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Old 05-14-2011, 11:13 AM   #1
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Florida Keys or Bahamas

My wife and I are considering a cruise*From the Tennessee River starting in Mid October for 5 to 6 months*aboard our 47 Atlantic to either the Florida Keys area or the Bahamas. Maybe Abacos ?*We would most likely anchor out most of the time and overnight in a marina ocassionally in order to replenish supplies.*Anyone done these areas and comments?*Thanks.
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Old 05-14-2011, 11:51 AM   #2
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RE: Florida Keys or Bahamas

Can't necessarily help you with bahamas cruising advice but thought I'd say hello- we're on the TN River as well with our Monk 36. What part of the river do you keep your Atlantic on? We're at Island Cove Marina on Lake Chickamauga. There are a few others here on the forums based on the TN River as well!
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Old 05-14-2011, 01:21 PM   #3
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RE: Florida Keys or Bahamas

I don't understand why this is on the classified section?
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Old 05-14-2011, 02:22 PM   #4
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RE: Florida Keys or Bahamas

Daddyo,
I would answer that question for you but I am afraid the answer is "classified."
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Old 05-14-2011, 08:10 PM   #5
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RE: Florida Keys or Bahamas

Daddyo who? I was never here.
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Old 05-15-2011, 05:59 PM   #6
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RE: Florida Keys or Bahamas

Quote:
atlantis wrote:
My wife and I are considering a cruise*From the Tennessee River starting in Mid October for 5 to 6 months*aboard our 47 Atlantic to either the Florida Keys area or the Bahamas. Maybe Abacos ?*We would most likely anchor out most of the time and overnight in a marina ocassionally in order to replenish supplies.*Anyone done these areas and comments?*Thanks.
*Atlantis, how about moving this thread to Voyagers and Boats on the Go.* I will be happy to give you my experiences in the Keys and the Abacos.* by moving the thread, you ill probably et more opinions.
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Old 05-16-2011, 03:57 AM   #7
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RE: Florida Keys or Bahamas

Florida has loads of great harbors that will work just fine.Anchoring is still legal.

In Ft Myers the city dock has a deal for cruising folks that anchor nearby,,
12hours a week FREE , water , electric , garbage disposal and pump out .

Marathon is also a destination for many , low cost mooring , dink dock and showers .

Great area , for a few days or a few months.
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Old 05-18-2011, 08:50 PM   #8
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RE: Florida Keys or Bahamas

Moved for relevance.
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Old 05-18-2011, 09:20 PM   #9
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RE: Florida Keys or Bahamas

Atlantis, here is my 2 cents.* FF is right that Boot Key Harbor at Marathon has cheap moorings and facilties.* Ft. Myers Beach is also good.

That being said, don't pass up considering the SW Florida and Charlotte Harbor area.* St. Pete is a wonderful stop.* They are supposed to be putting in a new mooring field at Venice.* Sarasota has a good mooring field.* The Keys have beautiful water, but the wind blows in winter restricting your movements.* If you can get to the Abacos, you can't beat it for a cruising area.* Plenty of places to anchor, moor, and provision.**The big problem is being flexible waiting for weather to cross over and back.* Once in the Sea of Abaco Whale Cay Passage is the only real weather problem.

As you can see I like both SW Florida and the Abacos better than the keys.* Others will feel differently.* If you have a particular question I will see if I can help.

Good luck.* Please keep us up on your choice and your cruising.
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Old 05-19-2011, 03:50 AM   #10
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RE: Florida Keys or Bahamas

From what I have seen , most Florida folks do not go to the Bahamas till April or so.

The northers (weather not folks) are gone , the anchorages are emptier , and the Bahamians celebrate the departure of the tourist zoo with local festivals and sailing events.
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Old 05-19-2011, 07:56 AM   #11
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RE: Florida Keys or Bahamas

Bahamas.
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Old 05-19-2011, 11:07 AM   #12
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RE: Florida Keys or Bahamas

With a five or six month time frame you can do both! Instead of taking the Okeechobee Waterway across the middle of the state you just head to the keys first and go to Key West or Marathon, then later to the Bahamas.* The Bahamas will be more "island life style" with more expensive food and fuel but cheaper rum. If the weather is right you can get in the Gulfstream for a good boost to the Bahamas.

Tha Abacos are an incredible cruising area and are easy to reach as long as you wait for a good weather window for the Guldf Strem crossing. Then on you way back take the Okeechobee route to take advantage of Fast freds offer of free dockage along the canal.
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Old 05-20-2011, 03:20 PM   #13
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RE: Florida Keys or Bahamas

I just got back from a 13 day cruise from Ft Myers to the Keys and back to St. Petersburg. I cruised the Abacos 25 years ago on a chartered sailboat.
The high lights of my Keys cruise was the 10,000 island chain, Long point Key just north of Marathon and Key West. We had excellent weather as we usually do in May.*
Ft. Myers is a great layover and the folks at Legacy Harbor will treat you right. A 10 min walk will get you to the historic upscale downtown area and a 5 min cab ride to the Edison museum. Try Joe's Crap Shack at the marina for a great but expensive dinner.*
Cruise up the river a bit and just east of the Franklin locks check out Rialto Harbor, a marina B&B.*
Smokehouse Bay in Marco Island offers a great anchorage or tie up your choice, and a great on site restaurant.*
We stopped off at Indian Key in the 10,000 island chain. This breaks up the long cruise from Marco to Marathon. Indian Key has one of the few beaches in the area, but gets a bit skinny at high tide. Great place to walk the dog, but be careful of the currents.
We stayed 2 days in Boot Harbor near Marathon, but I will skip this next time. A great mooring area with good facilities but nothing much else to do. The moorings fill up in the winter but there were plenty when we were there.** The town is nothing to see though there is a museum depicting the building of the original railroad. I'll probably get some disagreement on this, but there are much better areas to spend time IMO. Long Pt key just north of Marathon is a good anchorage with clear water and mostly a sand bottom. Great place to see the sunset floating on your boat cushion behind the boat.
Marathon to Key West offers some great anchorages and I wish we had the time to visit some. Sombrero Key off Marathon has moorings for a great place to snorkel as well as Sand Key off Key West.*
Key West Bight is the place to stay in Key West as there are I believe 4 marinas offering slips. A 15 min walk will get you to most places in Key West, but bikes will expand your offerings. Plan on a least 3 days in Key West.
Its 90 miles from Key West to Marco so watch the weather. We refueled in Marco and continued to Pelican bay a total distance of 150 miles and 10 hours. A long day with a thunderstorm meeting us on arrival at Pelican Bay.
Returning north, Pelican Bay off Cayo Costa just south of Boca Grand is one of my favorites. Just do the research on how to enter the large anchorage as you will run aground without it.
Moores anchorage on the north end of Longboat Key is also one of our favorites, but has lost some of its charm due to the recession. The many stores within walking distance have all closed, but the Mar Vista restaurant is still open and very popular with both the locals and cruising folks.
The Tampa bay area is next and Don Moon is probably better able to help you on this area.
Our next cruise will be the Abacos.
*
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