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  #1  
Old 01-20-2004
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Where to sail on Fla''''s East Coast...

Hello all. Looking to map out strategy for possible trip to Bahamas next year, looking for advice on best places to "jump off" the east coast of FLA for Bahamas (Freeport). Will be cruising up from Key West in April to check out East Coast, crewing on a 40'' IP. Looking for input such as good marinas/bad marinas, places to find mooring balls, interesting sights, places of interest,etc. Our skipper has given me the go ahead to draw up a possible itenerary, I think he wants to see what I come up with, even though I know he''ll make the final decisions. He''s never been to the Bahamas on his own boat in a long time, so he''s understandably cautiously considering us for crew on the Bahamas trip. We already did a Keys/Torgugas trip with him. Anyways, I was thinking of trying a few short trips out the the Gulf Stream to "see how it goes" once we get north of Miami, (nor he or I have crossed it yet)before working our way back to Clearwater. Truth be told, all the charts are with skipper in Clearwater on the boat, my wifey and I are in Pittsburgh freezing our masts off, so I''m just going off what I can find on the internet. Basically looking for your experiences, warnings, ideas, and suggestions,links, etc. Thanks! Bob.
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Old 01-21-2004
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Where to sail on Fla''''s East Coast...

Coming from the south you can hop off almost anywhere up to Lake Worth but probably the easiest jump would be from Ft.Lauderdale.
Freeport has two marinas, a few nice hotels and good shopping but is NOT really a cruising destination. If you want to stay somewhere for any length of time...suggest going to the Abacos which means crossing to West End of Grand Bahama instead of Freeport (Old Bahama Bay Marina) and then 2 days of travel on the Bahama Banks around to Green Turtle Cay (Green Turtle Club or Bluff House Marina) Lots of Cays...beautiful water, fishing, lobstering and beaches with all US type amenities avasilable in Marsh Harbor or other islands. Pavlidas''s Cruising Guide to the Abacos should whet your appetite.
Hope this helps...GB
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Old 01-21-2004
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Where to sail on Fla''''s East Coast...

Thanks for the advice on Abacos, almost went there two years ago. My questions are mostly with the East coast of Florida. If you had a week to spend there on the boat, where would all of you fellow cruisers go? As mentioned before, all the charts are in Clearwater and I;m in Pittsburgh, so I can''t really see or know of interesting places to check out, places to pick up a mooring ball, good/bad marinas, areas to avoid, etc. It seems to me that most of S. FLA is strictly endless beach with inlets to the ICW. I know we''re looking for some interesting places to check out and not just do daysails in the ocean, and we are looking for places to tie up that aren''t party places, or dangerous. Also, how far offshore from Ft. Lauderdale to you have to sail to reach the edge of the gulf stream? Thanks!
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Old 01-22-2004
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Where to sail on Fla''''s East Coast...

Have you considered Marathon in the Keys as a jumping off spot? There is some nice gunkholing in that area, and it isn''t that far from Key West, which has some interesting sight seeing as well as night life. If you take that route, you might want to consider heading to Bimini, and then on to the Abacos via the Berries rather than to Freeport. I don''t recommend Ft. Lauderdale, only because marina space is very limited and quite expensive. The edge of the Gulfstream is generally about 3-5 miles offshore from Ft. Lauderdale. You will know it when you see it - both from the depth and from the color of the water.
We have made the trip probably a half a dozen times - feel free to email me if you have any questions.
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Old 03-16-2004
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Where to sail on Fla''''s East Coast...

Bob, Sounds to me like you are asking about South Florida,Lake Worth Inlet and below.
Lake Worth is a standard "jumping off" point for a crossing, but starting further south works quite well also. Hawks channel along the keys is very enjoyable sailing and if you take your time, you can even hit a few dive spots. We have snuggled in the lee of Rodriguez Key enroute to the Bahamas, entering the banks at Gun & Cat Cay, an easy trip if you wait for a weather window. You can find plenty of anchorages in and around Biscayne Bay just below Miami if you are heading up that way. Hopes this helps a little. Tom
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Old 03-18-2004
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Where to sail on Fla''''s East Coast...

You want to look at elliot key. biscayne bay. (s miami area)

you can run up from KW using hawks channel, or go off shore. enter to bay thru angelfish creek, or cesars creek. (angelfish is easier).

pick up frank pappys crusing guide to the keys.

elliot key is national park, and on inside. its about 3 miles (due west) to black point marina for supplies ("Mount Trash-more" is an easy visual reference.

a little south is homstead marina, or go south thru card sound bridge to barnes sound. (back towards keys).

going north, you can hit coconut grove, or south beach. (both have public marinas).

so, within a days sail you has peace and quite at elliot, supplies due west at marinas, or north to grove and miami beach (or miami-marina).

also worth checking out is key biscayne. (marine stadium is good mooring field).

-this is a great area to spend a week, and you can run offshore and back for day sails. you could even cross to bimini /gun cay.

get charts of south miami area to key largo.

only question.....what do you draw

over 6'' you have to be careful....

drop a line w/ any questions.
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Old 03-18-2004
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Where to sail on Fla''''s East Coast...

you could also run all the way frm kw to sbeach using government cut and stay at miami beach marina. then work your way back....


theres so many places to see and stop you could easily stay 3 weeks.

I live in ft lauderdale, and slips are scarce in season... after april much easier, but always pricey....

you need a crusing guide ft laud to keys. clairborn young is also good.
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Old 03-19-2004
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Where to sail on Fla''''s East Coast...

If you go to Green Turtle try Black Sound and stay at the Other Shore Club. You can walk to town from there in stead of having to use the dingy all the time
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Old 03-23-2004
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Where to sail on Fla''''s East Coast...

two tumbs up for the other shore club in GTC!
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