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Old 13-03-2022, 09:36   #1
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Southwestern Florida Itinerary Help

Hello, I am planning a trip soon for 7 days sailing in southwest FL. Leaving from St Petersburg marina. Looking for help and suggestions for a 7 day itinerary. My plan was to head from St Pete to Longboat first night, then sail the Gulf next day to Venice Inlet. Next day down to Boca Grande for the night... Day 4 sail to Sanibel to explore and the following day to Marco.

I am new to sailing (3 years ish). I'm looking for any suggestions on anchor locations, favorite marinas and potential hazards to be aware of from local knowledge.

Looking to anchor half the time and marinas the other half. Sailing a Elan Impressions 45.

New to forums as well so let me know if any additional info is needed.

Thanks in advance for any help!
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Old 13-03-2022, 10:11   #2
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Re: Southwestern Florida Itinerary Help

Weather-permitting, you have a pretty good plan. Lots of beautiful cruising grounds, protected anchorages, gorgeous beaches, resort-style marinas, and options to duck inside if the weather acts up when you are outside.

The Resort at Longboat Key Club is beautiful with great amenities.
Crow's Nest Restaurant at Venice has great food.
Burnt Store Marina and Resort is very nice when you come in through Boca Grand Pass.
Cayo Costa State Park is lovely, with almost-deserted white sand beaches.
Cabbage Key just north of Sanibel is a fun place to visit with some really cool history.
Naples, about 1/2 way between Sanibel and Marco Island is very nice as well.

You have chosen some great cruising grounds. Of course, your itinerary will be entirely dictated by the weather. Don't even think about keeping to a strict schedule.

If it were me (just my personal cruising preference) I would relax and stay longer at places that I find enjoyable, rather than rushing just to be able to say I saw "x" number of destinations. The whole "8-ports-in-7-days" travel mentality doesn't appeal to me.

Enjoy!

Bob
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Old 14-03-2022, 03:08   #3
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Re: Southwestern Florida Itinerary Help

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Brian.
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Old 15-03-2022, 04:41   #4
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Re: Southwestern Florida Itinerary Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby Lex View Post
Weather-permitting, you have a pretty good plan. Lots of beautiful cruising grounds, protected anchorages, gorgeous beaches, resort-style marinas, and options to duck inside if the weather acts up when you are outside.

The Resort at Longboat Key Club is beautiful with great amenities.
Crow's Nest Restaurant at Venice has great food.
Burnt Store Marina and Resort is very nice when you come in through Boca Grand Pass.
Cayo Costa State Park is lovely, with almost-deserted white sand beaches.
Cabbage Key just north of Sanibel is a fun place to visit with some really cool history.
Naples, about 1/2 way between Sanibel and Marco Island is very nice as well.

You have chosen some great cruising grounds. Of course, your itinerary will be entirely dictated by the weather. Don't even think about keeping to a strict schedule.

If it were me (just my personal cruising preference) I would relax and stay longer at places that I find enjoyable, rather than rushing just to be able to say I saw "x" number of destinations. The whole "8-ports-in-7-days" travel mentality doesn't appeal to me.

Enjoy!

Bob
Great, thank you for the information Bob. I have a back up plan in case the weather doesn't cooperate. Finding bottom is my biggest concern. The areas around Longboat and Captiva do not look forgiving lol.

I will look into those marinas you mentioned. Thanks for the recommendations.
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Old 29-03-2022, 06:13   #5
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Re: Southwestern Florida Itinerary Help

Pelican Bay, just inside the Boca Grande inlet, to the south is a really great anchorage. I am planning to be there on April 10th, on my way to Key West.
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Old 29-03-2022, 07:03   #6
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Re: Southwestern Florida Itinerary Help

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Pelican Bay, just inside the Boca Grande inlet, to the south is a really great anchorage. I am planning to be there on April 10th, on my way to Key West.
I've heard that's a great Anchorage. We are heading there in a few days weather permitting. Currently anchored at Longboat pass headed to Marina Jack for the next few days. Anyone have recommendations in Venice?
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Old 29-03-2022, 10:05   #7
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Re: Southwestern Florida Itinerary Help

For Venice. I go to the YC there, but many friends go to the Crow's Nest. Get your tender in the water for sunset and cruise the inlet...people turn out by the hundreds for sunset.
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Old 29-03-2022, 11:08   #8
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Re: Southwestern Florida Itinerary Help

Perhaps someone local can chime in on the passes from the bay to the gulf. With a 6 ft draft, you might want to be covered for soft grounding towing. The inside route from tampa bay south has an adequate channel but narrow in many places and generally motored only. I dont think you can use New Pass, Longboat Pass is a challenge if you time the tide wrong for the bridge opening, Big Sarasota pass was unusable ( check with local tow operator ) to most due to shoaling, Boca Grande has good depth and wide with good depth inside. I dont know your priorities, or crew capabilities but, its a beautiful 24 hour passage from tampa bay to Matanzas inlet and avoids the tedium and stress of many miles of narrow channel and lots of skinny water.

Bring your DEET! And have some fun!
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Old 29-03-2022, 14:42   #9
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Re: Southwestern Florida Itinerary Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by markguthrie View Post
Pelican Bay, just inside the Boca Grande inlet, to the south is a really great anchorage. I am planning to be there on April 10th, on my way to Key West.
We're planning to overnight there on the 9th provided weather permits the week prior for our trip across.
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Old 14-04-2022, 06:54   #10
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Re: Southwestern Florida Itinerary Help

So what's your opinion for the Elan Impression 45 if I may ask?
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Old 14-04-2022, 07:12   #11
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Re: Southwestern Florida Itinerary Help

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So what's your opinion for the Elan Impression 45 if I may ask?
Nice hijack
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Old 14-04-2022, 07:33   #12
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Re: Southwestern Florida Itinerary Help

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Nice hijack
Why hijack? He is sailing his Elan Impression 45 there.
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Old 24-05-2022, 04:03   #13
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Re: Southwestern Florida Itinerary Help

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I've heard that's a great Anchorage. We are heading there in a few days weather permitting. Currently anchored at Longboat pass headed to Marina Jack for the next few days. Anyone have recommendations in Venice?
Brian,
How was your trip? Would love to read about it.
I spent 9 years power boating and fishing the Charlotte Harbor, the Peace and Mayakka Ricers and up to 20 miles off shore from Placida to Boca Grande. Iím now planning retirement winters back there but on a (likely) Island Packet (solo with dogs).

Would love to hear how your trip was.
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