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Old 01-07-2013, 12:54   #1
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Cruising Fla Bay

I have a 35 ft Island Packet catamaran and sailing from Fort Myers Beach to Vero. I have sailed everywhere but fla bay. does anyone know how far it is from marco to marathon and what the heading is? I sail and motor about 6 knts. Is this leg possible in one day? planning around the end of july. My second option is to hug the everglades and stop at shark valley.

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Old 01-07-2013, 18:21   #2
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Re: cruising fla bay

Welcome to the forum...Perhaps a chart or chart plotter would be useful.

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Old 01-07-2013, 18:25   #3
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It's a full day run... Leave Marco nice and early and get to marathon in the evening... You can't see land for Most of te trip
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Old 02-07-2013, 03:28   #4
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Weve done it a dozen times. The problems we run into is if go one foot outside the everglades boundary line it becomes a minefield of crab traps, during lobster season it is worse than that. If the u have someone on watch no big deal but you will always be adjusting course. Weve run just inside the line (avoiding) that markers that may or may not be there and have even done it in the dark. With your draft and stick height you can go thru the drawbridge in Islamorada at snake creek and pick up the route 5 channel and cut off 20 or so miles avoiding marathon. Weve stopped at shark river a few times, its a good spot but MIllions of bugs!!! We had nets covering every hatch and still had a few hundred moths get in, fun way to wake up!!!. If you go run your genny and use ac....
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Old 02-07-2013, 04:39   #5
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Re: cruising fla bay

We usually make the run from Marco to Little Shark. We'll either go inside or anchor somewhere off shore to avoid the bugs. It seems like it is 50+ Nat miles from Marco to Little Shark. It takes us a good 9-10 hrs for the trip.
Then the run down to Marathon is around 40 miles, so another 7-8 hrs.
You could head through the 'Yacht Channel' and hit the ICW or go under Channel 5 bridge and then follow Hawks Channel.
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Old 02-07-2013, 05:36   #6
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Re: cruising fla bay

I've done it in a my boat in about 14 hours at 6-7 knots. There is no straight line heading from Marco to Marathon. It concerns me a bit that you actually asked this question. It suggests that you are a coastal sailor that usually doesn't get out of sight of land and doesn't use charts. Since you have posted here it would appear that you have a computer. I suggest that you download Opencpn and then go to the NOAA web page and download the chart package for Florida. Both of these are free, so cost is not an object. Learn to use it to plot your own course. If your computer is a laptop buy a usb GPS and plug it into the computer and take it with you when you go. With the typical thunderstorms in FL Bay in the summer you could be blown off course or have to go significantly off heading to avoid one. If you are simply trying to follow a heading that some one gave you at this point you now don't know where you are, and you don't know what direction you need to go to get to your destination. That is usually what we call lost. Modern electronics have surely simplified and reduced the skills needed for navigation, but you do have to have some. Reading a chart, be it paper or electronic, and plotting a course is a pretty basic requirement. It's not that hard and a few weeks is plenty of time to learn how to do it, so do it before you go!

Now for some advice on the course. Make sure you clear the shoals off of Cape Romano before turning southeast towards Marathon, then watch out for the shoals NW/N of Marathon. Head for Marker G17 at approximately 24 48.920, 89 09.135 and follow the marked channel to Moser Channel through the 7 mile bridge. In between have fun dodging the pots. This somewhat assumes you want to stop at Marathon. If you don't actually want to stop at Marathon, Yacht channel and the Channel Five bridge are good options.
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Old 25-07-2013, 20:51   #7
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Re: cruising fla bay

Aloha and welcome aboard!
Good to have you here. Hope you've got enough information.
kind regards,

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