The West Coast Trailer Sailing Squadron's
1. January - Sail to Panther Key in the 10,000 Islands - (Jan 2nd - Jan 8th ) Launch at Goodland Boating Park or Port of the Islands Resort Marina. The floating dock at Goodland is damaged but everything else is OK to launch. Very relaxing trip and easy traveling. Launching at Port of the Islands requires a 5 mile canal trip to the Fakahatchee River where you will find the west side of Panther Key out by the Gulf. Launching at Goodland Boating Park requires navigating out past
The Port of the Islands Marina is back up and running, so we should be good to go the day after New Years - Tuesday Jan 2nd - Monday Jan 8th, 2018. Sail out to Cape Ramano Shoals, and into the Everglades National Park at Tiger and Picnic Key - Perhaps an ice run to Everglades City or Goodland for a lunch during the week is in order. Good beach camping if the winds are out of the east quadrant.
2. Lake Harris Daysail/overnighter Feb 17th - Launch 9:30 at Hickory Point Recreadion area - just off state highway 98 south of Eustis and north of Howie in the Hills. Lunch at the famous Hideaway Restaurant on the NE corner of the lake (just north of Long Island). They have improved their docks, and there is a LOT more space than it looks from 100 yards out. Come in, dock up, raft up, bring fenders. If you want you can anchor overnight near Horseshoe Island not far from Hickory Point Rec. Area (ramps). See you there!
3. Lemon Bay and Stump Pass - Daysail or overnighter - Feb 23rd - 24th - Friday and Saturday. Suggested by Jane and Eric DeVoe, this is a body of water (Lemon Bay) that we've bypassed in our haste to get to Cayo Costa over the years. Brenda Bell lives right on Lemon Bay and will be giving us details on places to launch, anchor, and visit in the area. Brenda reports that the Manasota Beach Boat Ramp at 8570 Manasota Key Rd is a 24 hr. Ramp. It is just south of Manasota Key bridge and has just opened. Put that in your Google Map and it will take you right there. There is a dock surrounding the mangroves to the south and north of the ramp, so you can launch and move your boat to the dock while you park and load a picnic basket (LOL). Stump Pass offers some very nice sandy anchorages in an area between Englewood beach and Peterson Island. We found a nice restaurant as well.
Launching at the Manasota Key Bridge Ramp on Friday Feb 23rd, we'll sail or motor south down the intracoastal waterway to the Englewood Bridge - about 6 miles. Both sides of Lemon Bay are lined with residences. Along the way we will pass Indian Mound Park, where there are additional ramps, and restrooms. Going under the Englewood Beach Bridge, bear right toward the anchored yachts. In a corner to the NW you will find the White Elephant Pub and Tiki Bar. This could be a nice lunch stop before you head back north to your launching point, or you use it before heading down the deep cut towards Stump Pass to find a stern to the beach anchorage for the night along the Stump Pass Park.
Here are a few maps of the area:
4. Everglades Challenge Start - March 3rd - East Beach of Ft. DeSoto at DAWN! If you want to check out the boats, go to the east beach on Friday afternoon. After the launch and send off of our brave voyagers, the Squadron will meet at The SeaHorse restaurant on Pass-a-Grille Beach for a hearty breakfast! Great fun and companionship! Good food too! On the map below, the launch is at the location of the "Y" of the word KEY.
5. Cayo Costa Spring Cruise! March 16-18 - Friday through Sunday! Meet inside the sand bar at the north end of Pelican Bay (north end of Cayo Costa State Park) Saturday is St. Patrick's Day so wear something green, or brings some green beer! Launch at Eldred's Marina on Placida and cross Charlotte Harbor, or from Punta Gorda's Laishley Marina, or Bokeelia's small County Marina, or PineLand Marina on Pine Island. Lots of choices.