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Old 09-28-2017, 11:34 AM   #1
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Ortona FL to Longboat Key questions

In November I'm planning to move the boat from the current awesome hurricane hole to Longboat Key, so I can bug Larry 24/7 about boat projects.

I would like to run outside some so I can practice with the sails, probably cutting out at Boca Grande. I'm wondering if the winds in early November will allow me to motorsail up the coast? Is Longboat Key inlet a good one to use to cut back in?

Is the Sanibal-Captiva area still good cruising after the hurricane? I remember it being pretty shallow and didn't know if the storm had rearranged anything.
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Old 09-28-2017, 12:54 PM   #2
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No help with the discussion about winds.


Regarding the west coast area, friend sent me this link last night. Looks to be an excellent resource addressing marina status by state and issues related to cruising area.


Passing it along




https://www.waterwayguide.com/hurricane-status-updates





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Old 09-28-2017, 01:36 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cardude01 View Post
In November I'm planning to move the boat from the current awesome hurricane hole to Longboat Key, so I can bug Larry 24/7 about boat projects.

I would like to run outside some so I can practice with the sails, probably cutting out at Boca Grande. I'm wondering if the winds in early November will allow me to motorsail up the coast? Is Longboat Key inlet a good one to use to cut back in?

Is the Sanibal-Captiva area still good cruising after the hurricane? I remember it being pretty shallow and didn't know if the storm had rearranged anything.
FWIW, the LNM shows a sunk sailboat about a mile west of the Ortona lock. Perhaps it will be removed by then, but you never know.

Good idea to keep up with local info regarding shoaling, etc.

The Longboat Key inlet can be a bit tricky, perhaps Larry has more info. I remember year ago it had some challenges, but haven't been lately.
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Old 09-28-2017, 03:14 PM   #4
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Prevailing winds on the east coast of South Florida in the warm months (most of the year) are from the southeast and prevailing winds on the west coast of South Florida are south west. The land heats up in the strong sun, heating the air, which rises and brings in air from the Atlantic or the Gulf. In November you might get a cool (not cold) front which will shift the winds clockwise usually.
Many of the Gulf Passes (inlets) shoal and shift channels on a regular basis, especially after a major storm. A phone call to a local Tow Boat US or Sea Tow office can get you some up to date local knowledge a week or two before your trip.
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Old 09-28-2017, 03:47 PM   #5
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You can go right out Mantazas pass and up the coast.
Wide passes are Mantazas, Boca Grande, and Venice. Not sure which pass around Sarasota.
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Old 09-28-2017, 05:34 PM   #6
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+1 (at least) on calling the Towboat guys, or I'd also recommend the local fishing fleet captains (Flying Fish Fleet is one) for local knowledge on the passes around here. They're generally crap, from the standpoint of comfortable navigation.

Venice Inlet is nice and easy, but a fair hike up the ICW from LBK.

Big Sarasota Pass will be doable, IF you know right where to go. I think the Sarasota Yacht Club keeps an updated route with depths on their site, but I haven't looked lately. And you never quite feel like you're in the right place until you get in past the coast.

New Pass was dredged last fall, but closed itself back up within a couple months, to the point where I believe most of the buoys were removed. Would not recommend unless something's changed.

Longboat Pass may be your best bet. Generally decent depth (I think) but it can be a narrow channel with a few tight turns and in the past I've not had the most comforting response from the bridge tender when entering on an incoming tide (i.e. Being swept toward his bridge). Fairly short run down to Sarasota Bay and LBK Moorings (I assume where you're headed?), although there are a couple historically shallow spots. And the ICW channels are narrow here and often overpopulated with less-than-courteous fellow boaters (I'll not call them captains).

Nothing treacherous here, it's all sand, but for a slow boat that needs some water, you'll probably be a little nervous your first time through these spots.

I've lived here for 25 years and none of my boats need much water, and I still get twitchy fairly often. But then I get passed by everyone and their brother blasting through, and bigger fishing boats that make it on a daily basis, so it can't be that hard.
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Old 10-26-2017, 08:21 AM   #7
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My trip is coming up next week. For those of y'all on the west FL coast, would you go outside in these wind conditions? Was thinking about going out the Grande inlet and coming back in the Venice inlet so I can have a few hours to practice with the steadying sails.

Blowing about 12-15 with higher gusts, but since wind is coming from the east if I hug the coast shouldn't the waves be minimal?

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Old 10-26-2017, 09:34 AM   #8
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Forecast is 2-3 ft tomorrow. Increasin to 3-5 on Monday

https://www.wunderground.com/MAR/GM/853.html
https://www.wunderground.com/MAR/GM/856.html
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Old 10-26-2017, 09:44 AM   #9
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Ortona FL to Longboat Key questions

Hmmm. Those forecasts also have east winds of about the same intensity I was looking at, and they project 2-3' waves. So maybe my "hugging the coast in an east wind" theory is not a good one.

But really, 2-3' waves on the beam with the sails up shouldn't be bad. I just don't want 4-6'.If the winds are mostly out of the north I won't go outside, but if they are mostly out of the east and under 15kts I was thinking it would be OK.

I'm using the windy app just FYI.
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Old 10-26-2017, 11:50 AM   #10
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That was the NOAA forecasts I linked to via WU.
Sounds like you'll make a gameday decision.
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Old 10-26-2017, 01:45 PM   #11
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You can put waves on Windy, too - at least on the PC web interface.....
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Old 10-26-2017, 02:00 PM   #12
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If you are looking at Sat Dec 4 forecast, you might as well be throwing chicken bones on the table.
Generally speaking, under 10-15 from the east <1 mile off? Should be ok.
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Old 10-26-2017, 03:31 PM   #13
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If you are looking at Sat Dec 4 forecast, you might as well be throwing chicken bones on the table.
Generally speaking, under 10-15 from the east <1 mile off? Should be ok.


Yeah. Way too far out.
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Old 10-26-2017, 04:32 PM   #14
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I keep Serenity at Longboat Key Moorings. She is 60' with a 5' draft. Boca Grande and Venice Inlets are easy. Big Sarasota Pass is not. It shoals, and the sandbars move and are not always well marked. I would take it only on a calm and sunny day, and proceed with caution if your draft is greater than 4'. Call the local Tow Boat US for daily details. Longboat Key Inlet is also doable. The current at the bridge can be strong, and you need to be ready in the event the bridge does not open immediately. When you pass the bridge you will be confronted with many channels and markers, so be alert to follow the ICW markers.

I usually take your proposed route, entering the gulf at Boca Grande and back in at Venice. The only downside are the multiple bridges between Venice and Sarasota. Some have schedules, so bone up on those and the bridge clearances. A 15 knot wind out of the east is usually not a problem. Stiff wind from the west or north can be brutal.
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Old 10-26-2017, 04:36 PM   #15
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Awesome. Thanks for the info. So if there is any north in the wind direction I guess I should skip going outside? I don't feel like beating into it for hours.
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Old 10-27-2017, 08:26 AM   #16
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East winds usually mean I get to Kayak on the Gulf instead of the Intercoastal!

Go far it!

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