This route is tentative and may be modified based on weather conditions. Will post updates on Facebook and here on this site.
First, I encourage people to not cruise before the event. If you want to spend more time cruising this beautiful area, extend your cruise after the event. Otherwise, there is a good chance you will get tired out and drop out of the event early.
This year we will be doing the same route that was so successful in 2022. It is nice because not only does it make for nice distances for each leg given prevailing winds but it also has our stops all at places where people can camp if needed.
While the event hasn't started yet, this is a great time to launch at your chosen ramp (refer to Pat's Cruising Map in information) and meet up with the other early folks at Ft. McRee (30°19'44.6"N 87°18'57.1"W). Ft. McRee technically is the first overnight of the Florida 120.
Official 1st day of the Florida 120. We will meet on the beach at Ft. McRee for any last-minute route adjustments based on the weather conditions around 8am. If you want to be at this meeting, you will either need to launch the night before or very early in the morning. Otherwise, you can join us in-route 19 miles East to Big Sabine (30°21'17.7"N 87°02'09.8"W). There are a couple of great stops along the way including Ft. Pickens and Pensacola Beach (30.334736, -87.140022).
We will continue sailing 22 miles East to Specter Island (30°24'10.5"N 86°41'53.4"W). On the way you can make a pit stop to use the facilities (including outdoor shower) at the Pavilions on the Santa Rosa National Seashore (30°21'57.9"N 86°58'07.2"W). You can also resupply at the Tom Thumb in Navarre Beach (30°22'59.6"N 86°51'50.0"W) or eat at a number of different restaurants but please continue onto Specter Island, it is a beautiful spot!
We will head back West (hopefully downwind) for a 35 mile run to Dead Man's Island. So named because they used to careen sailing ships there to clean their bottoms using a large counterweight on shore aka a Deadman. It is also where they quarantined passengers and crew thought to be carrying the plague. It is a beautiful spot despite its history with a great view of the lights of Pensacola across the water. There are also the possibility of eating out at one of the restaurants in Gulf Breeze. Sail to the beach and then walk your boats down until they are behind the breakwaters....no motors are allowed to be used in this breakwater area.
We will sail West across Pensacola bay and into the beautiful Big Lagoon area for 15 miles where you can either stop for a break at the newly rebuilt launching facilities at Big Lagoon State Park (30°18'44"N 87°25'24"W) or just across the waterways at the Oyster Bar for food and/or refreshments. After the break, sail back West along Big Lagoon to our starting point Ft. McRee (30°19'44.6"N 87°18'57.1"W). You can either hang out one or more nights with anyone else wanting to extend the cruise or head back to your launching point and vehicles.
For boating information on the area, refer to Pat's Cruising Map.