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Old 18-03-2010, 15:02   #1
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Dry Tortugas Invite

Hi all! Been a long time since I have been here. Sorry. Life has kept me busy as have the other forums.

On or about April 2nd, we will be heading back off for the Dry Tortugas. We are trying to get more kid-boats to go, as well as anyone else that want to go. We are hopeful we will have a few.

Our kids are 6 & 9. Both boys. The trip is pretty easy, maybe a 24 hour run from SW florida. We have to watch for northerns, but other than that, it is ok.

We have obviously made the trip before and are liveaboard cruisers. We can help with trip planning and outfitting suggestions. For those that have not been offshore, I am happy to give advice in outfitting your boat and what to expect. If you want to get some offshore time in a controlled environment, this is a good way to do it. The Tortugas are fantastic and beautiful. Good holding. Lots of things to explore.

There is no diesel, water, or food. Think remote. It is about 70 miles west of key west for those in the keys, about 130ish from Fort Myers, I think 170ish from tampa (not sure Tampas). Again, I know this area well and am heree for a little longer before we head off to the bahamas and carrib, so would love to meet families along the way (or anyone else).

ALl the best,

Brian
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Old 18-03-2010, 19:49   #2
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Have fun CD.

The wife and I plan to leave the end of March for a month in "the Keys" (area). DT is on the list but we will have no schedule and will only day sail. So maybe the DT is too far for us to get to.

Our boys have to stay in college so cannot be with us. Oh Snap!

My wife likes kids though.
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Old 19-03-2010, 06:17   #3
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Not cruising with kids but we will be leaving KW for DT at about the same time. Hope to see you out there - what's your boat name?
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Old 19-03-2010, 06:25   #4
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Wish I could go! I used to be a lighthouse keeper there in 1975. Charles
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Old 19-03-2010, 09:08   #5
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Not cruising with kids but we will be leaving KW for DT at about the same time. Hope to see you out there - what's your boat name?
Sea Mist IV. It is a Catalina 400. It is the one up front in this pic...



See you there!

Brian
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Old 19-03-2010, 10:53   #6
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The Tortugas are a fun destination, I've been there multiple times. I would however, dispute the part about good holding. There is really only a relatively thin layer of sand over limestone in many portions of the anchorage. I once started dragging after having been anchored for 24 hours and several tidal swings. My normal practice is to sleep in the cockpit with frequent anchor checks. I've asked the rangers about having moorings installed and they tell me to write congress because they have no money to do it.

Having said this, Fort Jefferson and the Tortugas are still high on my list of good destinations on the SW side of Florida.

Rich

Edit: It is 215 miles from my port of Tarpon Springs, about 40 some hours.
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Old 19-03-2010, 14:22   #7
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The Tortugas are a fun destination, I've been there multiple times. I would however, dispute the part about good holding. There is really only a relatively thin layer of sand over limestone in many portions of the anchorage. I once started dragging after having been anchored for 24 hours and several tidal swings. My normal practice is to sleep in the cockpit with frequent anchor checks. I've asked the rangers about having moorings installed and they tell me to write congress because they have no money to do it.

Having said this, Fort Jefferson and the Tortugas are still high on my list of good destinations on the SW side of Florida.

Rich

Edit: It is 215 miles from my port of Tarpon Springs, about 40 some hours.
We have not drug there, but appreciate the input. 215 miles? Thanks for the addition. I did not look it up but was going off of memory. I will see about posting some pics here to make everyone wish they were going!!

ALl the best,

Brian
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Old 19-03-2010, 20:34   #8
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Splashed my boat after a bottom job today and the autopilot is broke.

I would trade a head, a stove, almost anything for an auto pilot.
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Old 20-03-2010, 12:25   #9
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w ewere there last part of last summer--only one night the anchor dragged and dragged and dragged---because of a net under the sand --lol.go figger..couldnt see it as we anchored but it took us for quite a ride. others who were anchored when we were said there were 20 boats at anchor the last time they were there and all 20 were dragging all over the place there---i think if the anchor is dived after setting it might be a different story--we didnt dive ours and the net took us.....oh well--the place is fun and very beautiful.....have a good time---we were there during the lightning storm season.....if ye go in the non stormy season would be a diffferent story i am sure..lol..have fun!!!
btw--watch out for the drift net gone awol....
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Old 26-03-2010, 19:50   #10
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Where are you anchored now? We live aboard with a 10yr son and 12yr and 18yr daughters. We are on our way to the DT but will be in Ft. Myers on 2 April. Are you close to there or are you farther south now? We have a 38 DownEaster named Faith's Wind. We would love to meet other families on the water. It seems that everyone we meet are without children. Our kids need people their age to talk to and hang around. Hope to meet up with you. Your schedule looks like ours, you just got an earlier start... lol

When are you headed to the Bahamas?
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Old 26-03-2010, 20:56   #11
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We got back today. The bird key anchorage is a good alternative place to anchor. Much room and very good shelter from some wind points. I've seen mayhem in anchorage near fort when everybody dragged during a storm. Gets real crowded, especially when the Fort Jefferson is on her mooring. I've found some areas of anchorage shallow sand over rock that makes you feel secure till things pipe up. I've been there 30+ times in last 25 yrs. Great fun trolling lures from dinghy. Loggerhead currently unmanned , more brickwork being done at fort. Some cuban chugs now on display(refugee boats).
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Old 26-03-2010, 21:26   #12
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Therapy, I have a simrad 3000, trade it for a two burner propane stove with oven
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PS I am serious.
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Old 29-03-2010, 17:24   #13
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Therapy, I have a simrad 3000, trade it for a two burner propane stove with oven
Erika

PS I am serious.

Sorry, I got a new board.

And I fixed the motor I damaged on reassembly.
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Old 30-03-2010, 12:56   #14
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Where are you anchored now? We live aboard with a 10yr son and 12yr and 18yr daughters. We are on our way to the DT but will be in Ft. Myers on 2 April. Are you close to there or are you farther south now? We have a 38 DownEaster named Faith's Wind. We would love to meet other families on the water. It seems that everyone we meet are without children. Our kids need people their age to talk to and hang around. Hope to meet up with you. Your schedule looks like ours, you just got an earlier start... lol

When are you headed to the Bahamas?
I am at Fort Myers Beach now. Two boys, 6 & 9 (almost 10). We keep the boat at a marina there (PM me if you want specifics). We head out at or around the 1st, weather permitting. There are a LOT of families at our marina, including a 9 yo girl on a sailboat, a 6 yo girl on a different, a 8&11 yo girl (at or about) on a differnt, a 10 &13ish YO girl on a differnt, and us. Boats name is Sea Mist IV. I believe there will be another boat heading south our way with a 16ish yo boy but can check on that.

Cruising families seem to stick together down here. Once you find one, you will probably find a lot!!! That makes our marina a great place.

Heading to the bahamas at or about mid-June. Not sure if we will come back after two months to finish Hurricane Season, or just head south to Luperon or Carrib.

When are you planning to head to the Tortugas and Bahamas? And if you need any local knolwedge for the SW Florida area, let me know. I know ti too well!!!

All the best,

Brian

PS I am the Admin of Sailnet and Tech Editor for Catlaina c400's if you want to check me out and make sure I ma not a whacko (or maybe that makes me a whacko!??). I use the same name everywhere. Look forward to meeting you and your fam!
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