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Old 21-01-2013, 08:00   #1
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Key West to Dry Tortugas in Feb 2013

We plan to make a passage to Dry Tortugas Feb 24-28. It would be nice to know if anyone else is going there at that time. We could sail in the group. If interested please email us to igorbazarov@gmail.com or reply to this post.


Additionally we have some general questions about going to Dry Tortugas:
What is the best time of the year (weather wise) to sail there?
Anything special about the passage? Are there certain things we need to be aware of?
What to look at arrival? Upon arrival do we need to follow the channel north and around, or can we shortcut straight to the mooring/anchorage?
Does it make sense to make an overnight stop at Marquesas Key (midway) if yes where abouts?

Any input is greatly appreciated!
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Old 27-01-2013, 04:54   #2
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Re: Key West to Dry Tortugas in Feb 2013

Hollar at me when ya go, and I will chase ya with my boat. I am moored near Garrison Bight on the "easy" side of Fleming Key. You can PM endoftheroad who is a westsail 32 here in KW and is a local and knows all the good spots and is a wiz with tellin ya how and where to go.
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Old 28-01-2013, 07:58   #3
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Re: Key West to Dry Tortugas in Feb 2013

BlackOak,
Thanks!
We’ll let you know closer to the day.
We plan to be moored at the Wisteria/Tank Island the night before.
Hope for the good weather, will see you there.
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Old 28-01-2013, 08:28   #4
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Re: Key West to Dry Tortugas in Feb 2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by bakhiri View Post
What is the best time of the year (weather wise) to sail there?
Anything special about the passage? Are there certain things we need to be aware of?
What to look at arrival? Upon arrival do we need to follow the channel north and around, or can we shortcut straight to the mooring/anchorage?
Does it make sense to make an overnight stop at Marquesas Key (midway) if yes where abouts?

Any input is greatly appreciated!
Any time of year is great. I've been there in Spring and Fall and the weather was exactly the same. Summer gets super calm with glassy glassy conditions.

Definitely use the north channel, or you will smash your boat.

Whatever you do, MAKE SURE to go over to Loggerhead Key! Snorkel on Little Africa and the Windjammer.
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Old 03-02-2013, 05:49   #5
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Re: Key West to Dry Tortugas in Feb 2013

We are in the mooring fields and went over last year ...Plan on going again some time in Feb. We are Cecilia Marie ....Catamaran way out in the field. Glad to talk about the trip and planning. We shoot for the Marquesas going down and Boca Grande coming back ...Breaks up the trip nicely and both are beautiful . Keep in touch
TOM
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Old 03-02-2013, 07:15   #6
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Re: Key West to Dry Tortugas in Feb 2013

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Originally Posted by Tom Farley View Post
We are in the mooring fields and went over last year ...Plan on going again some time in Feb. We are Cecilia Marie ....Catamaran way out in the field. Glad to talk about the trip and planning. We shoot for the Marquesas going down and Boca Grande coming back ...Breaks up the trip nicely and both are beautiful . Keep in touch
TOM
+1, I always break up the trip into 2 days each way Both of the above are fantastic places to spend the night.

Bear in mind that there is nothing but postcards for sale in the DT, make sure you have all you need for the 'round trip.
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Old 03-02-2013, 07:49   #7
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+1, I always break up the trip into 2 days each way Both of the above are fantastic places to spend the night.

Bear in mind that there is nothing but postcards for sale in the DT, make sure you have all you need for the 'round trip.
True, to add to that one must in anything but a dead calm anchor North of Red# 16 while at Boca Grande.
Anchoring on the Leeward side of Boca Grande (usually South or South East) isn't enough even in calm conditions as it churns in an uncomfortable motion similiar to a washing machine. You might as well anchor in the middle of Key West Harbor with all the charter boats blasting by if you enjoy such motions.
I've sailed there in rough conditions comfortably with a happy crew only for my crew to get sick while at anchor, alot of water moving throuh this area.
North of Red 16 is great holding in about 20 plus feet water.

Anchoring leeward of the Marqueasas is generally comfortable enough, take extra dinghy fuel for exploring Mooney Harbor, the Cuban Refugee boats are a real treat, take your camera along. It's a real wilderness area, North America's only Atoll created by a meteorite.
Or an huge Alien spaceship landing spot.

You won't be far away from Mel Fisher's find of the Spanish Galleon Atocha. There is more treasure out there.
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Old 03-02-2013, 07:58   #8
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Re: Key West to Dry Tortugas in Feb 2013

Didn't plan to break the trip into 2, but with the good company why not!

I only hope for the weather, last December we couldn’t make because of the Northern winds at 25.
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Old 27-02-2013, 11:22   #9
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The National Park Service has prohibited anchoring outside of the Garden Key Anchorage area. They have three mooring balls near Loggerhead. There is a mooring ball near the Loggerhead pier. They placed the mooring ball about 30 yards off the beach. The mooring ball states, USE AT YOUR OWN RISK - attached is a crusty blue line with lots of sea growth.
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Old 28-02-2013, 04:23   #10
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Re: Key West to Dry Tortugas in Feb 2013

Just got back from the DT's last week. Rangers told me anyone can anchor within a circular mile of the fort. Outside the marked swimming areas and sanctuarys for the birds and nurse sharks. Its $5 a head for park entry and they will give you a quick orientation .
On Valentines Day a Cold front moved thru OUT OF NOWHERE. around 5:30pma. Not predicted and not fun. Sunny calm to Dark and 45 knot gusts 30 knot sustained inside 30 minutes . Had to wear snorkel to see. 6-8 Fishing boats came in for protection to a pretty full harbor with kleig lights blazing so that was a show watching them anchor. Long Night.
motored from DT's to Mooring Field in Key West on Friday. 8am to 6pm
10 hrs thru rain and wind on the nose . So it can be done in a day but its a long day.
Remember to file a float plan with friends and bartenders ........and especially with the rangers when you leave. They like to keep track.
Tom
SV - Cecilia Marie
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Old 11-03-2013, 08:40   #11
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Re: Key West to Dry Tortugas in Feb 2013

Did you guys go to DT? We are currently sitting in the City Mooring field getting bounced around trying to determine if we will get a weather window to take our little cat out. Anyone planning a trip in the next week? If we cant go by the 17th or 18th we will have to bag it and head back north to hook up with our frieds and go to the Bahamas.... Sure would love to go though....
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Old 11-03-2013, 10:33   #12
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Re: Key West to Dry Tortugas in Feb 2013

Yes, we did!
Thanks to everybody on this forum for the words of advice – it was very helpful!

It was a nice ride. On the way down we parked at Marquesas - be aware of very strong current. If you jump into the water you may not make it back to your mother ship. We had dingy on 40 feet line so swimmers were able to hold on to the rope.

It is beautiful out there! Couldn’t make it to the Loggerhead, but will do it next time.
One night we had a few squalls passing by, the anchor didn’t hold, we got pushed off by 30 something yards toward the Fort. We had to re-park and used the second anchor. Some people motored out for a few hours – I guess to stay out into the deep. It is something to watch out for.

Ride back was fun too. ENE 15knts made us back to the Key West mooring field on close port tack in 10 hours. We also got a couple of 15lb mackerels which made a great ceviche.

Let me know if you want my GPS recordings.



Cheers!
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Old 11-03-2013, 17:41   #13
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Re: Key West to Dry Tortugas in Feb 2013

Rocketman and BlackOak went for a couple days. They had a blast, they feasted on fresh seafood and had a freezer full when they came home.
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