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Old 05-12-2010, 10:35   #1
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Key West Destination

Hey Forum, I need some help.

I'm leaving for the Keys this Friday and I have NO IDEA where I am going to stay. I have a 30' Santana with a 5' draft. Preferably free or relatively inexpensive per day. We will be staying off the hook, so no marina recommendations necessary. I know this is extremely broad, so to narrow it down, somewhere fairly easy enter as this will be my first time in the Keys.

Any suggestions? Leaving from Sarasota this Friday and will be gone for 10 days.

Thanks,
Mike
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Old 05-12-2010, 10:43   #2
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Mike:

There are no good anchorages in Key West. All are subject to the northeast winds that prevail in the winter.

Try to tuck up on the west side of Flemming Key or Wistieria Island. When I was there last year that was the best protection. But when the wind comes out of due north then you are exposed again.

David
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Old 05-12-2010, 11:02   #3
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I did that trip last month I can give you any info you need ,I anchored opposite the bight by tank island you can take your dinghy into the marinas they charge $6 day
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Old 05-12-2010, 11:02   #4
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Check out some earlier discussions, which elaborate on David's advice:

Key West Anchorage

Anchored in Key West

PS: Tank Island is the official name of Sunset Key, next to Wisteria.
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Old 05-12-2010, 11:48   #5
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Garrison Bight has city mooring balls and a good marina, not as crazy as the other side.
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Old 05-12-2010, 12:16   #6
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Thanks all for the great info. We are heading to the Keys now and are just north of Jacksonville but not sure when we will be getting there but I hope its warmer there then here
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Old 05-12-2010, 20:02   #7
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Its going to be especially bad if you're going down this week. Strong northwest winds are forecast all week...till Sat/Sun of next week. What few free anchorages that exist in Key West are pretty exposed on the Gulf side.

Perhaps duck in behind Fleming Key? Its pretty crowded so you may be forced to anchor in the deeper parts (~20 feet in depth) so bring a lot of chain with rode in good shape as the holding is not so great.
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Old 05-12-2010, 20:22   #8
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Santana.....
Obviously the responses about KW anchorages are from the uninformed. I've been here 25 years and know the area well. The selection of "where" is dependent on "what" you want to do when here. With a 10 day trip (assuming 2 days each way in transit), I would pay the freight and get a slip. City Marina at Garrison Bight has the best rates.

If you HAVE to anchor out and like downtown (Duval St) I would anchor just North of Wisteria (Christmas) Island, inside the sandbar to the North and West of the channel going to the North of Flemming. The dinghy ride to Key West Bight Dinghy Dock is short and sheltered. From there it is a short walk to Duval.

This time of year the cold fronts come pretty regular and your return trip may be iffy on a 10 day schedule. WATCH YOUR WX CLOSELY! Beating 150 miles into the wind sux!

I have a place in Nokomis, and KW; I make the trip often. PM me if you want some local knowledge for coastal stops if you don't rhumbline
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Old 05-12-2010, 20:26   #9
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Mike,
I'd suggest going under the channel 5 bridge and into Hawk Channel to transit in the lee of the Keys this weekend. Marathon or Newfound Harbor would be good alternates. In KW, Cow Key Channel may be an alternative. The military is enforcing a no anchoring zone around Fleming Key so you won't get much protection there plus everyone is squeezed into a smaller area. I'd think about the Sea Plane basin outside Garrison Bight but I'm unsure of the draft constraints. Dave
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Old 05-12-2010, 20:33   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveOnCudjoe View Post
Mike,
I'd suggest going under the channel 5 bridge and into Hawk Channel to transit in the lee of the Keys this weekend. Marathon or Newfound Harbor would be good alternates. In KW, Cow Key Channel may be an alternative. The military is enforcing a no anchoring zone around Fleming Key so you won't get much protection there plus everyone is squeezed into a smaller area. I'd think about the Sea Plane basin outside Garrison Bight but I'm unsure of the draft constraints. Dave
The seaplane basin is 14' deep, however the approach is about 3-4, a no-go for the OP

Cow Key Channel is about 3 miles from Duval... a long walk!

The Cold front is passing here NOW (it started raining about 40 min ago); Friday should be fairly benign Sat should have a South East wind...I expect by Sunday a SECOND front will be reinforcing the Norther... Either way the OP is in for a lumpy ride down.

The Channel 5 advise is good as Hawk will be in the lee, and once around Cape Romano there is little fetch
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Old 06-12-2010, 14:47   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capngeo View Post
The seaplane basin is 14' deep, however the approach is about 3-4, a no-go for the OP

Cow Key Channel is about 3 miles from Duval... a long walk!

The Cold front is passing here NOW (it started raining about 40 min ago); Friday should be fairly benign Sat should have a South East wind...I expect by Sunday a SECOND front will be reinforcing the Norther... Either way the OP is in for a lumpy ride down.

The Channel 5 advise is good as Hawk will be in the lee, and once around Cape Romano there is little fetch
I will be taking this same route in late Jan. How lumpy are we taking? 4ft rollers, 10?
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