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Old 05-19-2014
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SW Florida- Big Marcos Pass to Ten Thousand Islands

Hey all,

Has any one been on the ICW between Big Marcos Pass and Ten Thousand Islands recently? A little worried about shoaling in parts of it. I have a 4 foot draft.

Thanks,
Jef
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Old 05-19-2014
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Re: SW Florida- Big Marcos Pass to Ten Thousand Islands

I was too chicken drawing 4.5, and went all the way round Cape Romano Shoals every time.

I know it can be done with local knowledge, but with the tide dividing in the middle, a lot of timing is involved. If you are Tow Boat or Sea Tow call them in Marco for local knowledge and timing.

I find those guys very helpful, as they know they'll have to come get you if you don't make it.

Ten Thousand Islands is worth it even if you have to go around. Bring your good screens and your bug spray. Be prepared to anchor in a fast current.

'
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Old 05-20-2014
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Re: SW Florida- Big Marcos Pass to Ten Thousand Islands

Good source for information on the entire southeast...

Cruiser's Net | Cruisers Helping Cruisers

They have a specific section on the west coast of Florida.
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Old 05-25-2014
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Re: SW Florida- Big Marcos Pass to Ten Thousand Islands

Thanks for the advice. So far the best advice is to sail around the Cape Ramano shoals and approach Ten Thousand Islands from the outside.
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Old 05-25-2014
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Re: SW Florida- Big Marcos Pass to Ten Thousand Islands

You could also check ActiveCaptain.com
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Old 05-25-2014
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Re: SW Florida- Big Marcos Pass to Ten Thousand Islands

There's no reason to use the Intracoastal on that stretch of SW Florida. The Gulf is relatively calm, shallow enough to anchor in and much quicker than traveling on the Intracoastal.

I've never understood why so many sailboats opt for the Intracoastal on both coasts of Florida. You end up motoring, waiting for drawbridges to open, running aground on occasion and limiting yourself to 40 or 50 miles a day.

As a longtime Florida sailor, I can't tell you how many times I've seen bluewater 40-footers motoring along the ICW while I headed out to sea in my 25- or 30-foot sailboat.

Isn't it the point that you sail? Seems like a waste to do endless motoring with the dinghy dragging behind. (Another bit of lazy sailing ...)
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Old 05-26-2014
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Re: SW Florida- Big Marcos Pass to Ten Thousand Islands

I would much rather sail in the gulf than listen to the annoying rumble of the diesel engine in the stinky ICW.

However, Big Marcos Pass to the northern part of Ten Thousand Islands is only 10 miles via the intercostal. To sail around the Cape Ramano shoals and get to that same northern part of the Ten Thousand Islands is 40+ miles. So you're talking a couple hours versus a whole day.

So Shananchie is this an acceptable use of the ICW or just being lazy and taking a short cut?
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