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Old 10-05-2017, 04:53   #1
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Oil rigs on the route from Key West to Charlotte Harbor

Can anyone tell me whether there are oil rigs, working or abandoned on the direct route from Key West to the sea buoy outside of Boca Grande Inlet (Charlotte Harbor)?
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Old 10-05-2017, 05:43   #2
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Re: Oil rigs on the route from Key West to Charlotte Harbor

No oil rigs, but there are some navy radio towers.
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Old 10-05-2017, 07:04   #3
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Re: Oil rigs on the route from Key West to Charlotte Harbor

No rigs anywhere off FL, but that area does often get heavy trawler traffic at night + repeater towers as mentioned (though I think they are USCG).
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Old 10-05-2017, 07:24   #4
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Re: Oil rigs on the route from Key West to Charlotte Harbor

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No oil rigs, but there are some navy radio towers.
Per DotDun's note, on the "direct course" from the outer marker at Boca to the outer marker at Northwest Channel, you will pass two towers, the first at (about) N25 48.03, W82 12.97, about 3.7 miles west of the rhumb line and the second at (about) N25 28.14, W82 05.97, about 1.2 miles west of the rhumb line. The towers are (usually) lighted. That course line passes pretty much right through Smith Shoal Light (so don't bang into it!). Keep an eye out for Shrimp Boats and review your ships' light signals so you can tell when they've got a trawl out (so you know when to keep out of their way!).

FWIW...
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Old 10-05-2017, 07:34   #5
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Re: Oil rigs on the route from Key West to Charlotte Harbor

I saw at least 2 oil rigs off to the SSE from Key west. It looks like somebody is drilling.
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Old 10-05-2017, 09:03   #6
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Re: Oil rigs on the route from Key West to Charlotte Harbor

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I saw at least 2 oil rigs off to the SSE from Key west. It looks like somebody is drilling.
You sure they were rigs?
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Old 10-05-2017, 09:35   #7
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Re: Oil rigs on the route from Key West to Charlotte Harbor

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You sure they were rigs?

I looked at them with the bino's and they looked just like an oil rig, 2 of them. Maybe 15-20 miles away. Could Cuba have oil rigs? Maybe I have the direction wrong but it was definitly on our approach to Key West from MX.
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Old 10-05-2017, 10:58   #8
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Re: Oil rigs on the route from Key West to Charlotte Harbor

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I looked at them with the bino's and they looked just like an oil rig, 2 of them. Maybe 15-20 miles away. Could Cuba have oil rigs? Maybe I have the direction wrong but it was definitly on our approach to Key West from MX.
I think those are reef marker towers.....they look just like oil derricks. Look closer and you'll see they have no platform. I know there is one at the Sambos.
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Old 10-05-2017, 14:56   #9
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Re: Oil rigs on the route from Key West to Charlotte Harbor

Thanks to all who responded.
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Old 10-05-2017, 17:24   #10
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Re: Oil rigs on the route from Key West to Charlotte Harbor

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I think those are reef marker towers.....they look just like oil derricks. Look closer and you'll see they have no platform. I know there is one at the Sambos.
That was my thought...navaid towers or repeater towers. Been a while since I cruised this area (used to live in SW FL), but no rigs to my knowledge.
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Old 10-05-2017, 23:36   #11
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Re: Oil rigs on the route from Key West to Charlotte Harbor

I once saw a jack up rig off the east coast of Florida. I assume it was being towed to the Gulf. It did surprise me at first though, but there is definitely no drilling and no production platforms anywhere offshore until one gets closer to Alabama federal waters. There are, however, large military towers such as "K Tower" in the northern Gulf offshore St Marks that can kinda look like an oil rig.
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Old 16-05-2017, 17:15   #12
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Re: Oil rigs on the route from Key West to Charlotte Harbor

We just got back from making this trip and there are definitely 3 towers in addition to Smith Shoal, not 2 as mentioned above. The northern most was not lit and had we been an hour earlier the only warning would have been the fog horn which was not very loud. We had light winds so we were motor-sailing at the time and it appeared at dawn about 200 yards off the port bow, much too close considering I did not know it was there. I now have 3 of these on my chart for the next trip to KW.
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Old 16-05-2017, 18:16   #13
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Re: Oil rigs on the route from Key West to Charlotte Harbor

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We just got back from making this trip and there are definitely 3 towers in addition to Smith Shoal, not 2 as mentioned above. The northern most was not lit and had we been an hour earlier the only warning would have been the fog horn which was not very loud. We had light winds so we were motor-sailing at the time and it appeared at dawn about 200 yards off the port bow, much too close considering I did not know it was there. I now have 3 of these on my chart for the next trip to KW.
All the towers are charted.
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Old 17-05-2017, 05:50   #14
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Re: Oil rigs on the route from Key West to Charlotte Harbor

Yes, I found them on my chart / plotter but they only appear on the very low level zoom in Navionics. We sailed most of the way so we did not have the direct course plotted and were following a high level zoom view toward KW. Probably some lessons to be learned for me on this one.
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Old 17-05-2017, 06:34   #15
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Re: Oil rigs on the route from Key West to Charlotte Harbor

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Yes, I found them on my chart / plotter but they only appear on the very low level zoom in Navionics. We sailed most of the way so we did not have the direct course plotted and were following a high level zoom view toward KW. Probably some lessons to be learned for me on this one.
The Vestas Wind report has some good lesson in it. Very similar issues....
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