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Old 11-06-2014, 18:02   #1
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dry tortugas Florida

I m planning to sail the lower Key and visit the Dry Tortugas, i'd like to get some suggestions and information about it, thanks. My Yacht has 7' draft
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Old 11-06-2014, 18:15   #2
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Re: dry tortugas Florida

Be very careful.

I was down there in '08 in my Pearson Triton, which draws 4'. Ran aground near Saddlebunch Key. Didn't make it all the way to the Tortugas but with good charts and attention to your sonar you will be OK. I would stay outside of the Keys and not go into the inland waterways - I don't think you will do OK there. The Dry Tortugas have good markings in the channels and it will be very nice there, as long as you avoid Hurrican season. Nowhere to hide out there.
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Old 11-06-2014, 18:43   #3
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Re: dry tortugas Florida

You will be OK around Key West and the Dry Tortugas with a 7' draft but no where else in the western Keys.
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Old 12-06-2014, 13:15   #4
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Re: dry tortugas Florida

Alex,
With your draft: Miami-Marathon-Key West-Boca Grande Key-Dry Tortugas. Watch your weather window for the Tortugas as it is open and has little real protection. This would be a very nice cruise with the ability to anchor securely everywhere except Key West. In my opinion, Key West is a tourist circus and offers little to the cruising sailor. But, if you like circuses, kitschy bars, low brow entertainment . . . give it a try. The spirit of Hemingway disappeared years ago.
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Old 12-06-2014, 13:23   #5
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Re: dry tortugas Florida

[QUOTE=rognvald;15 In my opinion, Key West is a tourist circus and offers little to the cruising sailor. But, if you like circuses, kitschy bars, low brow entertainment . . . give it a try. The spirit of Hemingway disappeared years ago.[/QUOTE]


All one has to do it take the city bus to the supermarket to see the other side of Key West.
His spirit may be gone but you can visit his house
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Old 12-06-2014, 13:30   #6
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We are leavi g todry tortugas on sat june 28 from sarasota then key west returning on july 6
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Old 12-06-2014, 13:39   #7
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Re: dry tortugas Florida

The scene at Key West is something to behold. I am not talking about the dry land part - interesting but not unpredictable.

The mooring/anchoring area is a trip. I suspect many folks have taken over derelict vessels and are essentially squatting on abandoned boats. One vessel seemed to have several families living on it. An old, pretty, large sailing hull apparently had been stripped of her decks and accommodations to be replaced with a multi-story "house" made entirely of dimensional lumber, complete with swing set. During the day, the Moms would head for shore in their waitress uniforms and the kids swung on the swing set and swam all day. Late at nite, the Moms would return with groceries, etc. There was a "social service barge" that made the rounds to vessels where troubled souls resided and offered pump outs, water and counseling. Off in the distance was a very large sailboat that had grounded on a reef during a hurricane. Ongoing efforts to free the multi-million dollar mega-yacht were ongoing and, at the time, going nowhere.

I watched one guy spend 30 minutes trying to start his ancient outboard on a leaking RIB finally row over to my boat to bum a cigarette. It was surreal.
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Old 12-06-2014, 13:49   #8
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That's why I booked two nights in a nice marina I thought it'd be a lot nicer for the family to be able to walk to the freakshow on the land and come back to nice air conditioned safer environment
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Old 12-06-2014, 14:00   #9
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Re: dry tortugas Florida

We did that, too. Stayed at Key West Bight. We had our son and his buddy on board but took them to Miami to catch a flight back home - school athletics were starting. I am used to visiting tourist areas so Key West wasn't any sort of departure from other places we have docked. We saw the 7 toed cats and the pirate ships along with a bit of Atocha stuff and moved on. I liked the daily parades - pretty tame stuff all around.

One thing I found curious is that we were admonished when we rinsed our decks with fresh water all the while watching the restaurants nearby with their spritzing/misting outdoor air conditioners. I realize the Keys have to pipe all their fresh water so wasn't going to complain - still it was interesting.

Had we had a weather window/time, we would have scooted out to Dry Tortuga. We just ran out of time. We did take the ferry out one day - it is a stunning place. I would love to go and hang out there.
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Old 12-06-2014, 14:14   #10
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Re: dry tortugas Florida

i passed thru key west about 15 years ago and the place literally stunk. garbage everywhere. rotten beer and cigar smell too. we took a short look around and immediately headed back to marathon.
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