Wow, that certainly is a very interesting area to sail. Without a doubt the best gunkholing in the '8s. Crystal Bay is an area of mango swamps and plentiful sandy keys. Within one mile of shore the demarcation between land and water
is dubious. Your boat
however could poke into many of the almost infinite little bays and inlets. Navigation
would be really "seat of the pants" though consisting of feeling the bottom every 100 yard or so. There are numerous shoals out as far as five miles making for a long sail to get into water
clear of obstructions.
The Crystal River estuary itself is not marked on the chart as dredged but consists of a windy course through the mangroves delineated by numerous markers. The note on the chart lists depth at the ramp
as two and one-half feet and depths in the channel ranging from three to five feet. This restraint is moderated ( or worsened, depending on your viewpoint ) by the normally narrow tidal range in the gulf. ( If you ground hard at low tide you will only get a foot or two of lift
at high tide. )