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Message:


Coming to Florida

May 8, 2014 by tony

Hello fellow windsurfers. I am going to be visiting Port St. Joe Fl. over Memorial Day weekend and I plan to bring my Kona. I will be staying near the tip of the claw so it looks like I will be able to sail in the gulf or the bay. I have been looking at the wind reports and it looks like the prevailing breeze is from the SE. I live on Lake Darbonne in NE Louisiana and this will be my first time sailing in saltwater. Any information on sailing in this area would be appreciated.



Replies:

Date: 05/20/2014
From: Bill Olson

Yes there is a Wakulla County beach park on the bay, we have our training trailer on the east end of the park. Access is free during the week, they charge a couple of bucks on the weekends.
Date: 05/20/2014
From: Bill Olson

Yes there is a Wakulla County beach park on the bay, we have our training trailer on the east end of the park. Access is free during the week, they charge a couple of bucks on the weekends.
Date: 05/20/2014
From: tony

Is there public access at Shell Point Beach where you give lessons? Looks like there is a parking lot there.
Date: 05/20/2014
From: tony

I plan on stopping at Liquid since I will be going right by it on my way down.
Date: 05/20/2014
From: Bill Olson

Eagle Harbor is the boat ramp in the state park, on the east side of the peninsula. That is a good launch area. The bay gets shallow as you move south and drains fast on an outgoing tide. Liquid surf and sail in Fort Walton is the closest shop, their windsurfing inventory has been dropping, I will drop by and have a look later today, since I am over here.
Date: 05/20/2014
From: Bill Olson

Yes there is a Wakulla County beach park on the bay, we have our training trailer on the east end of the park. Access is free during the week, they charge a couple of bucks on the weekends.
Date: 05/19/2014
From: Mark Voigt

Liquid in Fort Walton Beach to the west of Port Saint Joe & Panama City has a shop.
Date: 05/19/2014
From: tony

Paul, I have been trying to find the spot you mentioned on earth. Is it on the south end of the bay in the buffer preserve?
Date: 05/12/2014
From: fhawk

None over our way. Panama City has some surf shops, but none sells windsurfing gear. Emerald Coast Kiteboarding in Panama City Beach is owned by former windsurfer, Mark Rush, who might have some gear left over from his old days. Fred Hawkes
Date: 05/12/2014
From: tony

Do any of the local surf shops carry windsurfing gear?
Date: 05/11/2014
From: tony

Thanks for the help guys. I have been trying to familiarize myself with the area via earth. I am a self taught windsurfer. This is my third season sailing (2nd on the Kona) The biggest water I have sailed is Lake Michigan. This will be my first saltwater trip. I will not be attempting to sail the bay. The flatwater spot seems like a good bet since I will also be bringing my Start for my nieces and nephews to try. As usual conditions will dictate the sessions. I have a FB group NELA Windsurfers and would welcome any new members. I will be at the Kona worlds, maybe I will meet some of you then. Your club looks like fun. BYW will you be having one of those martini parties while I'm in town? :-)
Date: 05/11/2014
From: tony

Thanks for the help guys. I have been trying to familiarize myself with the area via earth. I am a self taught windsurfer. This is my third season sailing (2nd on the Kona) The biggest water I have sailed is Lake Michigan. This will be my first saltwater trip. I will not be attempting to sail the bay. The flatwater spot seems like a good bet since I will also be bringing my Start for my nieces and nephews to try. As usual conditions will dictate the sessions. I have a FB group NELA Windsurfers and would welcome any new members. I will be at the Kona worlds, maybe I will meet some of you then. Your club looks like fun. BYW will you be having one of those martini parties while I'm in town? :-)
Date: 05/11/2014
From: tony

Thanks for the help guys. I have been trying to familiarize myself with the area via earth. I am a self taught windsurfer. This is my third season sailing (2nd on the Kona) The biggest water I have sailed is Lake Michigan. This will be my first saltwater trip. I will not be attempting to sail the bay. The flatwater spot seems like a good bet since I will also be bringing my Start for my nieces and nephews to try. As usual conditions will dictate the sessions. I have a FB group NELA Windsurfers and would welcome any new members. I will be at the Kona worlds, maybe I will meet some of you then. Your club looks like fun. BYW will you be having one of those martini parties while I'm in town? :-)
Date: 05/11/2014
From: tony

Ooops don't know how that happened.
Date: 05/10/2014
From: paul

Hey Tony, If it is flat-water bay sailing you want, your best bet is to launch further east, still in the state park but bayside near the boat ramp. The water is clear and shallow 2-8 ft tide-dependent except in the boat channels, and you are okay for most wind directions. You can sail inside of Black's Island or out into the bay. There is some current at the "tip of the claw," and deep open water, best not to sail alone there unless you are the adventurous type. We did a race once from Mexico Beach out to the cape and back but had a couple of chase boats along, jic. Paul
Date: 05/08/2014
From: fhawk

Tony-- I have wave sailed a lot in the Mexico Beach area, just to the north of PSJ. It is typically a bit better up at Mexico Beach. The problem is that SE is offshore at most locations, so it will likely be too gusty and light inside to do much. It might be sideshore at some spots as the coast does bend around some. Never have sailed right at PSJ, but a lot over on Cape San Blas, but it will be even more offshore over there. Typically we sail on S, or NNW over on the Cape. MB is best on a NW when it is side. There is a kite spot between PSJ and MB, a few miles after you cross the bridge heading NW on 98, that might work. Fred Hawkes
Date: 05/08/2014
From: fhawk

Tony-- Alex is a bit famous for doing crazy things, so I would not recommend this long of a trip. If the wind dies or switches direction, you could be stranded. A few others have done this, and made it back, but it is very risky if you are alone. With a support boat, ok. It is a lot further than it looks. I suggest that if it is SE, drive over to CSB and sail in the Bay from the park (Eagle Harbor) as Alex mentioned, as the wind will be a little onshore there, so no issues, and plus a bit less gusty as it has the open bay to settle down. Fred
Date: 05/08/2014
From: alexb

I've sailed my Kona right across from Port St. Joe at Cape Sanb Blas. I launched from Eagle Harbor on a NE wind. This is where I launched: http://goo.gl/maps/FJGW4

Here's a pic of the launch, click for bigger:


It's a nice spot though the parking lot and grass area had tons of prickly things. Maybe they're gone this year?

I've also sailed the Kona on the gulf side right across from Eagle Harbor. Though it was also on NE winds and there was practically no wind close to shore because of the very high dunes.

I don't know your experience but if you're coming from a lake the waves will be fairly high on the Gulf side if there's a nice breeze. By fairly high, I mean more than on a lake. :)



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