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Old 02-04-2012, 07:31   #1
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Miami to Marathon: ICW or HC? And Where to Anchor on HC?

Going to Marathon from Miami, what will be the best route: ICW or HC knowing that my sailing boat has a 5' draft.
It seems that the portion of the ICW around Islamorada and Tavernier doesn't allow such a draft easily? Any comments

So considering that, I would like to go via the Biscayne Bay to pumpkin Key , anchor there for the night and go through Angel fish creek and the HC toward marathon.

Where to anchor on the HC?

Indian Key? Tavernier?

I intend to do around 40 nauticals per stage.

Thanks
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Old 02-04-2012, 07:54   #2
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Re: Miami to Marathon: ICW or HC? And Where to Anchor on HC?

I've done both routes many times, and prefer the HC route. I once made the trip in one leg @ 12 knots! There are a number of places to pull over, for the night.

DO NOT ANCHOR IN TURTLE GRASS! It isn't just bad environmentally, but it is TERRIBLE holding in a sudden blow.

I always dive my anchor in sand, to be sure it isn't just 4" of sand over hard pan. (VERY common there)!

M.
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Old 02-04-2012, 07:55   #3
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Re: Miami to Marathon: ICW or HC? And Where to Anchor on HC?

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I've done both routes many times, and prefer the HC route. I once made the trip in one leg @ 12 knots! There are a number of places to pull over, for the night.

DO NOT ANCHOR IN TURTLE GRASS! It isn't just bad environmentally, but it is TERRIBLE holding in a sudden blow.

I always dive my anchor in sand, to be sure it isn't just 4" of sand over hard pan. (VERY common there)!

M.

Mark, what is the draft of your boat? Thanks
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Old 02-04-2012, 08:01   #4
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Re: Miami to Marathon: ICW or HC? And Where to Anchor on HC?

That's good advice from Mark above. I would also add Rodreguiz Key if the wind isn't blowing from the NE. Bayside can be nice in ugly weather, but not so much with a draft over five feet. Hawks Channel is the best route for good sailing days.
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Old 02-04-2012, 08:26   #5
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Re: Miami to Marathon: ICW or HC? And Where to Anchor on HC?

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Mark, what is the draft of your boat? Thanks
Sailing hard in HC, I have the board down & draw 7', except to anchor, when I raise it to just over 3'. There are still a few semi protected spots near shore, for 5' drafters to anchor, in 6 or 7' of water, if the weather is stable.

The ICW route can be run with 5', but VERY carefully. I sail with the board up on the inside, 100% of the time.
M.
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Old 02-04-2012, 08:46   #6
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Re: Miami to Marathon: ICW or HC? And Where to Anchor on HC?

Thanks guys
It will be the HC and Rodriguez key then...
;-)
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Old 02-04-2012, 08:59   #7
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Re: Miami to Marathon: ICW or HC? And Where to Anchor on HC?

I did the inside passage last summer with 5' draft. A couple spots where there was a mere inch or two under the keel at high tide, and there are issues with silting channels--the worst spot required following the correct furrow previous keels had harrowed out and not straying out of it, in spite of being all ahoo in relation to the channel markers. It was seriously taxing on the nerves, and I'll never try it again. Worst spot is between Matecumbe and Long Cay, if memory serves. Several days of rarely seeing a foot under the keel. HC going south and west has the prevailing wind--a far better option.
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Old 02-04-2012, 09:28   #8
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Re: Miami to Marathon: ICW or HC? And Where to Anchor on HC?

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I did the inside passage last summer with 5' draft. A couple spots where there was a mere inch or two under the keel at high tide, and there are issues with silting channels--the worst spot required following the correct furrow previous keels had harrowed out and not straying out of it, in spite of being all ahoo in relation to the channel markers. It was seriously taxing on the nerves, and I'll never try it again. Worst spot is between Matecumbe and Long Cay, if memory serves. Several days of rarely seeing a foot under the keel. HC going south and west has the prevailing wind--a far better option.
Understood I'll take the HC. Thanks for the advice
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Old 02-04-2012, 13:22   #9
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Re: Miami to Marathon: ICW or HC? And Where to Anchor on HC?

[QUOTE=Alecadi;922011]Going to Marathon from Miami, what will be the best route: ICW or HC knowing that my sailing boat has a 5' draft.
It seems that the portion of the ICW around Islamorada and Tavernier doesn't allow such a draft easily? Any comments

So considering that, I would like to go via the Biscayne Bay to pumpkin Key , anchor there for the night and go through Angel fish creek and the HC toward marathon.

Where to anchor on the HC?

Indian Key? Tavernier?

I intend to do around 40 nauticals per stage.

It's not a long trip from Angelfish (you can find a closer anchorage than Pumpkin) or Pumpkin to Marathon via HC. The prevailing winds are NE to E. I've never had the luxury of anchoring 5.5 and 6 ft draft vessels at Rodriguize. My plan from Key Biscayne to Marathon has been: early start and if progress is impeded pull into one of several marinas along the way (never had to do it). Good Sailing!
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Old 02-04-2012, 14:14   #10
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Re: Miami to Marathon: ICW or HC? And Where to Anchor on HC?

There is a nice little spot just west of the channel in Long Key Bight, but may not be deep enough for you. Just to the east of it is a nice hole between 2 shoals which would accomidate you, just make sure you are anchored real good so as not to drag. Can also go under the Channel 5 Bridge and pull up just about anywhere and it is not a far detour out of your way.

Right now winds are north at less than 10 kts and variable. This weather pattern is supposed to hold until Sunday .... then East and Noreast at 20+ for how long I don"t know. In those kind of conditions it is a sleigh ride from Mia. to Marathon, just be sure you stay in Hawks Channel. Out past the reef things can get pretty nasty with winds against the Giulf Stream (square waves) is what we call them down here...not a fun ride.

Enjoy your trip.
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Old 02-04-2012, 14:25   #11
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Re: Miami to Marathon: ICW or HC? And Where to Anchor on HC?

I am going down the HC today from Angel Fish to Marathon. No wind and flat calm. I plan to anchor outside Boot Key Harbor. My draft is 6'10". I would appreciate any suggestions for anchorages for the trip back up next week when the wind is back to N or NE. I am headed to Lake Worth and need some stops along the way. Thanks.
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Old 02-04-2012, 14:49   #12
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Re: Miami to Marathon: ICW or HC? And Where to Anchor on HC?

Mark, don't have any really good suggestions for you with that amount of draft. duck up under the Channel 5 bridge and anchor on the gulf side is one, but it is not too awful far from Marathon. Next place would be in Biscayne Bay. After that the options become limited to the inlets and cuts into ICW, which I am not very familiar with.

Having lived down in the Keys for over 20 yrs I always have had boats that drew 4' or less except my Glander Tavana 33 which drew 6.5 with the board down. I like to gunkhole so I am always searching for the skinny water and out of the way places.

Hawks Channel and outside the reef can get real lumpy in an east and noreast wind conditions especially if it blows from those directions for several days.

With your draft also be aware of the patch reefs in Hawks Channel... some of them are not real deep.... use your paper charts as well. When you anchor make sure you are not anchored on a layer of sand covering hardpan, this is very common down here. Enjoy the trip sorry I couldn't give you more and better info
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Old 02-04-2012, 14:55   #13
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Re: Miami to Marathon: ICW or HC? And Where to Anchor on HC?

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I am going down the HC today from Angel Fish ................ My draft is 6'10"...........................
Out Angelfish with a 6'10" draft? .....and here I'm cautious with less than 5'! Tell me more about the depths you found and your passage through Angelfish with 6'10". I know it's all deep except at the two ends,- tell me more.
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Old 02-04-2012, 18:26   #14
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Re: Miami to Marathon: ICW or HC? And Where to Anchor on HC?

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Out Angelfish with a 6'10" draft? .....and here I'm cautious with less than 5'! Tell me more about the depths you found and your passage through Angelfish with 6'10". I know it's all deep except at the two ends,- tell me more.
I didn't go through the cut. I just came over from the Bahamas and entered HC at AngelFish. Depths all the way down to Marathon were generally 15' to 20'. I just stayed inside the channel markers.
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Old 02-04-2012, 19:00   #15
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Re: Miami to Marathon: ICW or HC? And Where to Anchor on HC?

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I didn't go through the cut..........................
Thanks! I was thinking you had some magic secret local knowledge.
When you are northbound you can anchor inside Key Biscayne and you can also take your draft into Lake Sylvia at Lauderdale, but you'll need to stay well close to the east (to port) during the entry in the channel toward Lake Sylvia when heading south from Bahia Mar.
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