Congrats on the boat purchase
Having anchored in all the major anchorages
in the Keys I can say that Marathon is a good anchorage... protected, easy provisioning
, built in cruising community, lots of folks to lend a helping hand to a new cruiser, dinghy
docks, home depot close by, the list goes on. The cons of Marathon is that unless you fish
or snorkel/dive, Marathon is a little dull after about a week. and the water
is pretty cold right now so unless you are into full body gear
for diving/snorkeling it's too cold for that right now.
is great for a town with lots of action. I personally think the anchorages
suck. Crowded and in a north or north west wind
it's like riding a rodeo bull and that is unfortunately a near weekly weather
occurence (in my opinion).
is nice. Blackwater and Buttonwood sounds behind Key Largo
(bay side) are nice anchorages. Islamorada has a decent anchorage.
I suggest skipping Stock Island. Alot of people that would otherwise be homeless live there, really scary boats and homeless people in the woods. Not the harmless sort of homeless either... if you do anchor
there, chain your dinghy
to something that doesn't move and lock up your boat. You will regret it if you don't. Good place to sit out a blow on the way to Key West
Try them all and figure out what you like personally.
Most of all ENJOY!!