Old as Dirt!
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Tampa Bay Area
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I've never heard of that Active Captian website before, but it looks like a great reference tool. I was impressed with all of the details on each marina and anchorage along the way.
Active Captain is an excellent site.
The schedule will be the hard part but these fronts are usually pretty predictable. Question(Will I get NOAA wx info on the VHF at Ft. Jefferson?).
You can get a pretty good look forward on weather conditions from PassageWeather.com. At Ft. Jeff the rangers can give you information and you should be able to get VHF Weather. You might also look into carrying a small portable High Frequency receiver so you can pick up highseas weather forecasts off the SSB channels (good to for WeatherFax plugged into your mic outlet on your laptop.)
... I think I need to come up with Plan B and C. If the weather turns sour(cold front) I might just end up drinking at Cabbage Key. Another option might be to make Marco, explore the Little Shark River. Ideally I'd be able to make it to Ft. Jefferson and back to somewhere cheaper than Key West to tie the boat up in time to get back to work.
I think April might be the best bet weather wise.
Alternatives are always good. You can hop down the coast but eventually you'll have to make a long off-shore leg. Also, please note that you're not likely to find Transient Mooring Fees any less at Marco Island or Naples than they are in say, Garrison Bight--which with your mast height you should be able to access. It would be wise to join BoatUS if you are not already a member both for the Towing Service, which is a great deal, and for the discounts that are offered to BoatUS Members by many marinas. The savings can add up. Another option is to join a local yacht club that is a member of the Florida Council of Yacht Clubs. With that you will have access to good facilities everywhere at very low cost and the ability to mix with other sailors in the locale.
"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."