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Old 02-06-2010, 08:21   #16
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Originally Posted by capt_douglas View Post
I'd think any Keys oceanside are probably either state park or occupied. I know of a dozen or so Gulf side that are uninhabited at least during the week. The problem with cruising the Gulf close to the keys is the shallow water. There are also a few barrier islands on the eastern side of the Hawk Channel but they get real popular on the weekends.
may I ask you to name some of these islands?
I have a swing keel (1.5 foot), which should allow me to go through shallow waters.
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Old 02-06-2010, 08:23   #17
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Your not going to find what you want here. What few sandy spots will be very shoal, the others will be mostly mangrove with little access. On top of that it's the Fl Keys National Marine Sanctuary with lots of rules. My only suggestion would be travel down the ICW to Key Largo, go under the new Jewfish Creek bridge and hang out in Fl Bay. Just look around, the off limit islands are posted. Get Waterproof Charts #33E. Dave
which ones are shoal? as I mentioned above I should be able to go through shallow waters
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Old 02-06-2010, 09:04   #18
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there are some keys on the gulf side near big spanish channel and beyond where you can anchor near and possibly explore with a dinghy. but these are a long way from key biscayne.
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Old 02-06-2010, 09:10   #19
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there are some keys on the gulf side near big spanish channel and beyond where you can anchor near and possibly explore with a dinghy. but these are a long way from key biscayne.
I do not necessarily have to start off from key biscayne, I just don't want to drive too far. So, the gulf side is fine too. DO you recall any names?
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Old 02-06-2010, 11:29   #20
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It might be wise for you to examine some charts of the areas you are interested in, then examine them on Google Earth which will allow you to view park areas and what areas are open to visits and then check the park regulations.

Start with Office of Coast Survey . One can download Google Earth and Florida Parks and Park Regulations can be found at Welcome to Florida State Parks . Few of the privately owned Keys (or Cays if you prefer) will allow visitors and none without prior permission. You might also take a look at Florida Keys Map.

Frankly, if I were you, I'd drive over to Pine Island and sail across Pine Island Sound to Pelican Cove and try the camping on Cayo Costa. Come prepared, however, with plenty of water and insect repellant. This isn't the time of year one typically goes camping in Florida.

FWIW...
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Old 02-06-2010, 11:35   #21
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It might be wise for you to examine some charts of the areas you are interested in, then examine them on Google Earth which will allow you to view park areas and what areas are open to visits and then check the park regulations.

Start with Office of Coast Survey . One can download Google Earth and Florida Parks and Park Regulations can be found at Welcome to Florida State Parks . Few of the privately owned Keys (or Cays if you prefer) will allow visitors and none without prior permission. You might also take a look at Florida Keys Map.

Frankly, if I were you, I'd drive over to Pine Island and sail across Pine Island Sound to Pelican Cove and try the camping on Cayo Costa. Come prepared, however, with plenty of water and insect repellant. This isn't the time of year one typically goes camping in Florida.

FWIW...
what is the best time for such activity in Florida? I was originally trying to make it to Bahamas, that's why I chose June.. but I can postpone it to catch the best time. Moreover, I am still concerned about the oil spill.
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Old 02-06-2010, 12:21   #22
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Tomato, tomato. Wait they're spelled the same. I'm just pronouncing it differently. Never mind...
In this case, they're pronounced exactly the same. Just spelled differently. Undoubtedly "key" originated by mispelling "cay", spelling it like it sounds.

And incidentally, pronounced exactly the same as one other nautical term -- "quay".
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Old 02-06-2010, 14:42   #23
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Make sure you have fine-mesh screens for all your hatches, ports and the companionway. The no-seeums and mosquitos will feast on your hide if you tie up in a marina or close to land in the Keys in the summer. Besides the screens and the jungle-duty bug spray, the thing that really helped most was the Admiral remembering to take our rechargeable bug zapper. Really helped clean out the no-seeums and the mosquitos trapped inside the cabin at night. Living in Florida, we are used to dealing with these guys, but never encountered any this agressive. Someone here may be able to tell you how far to anchor out to avoid them.
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Old 02-06-2010, 14:52   #24
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In this case, they're pronounced exactly the same. Just spelled differently. Undoubtedly "key" originated by mispelling "cay", spelling it like it sounds.

And incidentally, pronounced exactly the same as one other nautical term -- "quay".
No kidding?? I always pronounced it with the q sounding like a q, not a k. The things you learn here. HEYYYYYYY, my old bosun's mate taught me quay as in quack. Are you sure??????
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Old 02-06-2010, 16:06   #25
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As far as I know, quay is properly pronounced like key. I have heard kway and kay (although I don't believe they're correct).
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Old 02-06-2010, 16:18   #26
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I believe DWJ is correct. Kway is apparently an Americanization of the original due to pronouncing it like it's spelled.

Sorry 'bout the thread hijack, Yankee.
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Old 06-06-2010, 07:11   #27
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If you want to be free to let your dog off leash leave the US. We passed through Florida on the way to the Bahamas and it was the most dog (and boater) unfriendly place we've been. We just got back from the NW Caribbean and no one there cares if your dog is off leash. This is assuming your dog is well behaved of course. Our dog never chases wildlife and lays under the table quietly when we got to restaurants. In Marina Paraiso, Isla Mujeres, we were told no leashes were allowed. If our dog could not behave off leash she was not welcome. In Mexico no one leashes their dogs. The locals are spooked by dogs on leashes because they assume the dog is mean if you have to leash it.
BTW, If you are really worked up over the spelling of Cay, Key, or whatever, it's time to turn off the computer and go sailing. Find an iland sumwer and chill owt.
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Old 06-06-2010, 07:56   #28
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If you want to be free to let your dog off leash leave the US. We passed through Florida on the way to the Bahamas and it was the most dog (and boater) unfriendly place we've been. We just got back from the NW Caribbean and no one there cares if your dog is off leash. This is assuming your dog is well behaved of course. Our dog never chases wildlife and lays under the table quietly when we got to restaurants. In Marina Paraiso, Isla Mujeres, we were told no leashes were allowed. If our dog could not behave off leash she was not welcome. In Mexico no one leashes their dogs. The locals are spooked by dogs on leashes because they assume the dog is mean if you have to leash it.
BTW, If you are really worked up over the spelling of Cay, Key, or whatever, it's time to turn off the computer and go sailing. Find an iland sumwer and chill owt.
Thanks for such a positive message!

I have to clarify though my first message about my dogs - they are very well behaved, they never chase anyone and they behave very well under voice control. So, I am generally fine with them being on leash. It's just really hard to keep both of them on leash, to keep an eye on my 3-yr old and to enjoy a beach. They like to swim and they like to play, so I was looking for a place where they can freely swim with us, so we all can enjoy the vacation.
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Old 06-06-2010, 08:04   #29
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what is the best time for such activity in Florida? I was originally trying to make it to Bahamas, that's why I chose June.. but I can postpone it to catch the best time. Moreover, I am still concerned about the oil spill.
Frankly, late May to the first week in June is probably the best time of year for Florida. The water is warm and the insects haven't become rampent. There are a few off-lying keys in the vacinity of Big Spanish Key (northeast of Key West) to explore but the Keys are usually also infested with no-see-ums which emerge at sun set and will drive you and your animals to distraction. The off-laying keys at Pine Island Sound (e.g. Cayo Costa) are probably more "user friendly" but will not allow "free range" dogs. Check the parks regulations previously noted.

FWIW...
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