Destinations

This page contains information about a host of destinations, some of which we’ve visited, some that our friends have visited, and some that we hope to visit some day!

  • Dry Tortugas, Florida, USA (24° 37.6′ N 82° 52.1′ W) — We tried three times over six or seven years to get to the these islands about 70 miles west of Key West, Florida. One day, we realized that the reason for our inability to get there was that we always tried in December, as wave after wave of low pressure sweeps down the Florida peninsula. Well, in July, 2015, we actually got there and anchored in a beautiful little harbor just off Garden Key, which is where the famous Fort Jefferson is located. Our anchorage was very well protected against swells coming in from the Gulf, the water was warm and clear, and our visit to the Fort was — as documented — hot and dry. If you’d like to visit a real desert (but not deserted) island and not need a passport, try the Dry Tortugas!
  • Egmont Key, Florida, USA (27° 35.4′ N 82° 45.8′ W) — This small island lies in the mouth of Tampa Bay, just south of the ship channel (“Eggmont Channel”) and about six miles west of the Skyway bridge. It hosts a Coast Guard station and an operating lighthouse (Fl 15s 85ft 24M) that we find very comforting when we’re sailing up or down the coast at night. Dropping the hook on the east side works well when the wind is westerly; conversely, when the wind is easterly, the west side is usually calm. But there’s no shelter if the wind is northerly or southerly and it can get rather rolly, so watch out for the shallows.
  • Green Turtle Cay, Abaco Out Islands, Bahamas (26° 46.4′ N 77° 20.1′ W, channel entrance) — This lovely little cay was our favorite stop when we sailed to the Bahamas in April, 2012. It’s a little tricky to find the entrance into White Sound (very well protected from inclement weather), and the channel is barely 6′ deep at high tide (and marked only by red and green floating balls about 10″ in diameter!). But, once inside, there’s plenty of water in which to anchor as well as docks at the Green Turtle Club. Immediately adjacent to the Club is Brindal’s Dive Center; we didn’t have the opportunity to dive with them, but we’ve heard very positive reports about them. It’s a reasonable bicycle ride from the Green Turtle Club into New Plymouth (the only real town on the cay). We really enjoyed eating at the Wrecking Tree Restaurant (27° 45.4′ N 77° 19.6′ W), where a lot of locals (and a few tourists) eat. Great food, nice people!
  • Moss Marine, Ft. Myers Beach, Florida, USA (26° 27.5′ N 81° 57.4′ W) — This small marina offers deep-water slips (12 ft!), showers and a laundry, and the cheapest diesel for 20 miles around. Unfortunately, a large, somewhat annoying casino boat, The Big M, also docks here, and the marina offices provide more space for ticket sales than anything else. Nonetheless, it’s a very nice, friendly marina with very low prices. It’s probably the best value we’ve found so far on the Florida Gulf Coast. It’s very convenient to get in and out (even at night at low tide!), although tidal currents will keep a captain on his or her toes. Easy Gulf access, and pretty close to the IntraCoastal Waterway. And, yes, there’s a West Marine just a couple of miles away by land :) No restaurant on the premises, but plenty of choices less than 5 minutes walk away.
  • Pelican Bay Boca Grande Pass, Florida, USA (26° 41.7′ N 82° 14.5′ W) — A very small, very quiet anchorage that’s reasonably well protected from the west. But getting in and out can be very tricky, so watch your depths and stick fairly close to the north side of the entrance. Only a few miles from Burnt Store and a few other locally famous stopping points, Pelican Bay can seem like it’s totally isolated from the rest of the world. Boats that draw more than five feet shouldn’t attempt to enter or exit at low tide, nor to travel more than a couple of hundred feet into Pelican Bay. But take the dinghy onto the beach at Cayo Costa State Park and spend a day wandering around exploring and watching the wildlife.
  • Port Tarpon Marina, Florida, USA (28° 09.7′ N 82° 46.2′ W) — A small, friendly marina with accompanying boat yard on the Anclote River near Tarpon Springs, FL. We’ve worked on Dream SeQueL there in part because they have a few deeper-water slips that can accommodate our relatively deep draft. There’s also a marine parts store and yacht brokerage on the premises, apparently all owned by various members of the same family. About six miles up the Anclote River, the marina is reasonably well sheltered from heavy weather, but I’m not sure I’d want to ride out a hurricane there.
  • Three Rooker Bar, Florida, USA (28° 07.0′ N 082° 50.5′ W) — No, this isn’t a drinking establishment. It’s a tiny little barrier island (more like a sand bar with shrubbery) just outside the Anclote River on the Gulf Coast of Florida. It’s the first place we sailed by our selves and is really a nice little place to drop the hook for a quiet night or even a couple of days. The islet is a bird habitat and going ashore is prohibited, but we enjoy just anchoring overnight when we can.
  • Tommy Duff’s Irish Aviation Pub (27° 58.68′ N 82° 49.03′ W) — The ultimate neighborhood pub! Guinness (and a half-dozen other beers) on tap, an eclectic food selection, and karaoke…what’s not to like? Well, we’re not karaoke fans, by a long shot, and yet it somehow works at Tommy Duff’s. If you haven’t heard “Michigan Bill” sing I Love This Bar in his I’m-pleasantly-drunk-and-mellow singing voice, you won’t understand how we can tolerate karaoke at this great little bar. It’s a place for regulars and we’re proud to be among them. Find them online. (Sadly, Tommy Duff’s has gone out of business; the economy killed the bar.)

More destinations will be added as we find the inspiration and time.

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