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Big Pass Information


Sarasota Yacht Club and/or its officers and/or members offers this information on this site solely for the entertainment and review by its readers, and does not offer any claims concerning its reliability for navigational, educational and/or safety purposes.

The information provided is not intended for navigational use and should not be relied upon for such purpose. Always navigate by reference to a current navigational chart or map. In no event shall Sarasota Yacht Club have any liability arising out of any navigational use of any of the information provided.

Big Pass Information

Big Pass Information as of August 17, 2014The course is unchanged from July 13.  The depths are slightly greater in the channel but the course has shifted  to the southwest to bypass the encroaching shoal. Marks BP 4, BP 3, BP 2 and BP 1 are on station.     The course heading out starts 143 yards WNW of Red BP8 at BPS8 27°16.667'N  082°34.379'W. It runs for  .34 nm to BPS5 at  27°16.327'N  082°34.349'W and then for .09 nm to 27°16.244'N  082°34.316'W which is about 64 yards south of BP3. As you approach SBP5 and SBP3 you need to insure you are on the track.   From there proceed for .33nm  to a point in deeper water at 27°15.930'N  082°34.444'W between BP2 and BP1. The course appears to have a controlling depth of about 5.5' at MLLW. Traverse this route slowly on a rising tide, mid-tide or above depending on your draft. As with any course, changes including shoaling have occurred and will continue. 

The coordinates were taken with GPS/WAAS, but your readings could be different. 

Please note that the actual MLLW may be less than the predicted MLLW on any given day. To see how the tide is running you can check St. Petersburg for an approximation.

I have included an overview picture of the course from 7/26/14.  It is highly advisable to take the next steps and view the current .kmz file  so you can see all of the detail in the  area around SPB 5 and SBP 3. To get the actual detailed depths you will need to use Google Earth. It is a free program which can be downloaded from this link. . Once you have Google Earth installed, click on the following link to get the depth details of the most recent runs.   Click on the .kmz file of interest and then download it to your system. You will need to scan to Siesta Key 34242 and enlarge the route to see all the detail. If you see an area on the course that has no contour lines you can be sure that it was at least 6' at the time the soundings were taken.

Use this information to make your decision whether to attempt Big Pass or not. 


For the latest weather conditions you can check

 and click on the area of the map in which you are interested. In addition, be aware that when the wind has been blowing strongly with any northern or easterly component within the past day or two, that the water tends to get blown out of the pass thereby lowering the water level. Finally, if there is a swell running remember that the trough will be that much lower.  Changes, including shoaling, can and will occur. 

The following LAT/LON list has been updated by Sarasota County on 7/10/14




Marker "BP-1"  

27°15.961'N  082°34.477'W

Marker "BP-2"  

27°15.921'N  082°34.407'W

Marker "BP-3"  

 27°16.245'N  082°34.351'W

Marker "BP-4"

27°16.318'N  082°34.286'W

Marker "BP-8" 27°16.676'N  082°34.301'W
Marker "BP-16"27°18.313'N  082°33.650'W

Not for navigational purposes

Flat Earth Society Big Pass Course as of July 13, 2014 from the Gulf of Mexico to near SYC sign :



Deeper Water

27°15.930'N  082°34.444'W


27°16.244'N  082°34.316'W


27°16.319'N  082°34.292'W 


27°16.679'N  082°34.365'W

BSP Point

27°16.770'N  082°34.272'W


27°17.057'N  082°33.930'W

BSP 11

27°17.250'N  082°33.830'W

BSP 13 

27°17.550'N  082°33.700'W


Not for navigational purposes

Mike Solum & County Coastal Resources staff repositioning marks in Big Pass

9/16/2014 9:24:52 AM EST

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