The West Coast Trailer Sailing Squadron's
1. November 16th - 18th Friday - Sunday - Cedar Key in November! - This is turning out to be one of our favorite small boat events! If you have a shallow small boat, bring it! Make reservations NOW for the many hotels, condos, and B & B's in the town, or plan on staying aboard anchored out by Atsena Otie Key. The Island Place is back open and taking reservations, Old Fenimore Mill has good sized two bedroom two bath condos available, and many others. Use http://cedarkey.org/stay/ to locate a place that fits your lifestyle and budget. Last Year's photos:
Meet Friday night at Tony's Famous Clam Chowder house - I'll make a reservation for the back room. Be there by 5:30 for a table.
2. December 14th - 16th - Indian River Lagoon Cruise - You can cruise over to IRL #1 and camp on the island in tents, or stay aboard your vessel in the protected cove. Launch at Honest John's Fish Camp about 4 miles north of the IRL#1 island or on the Mainland at Christensen's Ramp. Even closer. IRL#1 is directly west of the Sebastian Inlet. ( I like to take Hwy 60 across the state to avoid the Interstates.)
Photos from a 2013 visit to IRL #1: http://wctss.ij.net/photos106.html
3. January 2 - 6, 2019 -Ten Thousand Islands Cruise. Between Goodland and the Everglades National Park lies the 10,000 Islands of SW Florida. Launch at Goodland Boating Park or the Resort at Port of the Islands.
Sail to the western side of Panther Key and anchor off the expansive beach. Stick closer to the northern end of the beach to have deeper water at low tide. (Ask me how I know). More later. Great campfires, sails to the ENP, or out to the Dome Homes on the point at Cape Romano Shoals. The white island just above the words "Ten Thousand" in the photo below is Panther Key. Bring beach chairs, campfire or starter logs, and stuff to share.
Photos from another 10K Cruise: http://wctss.ij.net/photos112.html
4. LonniePaulooza - Saturday Feb 9th - all day
Lonnie and Paula Black have generously agreed to host an event whose aim is to get every boat in Lonnie’s fleet navigating Lake Lotela (which is in Lonnie’s backyard) as well as eat, drink and make merry shore side long into the night. This is one event you don’t need to bring a boat to- just get in one of the many kayaks, canoes, and sailboats in fleet and have fun.
When: Saturday February 9, 10 am till?
Where: 1001 Terry Dr, Avon Park FL
What to bring:
• The Squadron is providing a 2PM dinner with BBQ and fixings from a local vendor. BYOB any adult beverages.
• Bring bathing suits and towel; there is a spa/hot tub. Also bring folding chairs and LIFE JACKETS!
• No boat is required. You may bring one if you wish; ramp is nearby.
Please RSVP by Jan 1 so planning may commence.
• Email: LLBNSEB1@gmail.com
• Phone/Text: 863-873-8222
• Include how many people you will be brining and possible dish(es).
• If you want to come Friday afternoon and help set up, let Lonnie know. We are looking for a handful of volunteers.
• Overnight accommodations are also available Saturday night (indoor, camper, or bring your own tent/camper). Please indicate if you are interested and coordinate with Lonnie.
5. March 2nd - Start of the Everglades Challenge, Breakfast at Skyway Jacks, and Marine Yard Sale at Island Nautical. Once a year 100 or so sailors and paddlers of the Watertribe take off on the adventure of a lifetime from the East Beach of Fort DeSoto at the southern end of Pinellas County to make their way down the coast and all the way to Key Largo! It's best to visit on Friday (March 1st ) while the boats are being inspected. Take photos and meet the sailors. Then come back before dawn the next day if possible for the start! On the morning of March 2nd (Saturday) it will be dark thirty and the horn will blow at dawn. There will be a mad scramble to launch the boats from above the high tide mark and out across Tampa Bay. Photos from 2012 Everglades Challenge here-> EC LINK
After the start we'll make our way to a different restaurant this year - Skyway Jacks - 2795 34th St- in St. Petersburg
After breakfast many of us are interested in going to the annual Island Nautical Marine Flea Market at 2233 3rd Ave S in St. Petersburg!
6. March 22nd- Friday - 24th-Sunday - Cayo Costa Cruise! This is one of our best attended overnight cruises. Launch your sailing craft at Eldred's Marina (Placida 10.5 miles across Charlotte Harbor), at the County Marina at Bokeelia about 7 miles away, at Punta Gorda's City Marina (24 miles away), or at Pineland Marina on west side of Pine Island. Arrive at the north Pelican Bay cove on Friday afternoon. Set up your anchors so you can step off your boat onto a pristine sandy beach where we'll set up beach chairs and have time to meet and greet new and old members alike.
Saturday we'll take daysails out of the cove - or circumnavigate the beautiful Island of Useppa! Saturday night a small campfire is usually made - a focal point for friends to share sailing stories and make new friends.
Sunday we pack up and head back for our various launching points for the ride home.
Last Year's Photos: http://wctss.ij.net/photos168.html
7. April 1st- Monday - April 4th - Thursday -St. John's River Cruise. Old Retired Folks Cruise on the St. John's River - Launch Monday by 12PM, at the town of ASTOR off of Hwy 40 (Butler Street), 24 miles east of Ocala. If you cross the river you just passed it. Safely store your vehicle and trailer there. First leg of the trip will take us down river (North) through the Volusia Bar (about 4 miles) and into Lake George where we will sail (yes sail) about 4 miles to the entrance of Silver Glen Springs! Bring your mask and flippers for a gorgeous swim in the spring. Stay on-board overnight and Tuesday head back up river to a long motor, past Astor Ramp another 20 miles to Hontoon Island State Park on river right. We'll get slips (!) there and you can plug in if needed to charge your batteries. Rest rooms and showers are included. Seniors who are FL residents only pay about $12 per night at their nice floating docks. Wednesday we'll head back down river (North) toward Astor. Some will decided to go all the way (20 miles) while others will pick a secluded cover along the river to arrive back at Astor earlier the next morning (Thursday) for a return trip home.
Although there's a lot of motoring, this is a lovely trip with lots of tall trees and wildlife. Fuel is available along the way, but depending on your boat's fuel consumption you should plan on being able to motor for 20-30 miles if necessary. Bring charged up VHF radio to communicate with the fleet if you need fuel or need help along the way. We'll monitor channel 16 with 71 as conversation channel and 68 as a backup in case of congestion.
The WW Potters, and fleet of PEEP HENS were the impetus of this trip, and are ideally suited to do it. Calling all Com-Pacs in the fleet, especially SunCats also.
Links below to 2014 and 2015 trips to Silver Glen Springs:
8. April 12-14th - Florida Gulf Coast Traditional Small Craft Festival - Sarasota Sailing Center -
9. May 3rd - 5th - Cedar Key Small Boat Weekend! - Make Plans early. Call the hotels, or look at the Chamber of Commerce web site for accommodations. This is our biggest event of the YEAR!
Hundreds of small boats from all over the country come here the first weekend of May to sail the shallow waters off of Cedar Key - the islands - all five of them are right off shore within a few minutes to an hour or so away!
Friday night the Squadron gathers at Tony's Chowder House - can't miss it as you enter town on hwy 24 (on the left).
Saturday night is the gathering at the town's Community Center (809 6th Street). Usually 6:30 - a catered event (10 or 15 dollars) and guest speaker after dinner. This year the Wizard is coming for a talk! Matt Layden, yacht designer and Everglades Challenge Master, will give a rare appearance to tell us about his experiences!
Atsena Otie Key is the closest and it's northern beach (facing the town) is the gathering place for sailors on Saturday (May 4th). Sail right on up to the beach! Someone will be there to take your anchor. You can hop out and check out the gathering and meet new friends or reaquaint yourself with old ones. Also on Atsena Otie Key is the remains of the old Pencil Factory, and grave yard of people who lived and worked on Atsena Otie Key in the last century when a railroad line crossed the harbor to the island.
Snake Key is to the south a few miles. Shallow to the north of the island, so stay in the main channel out of the area until you can line up on the western edge of Snake for a beach landing.
North Key is the furthest Key to the west but still only an hour or so sail on a good breeze. Camping aboard is best there!
SeaHorse Key is a bird refuge this time of year, so you can sail around it, but cannot get off and walk around it.
Last year's Event Photos: http://wctss.ij.net/photos170.html