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Old 16-04-2016, 10:41   #1
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Florida Keys Routing

I'm sailing down from Naples and find two options for transiting Florida Bay to the east. One is via Seven Mile Bridge and the other is through the bridge at Channel Five. I draw 6' and my air draft is 55'. Any recommendations? My goal is the shortest route to the gulf stream.
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Old 16-04-2016, 11:42   #2
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Re: Florida Keys Routing

Your 6' draft is the limiting factor, IMO.

I would go for Moser Channel/7 Mile vs. Channel 5.

Running the Yacht Channel to get to Channel 5 bridge gets pretty shallow the last 5nm or so, I've seen 2-3' under my keels and I draw 4'3". You can stay further west than the Yacht Channel and hit the northside ICW just west of Bamboo Banks, but then your in the northside ICW for 10-15nm.

Once in Hawk Channel, plenty of places to cross the reef to hit the stream.
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Old 16-04-2016, 11:50   #3
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Re: Florida Keys Routing

Big Spanish channel along Big Pine Key only way to go!then a few miles along 7 mile bridge to the high spot and on to hawk channel or out into stream by Sombrero Key Light!!
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Old 16-04-2016, 13:33   #4
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Re: Florida Keys Routing

Big Spanish Channel is too shallow (charted 5'). Round Romano Shoals and head straight for Bullard Banks marker # 17 (24 48.929N x 81 09.125W). Drop into the ICW there and head for Moser Channel and under the bridge.
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Old 16-04-2016, 14:04   #5
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Re: Florida Keys Routing

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Originally Posted by Mainstreet View Post
I'm sailing down from Naples and find two options for transiting Florida Bay to the east. One is via Seven Mile Bridge and the other is through the bridge at Channel Five. I draw 6' and my air draft is 55'. Any recommendations? My goal is the shortest route to the gulf stream.
===

We draw 5 1/2 feet and always go via the Channel 5 bridge unless there is some reason to stop at Marathon. The water is skinny but we've never bumped. Since much of the bottom is weedy, your depth sounder will frequently show less water than actual by a foot or so.
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Old 16-04-2016, 14:22   #6
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Re: Florida Keys Routing

au contraire! Big Spanish Channel will take 6ft easily MLW and there is soft silt bottom................many other routes full of seaweed and are poorly marked
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Old 16-04-2016, 14:59   #7
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Re: Florida Keys Routing

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au contraire! Big Spanish Channel will take 6ft easily MLW and there is soft silt bottom................many other routes full of seaweed and are poorly marked
I have no choice but to believe (vs. the charts). I have been that way, but it was 10+ years ago.

The Bullard Banks route I described is wide open, charted at 8'+. One can sail all the way to the bridge.

Compare on a chart.
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Old 17-04-2016, 16:34   #8
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Re: Florida Keys Routing

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Originally Posted by DotDun View Post
I have no choice but to believe (vs. the charts). I have been that way, but it was 10+ years ago.

The Bullard Banks route I described is wide open, charted at 8'+. One can sail all the way to the bridge.

Compare on a chart.
Thanks Dotdun. Frankly I favour that route also but I'm always open to local knowledge. I expect to be making this crossing in about three weeks and I'll give a report here about how it went.
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