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Old 06-15-2017, 07:59 PM   #1
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Okeechobee or around the Keys from Miami to Pensacola

Preparing to bring back trawler to Pensacola from Miami next few weekend (6/24/17), which route? South through the Keys (FL Bay) charts a bit further, but should be able to maintain cruising speed @ knots. First trip either way, suggestions.
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Old 06-15-2017, 11:09 PM   #2
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Weather, the boats draft and the water depth in the lake would be your determining factors.

That and the inside route down the keys can be shallow as well.
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Old 06-16-2017, 04:48 AM   #3
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Here is a link to the current water levels, way up from where it was a couple of weeks ago:

USACE Jacksonville District

And another on a recent thread about crossing:

Crossing Lake Okeechobee

I'm up in Palm Beach County and daily rains are forecast for the foreseeable future so I don't imagine it will stop getting deeper....
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Old 06-16-2017, 06:41 PM   #4
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Here is a link to the current water levels, way up from where it was a couple of weeks ago:

I'm up in Palm Beach County and daily rains are forecast for the foreseeable future so I don't imagine it will stop getting deeper....
Rain? Rain!!! In So Fla??? It hasn't stopped F^*%$^g raining in three weeks!!!
Trying to go out to dinner tonight and as I type this it is a torrential downpour outside!! Need foul weather gear just to get to the car!! LOL
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Old 06-16-2017, 07:39 PM   #5
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Oh I feel your pain. I have a new (to me) boat and it's rained for 3/4 of the time since I bought it. Tonight I have a 1/2 mowed front yard. That's all I could get done before it started looking like the world was going to end ....and then the bottom fell out.... the worst is that there is no end in sight. Good for Lake Okeechobee though.

See how I brought this back around to the topic of the thread?
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Old 06-16-2017, 08:05 PM   #6
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Good for crossing the lake for sure. I hope it doesn't mean that they start blowing all the sugar farmers filth down the rivers again, killing every living thing downstream.
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Old 06-16-2017, 08:10 PM   #7
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Agreed. My boat is in Stuart on the St. Lucie River...ground zero for green slime and algae.
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Old 06-16-2017, 09:33 PM   #8
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If it rains anymore you'll be able to cross any way you want, the whole state'll be under water, lol.
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Old 06-17-2017, 12:47 AM   #9
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With all the rain (and possibly more to one) from Miami would the southern route be better?
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Old 06-17-2017, 05:40 AM   #10
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Key west isnt what it used to be.

Cruise ships all day with tourists purchasing T shirts.

Cross the lake and save a few hundred miles.
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Old 06-17-2017, 08:01 AM   #11
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I cross the lake several times a year from Fort Myers to Stuart. It's an easy trip over 2 days. Doubt you will have any water level issues. Other than the lake, it's pretty protected, so weather isn't an issue.

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Old 06-18-2017, 06:52 AM   #12
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" Other than the lake, it's pretty protected, so weather isn't an issue."

But there is hardly a resturant or bar crawl on the entire route.
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Old 06-18-2017, 08:54 PM   #13
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" Other than the lake, it's pretty protected, so weather isn't an issue."

But there is hardly a resturant or bar crawl on the entire route.
I know one place that's usually good for a beer and some good conversation.

Ted
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Old 06-18-2017, 10:01 PM   #14
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I know one place that's usually good for a beer and some good conversation.

Ted
Maybe even a tour of two fine workshops, one belonging Fred's and the other his Admiral. Fred also has a spiffy parts room. A very resourseful couple, I'd say.
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Old 06-19-2017, 01:30 PM   #15
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Just talked to a friend that came across lake yesterday, said no problems in an OA35
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Old 06-19-2017, 03:25 PM   #16
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It depends on your cruising experience, interest in stopping at Key West and how much time you want to spend.

For most trawlers, the leg from Miami north to Stuart will be something of a PITA with lots of waiting for bridge openings for the first 50 miles or so. Then it is pretty routine but you should only move in daylight.

Going south from Miami, I would do the Hawk Channel outside starting just south of Key Biscayne to either Key West or Marathon. You can do this in one overnighter if you are brave or daylight only if you are fast. From Marathon go under the Seven Mile bridge and either stop at the Little Shark River or go overnight (or fast during daylight only) to Marco Island. From Key West you can do the same.

If you want to you can do Miami to Marco Island in two fast legs if you can go 12+ kts. Or stop in Long Key and anchor then on to Little Shark River and from there to Marco all in three legs in daylight at 7 kts.

In general the keys route will be less stressful due to lack of locks and bridges and following the ICW. And then there is Key West, which is still one of my favorite cruising stops.

David
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Old 06-19-2017, 06:00 PM   #17
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If I was north of Palm Beach would probably take the lake. At Miami, I would head to the keys.

The Keys route will be all outside. No need to go to Key West. Turn north at marathon.

Under the bridge, then turn east on the channel, follow for 3 - 4 miles. When you just out from Faro Blanco (red and white striped light house) marina, turn. North.

Keep Bullard Bank on your port, after passing set a course for 4-5 miles west of Marco Island. Once you are far enough out to miss Marco shoals, veer back in to either Marco, Naples, or Ft Meyers.

I think it will be a quicker trip to Fort Myers through the Keys - and much more scenic.

We have done both several times, the deciding factor for us has always been weather and sea conditions. This is flat water time in the Keys most days.

Have a good trip,

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Old 06-19-2017, 06:52 PM   #18
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To me it's do you want to see brown water or Blue water.

The Keys are very pretty and seeing the Mega trawlers around Fort Lauderdale amazing. The lake is protected form the possibility of a tropical depression the five locks are pretty easy if you have the crew, The farm land is broken up by lots of cows and Scotty's tiki bar at Roland Martins Marina with don't miss Karaoke on Thursdays
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Old 06-19-2017, 08:02 PM   #19
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Plus now that crab and lobster season is over there are very few traps to wrap around your props.
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