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Great Loop Segment: Gulf Coast
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
Accordion Widget
Forum Posts
Forum Posts
Canvas Shoppe (Fairhope)
Boat Yards Near Ft. Myers-Bottom Paint
Clearwater FL to Carabelle FL
Mobile and Pensacola Dry Storage
Heading West from Mobile
PC FLA Westbound ICW to Mobile Bay
Fiberglass Repair St. Petersburg
Canvas Work in Boca Grand Englewood FL Area
Orange Beach Canvas Source
Wintering in Florida
Need a Detailer and Bottom Cleaner Orange Beach
Crossing from Carabelle
Gulf Crossing
Destin Harbor
Carabelle to Tarpon Springs
Crossing from Carabelle
Clearwater Area to Carrabelle
Why Stop at Carrabelle?
Dog Island (Carrabelle) to Tarpon Springs—crab pots
Carrabelle to Mainland Florida Without the Angst
Fiberglass Repair St. Petersburg
Marine Surveyor in Sarasota Bradenton
Hurricane Plan for Sarasota FL
Cayo Costa FL
Yammer Mechanic in Ft. Myers
Electric Contractor in Ft. Myers Area
Boat Storage S Florida
Florida, Fort to Fort
Cruisair A/C Low Pressure Repair in Cape Coral
Cruise from Ft. Myers Beach, FL to Palm Coast, FL
Alternatives to Closed Marinas
Winter Marinas Keys
Marathon, FL
Florida Keys Winter 2021/22
Passage Through the Keys (Marathon) Going North
ICW in the Keys
The Dry Tortugas
Gulf Crossing to Florida West Coast
Weather Forecasting for the Gulf Crossing
Gulf Crossing Weather Information
Gulf Crossing
Government Cut at Apalachicola? Passable?
Captain for Gulf Overnight
Gulf Crossing Go, No Go Decision-Making
Gulf Crossing, Crab Pots
Rim vs. Straight Across the Gulf
Florida Great Bend
Big Bend Crossing
Big Bend Spring 2020
Carrabelle to Steinhatchee Crossing
Steinhatchee--the Thornless Passage
Fort Walton City Dock
Destin, FL Advice Needed
ICW Destin to Apalachicola Florida
Some Info from Harbor Hosts in the Panhandle
Advice for Panama City and St. Petersburg/Tampa
St. Petersburg
St. Pete Marinas
Looking for Ft. Myers Ideas
Anchorages Between Bradenton and Ft. Myers
Good Harbor Near Ft. Myers
Ft. Myers Area Repair Suggestions
Clearwater to Ft. Myers
Marco Island to Key West
Boat Yards? Marco Island or Naples
Ten Days in the Florida Keys
Everglades National Park Boating Permit
Marathon Boat Yard
Florida Keys, Reasonable Weekly and Monthly Marina Rates
Canvas Work in Key West
Snorkeling in the Keys
Leave Boat for a Week in the Keys
Florida Keys Marinas
Marina/Anchorage recommendations for the Keys in 2020
Looking for Key West Recommendations
Engine Specialists/ Surveyors in Sarasota/ St. Pete area
Marinas in Florida
Upholstery Work
Florida Reservations through Winter
Orange Beach
Southwest Florida
Little Current Spring Bridge
Marinas in Florida
Lake O
Air Conditioner Companies
Boat Yards and Props Shops in Ft. Lauderdale Area
Highlights of the Florida Keys
Bikes and marinas in Florida
Marinas in The Keys - real time recommendations?
Ft Myers to Marathon?
ICW from Tarpon Springs to Clearwater
Carrabelle to Tarpon Springs
Twin Dolphin Marina Bradenton
Carrabelle to Tarpon Springs
Good marina on Florida west coast to visit Orlando
Weather crossing Tarpon to Carrabelle
Harbor To Rent slip near Cape Coral
Apalach to Tarpon
Crossing from Carrabelle to Tarpon then up to Jacksonville/Georgia anything to note from Irma?
Weather Stations to track for crossing from Cape Coral thru Lake Okeechobee
Carrabelle to Steinhatchee
Fort Denaud Bridge LaBelle FL
Looking for marina suggestions in Florida
AC Mechanic in Ft. Myers
A/C Mechanic in Sarasota Fl?
Advance Reservations
Carrabelle to Tarpon Springs
Air Conditioner? Yes? No?
Surveyor in Ft. Myers Florida
Harbor to Rent Slip Near Cape Coral
Pensacola Blue Angel's Air Show
Surveyors Near Ft. Lucie, FL
Ft Meyers December Slips Available
Preparing for the Loop in 6 Years
Matching Stops to Marinas
Water Supply Problems
Boat Purchase Sales Tax & Registration
Seatow or Tow Boat USA
Cruising Permit Renewal
Need Advice on Route to Bimini From Ft. Myers
Mobile to Ft. Meyers Questions
Mobile, AL
Crossing Mobile Bay
Mechanic in Mobile
Diesel Mechanic in the Mobile/Fairhope, AL Area
In Orange Beach, AL and Wondering Which Way to Turn
Saunders Yachtworks in Gulf Shores, AL
The Wharf Marina
ICW Dog River, AL to Carrabelle, FL
Looking for a Canvas Shop Between Mobile and Marathon
Looking for Certified Raymarine Tech Between Mobile and Marathon
Florida Winter Marinas
Pensacola Marina
Looking for a Marina (Pensacola)
Slips (Pensacola)
Leaving Pensacola
Marina Recommendations Panama City and Pensacola
Destin, FL
Bluewater Bay Marina Niceville, FL
Juana’s Pagodas
Panama City Single Handed Sailing
Dupont Bridge Height
Boat Repair Facility Panama City/Port St. Joe
Port St. Joe to Apalachicola
Anchorages in Apalachicola
Government Cut Near Apalachicola
Now at Apalachicola for Gulf Crossing
Crossing from Apalachicola
Appalachicola vs. Carrabelle?
Carabelle Information
Carrabelle to Steinhatchee Crossing
Carrabelle to Tarpon Springs
Carrabelle to Tarpon Springs to Sarasota
Crab Pots on Gulf Crossing?
Gulf Crossing
Crossing the Gulf of Mexico
Crossing the Gulf
Gulf Crossing from Carrabelle
GCrossing from Carrabelle
Gulf Crossing North Tarpon Springs to Carrabelle
Gulf Crossing from Panama City
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
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
Fort Myers Beach to Key West
Ft. Myers Boatyards
Boatyard Ft. Myers Area
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
Where to Winter in the Keys
Anchorages in the Keys
Stopping in the Florida Keys
Florida Keys Crossing
Leaving the Keys
Marathon and Key West Marina Recommendations
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
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 Gulf Coast 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