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post #1 of 12 Old 11-12-2015 Thread Starter
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ICW Crossing Tampa Bay - Need Information

The charts show the GICW taking a sharp easterly turn as one enters Tampa Bay from the north creating a pretty long route across the Bay. It looks like there is a more direct route south by traveling in a channel that is just west of and parallel to I-275 that goes over the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. Once this channel gives out it looks like one can cross the shipping channel and connect up again with the GICW route.

Anyone know why the GICW was routed like it is shown on the charts, instead of the alternate route I described above? Is there any safety zone or regulation that would prohibit use of the alternate route?

I draw 5' and the chart indicates a reported channel depth of 6', so I would be able to make the passage at anything above low tide.

Your experiences with this part of the GICW would be appreciated.
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Re: ICW Crossing Tampa Bay - Need Information

Active Captain has a note mentioning shoaling at the south end of the channel you mention. Because of that, when we left Bradenton earlier this year headed for Gulfport, we went outside at Egmont Channel and back in at Pass-a-Grille. Worked fine for us. Sorry, no more info than that.
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Re: ICW Crossing Tampa Bay - Need Information

Thank you Sandy Stone.
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Re: ICW Crossing Tampa Bay - Need Information

If I understand your question correctly, that channel that's located just south of Indian Key, that takes you eastward into the Bay, is just a shortcut into the bay. If you intend to continue south to Anna Maria Island and points south, you can continue on the ICW parallel to the causeway, and then, when you leave the marked ICW channel, you can cross the shipping channel, head generally towards Anna Maria Island, where you'll pick up the marks that lead you back into the southbound ICW. The current chart shows shallow water and a narrow channel where you enter the ICW again. I haven't been through there for several years, so, have no recent information as to whether that channel has shoaled in, but never had a problem there in the past. Nevertheless, try to get recent local knowledge about that channel, and keep an eye on your depth sounder, because there's certainly a lot of shallow water in the area.
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Re: ICW Crossing Tampa Bay - Need Information

Thank you Sailormon6. Sounds like the only issue might be the shoaling.
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Re: ICW Crossing Tampa Bay - Need Information

I just took a five foot draft through that cut and never saw less than 8 feet. I went right between 3 and 4.

On the northern Gulf of Mexico.


"Best thing to do is get her out on the ocean. If anything's gonna happen, it's gonna happen out there." Captain Ron Rico
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Re: ICW Crossing Tampa Bay - Need Information

That's good news Group9! Was it high tide when you went through there?
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Re: ICW Crossing Tampa Bay - Need Information

Group9, a follow-up question...It looks like from the chart there is a pair of markers at the very south end of the cut numbered R"2" and G"3". Are these the ones you referred to? There is a R"4" and G"5" just north of 2 and 3.

Thanks for the help.
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Re: ICW Crossing Tampa Bay - Need Information

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Originally Posted by Cal31Windchaser View Post
Group9, a follow-up question...It looks like from the chart there is a pair of markers at the very south end of the cut numbered R"2" and G"3". Are these the ones you referred to? There is a R"4" and G"5" just north of 2 and 3.

Thanks for the help.
I meant 2 and 3. The tide was rising as I went through. I just went right through the center of the channel as I was worried about shoaling, too. It wasnt even close.

On the northern Gulf of Mexico.


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Re: ICW Crossing Tampa Bay - Need Information

Thank you Group9. That's the way we will go.
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