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Old 07-03-2018, 08:29   #1
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Ft. Pierce to Islamorada advice for June 2018 trip

Greetings All-

I am new to this forum, new to sailing, and, as many, am seeking advice.

Would like to take s/v Rodeo Clown, a 1991 Beneteau M38 (Draft ~5' 0", Mast clearance ~58'), from Ft. Pierce to Islamorada in the Florida Keys in mid-June 2018. I've taken the boat from Melbourne/Ft. Pierce to north Biscayne Bay (and return) on the ocean (8 days round trip, not ICW) and other 3-4 day coastal sailing excursions. In these other trips, I have overnighted at marinas, moorings, and at anchor. s/v Rodeo Clown has an AIS receiver (not transponder) but no radar. I have not sailed overnight...yet.

In looking to go south from ~Miami to ~Islamorada, I am not seeing any marinas or anchorages until clearing the protected marine waters. Am I missing anything? We will be a crew of three and my preference would be, if possible, to avoid overnight sailing.

Appreciate advice/insights/etc.

David
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Old 07-03-2018, 08:58   #2
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Re: Ft. Pierce to Islamorada advice for June 2018 trip

You can anchor just outside the entrance to Key Largo on the right but I used to go down Hawkes Channel and just pick up one of the dive mooring balls off the various lighthouses. There are literally hundreds in the Keys and no one ever complained, even on the ones off Pennekamp. Usually a nice breeze and no mosquitoes.

If you want to anchor in a more protected anchorage you can anchor off Pumpkin Key on the inside of the north end of Key Largo and then go out Anglefish Creek.

It is a mistake to think that you can only anchor where there are little anchors on the chart. However, the holding in the Keys is often marginal.
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Old 07-03-2018, 09:04   #3
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Re: Ft. Pierce to Islamorada advice for June 2018 trip

Not sure if it helps or not, but we draw 6' - sailed from Ft. Lauderdale (Miami) to "no name harbour" - anchor inside the basin for a small fee (Key Biscayne) then Hawks Channel down to Rodriguez key (anchor right behind the island) - from there, it's a quick hop to Islamorada. If that one leg is too long (about 8hrs or so) then there is also a marina in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State you can try.

Enjoy,
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Old 07-03-2018, 09:19   #4
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Re: Ft. Pierce to Islamorada advice for June 2018 trip

Phil and Carlos and Maria-

Thank you for the incredibly prompt response!!!

I really appreciate the input and will investigate y'alls suggestions.

I am also very open to any other suggestions/recommendations/considerations regarding this trip.

Have a great day!

David
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Old 07-03-2018, 13:10   #5
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Re: Ft. Pierce to Islamorada advice for June 2018 trip

Did the same as Carlos and Maria but anchored outside Boot Key then on to Key West. LOTS of crab pots and , oddly enough, not much crab in the restaurants....!
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Old 07-03-2018, 17:36   #6
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Re: Ft. Pierce to Islamorada advice for June 2018 trip

Good evening Flying Riki-

Was your crab pot observation to caution about unintentionally "mooring" to a crab pot line or to be careful about fouling a crab pot line---BOTH of which are reasonable cautions (given my newbiness). Just wasn't sure.

Thank you for the response. Up here on the Indian River, there are a lot of crab pots and if one was unfamiliar with the waters, fouling a line on a prop would be very easy... I have often times been gazing at the sky (uhh...the tell tails on my sails) and only at the last minute averted dragging some guy's livilihood...

David
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Old 07-03-2018, 18:04   #7
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Re: Ft. Pierce to Islamorada advice for June 2018 trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by RodeoClown View Post
Good evening Flying Riki-

Was your crab pot observation to caution about unintentionally "mooring" to a crab pot line or to be careful about fouling a crab pot line---BOTH of which are reasonable cautions (given my newbiness). Just wasn't sure.

Thank you for the response. Up here on the Indian River, there are a lot of crab pots and if one was unfamiliar with the waters, fouling a line on a prop would be very easy... I have often times been gazing at the sky (uhh...the tell tails on my sails) and only at the last minute averted dragging some guy's livilihood...

David
Have you considered sliding across to the Abaco Bahamas there is a lot more nice protected anchorage's there than the keys lots of good snorkeling lobster, conch.... you can leave Lake Worth Inlet early and be in west end Bahamas before night time
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Old 07-03-2018, 18:05   #8
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Re: Ft. Pierce to Islamorada advice for June 2018 trip

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Have you considered sliding across to the Abaco Bahamas there is a lot more nice protected anchorage's there than the keys lots of good snorkeling lobster, conch.... you can leave Lake Worth Inlet early and be in west end Bahamas before night time
No crab traps!!!
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Old 07-03-2018, 18:17   #9
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Re: Ft. Pierce to Islamorada advice for June 2018 trip

We just did this trip and spent 3 weeks in the Abacos. Have been in the Keys before and the Abacos were much more to our liking. Less people, lots of great anchorages, good snorkeling and diving.

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Have you considered sliding across to the Abaco Bahamas there is a lot more nice protected anchorage's there than the keys lots of good snorkeling lobster, conch.... you can leave Lake Worth Inlet early and be in west end Bahamas before night time
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Old 08-03-2018, 08:43   #10
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Re: Ft. Pierce to Islamorada advice for June 2018 trip

Crab Pot Advice/Cautions

If I'm not mistaken, I think stone crab season is over on May 15.

Since the poster is making the trip in June, is it overly optimistic to expect that the majority of the pots will have been pulled?
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Old 08-03-2018, 09:13   #11
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Re: Ft. Pierce to Islamorada advice for June 2018 trip

I also know that when we were in Bahamas two years ago, lobster season closed on April 1. Don't know when it reopened. But it was closed at least the two months we were there.
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Old 08-03-2018, 12:16   #12
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Re: Ft. Pierce to Islamorada advice for June 2018 trip

You can go "inside" all the way down to Islamorada from Biscayne Bay. You can do an easy day trip to Key Largo on day one and either anchor off of Key Largo or stay at The Anchorage or Gilbert's marinas at the south end of Jewfish Creek. A few miles farther south you can also anchor in Tarpon Basin. Go to the 48A mark and turn to starboard (north) about 200 yards. On the second day it's an easy trip to Islamorada. We've done it many times and we draw five feet - but it's not for the faint of heart. You need to carefully stay in the Intracoastal. And, at that, you'll see nothing under your keel in spots. DON'T DO THE SECOND LEG IF THERE ARE EXTREMELY LOW TIDES DUE TO WIND OR MOON. You will at least bump and at worst go aground in these conditions. If conditions are normal you should have no problems.

Going down Hawk's Channel on the outside is fine IF the wind/weather conditions are right for you to anchor at Rodriguez. The admiral prefers the inside because it's picturesque - pretty water, dolphins, mangroves. The outside is, for the captain, more laid-back. But the overnight options are practically limitless on the inside. Rodriguez is about it on the outside. If the weather pipes up you're going to have a sleepless night there.
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Old 08-03-2018, 12:22   #13
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Re: Ft. Pierce to Islamorada advice for June 2018 trip

Thanks all for comments.

Keep 'em coming (please!!!)
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Old 08-03-2018, 12:35   #14
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Re: Ft. Pierce to Islamorada advice for June 2018 trip

David - You probably know this but just in case remember you cannot go inside from Port Everglades (Ft. Lauderdale) to Government Cut (Miami) due to your air draft. The Julia Tuttle bridge in Miami is only 55'-56' clearance.
Enjoy your trip.
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Old 11-03-2018, 09:36   #15
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Re: Ft. Pierce to Islamorada advice for June 2018 trip

98% of the crab pots will be pulled by Mid June. Season ends in May.
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