Route planning - how to estimate speed

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NiceAft
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Re: Route planning - how to estimate speed

Post by NiceAft »

I agree. A leisurely 10 or 12 hours sailing is much more comfortable and relaxing than four hours under power. :wink:
When you’re crisscrossing the Chesapeake, with no place to pull over, or safely anchor, a leisurely 10 hour sail could be dangerous, especially if solo sailing in a Mac on waters heavily traversed by many freighters. That’s not leisurely.

As much as I enjoy long hours of sailing, constant attention to my surroundings (I do have AIS) can dull the enjoyment.

After arriving at the marina, and a night’s rest on the boat, the next day we go out for that leisurely sail with no rush to be anywhere by a certain time.


On our Chesapeake trip this June, we are waiting to see if one of our stops needs to be changed. Our 5th stop (as of now) is Baltimore's Inner Harbor. At this time, because of the Key Bridge collapsing, no boat can enter Inner Harbor, and no boat in it, can leave.
Ray ~~_/)~~
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Be Free
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Re: Route planning - how to estimate speed

Post by Be Free »

Come on over to my neck of the woods. Once I'm offshore I seldom see another boat from horizon to horizon for hours on end.

Right now, on the MarineTraffic site there is only one boat between Apalachicola and Cedar Key (and it's mine). That's a around 130 miles of coastline.
Bill
2001 26X Simple Interest
Honda BF40D
"If I were in a hurry I would not have bought a sailboat." Me
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NiceAft
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Re: Route planning - how to estimate speed

Post by NiceAft »

That appears to be an invitation. Anything to do in Steinhatchee at night?
Ray ~~_/)~~
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Be Free
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Re: Route planning - how to estimate speed

Post by Be Free »

It's 10pm on a Saturday night and I'm responding to messages on an Internet forum. Does that tell you anything? :D
Bill
2001 26X Simple Interest
Honda BF40D
"If I were in a hurry I would not have bought a sailboat." Me
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NiceAft
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Re: Route planning - how to estimate speed

Post by NiceAft »

I can’t talk……….I’m the one who’s answering :(
Ray ~~_/)~~
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Be Free
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Re: Route planning - how to estimate speed

Post by Be Free »

Steinhatchee has been described as "a drinking town with a fishing problem". :D

There are a little under 500 people who live here full time. It is very quiet during the week and a little less quiet on the weekends. It is very busy early in the scallop season and any time there is a special event. Some of those events can bring close to 20,000 people here for the weekend.

At one time there was a lot of commercial fishing here. Most of what remains is supporting the restaurants here and in the surrounding area. If you like fresh seafood this is a good place to eat.

Because the majority of the economy is based around weekend visitors and vacation homes we do have a lot of restaurants, marinas, and short-term accommodations for a town of our size. There is usually a live band at one or more of the restaurants most nights. Most of the restaurants are good and reasonably priced. At least one is good and very expensive.

The night-life here consists of watching a beautiful sunset and your choice of several good restaurants, possibly one or more with a live local band. I'm aware of one bar. I would describe it as a textbook example of a dive bar. It has typical bar food, one pool table, and lots of smoke.

The town is split by the Steinhatchee River. Technically, the community on the south side of the river is Jena and is in a different county. Most people just refer to the whole area as Steinhatchee since neither is an incorporated city. Jena has one public boat ramp. It was free the last time I used it about 6 or 7 years ago. Parking is limited and a couple of blocks from the ramp. Steinhatchee has one as well. It is $5 per day ($20/year if you prepay). There are about 40 parking spots at the ramp and more across the street.

Most of the Steinhatchee River is best seen from a canoe or kayak. There is a small park about 6 miles upriver from my house. Depending on the river level there is actually a small waterfall there. Right now we're near flood stage and it's just a small stretch of rapids. It's about a 3 or 4 hour leisurely paddle from there to the end of my street.

North or south, you have a very good chance of seeing dolphins offshore and near the mouth of the rivers. I've seen manatees in the shallow areas near shore but I've found them more often in the rivers.

It is a day sail (with maybe a little engine help) north to the St. Marks river. From there you can work your way west to Apalachicola, Panama City, Destin, and Pensacola.

The water along this part of the coast is shallow, even for our boats. That's a mixed blessing since it means you often have to go out 2 or 3 miles to find even 6' of water for sailing but it also means that almost anywhere along the coast is shallow enough to anchor out if the weather permits. The bottom here is usually sand or grass over sand (offshore) and (almost) invariably mud in the rivers. I use a small Danforth style anchor on 120' of nylon. I don't remember the size but it fits easily in the anchor locker.

To the south you can make it to the mouth of the Suwannee River or Cedar Key. Both are good spots to spend the night. You could spend a couple of days exploring the Suwannee (mostly under power). About 25 miles upriver, if you drop your mast, you can motor for another 30 or 40 miles. There is not much to do and not even many towns but if you like nature and quiet it's a good place to go. The large springs that feed the river are a good place to find manatees. Depending on the time of year you may see very large sturgeon jumping out of the water.

Cedar Key is another former fishing community that has gone tourist. They cater more to the "artsy" crowd. There are lots of good restaurants and plenty of nature. Lots of birds nest on the surrounding islands and I almost see pods of dolphins in the area.

Continuing South, at about 1 day sails, you will find the Crystal River, Homosassa River, and then Anclote Island a little north of Clearwater. I've not been much south of Anclote so I can't tell you anything first-hand.
Bill
2001 26X Simple Interest
Honda BF40D
"If I were in a hurry I would not have bought a sailboat." Me
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Dimitri-2000X-Tampa
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Re: Route planning - how to estimate speed

Post by Dimitri-2000X-Tampa »

Steinhatchee has such a cool personality, I have been many times in both of my sailboats. Seems like a lot is centered around the Sea Hag marina which even though their prices have gone up a bit in recent years (they used to charge only 50c per foot a few years back) is still a nice place to dock for the night. I remember the old docks before some hurricane destroyed them, there was a river otter (first I thought it was a small seal) that lived under the docks and ate plenty of fish scrapings from all the fishermen that hang out there. Now the place is overrun by cats who come out just as all the people leave at closing time. Its quite the sight and the folks that own and run that marina are extremely friendly and it was amazing watching them recover from Idalia most recently. Completely flooded the first floor to the ceiling yet got the place back up and running in about a month. Here is a pic from the Christmas boat parade in 2022.

Image
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Be Free
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Re: Route planning - how to estimate speed

Post by Be Free »

It's changed a lot just in the last few years.

There is a new marina between Roy's and the boat ramp and a lot of new floating docks. The boat ramp was completely redone a couple of years ago. It has multiple floating docks in place of the fixed docks along the bank.

Several new restaurants have opened. Hungry Howie's was closed after the hurricane. It was the only reasonably priced restaurant that you could pull your boat up to. I hope someone else takes over the location but I expect it's going to be torn down and a rental house put up in it's place.
Image
Roy's on the left. The new marina to the right.

Image
New docks. The other side of the ramp is set up the same way. This was on a Friday afternoon in January. I had the place to myself.
Bill
2001 26X Simple Interest
Honda BF40D
"If I were in a hurry I would not have bought a sailboat." Me
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