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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Tampa Bay Area
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Re: Sailing from Tampa to Key West
I am planning a late October sail from Tampa to Key West with stops in Sarasota, Port Charlotte, Marco Island etc. My boat is a 1989 Hunter30 in good shape. Any suggestions other than be weather wise and avoid Fanatsy Fest in Key West?
Assuming you intend to travel in the Gulf as much as possible, it might be wise to spend your first night at DeSoto Point on the Manatee River, or behind Jewfish Key near the Logboat Key Pass bridge, and then make your next stop at Venice rather than attempting to negotiate Big Pass into Sarasota. Time your departure from Venice to hit Boca Grande at slack water flood and then swing south and turn into Pelican Bay for the night or continue on a little further to Cabbage Key. From either you can travel inside to/through the Sanibel Bridge and make it to Naples pretty easily in a day as you can from Naples to Marco Island. From Marco I'd go straight to Key West but it's a long haul tho' quite straight forward. If it's too much for you, you could stop at the Little Shark River although, even in October, it will be terribly buggy and likely quite an uncomfortable stay and will add quite some distance to your trip. Frankly, yo might do just as well to skip Naples and Marco Island and sail direct from Boca Grande to KW which is not a bad haul and you'd get it over with in 30 hours or so.
"It is not so much for its beauty that the sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."