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Old 26-01-2013, 09:33   #1
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Key Largo to Key West

Hi friends. We are a Seattle family (2 teens) doing our 1st trip thru the keys in April. We are sailing a Pearson 36 with 4' draft and have several questions. - must stay moorages?
- restaurants?
- places to buy fresh fish to BBQ?
- beaches (teen daughter wants nice sand ;-) )?


Thanks!!
Dani
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Old 26-01-2013, 10:36   #2
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Re: Key Largo to Key West

Hi, we would join you in your request. I am sailing the same route at the end of march in my F28R.. I bought Frank Papy's book, but am having a rough time figuring out whether to do the intercoastal or go out into the atlantic and also, where to stay....

Fin
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Old 26-01-2013, 10:57   #3
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Re: Key Largo to Key West

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Originally Posted by danimommy View Post
Hi friends. We are a Seattle family (2 teens) doing our 1st trip thru the keys in April. We are sailing a Pearson 36 with 4' draft and have several questions. - must stay moorages?
- restaurants?
- places to buy fresh fish to BBQ?
- beaches (teen daughter wants nice sand ;-) )?


Thanks!!
Dani
Take a look at Active Captain. Registration is free and there is a wealth of information available.
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Old 26-01-2013, 11:10   #4
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Re: Key Largo to Key West

There are 3 places that I recommend visiting in the FL Keys: Key Largo's Pennekamp underwater park (snorkeling/SCUBA diving), Marathon Key's Sombrero Beach (with a protected sandy beach, picnic tables, and showers facilities - about a mile from US 1 and restocking supplies/stores for the boat) and Bahia Honda State Park (with a sandy beach and picnic/shower facilities by the 7 mile bridge). The sand in the keys is not white anymore, but rather grayish and coarse. If you want really nice sandy areas, you will have to go to upper FL, Gulf-side. Alternatively, you could sail to St. John USVI, Tobago Keys BWI or Virgin Gorda BVI where sandy beaches are abundant; there are many other Caribbean islands with picturesque sandy beaches. Buying fresh fish...if you can get close to a fishing trawler...you can exchange fish and lobsters for beer. Stock-up on beer for the exchange; better than cash. Dollar-wise you'll get more fish/lobsters by bartering using beer as your currency. Enjoy! Mauritz
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Old 26-01-2013, 11:29   #5
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There are 3 places that I recommend visiting in the FL Keys: Key Largo's Pennekamp underwater park (snorkeling/SCUBA diving), Marathon Key's Sombrero Beach (with a protected sandy beach, picnic tables, and showers facilities - about a mile from US 1 and restocking supplies/stores for the boat) and Bahia Honda State Park (with a sandy beach and picnic/shower facilities by the 7 mile bridge). The sand in the keys is not white anymore, but rather grayish and coarse. If you want really nice sandy areas, you will have to go to upper FL, Gulf-side. Alternatively, you could sail to St. John USVI, Tobago Keys BWI or Virgin Gorda BVI where sandy beaches are abundant; there are many other Caribbean islands with picturesque sandy beaches. Buying fresh fish...if you can get close to a fishing trawler...you can exchange fish and lobsters for beer. Stock-up on beer for the exchange; better than cash. Dollar-wise you'll get more fish/lobsters by bartering using beer as your currency. Enjoy! Mauritz
Thanks so much!!! I will look up Costco in Key Largo and stock up
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Old 26-01-2013, 11:30   #6
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Thanks! Will do
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Old 26-01-2013, 13:24   #7
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Re: Key Largo to Key West

Our draft is 4'3" and we enjoy the multitude of protected anchorages on the Bayside although Hawk's channel is an easy reef protected ride as well. Some of our favorites include: Anchoring off the Carribean Club in Blackwater Sound (local pub) ...... Anchoring in Tarpon Basin (access to the grocery store)........ Anchoring in Sunset Cove (Butonwood Sound) w/dinghy landing at the dead end street behind the Burger King ....... Anchoring at the bight at Lower Matecumbe just north of the bridge to Long Key (dinghy trip through the mangrove to the restaurant one bridge to the north) ...... from Marathon we like the passage out Big Spanish Channel to the Gulf and entering Key West via the NW Channel (more wilderness). On the Hawk Channel (Atlantic side) we enjoy the anchorages at Newfound Harbor, Tavernier, and Rodriquiz Key. The best price for a marina stay with access to restaurants and shopping in the Keys is probably Mangrove Marina on the Bayside. ...."nice sand beaches" are rare in the Keys, but the best available will be at Bahia Honda and there is a good holding anchorage there too!
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Old 26-01-2013, 13:48   #8
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Our draft is 4'3" and we enjoy the multitude of protected anchorages on the Bayside although Hawk's channel is an easy reef protected ride as well. Some of our favorites include: Anchoring off the Carribean Club in Blackwater Sound (local pub) ...... Anchoring in Tarpon Basin (access to the grocery store)........ Anchoring in Sunset Cove (Butonwood Sound) w/dinghy landing at the dead end street behind the Burger King ....... Anchoring at the bight at Lower Matecumbe just north of the bridge to Long Key (dinghy trip through the mangrove to the restaurant one bridge to the north) ...... from Marathon we like the passage out Big Spanish Channel to the Gulf and entering Key West via the NW Channel (more wilderness). On the Hawk Channel (Atlantic side) we enjoy the anchorages at Newfound Harbor, Tavernier, and Rodriquiz Key. The best price for a marina stay with access to restaurants and shopping in the Keys is probably Mangrove Marina on the Bayside. ...."nice sand beaches" are rare in the Keys, but the best available will be at Bahia Honda and there is a good holding anchorage there too!
Thank you so much!! My hubby is Mr detail he will love this! Since you know a lot about this area is there a marina that we could stay at one night that would have access to a "resort" type feel with a pool, shops, food. I know my teenage daughter would love a afternoon by a pool thanks for all the tips!
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Old 26-01-2013, 15:54   #9
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Re: Key Largo to Key West

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..................marina that we could stay at one night that would have access to a "resort" type feel with a pool, shops, food. I know my teenage daughter would love a afternoon by a pool thanks for all the tips!
Sure, from oceanside at Key Largo, take the Largo canal to the Holiday Inn Marina or Marina del Mar, both adjacent and both with pools and all the amenities. This is an easy day trip out Angelfish Pass and south from an anchorage at Pumpkin Key at the south of Biscayne Bay about 25 miles south of Miami. When entering the Largo Canal there is a ninety degree turn without visibility around the corner. Most give a securite call when approaching this spot locally known as "crash corner".
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Old 26-01-2013, 16:57   #10
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Re: Key Largo to Key West

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Sure, from oceanside at Key Largo, take the Largo canal to the Holiday Inn Marina or Marina del Mar, both adjacent and both with pools and all the amenities. This is an easy day trip out Angelfish Pass and south from an anchorage at Pumpkin Key at the south of Biscayne Bay about 25 miles south of Miami. When entering the Largo Canal there is a ninety degree turn without visibility around the corner. Most give a securite call when approaching this spot locally known as "crash corner".
+1 on the Holiday Inn / Bahia Mar for a marina overnight. When you're there, walk over to the Key Largo fishery (its only a few blocks) for a great place to get fresh seafood.....and on the way there or back stop at Calypso's for what I believe is the best seafood restaurant in Key Largo ( very laidback and keysey......I recommend the fish tacos and the sangria. Don't miss the sangria!).

Also - if the weather is decent stay on the Atlantic side and sail the Hawk Channel. There are mooring bouys at the reefs along the way and the snorkeling is great.

Have fun!
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Old 26-01-2013, 17:23   #11
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Re: Key Largo to Key West

Frank Papy cruising guide and Active Captain
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Old 26-01-2013, 18:04   #12
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Re: Key Largo to Key West

Be sure to stop at Burdines Waterfront Marina in Boot Key just past marker 9. Awesome burgers at the Chiki Tiki upstairs. Big burgers small price, made to order! If ya want medium rare, then ya get it. Very friendly folks!

Only thing I didnt like about runnin Hawks Channel was ALL them damn crab pots!!
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Old 29-01-2013, 21:28   #13
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Be sure to stop at Burdines Waterfront Marina in Boot Key just past marker 9. Awesome burgers at the Chiki Tiki upstairs. Big burgers small price, made to order! If ya want medium rare, then ya get it. Very friendly folks!

Only thing I didnt like about runnin Hawks Channel was ALL them damn crab pots!!
Sounds so yummy ! Thanks!!
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Old 29-01-2013, 21:30   #14
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+1 on the Holiday Inn / Bahia Mar for a marina overnight. When you're there, walk over to the Key Largo fishery (its only a few blocks) for a great place to get fresh seafood.....and on the way there or back stop at Calypso's for what I believe is the best seafood restaurant in Key Largo ( very laidback and keysey......I recommend the fish tacos and the sangria. Don't miss the sangria!).

Also - if the weather is decent stay on the Atlantic side and sail the Hawk Channel. There are mooring bouys at the reefs along the way and the snorkeling is great.

Have fun!
Sounds great!!! We can't wait!! Rainy and cold in Seattle
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Old 24-02-2013, 10:58   #15
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Re: Key Largo to Key West

You asked for moorages. The only Mooring fields in the Keys are in Marathon and Key West. Marathon's Boot Key Harbor is Top-Notch, Key West's is not. Affordable dockage with amenities are far a few. The mooring balls oceanside are not for overnight. Pennycamp State Park is Florida's most visited. Get both Skipper Bobs! Plan on rough weather and then go outside when weather permits. Bayside dockage highlights Gilberts MM106, Lorelei MM82. Key West has new anchor laws, Beware! Dockage recommended. KW moron field is poorly planned and run, Danger! I've lived longterm in both mooring fields and still cruise the Keys fulltime. Full Moon Party at Morada Bay! Best conch, Lazy Conch at Lazy Days.(btw, this is my first post, I like to learn and listen, than to type and pretend to know something) I think I see a cloud ...
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