Originally Posted by DreaminFred
I had read about Egmont, sounds like fun, it's not very protected for the night, though, right?
Egmont is ideed a cool place and is OK for the night in prevailing/light winds, but dont get caught there if winds pick up and shift E-NE...Tampa Bay can get rough in that case. Though it can get a little choppy at night even in settled conditions.
Manatee River is much more protected and also a cool place, but pay very close attention on the entrance channel...it is very shallow on either side so you really have to stay in center channel. The little bay to leeward of Desoto State Park is a nice spot for the night and an easy day sail out to Egmont.
This is true of many places in W Florida
...lots of narrow dredged channels you have to stay in. Fortunately they are well marked (to the point of confusion in some intersections). So study charts
carefully before each leg.
All this dredging also creates lots of spoils areas...no guaranteed depth
over these...so dont attempt to cross them without very current
Also be aware of the differences in marking between ICW
and non-ICW channels. There are a few places where the ICW
crosses a primary channel such that the old "red right returning" mnemonic doesnt apply...like entering Boca Grande Pass...guess how I know! 😲