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Old 25-09-2014, 07:45   #16
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Re: Hawk Channel

We have done Hawks Channel more times than I can remember with a 6 foot draft. Never a problem and after being based out of Marathon for ten years we never snagged a pot. This happens only if you choose to sail in the season and not pay attention. You have already been given some good advice in previous posts. We found most of the Gulf side with enough water except a couple of cuts near Key largo that will need to be done at high tide. If playing the tides is not an issue for you, just head into the Keys from Key Biscayne. Or wait and cross over at Channel 5 and you will not have a problem on the Gulf side. There are plenty of good anchorages on the Gulf side to wait for the tides. Good luck and have fun. Chuck
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Old 25-09-2014, 08:51   #17
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Re: Hawk Channel

Maybe I'm confused, which won't be the first or last time, but I get the feeling zboss thinks Hawks Channel is on the gulf side of the Keys. Hawks Channel is on the ocean or south side of the Keys. With your draft sailing the gulf or north side of the Keys would be VERY difficult.
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Old 25-09-2014, 08:57   #18
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Re: Hawk Channel

Just a thought, if you decide to try the gulf side of the Keys with a deep draft and you do run aground, you have a good chance of being found aground by the FWC and they will fine you for destroying the sea grass. These fines can easily reach into the thousands of dollars.
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Old 25-09-2014, 17:01   #19
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Re: Hawk Channel

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Originally Posted by smj View Post
Maybe I'm confused, which won't be the first or last time, but I get the feeling zboss thinks Hawks Channel is on the gulf side of the Keys. Hawks Channel is on the ocean or south side of the Keys. With your draft sailing the gulf or north side of the Keys would be VERY difficult.

I see that now.. my mistake; I assumed it was the channel along the magenta line. Not so apparently.

I just started exploring the idea of the keys vs. the bahamas.

So... another point of confusion... if the keys is one big sanctuary, why can you anchor at all? Are there areas specifically designated as anchorages? For example, I see that I could pass under channel 5, through the bridge, and on to fiesta key for an anchorage.
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Old 25-09-2014, 17:19   #20
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Re: Hawk Channel

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I see that now.. my mistake; I assumed it was the channel along the magenta line. Not so apparently.

I just started exploring the idea of the keys vs. the bahamas.

So... another point of confusion... if the keys is one big sanctuary, why can you anchor at all? Are there areas specifically designated as anchorages? For example, I see that I could pass under channel 5, through the bridge, and on to fiesta key for an anchorage.

Hawks a Channel is on the south side of the Keys, deep water but few anchorages. I'm not sure what they call the bay, or gulf side of the Keys but it's definitely much shallower water and you can anchor just about anywhere.



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Old 25-09-2014, 20:05   #21
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Re: Hawk Channel

Get a navionics program thatt uses active captain, lots of good anchorages on the ocean side

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Old 25-09-2014, 20:05   #22
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Re: Hawk Channel

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Hawks a Channel is on the south side of the Keys, deep water but few anchorages. I'm not sure what they call the bay, or gulf side of the Keys but it's definitely much shallower water and you can anchor just about anywhere.



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Its such a shame... not even sure if its worthwhile to go to the keys with so few places to anchor out for our draft.
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Old 25-09-2014, 20:08   #23
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Re: Hawk Channel

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Its such a shame... not even sure if its worthwhile to go to the keys with so few places to anchor out for our draft.

Well worth the trip. When I say few, it's a few compared to the bay side. I can think of 7 anchorages for your draft between Key Largo and Key West. I'm sure there are more.


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Old 26-09-2014, 05:11   #24
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Re: Hawk Channel

There are in fact many anchorages in the Keys that would be suitable for your draft. Our anchorage book, Hampton Roads/Norfolk to Key West shows a number of anchorages on both oceanside and bayside. Anchoring will depend on wind conditions. Depending on where in the Keys you are. The northern Keys run almost north and south, the southern Keys almost east and west. Winds can make many anchorages uncomfortable. There are few anchorages for your draft with good all around protection. Chuck
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Old 27-09-2014, 00:42   #25
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Re: Hawk Channel

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Originally Posted by zboss View Post
I see that now.. my mistake; I assumed it was the channel along the magenta line. Not so apparently.

I just started exploring the idea of the keys vs. the bahamas.

So... another point of confusion... if the keys is one big sanctuary, why can you anchor at all? Are there areas specifically designated as anchorages? For example, I see that I could pass under channel 5, through the bridge, and on to fiesta key for an anchorage.
Parts of the Keys are a sanctuary and parts are not. Some of the parts that are designated as a sanctuary allow anchoring. A lot of the places where anchoring is prohibited are on the reef a couple of miles off shore, not somewhere you would be anchoring for the night anyway. There are mooring balls on the reef if you want to dive there but there are restrictions on harvesting fish and shellfish.

There are pros and cons to both the Keys and the Bahamas. But both places do have lots of skinny water which limits a boat with a six foot draft. It is sometimes easier to anchor in the Keys than the Bahamas due to the tides and rages in the Bahamas. If you get in trouble it is much easier to get help in the Keys and Sea Tow is well worth it. Same for getting provisions, stores are expensive and limited in choice in the Bahamas. But the water is much clearer in the Bahamas. Both are well worth a visit.
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Old 27-09-2014, 04:44   #26
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Re: Hawk Channel

I wouldn't rule out either place, plenty of people enjoying both areas with your draft. Just be smart and have current navionics or charts. I shake my head when I see deep draft power or sail vessels continually trying to go over an a shoal or shallow area that is very clearly marked on both our raymarine and garmin plotters. Makes me wonder what they are using. While anchored off Compass Cay marina we watched a 130'+ yacht beach itself, on the same type of shoal, took a half hour for them to get off, then a half hour after 3 Searays 40'+ came speeding along and did a repeat with the 3rd almost plowing into the second. Our 13 year old raymarine showed the shoal. Most entertaining lol . You can anchor at tavernier key and Rodriguez key with that draft. Then boot key, then your in key west. Easy peasy...

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Old 27-09-2014, 07:50   #27
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Re: Hawk Channel

Quote:
Originally Posted by zboss View Post
I see that now.. my mistake; I assumed it was the channel along the magenta line. Not so apparently.

I just started exploring the idea of the keys vs. the bahamas.

So... another point of confusion... if the keys is one big sanctuary, why can you anchor at all? Are there areas specifically designated as anchorages? For example, I see that I could pass under channel 5, through the bridge, and on to fiesta key for an anchorage.
Even though all of the Keys once south of Key Biscayne are included in the Sanctuary, every marine sanctuary is set up differently. They usually don't have blanket regulations. Certain areas will be set aside for no anchoring. All other areas it will be OK. Knowing the regulations in the Keys will save you a lot of grief and money. If you damage coral or seagrass in the Keys you will be fined for the damage, charged for assessing the extent of the damage, charged for restoring the damage and charged for monitoring the damaged area for a certain time period. Total costs can run into the thousands of dollars. Those costs can be incurred for running aground or from anchoring. There are no specific marking on a chart to tell you where the coral or seagrass may be other than some vague notations. Your expected to know the bottom and not anchor or run aground in the wrong place. The water is pretty clear MOST of the time and you will know where you are. You can see the regulations for the Sanctuary here, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Regulations . Chuck
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Old 27-09-2014, 09:40   #28
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Re: Hawk Channel

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Even though all of the Keys once south of Key Biscayne are included in the Sanctuary, every marine sanctuary is set up differently. They usually don't have blanket regulations. Certain areas will be set aside for no anchoring. All other areas it will be OK. Knowing the regulations in the Keys will save you a lot of grief and money. If you damage coral or seagrass in the Keys you will be fined for the damage, charged for assessing the extent of the damage, charged for restoring the damage and charged for monitoring the damaged area for a certain time period. Total costs can run into the thousands of dollars. Those costs can be incurred for running aground or from anchoring. There are no specific marking on a chart to tell you where the coral or seagrass may be other than some vague notations. Your expected to know the bottom and not anchor or run aground in the wrong place. The water is pretty clear MOST of the time and you will know where you are. You can see the regulations for the Sanctuary here, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Regulations . Chuck

And if you do run aground on coral or sea grass don't call Tow Boat US or Sea Tow as this will tip of FWC.


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Old 27-09-2014, 10:41   #29
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Re: Hawk Channel

Z,
We have explored every anchorage from Miami to Marathon on the bay side including Florida Bay with our four foot draft. Keeping a closely charted DR track,you can easily take 6 feet as far south as Sunset Cove in Key Largo and have numerous safe anchorages along the way. Once you leave Sunset Cove through Baker's Cut(shallow) you will be restricted by draft and going further is not advisable. As others have noted, you are much more limited for anchoring in Hawk's Channel(Oceanside) until you hit Marathon. After Marathon, you can anchor in Newfound Harbor Harbor with plenty of water off the main channel(off R8 as I remember) but should take a slip/mooring in Key West since anchoring is poor with much current, crowded and inconsistent bottom. Key West is a good crossing point to the Gulf since shoaling, shallow water and sandbores present real hazards to navigation with your draft if you cross earlier. It has been our experience that many of those hazards are uncharted and seemingly appear out of nowhere. Do not be dissuaded from seeing the Keys bayside. It is rarely traveled with beautiful anchorages, clean water, abundant wildlife, good fishing and solitude that is not easily found on the Hawk's Channel route. Good luck and good sailing.
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Old 27-09-2014, 11:38   #30
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Re: Hawk Channel

Could also anchor inside Bahia Honda, though from my experience the holding sucks. Also up the Niles Channel next to Summerland.


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