Tampa Bay Area sailors, advice needed

Thread starter #1
Tarpon springs specifically. I'd like to camp on Anclote Key. My concern is where to launch my fish from. Also, I would need a safe place to leave my truck and trailer overnight. Any suggestions from the local sailors would be appreciated.
Thanks, Dave
Thread starter #2
So I went down and checked out the Tarpon Springs area. No luck on overnight parking yet. But I was able to find a nice day parking area. Fred Howard's park in Pinellas county. With a light wind and a novice amount of sailing history I was able to make it to Anclote key in about an hour. Nice beaches and sunny skies made for a great January day... image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg
Nice pictures. I could picture the tide coming up from that very low state and the Sunfish ending up in Mexico!
An hour or so north of you near Englis and Yankeetown, just north of the now-closed nuke electric plant at Chrystal River is a very good, popular launch ramp.
It is actually on the north side of Chrystal River where it meets the Gulf. Lots of parking. Fishermen and kayakers often park overnight. No organized camping around. But plenty of islands to 'bootleg' camp as kayakers often do.
Sail north a mile and there are many small islands with palm trees and brush. Unlike the rest of west Florida, these are made up of rocks! they are limestone, of course, but wear shoes of some type.
Right now the huge White Pelicans are in great flocks. Fishing is fabulous. And the Sunfish can go anywhere. Well, at really low tide sometimes pigeons are walking, so not there.
I have sailed there several times, sometimes in the canoe with sail, sometimes with the Sunfish. Take a chart. And don't expect cell phone coverage in all areas. Also, keep an eye out for buried pirate treasure. William Bowles, AKA Billy Bowlegs is known to have haunted the area around Civil War time. I always take my metal detector. So far, no great treasure find.

Alternately, Fort Desoto Park in south Pinellas County, about 30 miles south of Tarpon Springs has excellent camping and a first class launch ramp(s).
But this time of year (winter) it is booked up a year in advance.

Dave Ellis
Thread starter #4
Thanks! Funny that you mention Fort Desoto, myself and a few friends are camping down there next weekend. Some last minute campers cancelations opened up a few spots for next weekend. I can't wait!
Make sure you sail up into Soldier's Hole. There always seems to be something interesting in that inlet into the belly of Mullet Key, the boomerang-shaped island that is the largest in the park. Same with Bunce's Pass. Great sailing area. Keep your eyes open for all kinds of sea creatures.
The area of the old Spanish American War fort on the island was my dad's playground in the 1930s and mine in the 1950s. They have concreted over our old initials carved in the walls. But my dad had one of the very large gudgeons from the fort's doors in our garage during my youth. I wondered what it was. I used it as a dumb bell for exercise as it was bronze and heavy. Before he died he admitted that he 'borrowed' it in 1936 (long before it was a park). You will find one gudgeon missing from one of the doors.
Dave Ellis
Sunfish 79301
Thread starter #6
Thanks! I'll be sure to check out those places. With winds around 15 knots and temps in the mid 80's should make for a great sailing/camping trip.
Thread starter #8
Thanks. She's a 68'. Still has the original gelcoat on the deck. I picked it up just for parts but she was in too good condition to just strip down.
Thread starter #10
I really like that color. I recently picked up a mid 70's fish that is in need of paint. I might go green with white stripes like the one you sold no too long ago.