Agree that Boot Key is a good place to meet other cruisers. I would point out not everyone has the same idea about the ideal place to anchor
. Finding folks who are on the same page as you are about having fun.
It is possible to tie up at a dock
every night and eat out every night. Or you can drop the anchor
somewhere and not go to a marina till you need water
and gas. There is not a right or wrong choice, but the folks you are buddy cruising with should have the same idea as you.
First thing is to figure out if you want to cruise
. Next is if on oceanside or gulfside. Next is how long you can stay out before needing water
, gas, food
, or what ever.
If you are a little flexible in time and want to cruise I would suggest going West of Key West
. Boca Grande is great and you can get CH2 and cell service
is only 12 miles across the Boca Grande Channel and is the only true atoll in North America. If you get the right weather
window and are up for it you can make the 40 mile trip over open ocean to the Dry Tortugas
Or you could go gulfside and cruise the back country. Lots of nice places there but the water does get skinny.