Twin Dolphin Marina, 1000 1st Ave. West, Bradenton, Florida 34205-7852, 941.747.8300  -  fax 941.745.2831, e-mail: harbormaster@twindolphinmarina.comPink Shell Beach Resort and MarinaLocated at Mile Marker 135 on the Okeechobee Waterway, 15 miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico, Fort Myers Yacht Basin is a well designed and protected marina. It is owned and operated by the City ofSouthwest Florida YachtsBoca Grande Marina, Gasparilla Island, Florida Slips are now available!! On the brand new Dock 5. For information please call (727) 893-7329 or 800 782 8350239 461-0775 Legacy Harbour Marina entrance is located on the Okeechobee Waterway East of Marker #49 on the Caloosahatchee River. The Marina is situated two blocks from historic downtown Fort Myers and three blocks from the historic Edison-Ford Winter Estates. The Marina's 131-Slips range in size from 40 feet to 80 feet and can accommodate Transient Boats of 100 feet plus. The large Fairways make our slips easily accessible. Our slips are surrounded by one of the largest 'floating breakwaters' on the Gulf of Mexico. The floating docks are state-of-the-art. Legacy Harbour Marina is a full-featured facility with all the modern conveniences of home including pump-out station, heated pool, fitness center, full electric metered at the slip, cable TV, laundry, air-conditioned showers and wireless Internet connections available. The Boaters' Lounge is available for relaxing after a cruise or for private parties. The view from the lounge is spectacular! Our grounds are beautifully manicured and provide great strolling along the river with benches, Chickee Hut, and excellent access to all of historic Fort Myers. Please take a few moments to browse our website and see for yourself what our  beautiful boating facility can offer you the next time you are cruising in Southwest Florida.Gulf Harbour Marina    
ICW Marker 73, 4.5 miles from Gulf of Mexico  
14490 Vista River Dr.,
Fort Myers, FL 33908
239-437-0881
gulfharbourmarina@comcast.net
Punta Gorda, Florida - a GREAT cruising destinationThe Town of Fort Myers Beach proudly operates and maintains the Matanzas Harbor Municipal Mooring Field. The field boasts 70 mooring balls available for public rental year-round, and accommodates vessels up to 48 feet in length. The mooring field is located east of the Sky Bridge between San Carlos and Estero Islands in Matanzas Pass. For recreational cruisers, the Fort Myers Beach Mooring Field is a wonderful destination. Coming ashore at the Town’s dinghy dock puts boaters in walking distance to beaches, restaurants, shopping, nightlife, and public transportation. Mooring ball rental fees are $13/day or $260/month. All renters MUST register with Matanzas Inn upon arrival. The dinghy dock is available for public use to tie up dinghies 10’ or less (no overnight tie-ups). The dock is located beneath the Sky Bridge between Matanzas Inn Restaurant and the public fishing pier. Riviera Dunes Marina Just off Tampa Bay Owned and Operated by BoatersRegatta Pointe MarinaSt. Andrew's MarinaThe Port St. Joe Marina is at the heart of Florida's Forgotten Coast, on the eastern shore of pristine St. Joseph Bay on Florida's northern Gulf Coast. Located between Panama City and Apalachicola, FlThe Panama City Marina is located on the intercoastal Waterway one block from Downtown Panama City. The Panama City Marina is a newly renovated 240-slip marina facility designed for all classes of ves

Thoughts on Crossing Florida’s Big Bend Region in the Fall

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 09-13-2010

The messages below have been copied from the AGLCA mail list. Captain Tom gives some very good advice about crossing the “waterwayless” Big Bend region of the Sunshine State, particularly his note about lower than normal tides during the fall months. Some of the other messages reproduced below give very specific info concerning some of the Big Bend rivers and ports of call. There is a wealth of good data in these notes, which is worth the attention of anyone planning on cruising these waters.

There are some good points made recently on crossing the Gulf and going around the Big Bend. Bob Stone has said it very well. One thing to not forget is that come October and November, the “winter tides” set in as the prevailing winds shift from the northeast and blow the Big Bend channels and the Panhandle dry. This is typically 1-2 feet below the charted low water level. High tides are essential for going in or out of channels and those are 14 hours apart when the daylight hours are less. My fellow Loopers aren’t mentioning what month they were successful in using these Big Bend channels, but today would be an excellent choice.
The folks at St. Marks may not agree that they are a good spot to be in a hurricane storm, even a small one. They certainly got beat up a few years ago. Most of the town was flooded as were the docks.
More as the typical “crossing time” approaches,
Meanwhile, stay safe,
Tom

Our boat draws five feet and we have been to Steinhatchie and Cedar Key. We need one foot above low tide to clear the Steinhatchee channel. The floating green channel marker is in the area of least depth. There was only one floating marker in the channel. The others were fixed.
We can not access Cedar Key via the North West channel. It has shoaled in. The Main Ship Channel is deep enough for us to access Cedar Key. Pay close attention to Skipper Bob’s directions for the Main Ship channel as you converge on the North West channel.
Suggest mid tide or better for both locations.
Jim & Pam Shipp
aboard Silver Boots

We will hopefully be crossing around November 7th. We draft 3′ 6″, but are still concerned about the depths if we take the big bend route. We would also like to do the crossing with someone else. We will be on our 3rd leg of a half loop (left from Illinois and will end up in South Carolina. Our 43ft. Wellcraft San Removed is currently at Demopolis Yacht Basin ready to depart on October 31st. We would love to meet up with anyone going that way. We plan on reaching Apalachicola by the following weekend for the seafood festival.
Jenny

Can only speak for St. Marks. After you cross the center chanel, go north through 63 buoys (approximately 7 miles). The St. Marks River is well marked and maintained by the CG. The CG keeps it dredged to 10 or 12 feet (up to buoy 63). There are 4 tides a day and are usually in the 1.5 feet range. Both Lynns Marina and Shields Marina are friendly and can dock your vessel. Just up the Wakulla River is the St. Marks Yacht Club and Shell Island Fish Camp. Shell Island Fish Camp is too shallow for your draft. It is an easier walk from Shields to a small store and 2 restaurants. 4.5′ draft is no problem. Both Marinas & the Yacht Club are good places to get out of a Gulf storm.
Good luck.
Douglas

We made this run with no problems in a boat that only goes 15 knots (but it’s bigger) and there’s nothing particular about doing it Northbound. You do want to arrive in daylight though.
Use PassageWeather – http://passageweather.com/ and click to get the Gulf of Mexico graphical forecasts, then scroll down to the bottom of the page to the wave height forecast and click “animate” so ti will show forecast wave heights for up to one week out, by segments of the days. I have found it to be better than NOAA or other weather sites for Gulf wave height forecasts.
Doug

 

Add your comment to this discussion:

All "Comments/Reviews" submitted to the Salty Southeast Cruisers' Net are reviewed by our editorial staff before being published.