Big Bend Local Knowledge?
My wife and I are planning to move our Lazyjack 32 schooner from Hudson, FL to Mobile Bay. I'm looking for some local knowledge on the route, particularly Florida's Big Bend. We're planning to stick close to the coast in 30-40 mile legs per day - we don't want to do the direct sail to Carrabelle due to our limited overnighting experience.
I've got all the charts and Young's and Rhodes' cruising guides; what I'm most interested in are any locations to avoid do to hazards, particularly depths, rocks and currents. The boat draws 2'10" with the centerboard up so we've got some options that deeper draft boats might not have. I'll have the tide tables for locations along the route. We hope to do some nights on the hook and some at marinas.
The tentative route, with alternates in parentheses, is:
- Hudson to Withlacoochee (alternates Homosassa River, Crystal River)
- Withlacoochee to Cedar Keys
- Cedar Keys to Steinhatchee (alternate Suwannee River)
- Steinhatchee to St Marks
- St Marks to Carrabelle (alternate Dog Island)
- Carrabelle to Apalachicola
At Apalachicola we'll enter the ICW and go on to Panama City, Fort Walton Beach, Pensacola, Pirates Cove/Ingram Bayou and home.
Any suggestions for locations not mentioned are also appreciated. I want to be prepared with basic information for alternates all along the route in case of weather, mechanical or other problems. We have about 3 weeks available to make the trip which should be more than enough.
Thanks in advance!