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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone who has sailed from Tampabay to the keys please tell me how it was, how long it took you, and what fun/unfun this trip is. My sailboat is a Catalina 22. Thanks!!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
dsprague,good for you, sailing will get in your blood. My first boat a International 23 I went to the Bahamas in. Went from Jupiter inlet to West End. Took 9hours. About your question, I usually leave Tampa Bay then anchor at Ringling Bride for a early startout to the gulf. Then I pullin at Venice inlet turn right and anchor inbetween the green markers that are large balls behind the houses on the right. Then I stay at Charlotte Harbor. As you go south on the right after the first island you''ll see a bunch of stakes, one group looks as the remains to a stilt house the other a dock. Go between the ones on shore and the others about 100 feet off shore. Follow it around to the back. super anchorage.Then on to naples,I anchor inside the first bend. Also nice. From here its either the Dry Tortugas or Marathon. Once your past 10,000 islands just follow the park markers keeping them on your port as you head south. I''ve made this trip many times and its always cool.Remember the only place to pull into in case of heavy weather is Little shark River between Marco Island and Marathon. good sailing .Don
 

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Discussion Starter #4
With decent weather most people make it from
Tampa Bay to the Keys in about 36 hours. The usual routine is to leave late in the day so that one arrives during the daylight. During the winter months, cold fronts can make the trip down a bit rough. You can stay close to the coast and duck in at Sarasota or Ft. Myers if it gets to be too much.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
With decent weather most people make it from
Tampa Bay to the Keys in about 36 hours. The usual routine is to leave late in the day so that one arrives during the daylight. During the winter months, cold fronts can make the trip down a bit rough. You can stay close to the coast and duck in at Sarasota or Ft. Myers if it gets to be too much.
We went from Tampa to the Dry Tortugas, then to Key West and back to Tampa a couple of weeks ago in 8 days. That was with 5 nights under sail and 3 nights at anchor. The Keys are great if you like the tourist sights, but I preferred the Tortugas for their natural beauty.
Just keep an eye on the weather and try to avoid getting caught out in the gulf when one of those cold fronts come thru.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I''m glad to know that I''m not the only Catalina 22 sailor with eyes on the the Keys and Dry Tortugas. My home port is Hudson, Florida. Good sailing, Don
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Don, have you used the ramp at the marina in hudson? I have a Mac 26 that I would like to put in there. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hudson has 2 nice boat ramps, I have used both.
The free ( county ) ramp at the end of Clark Street, 24 hour, deep water, good dockage, and good parking.
The Port Hudson Marina ( $5.00 )ramp has a roomy set-up space, closed at night, deep water, good parking. I use Port Hudson Marina mostly. I keep my Catalina 22 in slip 12. Stop by and say hello.
PS Sea Ranch Marina is also nice place to rent slips.
Good sailing
Don
 
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