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Old 29-06-2015, 08:21   #1
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Hawks Channel

Men/Ladies,

Are there any maps that clearly show Hawks Channel? I've reviewed the NOAA charts and only find a reference to Hawks Channel after Key Biscayne. I'm plotting my course on my GPS and also on my paper maps but would like to find a reference that would show me the actual channel.

Right now I've plotted my course south of Miami following markers 3, 7, 9, 13, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23, 27, 29, 33, 37, 39 to my destination around 41 (Islamorada). Looks like I'm following a submerged cable?

Any help on a map that actually shows the channel or your two cents would be greatly appreciated!

Best,

M
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Old 29-06-2015, 08:41   #2
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Re: Hawks Channel

Hawk Channel runs down the keys between the islands and the reef. The channel markers are widely spaced. It's not exactly a narrow channel like you may be used to.
Just follow the charts and the markers and don't worry about the name. Depending on the time of year I've seen lobster/crab trap markers so clustered that I've gone around the wrong side of a marker to avoid them. There is often plenty of water outside the markers, keep an eye on the charts.
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Old 29-06-2015, 08:45   #3
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Re: Hawks Channel

Thanks Mike,

My boat needs 5' of draft and the course I've plotted looks like it would be no problem...but I'm a bit neurotic about my baby and being in unfamiliar waters!

Thanks Again!

M
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Old 29-06-2015, 08:49   #4
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Re: Hawks Channel

FSMike was instrumental in assuaging my concerns about Hawk Channel. He is right, it is wide wide wide... like a "mile" wide in places.

While we used the autopilot it probably is not a good idea... there are a lot of fishpots to steer clear of and fisherman anchor right in the middle of the navigable channel.

The markers are close enough that just when you are about to lose sight of the previous one, you can see the next one. Its mostly 20 feet deep unless you get very close to the islands.
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Old 29-06-2015, 09:05   #5
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Re: Hawks Channel

Good to hear and thanks!
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Old 29-06-2015, 11:11   #6
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Re: Hawks Channel

M,
If you're a first timer, remember to keep a DR track since depending upon the wind and tide, you can get a considerable set and drift in the channel: east wind/incoming tide; west wind/falling tide. The reef is to the east and sandbanks/shoals along shore. Whenever we sailed the channel, we took fixes every half hour. There were times when we were surprised how strongly our boat was set off course. Good luck and good sailing.
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Old 29-06-2015, 11:33   #7
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Re: Hawks Channel

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Originally Posted by mmarin View Post
Right now I've plotted my course south of Miami following markers 3, 7, 9, 13, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23, 27, 29, 33, 37, 39 to my destination around 41 (Islamorada). Looks like I'm following a submerged cable? M
Yes, the submerged cable is essentially your route, there is no "channel" per se, Hawks Channel describes the deeper water between the outer reef (where the bottom drops out into the gulf stream) and the exposed land. You have a LOT of room to move around inside there, despite the reefs and shoals. But if you follow that cable (and don't hit the markers!) you will be in good shape all the way. Pete
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