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Old 20-12-2010, 09:38   #1
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Key West

Thinking about spending New Years and the month of January in Key West. Going there from Fort Myers. We havent been to Key West yet and do not know what to expect. Some say its terrible and some love it. Has anyone been there in the past year? Are there any decent anchorages? We cannot afford to stay in those pricey marinas everyday so it's either mooring or anchoring. We just want to have a good experience, so if anyone has recent good advice I would appreciate it . Thank you.... happy sailing
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Old 20-12-2010, 10:31   #2
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Take a hop down to Marco Island and anchor in Factory Bay. Then leave about noon the next day so you will arrive at the Northwest Channel after dawn. It is about 100 NM, usually downwind at that time of year.

There is another recent thread that discusses KW anchorages. How well you like them depends on your tolerance for rolly. There are no totally protected anchorages in KW.

David
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Old 20-12-2010, 13:44   #3
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Check with Robbies' Maratime center on how much they will charge you for a spot. It's a real funky low key boatyard on Stock Island a 20 min bike ride to downtown KW. That's where I'll be in a week or so. A nice little community of boats there.
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Old 20-12-2010, 18:10   #4
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Kiper....
I'm sitting in KW right now, albeit at a slip in Garrison Bight Marina. There are a LOT of options for staying here. If you want the best of both worlds, try a City owned mooring... about $10/day on a monthly contract, but you get pump out, and a dedicated dinghy dock with laundry and showers. Alternately, anchoring is still free, but the dinghy landing will still cost you $85 for the month.

As to the ride down, WATCH YOUR WEATHER! The cold fronts bring a north wind that will hurry you down, but things can get rough fast between here and there because the water is so shallow. If you time it right you can ride the south winds home on the head of a warm front.... in the middle it is sort of easterly. All in all, the trip is an easy one as long as you keep a weather eye.

If you do get stuck going when it is blowing stink out of the north, hug the coast and aim for Marathon, cross to Hawk Channel at Channel 5 bridge (65') and come down on the "ocean" side... remember "down" is really west in the lower keys!

New Year's in KW is a party only second to Times Square... I don't much go for that sort of thing anymore (last one downtown for me was the millennium!).

If you have any questions, I'll be glad to give you whatever "local knowledge" I can.
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Old 20-12-2010, 21:02   #5
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If you do get stuck going when it is blowing stink out of the north, hug the coast and aim for Marathon, cross to Hawk Channel at Channel 5 bridge (65') and come down on the "ocean" side... remember "down" is really west in the lower keys!
FWIW, Marathon is 7 Mile Bridge, not Channel 5.

After Marco, you can anchor at Little Shark River, from there head straight for Key West, it's no different than heading for Marathon as far as protection from weather.
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Old 21-12-2010, 08:37   #6
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If you have the time, stay a few days at Little Shark River. I loved it there.
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Old 21-12-2010, 08:47   #7
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We are heading to Key West from Marathon for New Years Eve probably after the front passes on Sunday. We normally anchor off of Flemming, but we may try behind Christmas Tree this next time.
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Old 27-12-2010, 16:13   #8
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Thank you for your input... we stayed in Fort Myers waiting for the stinking front to blow by. Looks like tomorrow is our window. Going to just do a straight shot down to Key West, prob anchor near Flemming first night then try to get a ball at Garrison. Being the holiday that may not happen but thats what anchors are for
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Old 27-12-2010, 16:53   #9
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Thank you for your input... we stayed in Fort Myers waiting for the stinking front to blow by. Looks like tomorrow is our window. Going to just do a straight shot down to Key West, prob anchor near Flemming first night then try to get a ball at Garrison. Being the holiday that may not happen but thats what anchors are for
There are many many moorings available in the city field.


The dinghy ride is like 1.5 miles of rough water opened to the north and the city thinks cruisers are dirt and that they are offering you affordable housing and keeping their streets free of a few more homeless.

Marathon mooring field is completely the opposite.
They have embraced cruisers, local boating businesses are thriving and it's been a positive experience.

Key West is Key West!

Love it or Hate it!
Most do both on a daily basis.
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Old 08-03-2011, 06:25   #10
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Re: Key West

I can't see anyone who sails "hating" Key West. If they do, they haven't really been there...something for everyone.
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