Sailing FL Panhandle vs. FL Keys
I am looking for a nice place to sail for a week next summer with my 3 boys on our 26 Columbia T-26. We are towing the boat from Austin TX so Fort Walton would be like a 14 hr drive vs. Key Largo at 24 hrs. We currently drive 3.5 hrs 4 or 5 times each summer to get to the Texas coast and stay out for 3 days each trip.
I have been trying to sail in some blue water for years, but just can't ever seem to get anywhere but the TX coast. So next summer I really want to sail somewhere scenic with clear water for snorkeling and with some nice remote island anchorages.
The big question is, can I find some nice clear water, island anchorages and fairly protected waters (boys are 7, 12 & 17 yrs old) in the panhandle vs. adding 12 hrs of driving to make it to the Keys, which I am assuming have much nicer water and island anchorages?