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Florida west coast

Discussion in 'Marinas & Waypoints' started by boatpoor, Mar 26, 2018.

  1. boatpoor

    boatpoor Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2016
    Messages:
    111
    Location:
    32407
    Has anyone traveled the ICW between Clearwater and Captiva since the last storms? We are thinking about a trip from Panama City to Key West in a couple of weeks and upper management is wanting a slow day of cruising along the way
  2. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
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    13,936
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    I just did that trip the other day, but ran the outside. A friend of mine has travelled it in a 52' with 4'6 draft about 2 months ago and said it was all fine.
  3. boatpoor

    boatpoor Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2016
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    111
    Location:
    32407
    Thanks Capt J we only draw 4' so we should be fine. I haven't been through there in 20 years and am kinda looking forward to seeing it again.
  4. jhall767

    jhall767 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2010
    Messages:
    314
    Location:
    Middle River MD
    We have been as far north as Siesta Key and down to the gulf with no issues when in the channel this winter. We draw 4'6". We have not been through any of the passes to the gulf north of Captiva though.
  5. dewald

    dewald Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2017
    Messages:
    66
    Location:
    Treasure Island, Florida
    Live in Treasure Island, Fl. Have a 42' Ocean Super Sport. Just putting the final touches on our trip the first of May from TI to Marathon to Ft Lauderdale (50th high school reunion "frightening") to Stuart ditch to Ft Myers to TI. The Boss (wife) likes to take it easy max day 6 Hrs. or shorter. Stayed at a lot of marinas from Tampa Bay south in the last 4 years. If you want more details? maybe can talk via email or phone, instead of writing a book on yachtforums.

    All that being said, does anyone have a recommendations on a marina or marinas Islamorada to Miami for 1-2 nights.
  6. captainwjm

    captainwjm Senior member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2010
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    286
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    Plantation Yacht Harbor in Islamorada.
  7. Cruz

    Cruz Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Messages:
    117
    Location:
    East Coast
    Cap - I'm considering a stay at PYH soon. What's the reality on how one gets there from the Hawk Channel with a 5' draft? I would have assumed Snake Creek but all options look shallow or problematic, particularly the stretch inside through mm 1160. Thanks in advance for your local knowledge.
  8. captainwjm

    captainwjm Senior member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2010
    Messages:
    286
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    I have a 5' draft. From Hawk Channel, take Snake Creek to Bayside. Read the Active Captain hazard mark for the Oceanside entrance to Snake Creek. At MLW, there is 4.5' at markers 1 and 2, so enter with a rising tide on the SC bridge gauge. At the bayside entrance to SC, turn north at the last SC marker [no need to go all the way to the ICW] for at least 1/2 mile before angling toward PYH's red/white light house. Be wary of a shoal developing from the mangroves off to your starboard where depths will decrease to 4' [you will see this only if you don't go far enough north]. Otherwise you'll have 6/7' to PYH entrance. Shallowest water is just outside the PHY breakwater at 5' MLW. We have several permanent residents with 6' draft.

    If you are traveling the ICW north from the Yacht Channel be aware that the stretch from Bowlegs Cut, marker #98 to marker #78A in Cotton Key Basin is the shallowest stretch in the ICW [especially from #84 to #78A]. I won't do it in my boat, although we do have cruisers with 5' drafts that do. If you chance it, be aware of the wind. If it is north or an easterly, turn around. My recommendation is to exit the ICW at Channel Five and go up Hawk Channel to Snake Creek.

    However you go, watch for crab pots. And note that the SC bridge only opens on the hour from 0700 to 1800. Call on channel 9 for an opening.
  9. Cruz

    Cruz Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Messages:
    117
    Location:
    East Coast
    Thanks Cap for the valuable, real-world info. We'll be coming from the lower keys so Hawk Channel to Snake Creek will be the route and we'll arrive at SC on a rising tide per your advice. If we make it there I'll be sure to look for you to thank you in person. Again, much appreciated.