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America's Great Loop Cruisers' Association
Information & Inspiration for Your Great Loop Cruise
HomeMobile Bay to the Keys Overview

Mobile to Key slideshow

Great Loop Segment: Mobile to the Keys
The Upper Gulf Coast covers 350 miles of Florida from Pensacola/Perdido Bay to Tarpon Springs.  There are two distinct cruising regions: the Big Bend/Nature Coast which showcases swampy marshland and beautiful wilderness terrain while the Florida Panhandle coastline offers protection through barrier islands with white sandy beaches.  To reach the Upper Gulf Coast, head out of Mobile Bay. It is not necessary to go down commercial shipping channels.  You can cross the Bay to pick up the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GICW) by aiming for Day Marker 124 at Statue Mile 145.  But, if winds are more than 15 miles/hour, the water will be choppy.  After a 25-mile run from Mobile Bay, you will enter the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GICW) at Mile 150.

Tarpon Springs to the Keys is considered Florida’s West Coast.  This shoreline encompasses the big-city port of Tampa Bay, the islands of Sanibel and Captiva, quaint fishing villages and vast swamp lands of the Everglades guarded by the Ten Thousand Islands.   The upper portion of the west coast down to Naples is more commercial while the lower half is more primitive with sandy beaches, pines and a jungle-like environment.  The GICW begins at Mile 0 at the mouth of the Caloosahatchee River.

Members-Only Content for this Segment
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Forum Posts
Forum Posts
Gulf Crossing from Panama City
Gulf Crossing from Panama City 2
Gulf ICW
Go Fast Crossing
Daylight Crossing

Gulf Crossing, Hurricane Season, Insurance
Boat Insurance, Hurricane Rider
Big Bend Route Question
Crossing the Big Bend
Crossing the Big Straight
Big Bend Route Question
Big Bend Plans from Clearwater to Carrabelle
The Big Straight Crossing-Reprise
Crossing the Bend Going North
South Florida Gulf Coast 1
South Florida Gulf Coast 2
Loopers Heading South. . .Come on Down! (Tarpon Springs)
Arrival in Tarpon Springs
Tarpon Springs/Port Ritchie Marina
Herb Seaton Tarpon Springs Harbor Host
Harbor Host (Tarpon Springs)
Tarpon Springs Area Divers
Waiting for Bahamas Weather Window in Tarpon Basin
Welcome to Dunedin 2016-2017
We’re Here at Marker 1 in Dunedin
Crossing from Dunedin to Orange Beach
Crossing from Dog Island to Clearwater
Marina Between Clearwater and Ft. Myers
Clearwater Dock Info
Tampa/Clearwater Repair Yard/Vendor/Mechanic
Surveyor in Tampa Area
Tampa Area Marinas
Hull Surveyor & Engine Surveyor in St. Petersburg, FL
Treasure Island, FL
Yanmar Mechanic Needed in Bradenton, FL Area
Marinas & Surveyor in Bradenton Area
Marinas Near Sarasota
GPS and Chart Accuracy South of Sarasota
Blackburn Bridge South of Sarasota Issues!
Need Depth Info on West Coast FL ICW Through Lemon Bay
Outside Passage Past Boca Grande Bridge Closure
Boca Grande Swing Bridge
GICW Channel Closure at Boca Grande Bridge
Punta Gorda Area Repair Facility
West FL Marinas
To Car or Not? (in South Florida)
Fort Myers
Ft. Myers Affordable?
Ft. Myers to the Keys
Ft. Myers to Key West 1
Ft. Myers to Key West 2
Fort Myers to Key West 3
Fort Myers Beach to Key West
Ft. Myers Boatyards
Boatyard Ft. Myers Area 1
Boatyard Ft. Myers Area 2
Boat Detailed in Ft. Myers
Boat Waxing/Polishing in Ft. Myers
Covered or Indoor Storage Near Ft. Myers
Fort Myers Fiberglass Work Recommendation
Need A/C Tech Fort Myers
Ray Marine Tech in Ft. Myers Beach, FL
Lake Okeechobee/Wave Heights
Okeechobee Crossing Safely?
Lake Okeechobee Status Website
Going Around the FL Bend or Crossing Lake O
Sanibel Marina, Sanibel Island, FL
Marinas from Anna Marie Island to Naples
Naples to Marco—inside route
Marco Island to Marathon
Berthing Around Port Everglades
Water Routes Around or Through the Everglades
Heading South this Winter (FL and the Keys)
Keys, Southern FL
Key West Adventure
Key West
We Are Headed to the Florida Keys
We Are Headed to the Florida Keys 2
We Are Headed to the Florida Keys 3
Where to Winter in the Keys
Where to Winter in the Keys 2
Where to Winter in the Keys 3
Anchorages in the Keys
Stopping in the Florida Keys
Florida Keys Crossing
Leaving the Keys
Marathon and Key West Marina Recommendations 1
Marathon and Key West Marina Recommendations 2
Marathon Marina Recommendations
Canvas Work Marathon
Canvas Work for Marathon
Can You Recommend a Mechanic or Boatyard in Marathon
Service Providers in Marathon
Loopers in Marathon, FL 1
Loopers in Marathon, FL 2
Best Route from Marathon to Islamorada
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Captains' Notes
Captains' Notes
Click here for notes from Loopers on this segment.
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Sample Itinerary
Sample Itinerary
All Loopers have their own cruising style and preferences on miles to travel per day, cruising speed, number of nights per week in a marina, etc. This sample itinerary, based on a preferred distance of 50 miles per day, was developed to give you an idea of the types of places and things you will see during your Great Loop adventure.
Additional Useful Information about this Segment
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Other Useful Sites
Other Useful Sites

Curtis Stokes and Associates
Salty Southeast
Queen's Cove Marina