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Old 22-03-2013, 14:50   #1
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Key West Family Style

New to the forum and overnight long distant cruising, so we decided to take the plunge. After many short trips 40-80 nm one way we are now planning a trip to the keys 220nm with the family, boy 4 girl 7. We will be sailing our 27 Morgan with 4.5 draft. Any recomandations on places to go that are fun for the kids and safe for the boat, or places not to go! Thanks Paul
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Old 22-03-2013, 15:15   #2
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Re: Key West Family Style

Dry Tortugas! Not exactly Key West, but beautiful coral waters, with great snorkeling, and an enormous brick fort to explore. The anchorage can be a bit exposed, but I have hung there in some pretty bad blows. Feels like the Bahamas, but it is in the USA. Last time I was there I looked over the side and there was an enormous Jewfish under the boat the size of our dinghy.

As you probably know, Key West itself is party town, but we found the bars and restaurants friendly to families during the day and the early hours of the evening. I wouldn't hang around with the kids late unless you don't mind a bar scene on steroids. Occasional events bring out some pretty wild antics and parades. Ripleys Believe it or Not is always fun--pretty sure it is still there too. There is a butterfly museum with lots of them flying around inside a building that is fun too.
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Old 23-03-2013, 06:18   #3
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Where are you starting this trip from? FL West coast?
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Old 23-03-2013, 07:43   #4
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We will be leaving from Sarasota FL, hoping on down to Naples.
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Old 23-03-2013, 17:15   #5
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Ah great route for a family cruise. You can day sail as far south as 10,000 Islands with lots of great stops in between. Bit longer run then to Dry Tortugas or Key West (90nm from Ft Myers Beach to Dry Tortugas as I recall).

From Lonboat Pass its a long day sail (depending upon your boat and conditions of course) down to Boca Grande and on into Pine Island Sound...great mini cruising ground here all the way down to Sanibel Island. Cabbage Key and Captiva Island are cool stops the kids should enjoy.

The DT's are great but could be a bit arduous for a family outing on a small boat. Its not far but the seas here can get short and nasty due to relatively shallow water and currents in this area. Lots of trawler traffic between Ft Myers and the DTs at night. No water available there either.

Not sure how far you plan to go in the Keys but w your draft you should be able to get into the Pennekamp Park mooring field. Great spot and the kids should love it.

Have not cruised this area in many years since all the anchoring issues started in FL but others can give you more current info on that.
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Old 25-03-2013, 09:36   #6
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Thanks for the great tips. We plan on making it a week long sailing trip so the little stops should be fun.
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Old 09-05-2013, 13:00   #7
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Its official... June 13th we will be heading out for our first two week cruise toward Boot Key Harbor. Thanks for all the tips. Paul M
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