You should plan on 24 hours, Punta Gorda to Key West, 12 hours Key West to Dry Tortugas and 24 Hours from Dry Tortugas to Punta Gorda. You should plan on motoring the entire way so you will have at least a 36 hour motoring trip. Refuel in Key West before going to,the Dry Tortugas. Sailing will just decrease your worst case but when you cruise
on a schedule the winds are generally on the nose and the seas are always bigger than desired, so you do a lot of motor
sailing in unfavorable conditions.
Depending on how long you will be in the Dry Tortugas, you will need to factor some battery charging
time, so add another 6 hours of motor
time for charging
. You are up to 42 hours of anticipated motor use.
I think you have a 3GM30
and it isn't your boat, so figure .7 gallons per hour while motor sailing - 36x.7=25.2 +6 charging at .3 = 1.8. From Key West through DT then to PGI 27 gallons plus you need some reserve. You have 19 gallons, but that is not all useable, assume 17 usable then carry 10 more gallons in Jerry Cans and that is absolutely minimum. If it were me, I'd carry 15 gallons in jerry cans securely lashed to the boat. Get a marble type siphon hose from Amazon (around $9) to transfer fuel.
I don't know the water capacity of the Beneteau
344 and since it is not your boat don't trust the water for drinking or brushing teeth, just showers only and use bottled water for food prep and drinking. You should figure 64 ounces of water per day per person for drinking. Get bottled water in PGI and reprovision water in key West before going to DT. You will only shower
on the boat while at anchor In the Dry Tortugas. You will use more water showering than the normal cruiser, so figure about 5 to 7 gallons per person per shower
. You can get dock water in Key West and shower at the marina. Conch Harbor is a good marina with good support and on the east side of the bight. They have fuel there. It is accessible to all the shore life in Key West.
Your biggest challenge will be deciding whether to go out to the Dry Tortugas. Get a good weather
program such as Sailpro and start studying the weather
patterns at least a month before you leave. I have made the trip you are going on - on a schedule, and have only made it out to the Dry Tortugas once in a sailboat. We took the Ferry
out there one other time when the weather was rough and last time passed due to small craft warnings. We were there in November, went direct there from PGI then to Key West. We had 25 knot
winds for the two days at DT and it took 18 hours, slugging against 10 foot waves coming east to Key West. It was not a fun trip getting back to Key West. It works best going west from Key West to DT, then back to PGI.
It is a great place, but October can be dicey weather wise and it is still hurricane
season and you need to stay on top of the weather. Hurricane Charley went right over the Dry Tortugas and hit Punta Gorda in October. That time of the year they can get going pretty fast, so watch the weather!
is another matter. We generally eat sandwiches that can be prepared easily in large seas when open ocean. Take lots of candy bars, snacks and eat-a-snacks. While in Key West we have eaten out.
Good luck on your trip and again, stay on top of the weather and you will have a wonderful time.
Sent from my iPad
using Cruisers Sailing Forum