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Old 01-29-2010, 12:12 PM   #1
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...Hi Mates. I will taking my 34 foot sloop north to St. Petersburg next week (FEB10). I plan to depart the Marathon (Florida Bay) area with decent WX and forecast. I will be leaving at high tide during daylight with enough time to make it to deeper water by dark. Any advise on how far offshore to sail. I am hoping for the wind out of the Southeast or better. My draft is 5' 8". I was told fish traps are a certain hazard. I would prefer to sail north instead of anchoring or looking for a marina. My boat should be able to muster 5.5 knots on average in normal wind and sea state. Thank you.
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Old 01-29-2010, 12:41 PM   #2
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Here's one passage plan:

Leave Marathon on a bearing of 320 degrees leaving E Bahia Honda to port continue on this bearing until you intercept Longitude 83 degrees West, then turn due north on 83 then continue on the 83 West until you reach 27 degrees 30' North, then turn into St Petersburg. Plot the latter plan on a chart making sure that you have a clear passage the whole way.
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Old 01-29-2010, 12:45 PM   #3
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Thank you. I will plot this route and have a look...it appears to take me more than 20 miles offshore...

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Here's one passage plan:

Leave Marathon on a bearing of 320 degrees leaving E Bahia Honda to port continue on this bearing until you intercept Longitude 83 degrees West, then turn due north on 83, then continue on the 83 West until you reach 27 degrees 30' North, then turn into St Petersburg. Plot the latter plan on a chart making sure that you have a clear passage the whole way.
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Old 01-30-2010, 12:44 PM   #4
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That is the generic route I would take as well. The question is where in St Pete are you going into? The various passes into the St Pete area allow a number of options....but I would suggest that North Pass not be your primary. If you are going into Tampa Bay, and into the Pier area, you might want to alter your route from the seabouy. You will not need to stay in the ship channel, either side is fine...and watch for ship traffic. Stay clear of the south side too close to Anna Maria Island...tends to get shallow, as does the north side of the point.

DISCLOSURE: I am not looking at a chart at the moment....but I do know those waters quite well....
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Old 01-30-2010, 12:50 PM   #5
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Great briefings..thank you. I will be heading into Pass-a-Grill (Tierra Verde destination) just past the bridge. I think this is the North Channel.

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That is the generic route I would take as well. The question is where in St Pete are you going into? The various passes into the St Pete area allow a number of options....but I would suggest that North Pass not be your primary. If you are going into Tampa Bay, and into the Pier area, you might want to alter your route from the seabouy. You will not need to stay in the ship channel, either side is fine...and watch for ship traffic. Stay clear of the south side too close to Anna Maria Island...tends to get shallow, as does the north side of the point.

DISCLOSURE: I am not looking at a chart at the moment....but I do know those waters quite well....
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Old 01-30-2010, 01:36 PM   #6
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Great briefings..thank you. I will be heading into Pass-a-Grill (Tierra Verde destination) just past the bridge. I think this is the North Channel.
Sounds good. Tierra Verde is the best choice, but watch the soundings on North Pass...it has a tendency to shoal. I would go into Johns Pass, just north of there and head south in the protected ICW where the water is good.

That said, it is possible that NP has been dredged in the last couple of years.... Check your charts carefully....and good luck!
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Old 02-01-2010, 12:55 PM   #7
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I'm pretty sure the charts are only vaguely accurate. When I left Boca Ciega Bay to head south (Oct 09), a small bay between two ICW bridges was supposed to be 10' deep all the way across.

There were birds standing in the middle of it!

Fortunately there were channel markers to follow.

I suggest not attempting a night time arrival. While you can't entirely trust your charts, at least the channel is usually between the markers.
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