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Old 21-09-2013, 12:31   #1
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Are you sailing in the Florida Keys in March?

Hello all,
My husband and I will be sailing our 25 ft Seaward in the lower Florida Keys for the month of March and first half of April. We're looking for another middle-aged couple who might be doing the same on their own boat during that time. We are still fairly new to sailing the Keys, so we are hoping to explore it with others who are more familiar and would be willing to share some favorite spots and knowledge of the area.
We live in Colorado and have done quite a bit of lake sailing over the last several years. We spent last March taking day sails out of the marina at Bahai Honda State Park, but we would still consider ourselves novices when it comes to ocean sailing. We're adventurous, fun, and in need of more sailing friends! (Funny, there aren't a lot in Colorado.)
Hoping to hear from anyone interested in meeting up...
Alexi and Robert Alfieri
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Old 22-09-2013, 04:37   #2
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Re: Are you sailing in the Florida Keys in March?

Welcome aboard, Alexi & Robert! That's a good time to cruise the keys, so you will naturally meet a lot folks doing the same thing once you get started. Bahia Honda is one of our favorite spots. Another is anchoring for the night off the Big Spanish Channel near Big Pine Key -- very remote with almost no lights other than the moon & stars. Marathon/Boot Key Harbor is a big hub for cruisers (and has lots of live-aboards). Good luck with the planning, and happy cruising!
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Old 06-12-2013, 10:36   #3
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Re: Are you sailing in the Florida Keys in March?

Hi, Folks, We will be heading south from Boynton Beach Florida , for about 3-4 weeks starting sometime in February or March. Would love to go sooner but my daughter is having a baby in the next few weeks and I am going to stay here for about a month. Sailing on a 41.1 Bristol, the Phoenix with my good Friend Fran...Its our first time to the keys although we have both sailed the east coast up to Maine and back over 10 times so feel very comfortable making this trip...we will be spending the next month touching base with others who might have plans or who have made the trip...primarily looking for good anchorages and good places to eat and snorkel. ..stay tuned...one thing we look for is those special places that go out of their way to make overnight tie ups comfortable and safe... of course always like a good place to get a shower and walk on land...
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Old 06-12-2013, 11:18   #4
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Re: Are you sailing in the Florida Keys in March?

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 or dock. 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, Marquesas 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.
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Old 06-12-2013, 11:37   #5
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CH2? Methylene? On boca grande?
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Old 06-12-2013, 14:40   #6
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Re: Are you sailing in the Florida Keys in March?

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Originally Posted by tomfl View Post
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 or dock. 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, Marquesas 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.

Good advice , We are still in the planning mode but our tendency is to just drop the hook and live on the boat...We keep a close eye on the weather and make sure that the anchor sets properly...If we are uncomfortable with the anchorage or find a free dock or an inexpensive marina we will probably tie up for a few days to get a shower and wash clothes and buy food...Mainly keep it flexible. ....keep your sense of humor and don't be afraid of running aground....because you will ...but that's what friends are for and Boat US if you don't have their insurance ...get it before you go..the long distance towing is worth its weight in gold...
and peace of mind.
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Old 06-12-2013, 16:19   #7
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Re: Are you sailing in the Florida Keys in March?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, mjasko1.
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Old 06-12-2013, 16:49   #8
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Re: Are you sailing in the Florida Keys in March?

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CH2? Methylene? On boca grande?
CH2 is what most cruisers would recognize as channel 2 on their VHF. The lower channels carry the local weather and channel 2 is the local weather for the keys. You need line of sight to get VHF reception and Boca Grande is close enough for most boats to pick it up. If you have good reception you can get it in the Marquesas which is about ten miles West of Boca Grande.
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Old 06-12-2013, 16:53   #9
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Re: Are you sailing in the Florida Keys in March?

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Originally Posted by mjasko1 View Post
SNIP
Boat US if you don't have their insurance ...get it before you go..the long distance towing is worth its weight in gold...
and peace of mind.
Agree.

But while the Boat US tow service is covered to the Marquesas, about 35 miles West of Key West I have been told it does not cover the Dry Tortugas which is about 70 miles West of Key West. But if you can swing it the trip to DT is worth it with the right weather window.
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Old 06-12-2013, 17:14   #10
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Re: Are you sailing in the Florida Keys in March?

[QUOTE=tomfl;1408888]CH2 is what most cruisers would recognize as channel 2 on their VHF. The lower channels carry the local weather and channel 2 is the local weather for the keys. You need line of sight to get VHF reception and Boca Grande is close enough for most boats to pick it up. If you have good reception you can get it in the Marquesas which is about ten miles West of Boca Grande.[


Oh. My bad! That makes a LOT more sense. I gotta get out more
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