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Port Canaveral to Port Everglades early April

1493 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  bigdogandy
Hey friends - I have a question, but first some backstory - I am finally going to be able to take a few days off work and sail my boat from up in Merritt Island down to my new home in Fort Lauderdale. Have the first week of April off to make the trip (6 days total available for the trip, plus a cleanup / travel day on each end), and my Dad and my brother will be along as crew.

Weather permitting we're planning to exit Port Canaveral and sail on the outside down to Port Everglades, which is roughly 200 miles, planning on 2 full days sailing. We made this trip going the other direction a few years ago when we moved the boat from Key Largo to Merritt Island, so I'm relatively confident in crew capabilities. The boat's in good shape, also.

If the weather cooperates we're planning to hop over to West End and spend a couple of days goofing off. If the weather doesn't cooperate, we won't.

None of us are rocket surgeons but we all know better than to play chicken with the Gulf Stream if the weather isn't just so.

So here's the question - if the weather is snotty we'll end up coming down the Intracoastal instead of going outside. Not a bad gig in itself, but I'd love to find some kind of interesting diversion along the way to go check out since we'll have some time on our hands. Does anyone have any suggestions on any unusual parks, cool bars, interesting anchorages, haunted houses, etc. to check out along the ICW in that stretch?

Thanks in advance!
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Nothing comes to mind in the way of must see along that stretch. However, you might consider using the ICW for the trip south in order to keep the northerly current from slowing your progress. The closer you get to Lauderdale the stronger the current.
Be amazed at the level of wealth along the ICW south of Jupiter.
Stay out of the Intracoastal if you possibly can. While you avoid the Gulfstream, you hit a bridge every three or four miles. They're timed so you have to run flat out to avoid circling 10 or 15 minutes to wait for the bridge to make its timed opening.

Not much fun at all.

If you go outside, stay fairly close to shore, in 40 or 50 feet of water, to avoid the northern current. If you're a little lucky, you'll get a southbound current there. It's better to motor in the Atlantic than in the ICW with a sailboat. You'll do much better time without the bridges.

Lake Worth Inlet has some nice anchorages east of Peanut Island and south of it. You can hear a tiki bar from there, but I've never visited. The island is a park that's worth seeing.

Hillsboro Inlet has a nice cove to anchor in, with a decent beach, but only go there in settled weather. The inlet is scary when it gets rough or strong easterly winds oppose an outgoing tide.

Avoid all of the other inlets along the way. They're treacherous.
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I returned from the Bahamas riding 12' following seas in the gulf stream and entered the US via the Fort Pierce inlet. It seemed quite large and was an uneventful entry except for the outgoing tide that made landfall seem like forever.
Thanks for the replies everyone. Yes, we'll be wary of the inlets along the way...... have been in and out of Ft. pierce, Hillsboro, and West Palm inlets before in good and bad weather so generally understand what to expect and avoid.

Still looking on tips for good stops along the ICW along that stretch in case we end up going the inside route. I'm not interested in having my crew getting banged up bouncing around on the outside if the weather is bad and we can avoid it (remember, my Dad is coming along, and I am over 50 myself!).
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