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  #1  
Old 07-27-2011
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Alabama with a banjo on my knee

I'm considering a job offer in Mobile,Alabama.Should I take it, I'll be buying a boat to live aboard there for awhile. The area looks intriguing to me as a sailor.A nice large bay, with some barrier islands, and nice beaches.The possible move to Mobile would be the "kick off" of an eventual cruising lifestyle for me.I have two possible boats in mind to live aboard. One is in Miami,Fla. and the other in Indiantown,Fla. If I were to buy the boat in Miami, the course seems to be pretty clear as far as getting the boat to Mobile. Sail down to the Keys and then head some what northwest to Mobile.Or is there some type of "cut" or the inter coastal that one could take from Miami, to Naples? If I were to buy the boat in Indiantown, I'm a little hazy on what could be done there as well.I'm not very familiar with the area, nor have I had time to do much nautical research concerning it.From the "Rand McNally" road atlas I have, there appears to be a passage from Indiantown, through Lake Okeechobee, across a canal or river, and eventually coming out at Ft.Myers. Does anyone know this to be true? Both boats I'm considering purchasing have drafts of 5-6ft.I would really appreciate any feedback that anyone has concerning the Mobile,Alabama area, as well as the course dilemmas.

Thanks,
Stede
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Old 07-27-2011
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There is a waterway. You will need charts to cross it. Be prepaired for some locks on the canals. I have been wanting to try this waterway myself. I have heard of some shallow spots on the lake, so check waterlevels before you leave.

Several board members have made this crossing recently. Check other threads.
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Old 07-27-2011
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From Miami, if you have crew, or can sail overnight solo, then you don't really save anytime not going through the Keys via the Hawk Channel. You can cross to the inside at the Channel 5 bridge, just past Islamarlda. Once you pass the Yacht Channel north of the bridge, you have to decide to go straight through to Mobile or up the coast.

From Indiantown, going through the Okeechobee is your best bet.
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Old 07-28-2011
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Thanks guys for the information.!
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Old 07-28-2011
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A month ago I came across to Panama City from Fort Meyers. The prevailing opinion seemed to be to cruise North along the coast until you got to Egmont Light in St. Petersburg, then cut across, skirting Cape San Blas (or in your case aiming for the East end of Dauphin Island into the channel at Mobile Bay. The reason for not cutting straight across, as I figured was to avoid any eddies from the Loop current going through the Straits of Florida.
This chart is of the paths of floating radiosondes and you can see that some go south along the coast but seem to dissapate North of St. Pete.


Warning: the waters of Mobile Bay are shallow, as is the Sound between the barrier islands and the mainland. They were my cruising grounds for 15 years on a 31' trimaran out of Ocean Springs, MS and I still sometimes ran aground!
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Old 07-29-2011
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"pinayreefer"

Thanks for the information. Really cool visual!
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Old 07-31-2011
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We like the Mobile area and lived aboard at Turner Marine for about two years back in 2006. Friendly people, lay back area, large sailing community. Great cruising grounds just to the east starting at Ingrams Bayou all the way to Panama City and beyond on the northern Gulf Coast. The water clears up really nice as you enter Big Lagoon just west of Pensacola.

All the best.
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Old 08-02-2011
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Thanks for the info."Leocat66." It's very helpful!
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