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Old 17-03-2019, 10:30   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: New England
Boat: Catalina 42 MKII
Posts: 265
St. Petersburg. 9 days. Advice.

We are chartering a Jenneau 44 for 9 days next month from St. Petersburg, FL and are looking for suggestions for anchorages, moorings, places to stop, avoid, etc. The suggested itinerary from the charter company is mostly marinas, which we prefer to avoid but we would like to be able to dingy ashore occasionally, especially if there is a good place to eat nearby. We found a couple of threads that are helpful but they are quite old and things change. Any new anchoring restrictions to be aware of? Any local information or good sources for information would be very much appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 19-03-2019, 09:29   #2
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Location: Lake Michigan & Florida Keys
Boat: Beneteau Oceanis 40.1
Posts: 121
Re: St. Petersburg. 9 days. Advice.

We anchored a few overnights at DeSoto Point. Tucked away from W/N/S winds with some boat traffic going up/down the river. Look at depth, but you can work around it easily (depth is always part of your strategy around the Gulf side).
We stayed at a few other spots, but the condo's and roads were more intrusive than the views/seclusion we wanted. Google Earth or street view can give you a good idea.
Active Captain and charts are really helpful to map out ideas.
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Old 20-03-2019, 06:07   #3
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Re: St. Petersburg. 9 days. Advice.

With a 9 day charter you could end up as far as the keys if you really wanted to or you could spend that time within 50 miles of the mouth of Tampa bay. How far are you planning on going? I can give alot of advice about Southwest/west Florida but it would help to know at what pace you want to travel.

Because it was mentioned.......Desoto Point has good anchoring on the north or south side of the channel. You can pull the dinghy up on the beach by the giant cross. Just don't tie to any trees. There's a visitor center and some hiking trails. You can also catch an uber/lyft from the visitors center into town. There aren't really any places to eat nearby unless you go a few miles farther up the river. There's also a park on the north side of the river with some indian mounds.
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Old 20-03-2019, 15:44   #4
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Re: St. Petersburg. 9 days. Advice.

Thank you both for the input. I've been looking at Active Captain and Waterway Guide and it looks like there are a lot of places to anchor, not many moorings and not much information about nearby amenities. I assume I'll have a good anchor and I've an anchor watch on my phone that alerts a second phone if the boat drags, so once securely anchored, I have no problem with a moderate dinghy ride.

The biggest issue really is how much to provision. In the BVI and Bahamas, we ate out most nights, because it was easy to do. In the Spanish Virgins we ate onboard most of the time because there aren't that many places to go. I'm guessing the Gulf Coast is somewhere between the two.

I thought about the Keys - still not sure. Looks like about 450nm round trip so very doable but wouldn't leave a lot of time for exploring, swimming and general relaxing. If the wind is cooperating, I am thinking about spending the first three days seeing how far south we can reasonably get and then meandering back for the rest of the time. I'm starting to make a list of desired stops and alternatives.

New places are always fun.
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