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Old 02-12-2019, 07:43 AM   #1
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Cruising West Coast Florida

Planning on cruising from Miami to Key West and up west coast of Florida to and through Okeechobee back to Miami. Would appreciate suggested anchorages, marinas, and any other ideas for this trip.
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Old 02-12-2019, 08:36 AM   #2
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There is a decent anchorage in the Marco Island area, which will be on your way north before you get to Ft Myers and the west entrance to the Okeechobee.

Turn into the channel at Marco Island. Follow it inland to the Green 15 marker. The anchorage is north-northwest of the marker in a nice, wide open area with 6-12 foot depths and is (supposed to be) a no wake zone. Good holding. Three or four boats can fit in their easily. Dinghy across to restaurants and shops or toodle around the little islets.

We like stopping here.
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Old 02-12-2019, 09:20 AM   #3
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I go back and forth on the Okeechobee waterway and often use the Dolphins at the locks. With some practice, it's fairly easy to tether between 2, tying off to the cleats with a bow and stern line. Avoid the Dolphins that are near the lock openings. Some of the cleats require a long boat hook and a loop in the end of your line. Best avoiding tying to the Dolphin pilings (as opposed to the cleats on them), as the piles have creosote on them. You can plan these spots in advance by viewing the lock areas on Google maps satellite image, as the Dolphins are clearly visible. Also like to anchor in the campground basins above and below the Franklin lock.

Ted
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Old 02-12-2019, 09:50 AM   #4
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I go back and forth on the Okeechobee waterway and often use the Dolphins at the locks. With some practice, it's fairly easy to tether between 2, tying off to the cleats with a bow and stern line. Avoid the Dolphins that are near the lock openings. Some of the cleats require a long boat hook and a loop in the end of your line. Best avoiding tying to the Dolphin pilings (as opposed to the cleats on them), as the piles have creosote on them. You can plan these spots in advance by viewing the lock areas on Google maps satellite image, as the Dolphins are clearly visible. Also like to anchor in the campground basins above and below the Franklin lock.

Ted
Beware east side basin if Franklin lock
Have anchored there many times, but last time hooked a 1Ē steel cable real pain to get off. Itís pretty much right in the middle of basin off the boat ramp.
Next time will tie to Dolphins in basin
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Old 02-12-2019, 09:53 AM   #5
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There are a ton of discussions on this, in whole and in part, on this forum and the Cruisers Forum. It would be helpful to you to research those as folks may not want to repeat the same advice yet another time. It's a really fun trip,especially if you are not bound to a schedule.

The Waterway Guide of the area is a great, very handy reference as well.
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Old 02-12-2019, 09:53 AM   #6
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Many anchorages, and some of the dolphin tieups discussed above, are noted on Active Captain charts. Go to https://activecaptain.garmin.com/en-US/ and register or sign in then click on Map to see Garmin's world wide chart.


You can plan your trip and look for nice anchorages or marinas along the way. The anchorages are often described with info on dinghy docks nearby either in the description itself or in the reviews of the anchorage.


David
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:13 PM   #7
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Beware east side basin if Franklin lock
Have anchored there many times, but last time hooked a 1Ē steel cable real pain to get off. Itís pretty much right in the middle of basin off the boat ramp.
Next time will tie to Dolphins in basin
Following
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Old 02-12-2019, 10:07 PM   #8
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Was planning on crossing the Okeechobee when i was down in January and to my surprise the lake level was low. I draw 5í and the lake was at 12.28 at the time which I think translates to 6.24 or so on the main route. I didnít want to take the chance. I am admittedly conservative but I heard from another that trashed his running gear trying to cross. My point is check the level before committing
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Old 02-13-2019, 11:48 AM   #9
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Planning on cruising from Miami to Key West and up west coast of Florida to and through Okeechobee back to Miami. Would appreciate suggested anchorages, marinas, and any other ideas for this trip.
We have written pretty extensively about marinas and things to see along your entire intended route including travel distances and videos that would hopefully be of some help. Just poke around at Blog – Adventures Of OLOH and let us know if you have any specific questions. There is SO much to see and do!
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Old 03-29-2019, 08:23 PM   #10
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There are a ton of discussions on this, in whole and in part, on this forum and the Cruisers Forum. It would be helpful to you to research those as folks may not want to repeat the same advice yet another time. It's a really fun trip,especially if you are not bound to a schedule.

The Waterway Guide of the area is a great, very handy reference as well.
Can any one provide a link or search parameters to find any threads on FL West Coast cruising? My search yielded no results...

We are newly based in St Pete and, having done much cruising to the south, are thinking about cruising north - heard there are some nice, deep rivers...
Any suggestions?
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Old 03-29-2019, 09:14 PM   #11
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Can any one provide a link or search parameters to find any threads on FL West Coast cruising? My search yielded no results...

We are newly based in St Pete and, having done much cruising to the south, are thinking about cruising north - heard there are some nice, deep rivers...
Any suggestions?
I've been looking at the Apalachicola river. It looks to be navigable to Columbus, Ga. There are I believe 3 Amy Corpus of Engineer locks and a few large industrial plants that probably see some tugs and barges going up the river.

Further west at Mobile, Alabama is the Tombigbee waterway that will take you to the Tennessee river. I came down the Tombigbee when doing the Great Loop, and plan to return up the Tombigbee to spend the fall on the Tennessee river.

A little closer to home is Tarpon Springs. Nice place to spend a weekend or so.

Ted
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Old 04-05-2019, 07:01 AM   #12
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You may want to think twice if you decide to anchor in Little Shark River. It is touted as a fine anchorage in some boating literature but our experience proved otherwise. We and another couple anchored there, about a mile upriver from the entrance, on a recent "high-risk trip from Fort Myers, through the Okeechobee Waterway, down the Eastern ICE to Key Largo, and up the
Southwestern coast to Fort Myers. This was to be out last anchorage, and it was! We hooked a large log and had a neck of a time getting out anchor free fromit. Anchor fluke was bent so badly we have had to replace it. The friends accompanying is also hooked a lot and could not work the anchor free. They lost their anchor and 90 feet of chain rode.
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Old 04-09-2019, 07:44 AM   #13
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Gulfport is one of out favorite anchorages.
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Old 04-09-2019, 10:03 AM   #14
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You may want to think twice if you decide to anchor in Little Shark River. It is touted as a fine anchorage in some boating literature but our experience proved otherwise. We and another couple anchored there, about a mile upriver from the entrance, on a recent "high-risk trip from Fort Myers, through the Okeechobee Waterway, down the Eastern ICE to Key Largo, and up the
Southwestern coast to Fort Myers. This was to be out last anchorage, and it was! We hooked a large log and had a neck of a time getting out anchor free fromit. Anchor fluke was bent so badly we have had to replace it. The friends accompanying is also hooked a lot and could not work the anchor free. They lost their anchor and 90 feet of chain rode.
There are a couple of spots on the LSR that have a reputation for snagging anchors! We always use our old anchor (a CQR) and an old chain/nylon line rode there for just that reason (I would cry if my Mantus got stuck and Iím not going in to the water there to look for it!
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