite a few novels with that area as backdrop.
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Old 09-10-2012, 17:13   #14
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Re: Tampa Bay to Cayo Costa

From the only likely anchorage at Egmont Key (south of the Pilot Station in settled weather) to and through the entrance at Boca Grande is a distence of about 67 miles. Assuming you are able to average 6 knots, you're looking at a transit time of a bit over 11 hours. In theory one could leave at the break of nautical twilight in the AM and arrive at Boca Grande just before sunset at this time of the year. That said, however, appearances on the chart not withstanding, Boca Grande is not a simple entry. Those with experience in the area know that, to the extent possible, one wants to make that passage at or near slack water. On the flood if the wind is westerly, or the ebb if the winds are easterly. Otherwise, some pretty good, steep waves can make up in that channel that one may not realize are there until one's already "in the soup". Accordingly, one is wise to time one's transit with the foreoging in mind. And, having made the entry, the courses to the anchorage at Cayo Costa, or further south at Useppa or Cabbage Key is not as straight forward as the chart might make them appear, particularly after dark on a yacht one is not quite familure with.

Given the foregoing, a stopover at the Crows Nest in Venice, and spending the night on the Long Dock would be wise. There is an anchorage in Venice, but it small and awkward and will be difficult for someone that doesn't have local knowledge. Admittedly, the Long Dock at the Crows Nest isn't the greatest, but it is adaquate with fenders and the restaurant is about as good as it gets in the area, (Eat downstairs rather than upstairs. The food's the same but the prices are lower and many think the service is better.) From there it's not a difficult run and only about 28 miles or roughly 5 hours running time, departure again timed on slack water at Boca.

Frankly, rather than spending 3, if not 4 days in transit--which can get pretty boring--you might be better served by skipping Cayo Costa and getting your off-shore leg to Venice and then working your way north through some nice cruising ground from there on the ICW to and through Sarasota et al. THere is a nice anchorage at Blackburn Point that you might be able to make; and, an excellant anchorage at Roberts Bay and another between Otter Key and Longboat Key, just south of the Sarasota Yacht Club. You can anchor there and take your dinghy up to St. Armand's Circle which is a fun visit. From there you can sail through Sarasota Bay to visit the Longboat Key Club and a bit further on to an anchorage just southeast of Jewfish Key or, if your up for it, a night on the long-dock at either the Mar Vista or Moore's Stone Crab. From there its an easy trip up to the Manatee River to visit DeSoto Point or, a bit further on, Bradenton where there is a good anchorage and two good restaurants to choose from, one each on the north and south sides of the River at either Twin Dolphins or Regatta Point. From there you're about 25 miles back up to St. Pete and you should spend at least one night on either a mooring at the Vinoy Basin or in a guest slip at the muni-marina so you can visit the St. Pete Pier and there abouts. A stop we always enjoy.

For more detail one prossible anchorages and facilities, zoom over to ActiveCaptain.com. Registration is free and there is a wealth of information.

FWIW...
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:17   #15
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Re: Tampa Bay to Cayo Costa

Have you already paid for the charter from Tampa Bay? If not, and if Cayo Costa is really someplace you want to go, another option would be to charter from one of the several companies that are closer down to the Charlotte Harbor/Pine Island Sound area.

For example, the link below is for a company that offers bareboat charters out of Burnt Store Marina, which is between Punta Gorda and Cape Coral.
Yacht Charters Florida Trawler Charters - Sailboat Powerboat Bareboat, Grand Banks, Krogen, and Mainship Yacht Charters
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