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  #1  
Old 11-12-2008
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Tampa Bay to the Florida Keys.

Greetings From sunny Tampa! I've had my Catalina 30 for a few months now and I've become very comfortable sailing it. With the beautiful winter weather on the horizon, I'm starting to plan a 7 day cruise. I would like to make a run down to the keys, possibly the Dry Tortugas. I'm not sure if this is an audacious trip in a C30? Any opinions will be greatly appreciated! Also, has anyone made this trip from Tampa to the Keys. I've heard it's a 48 hour sail down there. Did you stop overnight in Venice or Ft. Myers; or sail right through? Any tips would help.

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Making the run in a 30ft sloop you should be fine. Just make sure you mind your charts and weather alerts.


I have a friend who sails out of the Tampa Sailing Squadron down to Rya Key on a regular basis in a 24ft ketch. In fact the Saint Pete Yacht Club (spyc.org) has an annual regatta/race from Tampa Bay to Key West. I have heard of one person making the run from Pensacola, FL to the Keys and then on to Miami..... in a 16ft sloop.


If you want something a bit more adventurous after your run to the Keys, you might want to look into the SPYC's annual 500mi regatta to Mexico: The Regatta Del Sol al Sol.


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Last edited by nauticalnut; 11-13-2008 at 06:18 PM.
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The time it takes to sail from Tampa to the Dry Totugas is the time it takes. With all due respect to your timetable, sailing with a schedule in mind is asking for trouble. On the bright side, your boat is more than adequate for the journey and you should have a blast. Just don't rush it.
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Old 11-12-2008
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As a guide to time, it took me 2 day sails and one overnight to go from John's Pass Inlet to Indian Key. You're basically looking at 3 days of straight through sailing/motoring each direction, barring any inclement weather.
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May I suggest hopping down to Ft.Myers and waiting for weather to Key West. This time of year you can have fronts blowing down making for a really cold, wet and uncomfortable passage. You can jump in 24 hours from Ft. Myers on a good forecast which gives you more control of the situation.
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Thank you all for the input. I'm still doing some much needed research before the trip.
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