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  • Shoaling Reported at Hurricane Pass, near GICW Statute Mile 142, 6/23, 2016

    This shoaling begins at the mouth of a long narrow channel into upper Clearwater Harbor connecting to the Waterway just south of the Dunedin/Honeymoon Island Bridge.

    Shoaling has been reported in the vicinity of Hurricane Pass-Gulf of Mexico-Pinellas County, between Private aids Hurricane Daybeacon 1 (25975) position 28-03-20.040N/082-49-50.640W and Daybeacon 18 (26025.5) position 28-02-53.820N/082-47-45.060W. Mariners are advised to use caution when transiting these waters or seek alternative routes to and from the Gulf of Mexico. Chart 11411 LNM 25/16

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position at Hurricane Pass

  • Report from Hurricane Pass, Gulf Coast, North of Clearwater, FL

    Hurricane Pass, which intersects the Western Florida ICW between Dunedin and Anclote Key, was formed by a violent hurricane in 1921 resulting in a seaward cut dividing what is now called Honeymoon Island to the north and Caladesi Island to the south. Depths in this cut run 4 feet or less and, as Captain Battistoni reports, the channel shifts constantly. Our advice: avoid this inlet like the plague.

    Cruising News:
    Not sure if this is where I report this, however we have a 43 foot Sea Ray Motor Yacht. I went through the hurricane pass which is a inlet to the ICW just north of clearwater. If you follow the markers you will run aground even during high tide as the markers have you going right through a large sandy landmass that is extending from the north. This was even during high tide. You have to go well south of the markers, and even when you do that we registered only .5 foot under the keel (and this was at high tide).
    Roger Battistoni

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Hurricane Pass

  • [EXPIRED] Jetty Construction on West Side of Honeymoon Island, north of Clearwater, FL

    Hurricane Pass, separating Honeymoon Island and Caladesi Island, leads to south St. Joseph Sound and Clearwater Harbor. These new jetties will be on the west side of Honeymoon Island in the vicinity of charted Pelican Point. Cruisers approaching Hurricane Pass from the north should avoid this construction site.

    Florida Dredge & Dock, LLC will commence jetty construction on or about August 15, 2014. Operations will include constructing 3 T-groins on the gulf side of Honeymoon Island centered approximately 1 mile north of Hurricane Pass. The jetties will extend 250 feet west from high water. Hours of ops will be daylight hours only, (6 days a week) Monday through Saturday. The project will run until approximately July, 2015. Further information contact Don Fletcher, Project Superintendent (727) 942-7888. Chart 11411 LNM: 30/14

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Hurricane Pass and Honeymoon Island

  • Report from Caledesi Island State Park Marina (north of Dunedin)

    Caladesi Island Marina - Click for Chartview

    As I recall, the entrance channel leading to Caladesi Island State Park Marina (from Hurricane Pass) can be a bit of a challenge for first timers, but otherwise, this is a pretty good facility for those who just want to get away from the maddening crowd. It lies just north of the Dunedin and the Honeymoon Island Bridge

    Caladesi is located immediately north of Clearwater Beach. The beach is still great for shellers, especially near the northern end. Dockage is $1/ft at a slip, $2/ft on a t-dock; 30 amp elec. and water included. 24/7 bathrooms on shore, and a snack bar. Florida senior citizens (65+) pay half. Limit is 14 days, but you can contact them and offer to be a volunteer: free dockage in exchange for 20 hr/wk easy labor. For example we met someone who’s job was to pick up any trash (rare) on the beach. She would carry two bags; one for trash, one for shells.
    There are signs that say “watch out for rattlesnakes” but we haven’t seen any. We have seen lots of armadillos, some raccoons, numerous types of birds, gopher tortoises, and very few people.
    The channel is shallow in places, but marked and doable for our 4’6″ draft. A great place to visit. Chosen twice by “Dr. Beach” as the best beach in the country.
    Wade Ehlen
    MT 36 Shady Lady
    New Bern NC

    Wade is spot on about Caladesi Island. It was one of our favorite weekend spots since it was so close to home yet so far away. The beach is absolutely beautiful.
    But Wade, the rattlesnakes are there, although they tend to be in the wooded areas. There used to be a skin mounted on the wall in the rangers office that must be 6′ long. We have seen them that big in the winter, warming themselves in
    a sunny spot on the nature trails.
    Randy Pickelmann
    Morning Star

    When we were in Caladesi last year we caught a line in the prop while in the marina so my husband hopped over to free it. About five minutes after he was back on board a rattlesnake swam by on its way over to the mangroves. We were glad we hadn’t seen it before freeing the line because we might have left the line in the prop rather than risk swimming with the snake. The next day, we also watched as a ranger chased one off the park’s work boat. Still, if you leave them alone, they’ll leave you alone. And Caladesi is so beautiful its worth the stop, even with the snakes!
    Paige Caldwell

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Caladesi Island State Park Marina

  • Caledesi Island State Park Marina (north of Dunedin)

    As I recall, the entrance channel leading to Caladesi Island State Park Marina (from Hurricane Pass) can be a bit of a challenge for first timers, but otherwise, this is a pretty good facility for those who just want to get away from the maddening crowd. It lies just north of the Dunedin and the Honeymoon Island Bridge

    This is a great spot after you get in. We draw 4 1/2 and saw 5 and 4.8 going across the small bay to the marked entrance into the Park. Definitely do it on a rising tide. Great protection once you are in. Avoid the weekends as it is a popular spot for boat clubs. The 100+ slip marina was full the weekend we were there, but during the first part of the week there were only 8 boats. The fairways are narrow and become more so after the 30+ powerboats and sailboats are in the slips.
    S/V Two If By Sea

    Subject: Hurricane Pass
    Cruising News: We just visited Caladesi Island State Park which is near Hurricane Pass, north of Dunedin. Although we did not use it, we saw several sailboats going in and out of it. We talked to one boat who uses it regularly, drawing 4.3\’. He told use that the markers are accurate and he saw nothing less than 6\’.
    David S. Power

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Caladesi Island Start Park Marina

  • Marco Island to Naples Waterway

    The “waterway” that runs from Coon Key Pass, behind Marco Island, and eventually north to Gordon Pass and Naples, is NOT a part of the official (maintained by the US Army Corps of Engineers) Western Florida ICW. HOWEVER, for vessels that draw 4 feet or less, this passage is an intriguing alternative to cruising between Marco and Naples.
    There some real navigational quirks, and the depth limitation outlined above is based on one 4 1/2 foot spot, found near Goodland (southern Marco Island). Perhaps the trickiest section is an easy to miss marker, just south of the Goodland Bridge. If you miss that ATON, you’ll be giving Sea Tow some business every time.
    The discussion below is copied from the AGLCA (American’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association) mail list. As always, I HIGHLY recommend this organization for ANYONE doing or contemplating the Great Loop!

    Is this a viable alternative to going outside with a 4.5 foot draft boat? It looks like it might be a nice place to transit and anchor.
    Do it at high/rising tide?

    We took about 4’4″ through there a few years ago (2006) with no problems. It is shallow and narrow in spots, so your thought of doing it on a rising tide is a good one. It is a rather isolated but pretty route.
    Also, be aware they are dredging in Gordon Pass near Naples, but that shouldn’t be a problem for you.

    A nice place to anchor is in the channel west of Little Marco Island beginning at daymark G”33″. We anchored there and found ourselves partially aground next morning. No problem, we just waited two hours for the incoming tide to float our boat. Evidently, we did not allow enough room to swing on the tide change. Why does the boat always swing on the short shore side when there is gobs of room on the other side?
    Alan Lloyd
    Author, Great Loop Navigation Notes

    Yes, inside route is OK for your draft boat.
    Sanctuary draws 4’2″. In March, 2009, we left Punta Gorda via Charlotte Harbor to the G-ICW, south and went out into the Gulf at Redfish Pass (Captiva Island), and south on the Gulf to Gordon Pass.
    There is only one high tide on the gulf side of Florida, and the high tides are normally in the afternoon, so we entered Gordon Pass on a rising tide around 14h00. Or, you could come all the way from
    Charlotte Harbor south on Pine Island Sound and past Sanibel Island to Ft Myers Beach. From Ft. Myers Beach south to Gordon Pass, outside. When you come off the Gulf into and through Gordon Pass, after a mile or so, you’ll take a hard stbd southbound on the old ICW. That’s the worst part of the entire trip for shallow water, narrow channel and inconsiderate local go fast fishing boats. But, about 4 or 5 miles south is a terrific anchorage called Rookery Bay. It’s a wild mangrove swamp area, and beautiful. Mind the correctly charted shoal on the north east of the opening. There’s plenty of water to the south. Some fisherman wakes until dark, but fine thereafter. No place to walk a dog.
    From there, we proceeded south to Marco. Mind the charts very carefully at Marco. From Rookery Bay on the old ICW, you’ll need to go nearly all the way out the Marco inlet and make a 340 degree turn
    back to get to the old ICW channel south of Marco to Goodland. You can anchor or marina at Marco. There is plenty of room, and more than one area to anchor.
    When you leave Marco Southbound, there is a hiway bridge immediately south of Marco where the channel marker colors change sides. So… When you go under that bridge, southbound, you MUST take a 90 degree stbd turn and find R”26″, which lies against the shoreline in a line parallel to the bridge. It can be hard to spot, but you must go around that marker, leaving it to your port side. You will see
    smaller boats skip it, and head straight at the bridge. DO NOT FOLLOW THEM. It is too shallow for your boat! From R”26″, make another 90 degree turn, this time to port, and find G”25″. It’s a mile off, but
    find it. The channel from R”26″ to G”25″ is a bit narrow, but carries 6 – 8′ of water, so no problem. There is a collection of remains of pilings to stbd after you make the turn at R”26″; leave them to your
    stbd side and follow a rhumb line from R”26″ to G”25″. This all sounds complicated, but forewarned, it’s not bad. However, it can be confusing and unintuitive if you don’t know the marker colors change
    side there.
    The rest of that old ICW channel is fine, and well marked. Follow it through Goodland and through Coon Key Pass to Gullivan Bay. You can anchor or marina at Goodland. If you marina there, be sure to check on approach water depths. The area is shallow. The north portion of Gullivan Bay is also shallow: 5 ft or so at MLW, but no problem. As you proceed south past coon Key Light, you have entered the 10,000 Islands.
    Peg and Jim Healy aboard Sanctuary
    Currently at Charlotte Harbor, Punta Gorda, FL

    The Old ICW from Naples to Rookery Channel Anchorage
    So far so good…..Shallow yes, Twins arrived in Naples about noon yesterday and took the old ICW to the channel between R46 and R48. We anchored up the channel to the east as far as you should go to the 8ft charted hole where the bay opens. The tide was still rising.
    I’ve estimated that the tides here run one to two hours after the tide tables for Marco and Naples which are about an hour different. At low tide this morning the slack occurred almost 2 hours after the stated Marco low at 7:34 of -1.0. We still had a good 9 feet under the swim platform. You could also tie off to the mangroves here but there is lots of room to swing. A pretty spot.
    Definately do this trip at high tide for Naples or Marco if you carry a trawler draft. The advice from Sanctuary (and others) is great! Thanks.
    I’ll cross my fingers again at high tide when we head for Goodland today.

    In 2006 (so info is that dated, but post Hurricane Charlie) we took a chartered 46′ Grand Banks from Marco to Naples using the inside route, a delightful trip on a rising tide. The junction with Gordon Pass is tricky, as noted by Jim. At that time an alternative anchorage to Rookery Bay, and one of our all time favorites, was inside Hurricane Pass. There is a very nice beach that we swam or took our inflatable kayak to that would be good for a dog if you cleaned up after it. One of those places where we could have spent a week . The Pass itself is not usable to get to the Gulf.

    Click Here To View the Western Florida Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For The Little Marco Island Anchorage

  • Caledesi Island State Park Marina (north of Dunedin)

    As I recall, the entrance channel leading to Caladesi Island State Park Marina (from Hurricane Pass) can be a bit of a challenge for first timers, but otherwise, this is a pretty good facility for those who just want to get away from the maddening crowd.

    Subject: Caladisi Island State Park Marina
    Cruising News: We visited Caladisi Island State Park\’s marina for three days beginning 18 November 2009. The marina is modern with new floating piers, water and 30 ampere electricity at almost all slips.
    Most of the slips are for 12 foot beam, but there are eight for various beams up to 17 feet. The wider beam slips can not be reserved but the T heads can be used for wider/longer vessels, however one must pay for two slips on the T. Prices are $1.00 per foot (plus 12 percent tax) with a 50 percent discount for Florida residents over 65. There is a snack bar (hamburgers, hot dogs, etc.) and individual rest rooms, but no fuel, pump-out, or services. The beach has been rated America\’s Best Beach two years in a row. There is a really nice nature path and picnic shelters. This is a great, inexpensive place to relax if your boat can stand the relatively shallow approach channel. We left at low tide and had enough water for our 3 foot 6 inch inch draft.
    Doug Kendrick

    We must have been following in Capt. Kendricks footsteps, we were at both Caladesi and Tarpon Springs City Marina this last week. I’d second everything he says. Cladesi Island is a fabulous unspoiled beach and park with a very well protected clean and well maintained marina. Following the reccomended course line from marker #14 of the Hurricane Pass channel straight across to the Caldesi channel marker #1 we never had less than 5 feet at mid-tide. There were a couple of 50 foot power boats and some 35 foot sailboats there when we were there. 30 amp electric is reliable and included in the slip price. The only disapointment for us was no showers. There are shore heads and changing rooms, but the only showers are open-air, cold water showers on the beach crossovers. The sunsets and the shelling on the beach are world-class.
    Jonathan Gorham

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