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Old 04-02-2011, 21:53   #1
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Miami to Marathon

I am looking at taking our boat on the inside (ICW) from Miami to as far south as I can. Our draft is 5ft so I was hoping someone on here can provide some local knowledge and advice. Is it possible? Do I need to go out to Hawks Channel? If I can't make it all the way to Marathon, where should I transition to Hawks Channel? I have heard Angelfish Creek can be hazardous, anyone been through lately? Any assistance greatly appreciated.
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Old 05-02-2011, 03:06   #2
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Should not be a problem with 5 ft on the inside but it is lots of work navigating the ICW.

I lived in Miami and went down Biscayne Bay many times and then out of Anglefish to continue south. Anglefish is well marked and I have run it at night several times. However, it is 2 yrs since I last went through.

Hawke's channel is so much easier than the ICW and there are several places you can anchor on the way to Marathon. However, both inside and out the holding is poor, 6 inches of sand on a tarrazzo floor!

The diving/snorkeling is great on the reefs on the eastern side of Hawke's channel and I used to spend the night on the dive mooring balls on the reefs, nice breeze and no mosquitoes.
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Old 05-02-2011, 05:28   #3
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Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, FowlerAACapt.
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Old 05-02-2011, 07:03   #4
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The ocean side of Angelfish creek will be close at 5' if at low tide. 5' can be carried all the way inside to Marathon but it is a chore and you will feel the drag of being so close to the bottom. Much more enjoyable in Hawks Channel.
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Old 05-02-2011, 07:26   #5
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I don't know when you are planning this trip but the tides tides have been the lowest I've ever seen lately. You'll never make it down the back side with 5 ft draft, best to stick to Hawk Channel. Dave
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Old 05-02-2011, 07:27   #6
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Suggest you get a cruising guide. Money well spent and will answer a thousand questions like this one. I used "Cruising the Florida Keys", second edition. I got it from Bluewater Books in Fort Lauderdale and they have everything that is published about this part of the world.
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Old 05-02-2011, 12:37   #7
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Unless they have drug it recently, turn your fathometer off..

You will be a nervous wreck as it used to be drug at 6'

Hawk's Channel is faster, more relaxing and prettierthan the back country.
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Old 05-02-2011, 14:52   #8
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What are you doing, a trip down and back? How much time do you have? You can make it either way. It is 2 different worlds. Both are interesting. If you are doing both go down the inside and back up the outside. Plan a least 3 weeks. Check this out for a lot of info Cruiser's Net After Marathon on the inside you swing out to the Gulf of Mexico for the last leg to Key west. It is very isolated and you get a true sense of how the keys once were.
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Old 05-02-2011, 15:16   #9
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DITTO svmoondancer...
Hawk Channel is easier.
I have found good deep sand holding in just a few choice spots. Unfortunately, I have them marked on a chart that I have stored. Otherwise the warning about a hard bottom disguised as sand holds true. I always dive on my anchor to be sure. BTW: Anchoring in thick grass, should you need to... It is not only very bad for the marine habitat, it is very deceptive. It sets and holds good under a light load, but if you get a storm, the anchor and a thick mass of weed and roots will pull up together, and not want to reset.

Mark
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Old 05-02-2011, 15:47   #10
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From the majority if posts it looks like Hawks Channel is safe way to go. Anyone know of any good anchorages around Marathon? I heard Fiesta Key on inside is a good place, also Boot Key? Thoughts??
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Old 05-02-2011, 15:50   #11
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Phil, do you have coordinates for the mooring balls around Marathon area you were talking about?
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Old 05-02-2011, 17:30   #12
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I did it last year in my 30' that draws 4'. You should have no problems with 5' on the inside.

Winds are prevailing SE and E so sailing down inside or out can be done. Inside being a little more of a challenge.

Why stop at Marathon? Like said above, the part just past Marathon is the best... I know, I live and sail out of Big Pine Key.

Good anchoring:
West of middle Johnson Key
West of Horseshoe Key
West of Coconut Key


Good luck,
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Old 05-02-2011, 17:32   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FowlerAACapt View Post
Phil, do you have coordinates for the mooring balls around Marathon area you were talking about?
Mooring is inside of Boot Key Harbor...check your chart.
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