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Old 01-10-2012, 19:29   #31
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Re: Cruising the Florida Keys

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Originally Posted by Agape39 View Post
Yes I have heard......late at night, the admiral navigating while the captain rested!!! Cost him $10,000 for the state and don't ya know he was towed back to St Pete! WOW!
I stay on the outside and have a great time, mostly motoring on the inside anyway.
Never had a problem sailing the inside. Only in a few places do you have to stick to the channel.
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Old 01-10-2012, 20:38   #32
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Re: Cruising the Florida Keys

We have done this route a lot over the past year. Here is what we have done.

1. Sailing south from Ft. Lauderdale the first decent place to anchor is Biscayne bay. The north end you will find Biscayne Channel, you can follow it to the bay, then anchor just about any place without worries.

2. If your friend didn't have a deep draft boat you could go south in Biscayne bay but since he does, your best bet is to follow Hawk Channel to Key Largo, We like to anchor just north of Rodriguez Key as far in as you feel comfortable. You can take your dinghy into the Marina, there is some shopping close also.

3. If you don't want to go all the way to Marathon, you can go through the snake creek channel and anchor on the gulf side, but the enterance to the channel is shallow at low tide so watch it.

4. The next best place is Marathon. You can go inside and anchor or moor up but you can also anchor on the outside on the south end of the island.

5. Next is Bahia Honda, not a great area but it is an option as the swells can get to you if it is blowing.
6. From there you can go to Stock Island, just north of Key West. There is a deep channel that will take you into great anchoring or you can find a marina there alot cheaper than Key West.
7. Key West. I usally anchor by Fleming Key, I used to anchor by wisteria Island but the swells can be bad and the tourist traffic can be horrible. If you want to Moor up Key Wes has city moorinig balls on the north side of Fleming Key for $18.00 bucks a night which includes a shower house, and laundry facility. You can also use the city Marina for $2.25/ft per night which is in Key West Bight, and an easy walk to everything Key West has to offer.
8. If you want to keep going, then I will go to Marquesas Key, the best place to anchor is the south west end, there is nothing there but peace and quite. Even if the wind is blowing you are well protected. One of my favorate places. You can also anchor of Boca Grande Key, Woman Key, or Man Key which are before Marquesas.
9. The last stop is the Dry Tortugas. About 40 miles west of the Marquesas. Fort Jefferson is a must see, as well as the coral reefs and the light house.
Have fun
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Old 01-10-2012, 21:04   #33
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Re: Cruising the Florida Keys

don't know where you're coming from, but if it's down the ditch in south florida you won't be able to stay in the icw past fort lauderdale. there's a fixed bridge (julia tuttle causeway) that has only a 55 foot clearance instead of the normal 65 foot. you can go back in again at miami government cut.

i spent twenty five years sailing around the keys and south florida but with a four foot draft. don't think i would enjoy doing it with six feet....
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Old 01-10-2012, 21:17   #34
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Re: Cruising the Florida Keys

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Next time you go through let me know and I'll follow you at a distance.

I have read about the fines but never heard of anyone actually being fined. But I am sure it happens.

I was in court (for someone else) this past August in the Keys, and let me tell you there were tons of fines, probation and courses given for all kinds of environmental reasons. Most of it was for undersize lobster, but a lot of other stuff as well. The keys seem to take their environment very seriously, and with good reason I would say. It's the only economy they really have.

But I did not see anyone there for a grounding.
Mike... You worry too much! For,you and you only I will offer a 100% free piloted, cruise up the inside from KW to Miami.
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Old 01-10-2012, 21:20   #35
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Re: Cruising the Florida Keys

Thanks George, very appreciated.
But think more from Key Largo to Nassau at the end of October. (Seriously)
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Old 01-10-2012, 21:23   #36
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Re: Cruising the Florida Keys

We draw 5'4 loaded as we always are, and have been to Tarpon Basin a couple of times, which is Key Largo. The local Towboat US guy said we were fine to there if we paid attention and used the tides which we try to do anyway. While at the dock we talked to other cruisers with the same draft that had come the south/west and said they bumped a few times and kept on going. Being on the cautious side, we doubled back to angelfish, sailed outside the reef, caught a nice Mahi Mahi and continued on to Marathon. Another cruiser with the same draft told me he has made the whole Keys ICW run without touching, but it was real close around Jewfish. The sailing and fishing on the ocean side is great and low stress...that's where I'll be unless we are hiding from weather.
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Old 06-10-2012, 09:47   #37
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Re: Cruising the Florida Keys

Check out Similar Sound - Geiger Key. I draw 7' ...
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:28   #38
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Re: Crusing the Florida Keys

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The bridge at Marathon is only 63 feet...so is your mast.
7 Mile Bridge at Marathon is 65'. I go under it frequently with a 65' mast + lights/antennas at +1.0 tide or less.
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Old 06-10-2012, 20:55   #39
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Re: Cruising the Florida Keys

Great to hear, the charts I have and Active Captain say it is 63'.
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Old 06-10-2012, 22:13   #40
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Re: Cruising the Florida Keys

I think the guy that got towed back to St. Pete was called "something" Pig. He used to come here and post page long posts.
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Old 06-10-2012, 22:47   #41
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Re: Cruising the Florida Keys

Re: 7 Mile bridge

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Great to hear, the charts I have and Active Captain say it is 63'.
The Corps of Engineers in its wisdom has been relabeling ICW bridges to reflect the lowest point of the channel spans. A bridge may have 63' at the side of the channel but 65' in the middle.

I make no guarantees as to any particular bridge, all I know is that they aren't sinking.
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Old 07-10-2012, 05:38   #42
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Quote:
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I think the guy that got towed back to St. Pete was called "something" Pig. He used to come here and post page long posts.
That's it the "Flying Pig"....50+ footer.
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:07   #43
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I've been offline for a while and haven't had access to this thread. Wow! I have to say, I really love the forums and appreciate all the pointers along the way. @Rocketman - thanks for the step-by-step. We'll share that with our friend with the deep draft as I know he will appreciate the guidance even more.

Thanks again and happy sailing!
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Old 27-12-2012, 04:17   #44
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Re: Cruising the Florida Keys

We spent two nights in Bahia Honda - around Christmas.
The place is really great, the park quite nice, beaches are of white sand. They accept pets.
We have a 52' sailboat and had no problem at all. The bottom is sand with patches of weeds, and holds very well - we had up to 25kn SE wind.
We anchored half way between the two bridges, as close as reasonable to the beach markers, with 90' of chain.
The current is highly overrated: it is MUCH less than in Miami government cut, just noticeable.
The bay is not protected from the ocean waves which can make for a pretty bumpy night - quite unconformable at times: I slept very well - thank you, my wife didn't.
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Old 28-12-2012, 15:33   #45
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Re: Cruising the Florida Keys

its great to find this thread, i was asking the same questions in another..., Florida Keys here we come in Jan!
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