Pelican Bay - Florida Sea Grant

Anchorage Inventory
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Pelican Bay

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Site ratings
Storm protection: fair
Bottom holding: fair
Scenic beauty: good
Tranquility: good
Overall site rating: high
Recreational characteristics
Activites: fishing
day sailing
beach combing
Facilities: park
Qualities: clean water
Overall site rating: high
Shoreside profile
Natural: yes
Public access: yes
Commercial access: no
100% private: no
High Use or "Popular"
Low use (ie, "undiscovered"): no
Small craft and water sports: no
Anchoring: yes
Size: large

The following extra downloads are available:

  • Minimum approach depth: 5 ft.

  • Depth in anchorage: 6 - 9 ft.

  • Lat 26 41.0' N

  • Lon 82 14.5' W

  • (use Chart 11427 for navigation)

  • Off mile 24.8 on the 1GW: 3.1 statute miles from Point Blanco, 12.7 statute miles to Matlacha, 4.3 statute miles to Boca Grande, 19.7 statute miles to Punta Gorda.

   Just south of Boca Grand Pass, west of marker 72, in Pelican flay, is an outstanding anchorage, one of the best in Pine Island Sound.
  The water is shallow, but boats carrying 5 feet can enter by staying close to the Cayo Costa side to avoid the shoal building out from the northwest end of Punta Blanca Island. Inside, depths improve to 6 feet along a broad band.
  Come abeam of marker 72 and set a compass course of roughly 240 degrees through the northern third of Pelican Pass, staying to the Cayo Costa side. Curve slowly around to the south into the main body of the pass on its mid width. Consider anchoring northeast of the docks. From the docks south lie many unmarked shoals.
  Cayo Costa State Park maintains a fixed wooden dock along the western shore. There is a $2 charge for landing in the park. Garbage may not be brought ashore; picnic tables and refuse cans have been removed from the dock area.
  The bay is sheltered enough for light to moderate airs from almost any direction, but might not offer adequate protection in heavy weather.
  Pelican Bay is surrounded by natural beauty, with undeveloped Punta Blanca Island to the east and Cayo Costa State Park to the west.
  There is virtually no development along the entire 7 mile length of Cayo Costa. The only human residents are park rangers. Unfortunately, their electric generator can be quite loud at night. The rangers run a tram from the dock across the island to the gulf, where there are picnic tables, campsites and rustic cabins with common bathrooms and running water, but no electricity. Hiking trails also are part of the park.
  Cayo Costa and Punta Blanca are bird sanctuaries, harboring, among others, magnificent frigate birds, ospreys and bald eagles. Vegetation is lush. For almost their entire length, Cayo Costa's powdery gulfside beaches are utterly deserted.
  The bay side of Cayo Costa is riddled with coves, some containing remnants of old fish houses. One, Murdock Bayou, leads to a watery tunnel through the mangroves that cuts the island nearly in two and empties onto the back side of a gulf beach.

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