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Old 12-10-2015, 18:35   #1
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Key West, Anchor then row in?

Not sure where I can anchor close enough to row in around Key West. Any suggestoins?

The wind is about to blow that way. Have a full tank of diesel and even a few dollars in my pocket. Has been difficult to get all three at the same time. So I'm thinking about it.
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Old 12-10-2015, 19:45   #2
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Re: Key West, Anchor then row in?

You can anchor in Man of War Harbor between Wisteria Island and Fleming Key. Just stay out of the marked restricted area just west of Fleming Key. It's usually possible to find a spot to anchor that's not much more than half a mile from the dinghy dock at Key West Bight. The fee for a dinghy sticker at the dock is, I think, $5/day.
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Old 12-10-2015, 20:15   #3
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Re: Key West, Anchor then row in?

You can also use the dinghy dock at the green turtle for a fee, last time I was there it was 80 a month
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Old 12-10-2015, 20:35   #4
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Re: Key West, Anchor then row in?

That could be a long half mile sometimes. Even with an engine it can suck. Gird your loins on those days when the wind blows.
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Old 13-10-2015, 00:57   #5
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Re: Key West, Anchor then row in?

Thanks, those spots are the best I can come up with as well.

I've read the current there in the cut can be moving along good and a lot of boat traffic. I don't know, a half mile with current, wind and traffic? Crossing a channel right?

Been rowing daily, went for a ten mile bike ride today, so I'm up for it. But do folks really row from those spots? Seems sketchy maybe.
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Old 13-10-2015, 02:18   #6
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Re: Key West, Anchor then row in?

I'd say that a good bit of it depends on what you're rowing, & what you have for oars. As, in small (9'-10') dorys, I've routinely rowed 1/2mile each way, when it was blowing 40-50kts, with nary a thought to it. But in a dink which rows/handles like crap, & has a lot of windage, that's another story entirely.

Dare I ask what you're using for a tender?

Also, you can always put a small sea anchor into your "going ashore" kit. So that if you need a breather, or things go awry, you can deploy it & take a breather, have time to rethink your plan, etc. At least with regards to when you're out in a stiff breeze.
Ditto on packing a spare oarlock, & a few other "little things".

BTW, are dinghy dock fees like that routine in FL? Ouch!
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Old 13-10-2015, 02:35   #7
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Re: Key West, Anchor then row in?

Happen to have a pic handy. Actually pretty easy to row and very light weight.

I know, sad little thing, but I get by with it.
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Old 13-10-2015, 03:41   #8
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Re: Key West, Anchor then row in?

Have a phone or hh vhf vhf and flares in case the current over comes you. More than one person has been carried out to sea right there.

Sent from my LG-LS980 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 13-10-2015, 05:07   #9
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Re: Key West, Anchor then row in?

I stayed there one day and night, I remember it being rough and windy, with a lot of traffic, and current.
I wouldn't want to try to row, or watch the tides and winds. But there seemed to be a lot of traffic going back and forth, maybe you can catch a tow?
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Old 13-10-2015, 05:18   #10
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Re: Key West, Anchor then row in?

If you have good oars (long enough), you should have no trouble. I've rowed around from several anchorages in Key West. The current can be an issue, but if you know how to 'ferry' (I wrote an article for Cruising World about dinghies and such; you can find a description there. The article can be searched on their website) it can be worked with. Be sure in Key West to have whistle, flares (!?) lifejacket, light, and any other thing the cops might imagine or invent to require. They've been known to be quite Nazi-ish about dinghy gear.
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Old 13-10-2015, 05:36   #11
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Re: Key West, Anchor then row in?

I really need new, longer oars.

Would like to get a job for the winter in the Keys and live at anchor. A daily commute by rowing could be an issue.

Don't really want an engine for the dinghy. No gas on board and don't want it. Plus I'd have to register the dingy.

Starting to wonder if I even want to go to the Keys at all.

But, at the moment it's time to row a hundred yards to the dock and go work on a condo remodel. Two more days on that job. Then it's time to find a regular job here for the winter or sail a nice wind to the Keys.
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Old 13-10-2015, 08:41   #12
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Re: Key West, Anchor then row in?

Do not count on finding work in Key West in the off season. Unless you have some special skills like bartender, cook, marine mechanic, cabinet maker, etc. there is a lot of competition. Also be aware of the "sunshine tax" lousy wages cause the weather is so good. It doesn't help that each week we get some Cuban refugees who will accept just about any job offer. You might want to consider your visit as a vacation and not burn any bridges at home until you learn the lay of the land.
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Old 13-10-2015, 08:54   #13
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Re: Key West, Anchor then row in?

Winter is the season in the keys, no?

You listed my partial skillset, only lacking gigolo, and skallywag with bon vivant desires. :-)
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Old 13-10-2015, 09:36   #14
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Re: Key West, Anchor then row in?

Fourwinds,
The current can rip through the main channel in Key West. When you mix an opposing tide against the wind and incessant boat traffic it can be a challenge if not a real safety issue. In my opinion, Key West is not a cruisers destination but rather a tourist trap. The ghost of Hemingway is long gone. However, a reasonable moorage is available at Garrison Bight Moorings with pumpouts and a dingy dock although it is an open roadstead with any wind blowing from the North. Good luck and good sailing. P.S. If I were anchored around the Wisteria Homeless Encampment, I would cross the channel north of G "29" FlG 4s for a potentially smoother ride and once across work along the east shore into Key West. I would not attempt it without a motor.
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Old 13-10-2015, 10:52   #15
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Re: Key West, Anchor then row in?

You do not need to register the motorized dink if it is a "tender to" your boat and only used to go back and forth between the boat and shore, but I understand your concern about carrying gas. Do not forget the chain and padlock, or you will be swimming back. Lock dink to the boat also. As for commuting to work by rowing, there will be many days when you can not get there, or at the least be late, due to weather.
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