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PostPosted: Sun Dec 17, 2017 5:41 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2014 6:43 am
Posts: 89
Location: Chalfont Pa
Going there in March, with a TI looking for any info from others that have been there. Places to stay, launch and what to expect in conditions in March.
Thanks.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 5:48 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 6:18 am
Posts: 2942
Location: Sarasota,Key West FL
Crystal river is very fun, that time of year their are hundreds of manatees by the springs, I think your supposed to steer clear of them, (look but don't touch). We have been there many times. We stayed at the best western right on the shore with our TI on the roof, (you can probabably do it with a trailer also, just separate them and park the boat off to the side somewhere, a good idea to call and ask beforehand, ( the parking lot is small). The water out of all the springs is 72f year round, we usually bring our wetsuits, (even in the summer). If your into scuba diving their is a nice dive shop right there with a boat ramp. We usually walked our boat to the ramp from the parking lot and launched from there. We have done it both ways, in kayak only mode it's a lot of peddling and you can't go very far, (the area is huge). In full rigged mode it's a lot more fun for us, plus with our tramps we dive from the boat, (just snorkeling is just as fun as scuba diving, the water is crystal clear). It's a good 5 mile trek to open ocean, (not practical in kayak mode). Plenty to see and do in that whole area.


If you get down to St pete, a great place to kayak and sail is ft Desoto, there is a nice launch there, or you can launch from the side of the road just before going in the park. I think park entry is $5 bucks, and trailer parking last time I was there was $6 bucks. I'm handicapped and they have nice handicapped parking.
If your there the first week of march, the everglades challenge launches from the park on the south beach early saturday morning, it a fun time to walk up and see all the boats and talk to all the people Friday afternoon. There will likely be a couple hundred entrants, and likely 20-30 adventure boats, (AI/TI, (mostly TI's)) all tricked out for the 300 mile extreme endurance race. I highly recommend you stay away from the skyway bridge and the cruise ship channel, as dangerous as it gets thru there.
I hear it's nice up around Dunedin but we haven't been there. We live in Sarasota and usually launch from city island right next to Sarasota sailing squadron. We usually launch at city island and would often sail up to ft desoto and egmont key, ( there is a sunken fort just off egmont, fun for diving). There is a sunken molasas barge just off holmes beach also, (anna maria island), if your into that kind of crap. We have been as far as treasure island, (launching from city island), but that's about our absolute max day range ( we only day sail), kinda far and really boring, you need full lights and nav for a trip that far, (about a hundred miles), (keep in mind our rig was highly modified for offshore). Lol there is a bar/ restaurant every mile or so, we typically stop at as many as possible. Paradise key, ( just north of anna maria) is also a fun stop in the summer, (not so much in the winter).
I'm sure others will advise all kinds of other fun places.
Hope this helps
FE


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 9:24 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2014 6:43 am
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Location: Chalfont Pa
FE Thanks for all the info. We are not divers but will bring snorkeling gear. The boat is on the roof, building a system using a ladder rack and an old ladder which will hopefully make loading/unloading easy. I wish we could go early for the challenge start but this is not possible.
We are researching accommodations, currently have a booking at Port Hotel and marina in Crystal River, looked nice on the web site and price was good. The plan was to drive down and rent a travel trailer but the one we wanted is not available. So we are looking into hotels and apartments.
If you are in Sarasota that is fairly close, maybe we can meet up for a meal and drinks.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:07 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:30 am
Posts: 390
Location: Clearwater, Fl
Dunedin Causeway in Pinellas county is (in my opinion) one of the best places in Florida for a TI. My favorite sail is to go from the causeway to three rooker islands and then around honeymoon island state park into St. Joseph sound. Gets crowded around that time of year though. Give me a shout during the week and I'll meet you out there with my TI.

Jim


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 7:29 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2014 6:43 am
Posts: 89
Location: Chalfont Pa
Thanks Captain. Will PM our contact info and dates as the time gets closer. Since I am getting some good feedback on the sailing, how about bike trails? We have awesome bike only trails around here and plan to bring two recumbent trikes along. They are bike trail only, not for use anywhere that the road is shared with cars. Hopefully there will be some good spots to ride also.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 3:10 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:30 am
Posts: 390
Location: Clearwater, Fl
Look up the Pinellas trail which is a good bike trail that goes through the entire county. Actually goes pretty close to the launch site I mentioned.
Jim


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:58 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2014 6:43 am
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Location: Chalfont Pa
cAPTN, you have a PM


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