Great cruising route
. I used to live in Bradenton and kept my boat in Tarpon Springs. Have made the run to/from Tarpon Springs and the Keys/Dry Tortugas a few times. Made a two month mini-cruise of this route
once -- great trip. Spring season (March-May) is probably the best window....after the cold fronts settle down, but before you get into hurricane
season or lots of summer time t-storms.
Made the run from Tarpon Springs to Dry Tortugas
in February one year and got fog
...big thick New England
over most of the route...even had some fog in the Dry Tortugas!
direction is generally favorable for the south bound run. If you really want to make some time south bound then catch a cold front.
Note that if you are running at night, offshore
to the west of the everglades, you may encounter lots of trawler
traffic -- this is also designated as a Naval training area.
Lots of great stops along the way....Manatee River...Pine Island Sound...Venice...Naples...Ft. Myers...Ten Thousand Islands...
The last time I made this run...I never came back...that was in 2004.