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Old 30-01-2018, 18:24   #1
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Itinerary Departing Key West

Hi.

I'm new here. I have a Lagoon 410 departing Key West in a couple weeks. Can anyone suggest a nice, leisurely 4 day / 3 night itinerary?

Looking for short hops. Sailing a few hours a day, anchoring in protected areas and enjoying a trip ashore in the afternoon, having a nice meal at anchor and sleeping at anchor until the next day's short hop.

Looking for the most beautiful sights and most protected anchorages.

Not looking to get wasted in key west. Looking for those secluded sandy islands/beaches, some walking on islands, nice protected anchorages for sleeping well and the beauty of nature.

Thanks to anyone who cares to share some of what makes key west amazing to cruise!
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Old 31-01-2018, 03:30   #2
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Re: Itinerary Departing Key West

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Chotu.
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Old 31-01-2018, 04:11   #3
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Re: Itinerary Departing Key West

Departing to where?
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Old 31-01-2018, 04:13   #4
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Re: Itinerary Departing Key West

Your boat or a charter? Since you have a time frame, I'm guessing charter which means round trip, correct?
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Old 31-01-2018, 05:27   #5
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Re: Itinerary Departing Key West

Sorry I wasn't more specific.

Yes. It's a round trip short charter.

I'm not familiar with the area there and wanted to know of some great anchorages and nature close by to Key West so we could enjoy the destinations as well as the sailing.

Figured there are probably a few people here who have cruised through the area or even live in the Keys.
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Old 31-01-2018, 06:19   #6
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Re: Itinerary Departing Key West

We were in Key West the week before Christmas and spent a few days cruising up the coast back to Marathon. Then back up the Gulf coast.

We left KW and sailed up to Newfound Harbor and anchored there for three days. Anchored just west of the small island on the west side of Coupon Bight. Be aware that sailboats cannot anchor farther north than that. You can land on the small island. We also took a dinghy ride over to Kiki's Sandbar and had some great food. Also you should know that many places in that area are still closed due to hurricane Irma. You can also anchor at Bahia Honda State Park, but the marina at the park is closed. If you dive, the reef at Looe Key is fantastic.

There are many other places, those are just the ones we stopped at.
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Old 31-01-2018, 07:07   #7
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Re: Itinerary Departing Key West

The Dry Tortugas are only 70 miles to the west. Explore Fort Jefferson and go snorkeling at
Loggerhead Key. There is a wreck there that is great for seeing corals, sea flora and fish of all kinds. There is a small beach area at Garden Key (Fort Jefferson) that is nice to swim from, but it could be crowded, depending on when you are there. Fort Jefferson is National Park, and a check in and payment of entry fee is required. I do not know what the fee is today, since I am a holder of a Senior Pass to all the National Parks. No matter what the charge is it's worth it!!
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Old 31-01-2018, 08:34   #8
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Re: Itinerary Departing Key West

I second the Dry Tortugas.
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Old 31-01-2018, 08:46   #9
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Re: Itinerary Departing Key West

DT is good. Watch your air draft if you plan on going under the bridges on US1. If you have a generator and dinghy Cape Sable is nice. Just plan on running ac at night for the bugs.

Big negative with going north is the 1.85 Billion crab pots you will need to dodge.
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Old 31-01-2018, 09:01   #10
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Re: Itinerary Departing Key West

The wreck at the Dry Tortugas has a huge, as in Volkswagen sized Jew fish living on it, neat to see.
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Old 31-01-2018, 09:23   #11
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Re: Itinerary Departing Key West

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
The wreck at the Dry Tortugas has a huge, as in Volkswagen sized Jew fish living on it, neat to see.

There is also a big old Croc living in the swimming area to the east of the fort. The park service knows about it but doesn't want to alarm anyone so they don't mention it.
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Old 31-01-2018, 09:26   #12
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Re: Itinerary Departing Key West

Dry Tortugas is a stretch for 4 days/3nights, not enough time. With trade winds, you may have to motor into 20 knots of winds for 70 miles to get back.

Either head east as mentioned above or out to Boca Grande and Marquesas, anchor in the lee of an island. There's nice beaches, almost deserted (except on weekends) beaches out there.
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Old 31-01-2018, 10:00   #13
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Re: Itinerary Departing Key West

Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas without a doubt. As you're sailing down, as you pass the Marquesas (assuming you sail ocean side) you'll be passing pretty much right over the site of the Atocha shipwreck. Fascinating to contemplate that thirty or so feet under your keel(s) there's many many millions in gold, silver and jewels. Fort Jefferson is really interesting ( you can walk in the cell where Dr Mudd was incarcerated ), and the diving and fishing nearby is as good as it gets.
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Old 31-01-2018, 10:13   #14
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Re: Itinerary Departing Key West

[QUOTE=DotDun;2567290]Dry Tortugas is a stretch for 4 days/3nights, not enough time. With trade winds, you may have to motor into 20 knots of winds for 70 miles to get back.

Either head east as mentioned above or out to Boca Grande and Marquesas, anchor in the lee of an island. There's nice beaches, almost deserted (except on weekends) beaches out there.[/QUOTE


Good point. Sailboats & schedules are a bad combination. That being said you could get to the Tortugas late the first day, spend the night & day 2 & then leave the next morning, tac back to the Marquesas on the third day, spend the night & then head for Key West the last day.
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Old 31-01-2018, 10:14   #15
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Re: Itinerary Departing Key West

Timeline!

Assume the charter leaves at noon, back at noon.

Day 1 - too late to make DT in daylight, sail out to Marquesas and drop anchor
Day 2 - arrive DT 2-3pm, get anchored, go ashore pay park entrance fee, tour part of the fort.
Day 3 - snorkel in the am to mid-afternoon, have to get boat ready to leave in the middle of the night to get back to KW before noon.
Day 4 - pounding into 20kt east wind for 70 miles trying to make KW by noon.

I agree DT is a great destination, been there many times. I guess I just don't like schedules!
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