N27.37.59, W80.35.80 in Islamorada is a dandy place to anchor
and ride a storm, great swimming and clear clean water
. (I'm there now) but the channel entrance from the Atlantic side is a bit tricky, it shoals to about 5' at low tide before you make the channel entrance. The best way is to stay about 1/2 mile off shore, align the flashing red light with the center of the bascule bridge then turn to 330 and stay in the channel, it's narrow and a monster current
6' seems pretty deep to be mucking about in Florida
Bay side of the keys, pretty shallow out there, the birds wade from key to key without getting wet.
has crappy holding, strong current
and is kind of obnoxious (my opinio, some folks love the area). The most popular anchorage is near N24.34.17 W81.41.81 which is about .75NM to Key West Bight dinghy dock
($80 month, $6 a day), there is a "free wall" of sailor exchange (books, old gear
, clothes). The holding there is crappy too, rumors of boat trash piracy
abound. I anchored at N24.34.034, W81.48.210 and paddled 1.4 NM to the free beach at Simonton St.
Chain, lock, nail down, anything you don't want to loose.
Marathon has a very well protected harbor located at N24.42.22, W81.06.19. There are pay to use mooring
balls, a city marina that has showers and laundry
($13 for day use I think), fuel
, ice, groceries in walking distance. The channel entrance is at N24.41.973, W81.07.204, the shoal from Boot Key has a shoal that extends out into the bay a good way (I hit it in the dark and I'm only 3' draft), I recommend approaching the channel entrance from no less than 350 degrees 1/2 mile offshore