There are two ways to do the trip: 1.) Key West to Charlotte Harbor
if weather is dicey and then Charlotte to Tampa or 2.)Straight shot to Tampa. Weather and winds are fickle/unpredictable this time of year and you'll have to plan motoring/sailing to your destination
. We tried to sail Tampa to Dry Tortugas
last April but couldn't get the favorable winds so we sailed Tampa to Charlotte Harbor and waited for a weather window that never came. However, we did not want to motor
and would have had several good windows if we did. So, it's your choice.
One last caution. Once offshore with a 20K plus wind, the Gulf gets very messy with breaking, short-fetched waves. NOAA weather is ,in our experience, very chancy and we always use several weather sites before committing to a passage
. You can still get some nasty cold fronts this time of year.
Good sailing . . . Rognvald