Caladesi Island - Trip Report

Use this forum to announce, plan, and discuss events, cruises, regattas, shows, sailing destinations, events your club is planning, etc.

Moderators: Catigale, Paul S, Heath_Mod, beene, Hamin' X, kmclemore, tangentair

User avatar
markh1f
Engineer
Posts: 155
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2008 8:15 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Jacksonville, FL

Caladesi Island - Trip Report

Post by markh1f » Mon Oct 25, 2010 10:28 pm

Just back (a week ago now) from a quick trip to Caladesi Island (rated by some as the best beach in US). Trailered Allons-y! from Jacksonville FL to Dunedin which is about a four hour drive but it seemed to take most of the day after several stops including lunch, post office & groceries. We launched at the Dunedin Municipal Marina. It turned out to be a good spot and a real bargain as the cost was $15 for the launch fee which also allowed us to park car and trailer for 4 days. Only a single ramp (very steep) and 17 trailer parking spots but not busy during the week. Lesson learned – on that steep ramp you have to loosen the wench on the trailer once the back of the boat hits the water or there will be a lot of pressure on the neck of the trailer as the boat will try to float free of the trailer.
Caladesi is beautiful and definitely worth a visit. It has a nice very well protected 99 slip marina with floating docks that costs $1 a foot. They have boardwalks out to the beach, nature trails, outdoor showers, covered picnic tables and a really nice beach. They rent beach chairs & umbrellas, kayaks and even have a snack bar that serves lunch. Bring the bug spray because at dusk the ‘noseeums’ come out in force.
There is sailing off the inter-coastal that is protected but shallow (ran aground a couple of times but no problem as it is all sandy bottom). Access to the gulf is thru Hurricane cut which is well marked and straight forward, we had a great sail on the gulf. There are some nice anchorages off the ICW, we anchored off a small island that worked out well. We ended our stay with a night at the marina in Dunedin. I would not recommend it unless the weather is very settled as their transient slips are very exposed and we bounced most of the night. But there are a number of good restaurants within walking distance of the marina and we had a good diner at Bon Appetits which is right next to the transient slips.
Towed with our 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee, V6 2WD, which did fine, even hauling the boat up that steep boat ramp. We cruised mostly between 65 and 70mph on the highway and averaged about 12 mpg. It was a little hairy on uneven pavement but otherwise, it was no problem at all.
Although we have owned Allons-y! for almost 2 years we kept her in a slip and this was our first trailering trip. Overall, we were very happy with whole package and the boat proves to be a capable pocket cruiser.
Slideshow -http://s673.photobucket.com/albums/vv92 ... =slideshow

Image

Image
Mark

User avatar
kasmith21
Chief Steward
Posts: 73
Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 11:41 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada, 04 26M

Re: Caladesi Island - Trip Report

Post by kasmith21 » Mon Oct 25, 2010 11:56 pm

Mark,
thanks for the trip report. Really enjoyed your pictures. I think one of the best things about this forum is living vicariously through the expeditions of the Mac Sailors.
Cheers
Kevin

User avatar
TAW02
First Officer
Posts: 325
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 9:39 am
Location: Central Florida 2007 M #MACM1869F707 s/v 'Insagal'

Re: Caladesi Island - Trip Report

Post by TAW02 » Tue Oct 26, 2010 8:24 am

Ditto on the thanks Mr. Mark :wink:

I really enjoy reading cruising reports and seeing those pictures of places I may want to visit someday.

Now I must get busy and get cruising!

Tom

jschrade
First Officer
Posts: 422
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:49 pm

Re: Caladesi Island - Trip Report

Post by jschrade » Tue Oct 26, 2010 12:10 pm

What a nice post! I agree these are the gem of the forum.

If your plan is to stay in the Dunedin Municipal Marina, make sure to ask if they have a transient slip inside - often they do.

I keep my boat in a slip at the Dunedin Municipal Marina and live about 10 minutes from the marina. It's location is fantastic with a wonderful community and boat club. You can easily walk to bars, restaurants and stores during your stay.

If you are staying there, make sure to ask for access to the locked bathrooms and showers (powerful and hot!) so you don't have to use the pubic ones.


Jim :macm:

User avatar
Love MACs
Captain
Posts: 587
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2008 1:56 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Eddyville, KY; 2002 X, 50hp Merc-4 stroke: Dream Chaser
Contact:

Re: Caladesi Island - Trip Report

Post by Love MACs » Tue Oct 26, 2010 12:51 pm

Nice pics I really enjoy it when members share their experience/trip with all of us in this way. I hope to do the same when we are in the Keys. :) I plan to make a webpage (?) and post pics and vids as often as I can, with a link here in the forum.

Allan

User avatar
markh1f
Engineer
Posts: 155
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2008 8:15 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Jacksonville, FL

Re: Caladesi Island - Trip Report

Post by markh1f » Tue Oct 26, 2010 7:28 pm

Thanks all for the kind words…
Jim, you’re lucky to keep your boat in such a beautiful location, you have so many good destinations within a short sail, I regret not being able to stay there longer and do some more exploring.
Mark

User avatar
mdeane
Engineer
Posts: 136
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 7:40 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: Caladesi Island - Trip Report

Post by mdeane » Wed Oct 27, 2010 7:52 am

Really enjoyed your trip report. Brought back some very good memories of our first salt water adventure on Sol Mate this past Memorial day weekend. We put in at Clearwater Municipal Boat Ramp and used Clearwater Municipal Marina as our base for five days. One of the days we sailed up the ICW and visited Caladesi Island for a few hours. While there we had the good fortune to dock next to another Mac. Even though we were meeting for the first time it felt like we were old friends sharing our Mac experiences. I regret not having taken pictures to document our trip. We definitely plan to return and do a better job of documenting 8) .

LOUIS B HOLUB
Admiral
Posts: 1316
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2005 9:40 am
Location: 1999 Mac-X, Nissan 50 HP, Kemah, TX, "Holub Boat"

Re: Caladesi Island - Trip Report

Post by LOUIS B HOLUB » Wed Oct 27, 2010 11:40 am

kasmith21 wrote:Mark,
thanks for the trip report. Really enjoyed your pictures. I think one of the best things about this forum is living vicariously through the expeditions of the Mac Sailors.
Cheers
Kevin
Yes indeed ! Good report Mark.
Advantages of a "trailer sailor"...traveling by land and water to points of great interest and beauty.

vizwhiz
Admiral
Posts: 1389
Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:48 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26S
Location: Central Florida

Re: Caladesi Island - Trip Report

Post by vizwhiz » Wed Oct 27, 2010 2:41 pm

Not fair! Not fair! I LIVE HERE!! :x
I have to get a BOAT!! :(

Sigh...great trip report though! :|



Does whining help one get a boat? :P

User avatar
hoaglandr
Engineer
Posts: 155
Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2010 10:23 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Springfield, Ohio - 2005 M: LazyDayz - Yamaha T50

Re: Caladesi Island - Trip Report

Post by hoaglandr » Wed Oct 27, 2010 4:57 pm

My list of places to visit just keeps getting longer! 8)

Russel

User avatar
TexasDan40
Chief Steward
Posts: 98
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 10:27 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Humble, Tx...Mac26X "Alpha Sail" Rigged on Trailer in Kemah, Tx

Re: Caladesi Island - Trip Report

Post by TexasDan40 » Thu Oct 28, 2010 7:11 pm

Looks like a great spot to take Alpha Sail
Te :macx:

jschrade
First Officer
Posts: 422
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:49 pm

Re: Caladesi Island - Trip Report

Post by jschrade » Thu Oct 28, 2010 10:10 pm

Could be a great place for a Macgregor get together!

Jim

wormsquirm1
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2010 12:36 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X

Re: Caladesi Island - Trip Report

Post by wormsquirm1 » Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:06 pm

It definately would be a great place for a Mac get together. We've stayed at the Dundedin marina and loved it, I found everyone very friendly and the town is neat. Did the little cruise to Caladesi and keep meaning to get back and maybe sail up to Tarpon Springs.

Let's set something up.

vizwhiz
Admiral
Posts: 1389
Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:48 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26S
Location: Central Florida

Re: Caladesi Island - Trip Report

Post by vizwhiz » Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:04 pm

Now that I have a boat, I'm one step closer to participating!
Will get over there and say "hello" eventually, Jim!
Nice slideshow Mark! So pretty over there...and the Fall/Winter sunsets down here are the best!

User avatar
Dimitri-2000X-Tampa
Admiral
Posts: 2007
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2004 8:36 am
Location: Tampa, Florida 2000 Mercury BigFoot 50HP 4-Stroke on 26X hull# 3575.B000

Re: Caladesi Island - Trip Report

Post by Dimitri-2000X-Tampa » Sun Mar 06, 2011 9:30 am

I made this same trip a couple of years ago and I also agree that Caledesi is a top notch destination! I also found the folks at Dunedin Marina (I think Bill is the name of the harbor master) to be extremely friendly but one caution, if you are going out of there with your mast down, be careful because the passageways are quite narrow in there and turning a Mac26X around with several feet of mast sticking out the back is very hairy. Luckily, I did it without hitting anything, but it was rough cause my engine was idling poorly at the time (fixed now though).

Post Reply