There's no reason to use the Intracoastal on that stretch of SW Florida. The Gulf is relatively calm, shallow enough to anchor in and much quicker than traveling on the Intracoastal.
I've never understood why so many sailboats opt for the Intracoastal on both coasts of Florida. You end up motoring, waiting for drawbridges to open, running aground on occasion and limiting yourself to 40 or 50 miles a day.
As a longtime Florida sailor, I can't tell you how many times I've seen bluewater 40-footers motoring along the ICW while I headed out to sea in my 25- or 30-foot sailboat.
Isn't it the point that you sail? Seems like a waste to do endless motoring with the dinghy dragging behind. (Another bit of lazy sailing ...)
I would much rather sail in the gulf than listen to the annoying rumble of the diesel engine in the stinky ICW.
However, Big Marcos Pass to the northern part of Ten Thousand Islands is only 10 miles via the intercostal. To sail around the Cape Ramano shoals and get to that same northern part of the Ten Thousand Islands is 40+ miles. So you're talking a couple hours versus a whole day.
So Shananchie is this an acceptable use of the ICW or just being lazy and taking a short cut?