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Old 12-05-2014, 04:52 PM   #1
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City: Dauphin Island, AL
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Dauphin Island, AL to Key West

We left Dauphin Island, AL (our home port) on 11/02/14. Worked our way over to Carabelle, FL and anchored off of Dog Island. On Monday at 10:00 AM (11-10-14) we headed south into the Gulf with Anclote Key plugged in as our destination point. The winds were on our Stern out of the North and the waves were running around 3' or so for the first half of the trip, then increasing to 3' to 4' during the night. 80% full moon popped up out of the eastern water to get us through the night with some limited vision.

We were running with another Trawler, a Nova Scotia named Barb-B and the company was good to have through out the early morning hours. We arrived near our destination of Tarpon Springs at about 7AM but headed further south in order to return back into the higher waves, some now in the 5' range as we were in shallower water. Crab Trabs everywhere once we hit around 35' of water depth which made for an interesting trip into the entrance channel for Anclote Keys.

We stayed at Turtle Cove Marina right on the Sponge docks for a couple of days and had a true blast there talking with the locals and enjoying their hospitality. Water was shallow though getting into marina and had to lay out for an hour or two for an incoming tide.

Then on to Pass - a - grille beach for an anchorage behind the Don Cesar Hotel, then on down across Tampa Bay paralleling the famous skyway bridge down to the Manatee River which we took into downtown Bradenton to the Twin Dolphin Marina. Took a month rate there and rented a car to go back to Dauphin Island for the Thanksgiving Holiday week and to check up on work. All was well, and we arrived back at the boat on 12-03-14 and will be leaving out tomorrow to leisurely pick our way south down to the keys. Sarasota tomorrow, Venice the next day or so, etc. You can follow "Free At Last" on http://share.delorme.com/kelbylinn . You can also follow us on our blog at https://hemingway845.wordpress.com/ although I haven't been as good on photos etc as I should be.

We are meeting great people on land, and on the water as there are so many other loopers in this area this time of year. I'll occasionally do a catch up post here if anyone is interested is this segment of our trip.

Happy Holidays to all.
Kelby & Robin
Free At Last
1981 42' Grand Banks Classic
Dauphin Island, AL
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Old 12-06-2014, 11:09 AM   #2
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If you enjoyed the crab traps north of Tampa, wait until you get down to Florida Bay and the Keys. Millions of traps spewed out everywhere, in channals, around markers, everywhere. It sure looks like a mismanaged fishery to me.

Good luck running after dark.
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Old 12-06-2014, 01:51 PM   #3
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We made the trip in spring of 2010 came back up via Miami and Okeechobee. Weather kept the baot in Marathon but we visited KW by car. It was a very nice trip.
If you like to see our account check our blog, link below. We departed Houma, La Jan.11, returned Apri 29.
I was amazed to see in Marathon and other spots crab traps stored on land in stacks the size of buildings, and acres of them. Maybe the season was closed although there were lots of pots in the water too.
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Old 12-09-2014, 08:05 PM   #4
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Kelbylin, really enjoying your trip blog. Looks like you made it to Ft Myers Municipal Marina. Thanks for keeping us informed.
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Old 12-10-2014, 08:09 AM   #5
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We saw them come by the marina here in Sarasota wish I had thought to take pictures and post them
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Old 01-09-2015, 07:06 PM   #6
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Sorry about the delay in a follow up but here goes. With beautiful weather we worked our way down to key west. Sarasota, Venice, fort Myers beach, Naples, Russell pass (Everglades city anchorage), cape sable direct gulf anchorage, tarpon belly key near cudjoe key, then docking at sunset marina on stock island in key west on dec 18th. We enjoyed two weeks of site seeing and returned by rental car to dauphin island to catch up on work. We head back to the boat on or around the 18th and plan to leave key west heading north on the Atlantic side up to fort pierce then back to the gulf via lake okeechobee back to fort Myers then up the coast using the big bend route to return back to dauphin island by the middle of March. That is when our vacation rental business kicks into gear for the summer here on dauphin island. We just couldn't leave the boat on the east coast for the summer months not being able to use her or be there for any storms that may show up.

Now, any advice on the east coast run from key west to fort pierce, and on the lake crossing would sure be appreciated. I'll be cranking up the in reach delorme unit when we leave key west, go to: share.delorme.com/kelbylinn. To see our progress. Also will start up the blog again at. Hemingway845.wordpress.com

More to follow once we get moving again.
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Old 01-09-2015, 08:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kelbylinn View Post
Sorry about the delay in a follow up but here goes. With beautiful weather we worked our way down to key west. Sarasota, Venice, fort Myers beach, Naples, Russell pass (Everglades city anchorage), cape sable direct gulf anchorage, tarpon belly key near cudjoe key, then docking at sunset marina on stock island in key west on dec 18th. We enjoyed two weeks of site seeing and returned by rental car to dauphin island to catch up on work. We head back to the boat on or around the 18th and plan to leave key west heading north on the Atlantic side up to fort pierce then back to the gulf via lake okeechobee back to fort Myers then up the coast using the big bend route to return back to dauphin island by the middle of March. That is when our vacation rental business kicks into gear for the summer here on dauphin island. We just couldn't leave the boat on the east coast for the summer months not being able to use her or be there for any storms that may show up.

Now, any advice on the east coast run from key west to fort pierce, and on the lake crossing would sure be appreciated. I'll be cranking up the in reach delorme unit when we leave key west, go to: share.delorme.com/kelbylinn. To see our progress. Also will start up the blog again at. Hemingway845.wordpress.com

More to follow once we get moving again.
If you are going to the municipal marina in Ft. Pierce, we may see you there. We should be there by Wednesday. Moonstruck is on E dock next to Last Mango. If the slip is empty we have left for Biscayne Bay.

Don't miss stopping for a few days at Biscayne Bay. Really some of the best anchorages in the Keys. We are planning to head down there by next weekend.
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Old 01-10-2015, 12:48 PM   #8
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To funny was just looking at your blog and I think my wife and I are in the background of the O learys shot
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Old 01-10-2015, 01:42 PM   #9
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That is funny. Darn,and I would have bought the next round 😄
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Old 01-10-2015, 01:45 PM   #10
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Biscayne bay is now a definite on our list. Thanks!
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Old 02-09-2015, 01:51 PM   #11
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Well, another change in plans. We are now on our way back and at twin dolphin marina in Bradenton. We scrapped the east coast run for this trip due to needing some repairs on our Davits system. Lester Davits is located in Tampa and will be doing an upgrade from electric to hydraulic lifting system while we leave boat at marina and head home for a couple of weeks to put some time in at the office. Return we at as follows so far: Key West to little Spanish key to little shark river to Russell pass to Naples to fort Myers beach to anchorage at cape haze off ICW north of Charlotte harbor to Sarasota to Bradenton. More to come when we return.
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