Old as Dirt!
Do yourself a favor. Click-on ActiveCaptain, register (it's free) and use the Interactive Cruising Guidebook tab to review your area of interest. Most everything you'll need to know is listed with tips and references and contact information for prospective stops to allow you to make contacts beforehand, all plotted on Maps/Charts/Aerial Photo's (from Google Earth).I am going from Panama City Florida down South somewhere for two weeks starting Jan 17th. No real destination. Just a day by day trip. I have sailed the same ol area over and over and am not nervous about pulling into the marina or docking the boat or sailing around in general. I feel quite comfortable in Panama City.
As far as going to new places..... That's where I get nervous. I have a chart plotter and maps so I'm not nervous about water depth. What I am nervous about is pulling into new marinas. Not sure where to pull up and dock. One time in Port St Joe I pulled into a marina and it was a tight squeeze for my 45 ft boat which does not have bow thrusters. There was only one spot to dock and as soon as I docked someone came out and told me it was a private slip.
How do you guys know where to dock and pull up when you enter a new marina. Any help will be much appreciated