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Old 20-01-2012, 13:16   #1
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Summer Sail to the Keys

Looking for any advice for 3 crew members heading south to the Florida Keys for the month of June. We would take of from Charleston, SC and sail partially off shore and on the ICW. We are all 3 novice sailors with a desire to learn as much as possible. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!
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Old 22-01-2012, 10:46   #2
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Re: Summer Sail to the Keys

"Any advice" is kind of broad.

Make sure your boat is properly equipped.

Avoid the Gulf Stream. It will constantly try to take you back to Charleston.

However opening timed bridges in the ICW can be worse.

Do you have specific questions/concerns?
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Old 22-01-2012, 12:05   #3
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Re: Summer Sail to the Keys

Depending on just how novice you are, try to get some advance experience living on the boat while sailing. Perhaps some extended weekend cruises venturing out into the Atlantic while coming back and anchoring in the ICW. Figure out living on the boat, and living with each other.
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Old 22-01-2012, 12:34   #4
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Re: Summer Sail to the Keys

Yes, " any advice" is very broad. I will elaborate. Though beginner sailors we have taken quite a few short wekeend/overnight trips before. Last May we made our way down to Hilton Head via both offshore and the ICW. We are very comfortable with the boat and living on it. I guess my questions would me more concerned with:

- what are the necessary navigating tools we should have and or sailing equipment?
- other than the Gulf Stream on the way down there, are there are other very problem or tricky spots that we should be aware of?
-If we are going to be fishing for food off the boat will we need to obtain a fishing license?
-Any spots that are a must see on the way down there?

thanks again
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Old 22-01-2012, 12:49   #5
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Re: Summer Sail to the Keys

Hmmmm very novice. Just remember what is likely to happen between June 1st and Nov 30th
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Old 22-01-2012, 14:00   #6
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Re: Summer Sail to the Keys

Quote:
Originally Posted by krlee View Post
Yes, " any advice" is very broad. I will elaborate. Though beginner sailors we have taken quite a few short wekeend/overnight trips before. Last May we made our way down to Hilton Head via both offshore and the ICW. We are very comfortable with the boat and living on it. I guess my questions would me more concerned with:

- what are the necessary navigating tools we should have and or sailing equipment?
- other than the Gulf Stream on the way down there, are there are other very problem or tricky spots that we should be aware of?
-If we are going to be fishing for food off the boat will we need to obtain a fishing license?
-Any spots that are a must see on the way down there?

thanks again
Minimum for navigation is compass and charts. No reason not too have some sort of GPS.

I am only familiar with central florida going south having made that trip numerous times. For north of here someone else would have to chip in.

As I said in my original post, offshore versus inside is a trade off. Inside, calm, fairly scenic, and besides the ebb and flood near inlets (which can be played to some degree), there is no current. You also have numerous anchorage opportunities and restaraunt/bars with docks that I enjoy dinghying in to. But the farther south you get the more bridges, most with scheduled openings, you have to contend with. Also if going inside I try to avoid South Florida on weekends as the boat traffic can be horrendous. Offshore you have the gulf stream and whatever seas are running. Normally June isn't too bad. Also as the previous poster noted it is the beginning of hurricane season but June storms are pretty rare.

I go inside to Ft. Pierce or Pt. St. Lucie (be aware of the shoaling on the north side if you use it). Then outside to West Palm where anchoring is easy right inside inlet. Then back out either overnight to Miami or ducking in at Lauderdale where the marinas are very cheap that time of year. From Miami you can either go outside through Hawk Channel or south through Biscayne Bay and the numerous Sounds before arriving in Florida Bay and the Keys.

Florida does require a fishing license. Do not waste your money on a crawfish (lobster) stamp as they are out of season until late July.

No "do not miss" spots I can think of. The Keys are great that time of year. If it is really laid down, you can overnight on one of the numerous reef mooring balls. Nothing better than first thing in the morning diving before the tour boats arrive.
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