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Old 28-02-2021, 09:09   #1
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West or East from Stock Island

First time to the keys. Cruising a 40ft Lagoon Powercat out of Stock Island.

Only have about 4 days April 4-8th. Thinking on of 2 itineraries:

1. West to Dry Tortugas, with stops at Sand Key, Boca Grande, Marquesas Keys

or

2. East to Marathon, with stops at Looe Key, Bahia Honda, Sombrero Reef

Weather dependent, of course. For good weather, trying to choose between the two. Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 28-02-2021, 09:54   #2
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Re: West or East from Stock Island

#1, no doubt to it!
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Old 28-02-2021, 10:21   #3
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Re: West or East from Stock Island

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#1, no doubt to it!
Thanks. Best place to snorkel, anchor?
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Old 28-02-2021, 11:32   #4
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Re: West or East from Stock Island

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Thanks. Best place to snorkel, anchor?
I think you should go straight to Dry Tortuga and spend you time there.
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Old 01-03-2021, 09:37   #5
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Re: West or East from Stock Island

huge difference. number 1 for certain. with only 4 days i would go direct to garden key and hang out there.

and the difference? you can drive to marathon......
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Old 01-03-2021, 10:52   #6
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Re: West or East from Stock Island

Thanks for the response.

From everything I have read, that's what I'm thinking as well.

However, after being used to the BVI's, the prospect of the 7 hour passage X2 when we only have 3 full days on the boat is a bit intimidating.

We board boat on April 4th in the evening, can't get off the dock until 9AM on the 5th, and need to be off the boat at 9AM on the 8th. This doesn't give us much time. Also, we would need to stay somewhere significantly closer the night of the 7th.
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Old 01-03-2021, 11:29   #7
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Re: West or East from Stock Island

“Go WEST young man”
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Old 01-03-2021, 11:55   #8
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Re: West or East from Stock Island

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Originally Posted by ckelly14 View Post
Thanks for the response.

From everything I have read, that's what I'm thinking as well.

However, after being used to the BVI's, the prospect of the 7 hour passage X2 when we only have 3 full days on the boat is a bit intimidating.

We board boat on April 4th in the evening, can't get off the dock until 9AM on the 5th, and need to be off the boat at 9AM on the 8th. This doesn't give us much time. Also, we would need to stay somewhere significantly closer the night of the 7th.
I think both are a stretch for 3 days.
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Old 01-03-2021, 12:38   #9
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Re: West or East from Stock Island

as cadence pointed out, both are a stretch for three days.

but a year from now you will remember your trip to garden key, not so much your quick look around at the lower keys which you can see by car. looe key and sombrero can be done in a small boat (did looe in a 16 ft aluminum runabout with a 10 horse merc and two other guys). there are also some six pack captains and head boats who will take you to either.

when you sit down and plan both trips on a chart you may find that you will spend as many hours pulling anchor, setting anchor, finding an anchorage, dinghying around, and all the other things you do each time you move on trip 2. trip 1 not so much.

just my opinion.....
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Old 01-03-2021, 13:02   #10
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Re: West or East from Stock Island

I was given instructions by my better half for 4 days max on the boat, so I'm working within those parameters.
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Old 01-03-2021, 13:13   #11
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Re: West or East from Stock Island

In my opinion it’s worth the trip to Dry Tortugas just to take a tour of Fort Jefferson. Every time I hear the expression “ton of bricks” I think of the gazillion that went into making that place. I’d also contact the Mel Fisher people and determine if you could dive on the site of the shipwreck Atocha off the Marquesas.
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Old 01-03-2021, 13:20   #12
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Re: West or East from Stock Island

Are you doing a Dream Yacht charter?
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Old 01-03-2021, 13:35   #13
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Re: West or East from Stock Island

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Are you doing a Dream Yacht charter?
Correct. We usually use the Moorings but I have noticed that Dream Yachts has a more extensive list of bases. Love it that they opened up a base at Stock Island.

ETA: We are renting the Lagoon 40 powercat
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Old 01-03-2021, 14:29   #14
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Re: West or East from Stock Island

Definitely go West to Fort Jefferson. Depending on sea state, you can go either north or south of the Marquesas and even anchor there if you want on the way. 65 miles from KW to FJ. Anchor just off the fort in the normal anchorage which is reasonably protected but look for a sandy spot to drop the hook.
If you have a dinghy, it's about a 2 mile ride to the adjacent Loggerhead Key where you'd beach on the East side of the island adjacent to the lighthouse. Walk across the island just north of the lighthouse and you'll spot a small sandy beach where you can walk into the water to find Little Africa, a pleasant shallow water reef teeming with coral and life.
About a mile to the south and slightly east of Loggerhead, you'll find a small mooring ball where you can tie off the dink and snorkel an old wreck, again teeming with fish.
If you don't have a dink, you can anchor just to the East of Loggerhead Key and swim over to the island.
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