Re: Florida sailing
There are several ICW openings to Tampa Bay, not sure which one you had trouble with. The Pass-A-Grille channel is the main one on the north side of the Tampa channel. It leads you into Boca Ciega Bay. Six foot draft is not an issue, but the channel is VERY narrow. Coming in during heavy weather can be a harrowing experience in a small sailboat. Ask me how I know... But usually it's very placid.
There is a secondary ICW inlet on the north side of Tampa channel that also takes you to Boca Ciega Bay the long way. Or you can transit the Tampa channel to get to St. Petersburg municipal marina and draft is no issue here.
Or were you talking about going south toward Bradenton and Sarasota?