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Old 25-07-2013, 18:36   #1
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Crossing from Panama City To Tampa

I have not gone very far off shore and a little Squeemish about the crossing. I have a 31 foot Bombay. I would appreciate any information about the best times to cross and not run into big wave action. Also info about the prevailing winds direction and strength would be helpful.
Thanks
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Old 25-07-2013, 19:12   #2
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Re: Crossing from Panama City To Tampa

I've done that trip many times, and although your questions are good ones, they can only be answered by the obvious...

The trip rhumb line is a couple or three days depending on boat speed and the ability to run 24/7; to that end, do you plan adequate crew for a 24/7 watch? Can you motor the entire distance if becalmed? can you interpret the weather forecast well enough to feel safe on that length passage?

The alternative is to break the trip up into legs that are manageable.... Leave out PC, round Cape San Blas and duck inside to the ICW. Then hop down to Cedar Key, then Tarpon Springs (which gets you back into the ICW).

Without more details, it is hard to offer advise specific to you.... Hope this helps!
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Old 25-07-2013, 21:45   #3
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Thanks. that sounds like a good plan.

any advice on time of year?

I assume NE or east winds would be good but probably not normal.
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Old 26-07-2013, 04:57   #4
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Re: Crossing from Panama City To Tampa

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, White island.
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Old 26-07-2013, 06:01   #5
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Re: Crossing from Panama City To Tampa

I'd go in the fall, right behind a cold front to get north winds.

My experience in February this year (going opposite, from Tampa to P'cola) was that Gulf waves are surprising short period, even offshore. The fella we had with us has miles and miles of offshore experience and he assured us that was a characteristic of the Gulf.

Have plenty of fuel, and good crew.

We got weather from nothing to 30kt, winds from all directions (front passed over us) and we just kept on keepin' on even when the front headed us directly. That is to say, wind went on the nose so we doused and motored into it. The weather changes made for very confused seas, but the biggest it got was in the 30kt (10' waves)

Have a good time. You'll see some very kewl stuff...porpoises surfed alongside the boat the whole time once we got well offshore. I kept thinking I'd hit them, but those guys are good at it ;-)

--oh, and February is cold. I'd go in the early fall ;-)
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Old 26-07-2013, 06:47   #6
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Re: Crossing from Panama City To Tampa

I go from Carravelle to Clearwater. I once considered stopping at Cedar Key, but I have a five foot draft and it just isn't worth the trouble (doable but not much there and a confusing channel). It Isn''t a bad sail, but it does require sailing all night, out in the Gulf.

There is also a large unfinished canal (the Cross Florida Greenway) that you can pull up into and anchor (it's located just south of the Withlacooche River). It's also a good hurricane hole.

There are navigation aids all along that route, but fairly close to the land, and it's shoal water almost everywhere past them. I always feel better with a little more sea room.
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Old 26-07-2013, 15:27   #7
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Appalatchacola to clearwater should be less than 30 hours, one overnight. Do not try to use govt cut in apalatchacola
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Old 26-07-2013, 20:09   #8
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what's up with govt cut?
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Old 26-07-2013, 20:53   #9
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Re: Crossing from Panama City To Tampa

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what's up with govt cut?
Government Cut is not passable for any sailboat, and the shoals move constantly even when there happens to be a channel. It is not dredged, and you won't make it. Same for Indian Pass, don't even try it.

If you round Cape San Blas on the outside, take care to round well offshore. The old charts used to show "barking seas" in areas near the cape, due to wind vs odd currents vs shoal areas. If you can (mast height) and want to, go inside from Panama City to Apalachicola, You can wait the weather out in St. Joe, Apalach, or Carrabelle.

From Apalach, go out at East Pass, you can anchor behind Dog Island, or stay in Carrabelle until the weather is just right.


Cedar Key is very tricky, and the tides are only predictable by local knowledge and current weather conditions. Under the right wind condition, the tide may stay lower than mean water for days, or higher than usual.

Don't chance bad weather on the Eastern Gulf, the water is too shallow, and the wave shape is always steep and the periods very short. If you do, and you are in a seaworthy boat, you will never do it again. If you are not in a very seaworthy boat, well.....


'
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Old 27-07-2013, 03:47   #10
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Love your boat! Our bombay was sturdy and strong and had a kind seamotion offshore. We were caught in some really nasty stuff in ours beating to weather for 22 hours we made 23 miles. It was awful but the boat shined! Not sure your motor but our westerbeke 25 hp avg about 1/2 gal an hour at 6 kts. Great boats, we loved ours dearly but moved to cats. Have a good autopilot, and keep a lookout. I just read about someone losing his boat after hitting a 14' ? steel buoy that broke free from a oil rig or platform.
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Old 27-07-2013, 08:18   #11
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Re: Crossing from Panama City To Tampa

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Government Cut is not passable for any sailboat, and the shoals move constantly even when there happens to be a channel. It is not dredged, and you won't make it. Same for Indian Pass, don't even try it.

If you round Cape San Blas on the outside, take care to round well offshore. The old charts used to show "barking seas" in areas near the cape, due to wind vs odd currents vs shoal areas. If you can (mast height) and want to, go inside from Panama City to Apalachicola, You can wait the weather out in St. Joe, Apalach, or Carrabelle.

From Apalach, go out at East Pass, you can anchor behind Dog Island, or stay in Carrabelle until the weather is just right.


Cedar Key is very tricky, and the tides are only predictable by local knowledge and current weather conditions. Under the right wind condition, the tide may stay lower than mean water for days, or higher than usual.

Don't chance bad weather on the Eastern Gulf, the water is too shallow, and the wave shape is always steep and the periods very short. If you do, and you are in a seaworthy boat, you will never do it again. If you are not in a very seaworthy boat, well.....


'
I ran hard aground there three years ago, in the middle of the Government Cut channel with a 5' draft.
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Old 07-09-2013, 13:55   #12
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Dulce

I don't know if my old Bombay chain plates and other metal components were bonded together by the factory to help with preventing galvanic corrosion. How about yours? I also don't know if you can tell by looking. Wires?
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Old 07-09-2013, 14:14   #13
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Re: Crossing from Panama City To Tampa

if it is weathery out--go icw from apalach to psj and hunker down in white city at their dock--was free and lovely but no interwebz or electricity unless you are creative and crafty
is decent fishing and the area is gorgeous
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Old 07-09-2013, 14:24   #14
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Quote:
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Dulce

I don't know if my old Bombay chain plates and other metal components were bonded together by the factory to help with preventing galvanic corrosion. How about yours? I also don't know if you can tell by looking. Wires?
I dont think all of them were. Only one large ground plate on the vessel and one wire from a shroud to it. The rigging was original and when inspected by a rigger he said it looked great. With so many stays and shrouds i would think youd have ample warning not just a total rig failure.
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Old 07-09-2013, 14:32   #15
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dulce

what is psj?

thanks for the advice.
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