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Old 26-01-2022, 07:40   #1
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Hawk channel- how protected is it?

We are waiting for a nice easy crossing to Bimini and are thinking about cruising down to Marathon for a week. If Easterly winds and waves are in the Gulf Stream how much does the reef protect and reduce wave height in the channel (in general obviously)


Thanks!
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Old 26-01-2022, 08:36   #2
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Re: Hawk channel- how protected is it?

I don't think that you can count on anything there. The channel is not protected by anything. All you get is plenty of depth, and the Gulf Stream ripping on by.
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Old 26-01-2022, 08:53   #3
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Re: Hawk channel- how protected is it?

In my experience on east winds you can expect the seas to be about 2ft less than off shore. Keep in mind that down at Marathon an east wind is a wind opposing current situation in the gulf stream and the waves will be much steeper than one would normally expect for a given wind speed. You do not have that issue in Hawk channel. Going south/west this is not as much of an issue, but if you decide to head north/east while the wind is still out of the east you will be much more comfortable in Hawk channel.
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Old 26-01-2022, 08:59   #4
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Re: Hawk channel- how protected is it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nahbrown View Post
We are waiting for a nice easy crossing to Bimini and are thinking about cruising down to Marathon for a week. If Easterly winds and waves are in the Gulf Stream how much does the reef protect and reduce wave height in the channel (in general obviously)





Thanks!


If heading South from the Miami area in Hawks Channel in a decent East wind you may get 2-3 chop, something you should hardly notice on your Lagoon.
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Old 26-01-2022, 09:10   #5
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Re: Hawk channel- how protected is it?

Check your marine weather forecast. On Saturday calling for extremely rough out to the reef. That's at least 4 footers and in rapid sequence. Not fun.
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Old 26-01-2022, 09:55   #6
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Re: Hawk channel- how protected is it?

You can run the backside from Marathon and with east winds it will be much calmer than Hawk channel.
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Old 26-01-2022, 09:56   #7
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Re: Hawk channel- how protected is it?

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I don't think that you can count on anything there. The channel is not protected by anything. All you get is plenty of depth, and the Gulf Stream ripping on by.
and right now about a million crab/lobster buoys! Seriously, its crazy.

Although it was definitely worse from Marathon to KW.
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Old 26-01-2022, 10:03   #8
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Re: Hawk channel- how protected is it?

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You can run the backside from Marathon and with east winds it will be much calmer than Hawk channel.


Very true, but I believe his mast height is over 65 so would have to either anchor on the bayside of Marathon or go around Key West.
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Old 26-01-2022, 10:40   #9
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Re: Hawk channel- how protected is it?

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Very true, but I believe his mast height is over 65 so would have to either anchor on the bayside of Marathon or go around Key West.
Yeah, you're probably right. Now that my overhead clearance is 15' I don't pay as much attention to bridge heights. For some reason I was thinking 7 mile was higher. It didn't used to be a problem in the 70's with the old bridge.
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Old 26-01-2022, 11:28   #10
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Re: Hawk channel- how protected is it?

We cut through Angelfish Creek with no problems with 4' draft because the wind was blasting out of the south west last time Key West to Miami. Watch out for the big rock at the opening.
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Old 26-01-2022, 11:33   #11
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Re: Hawk channel- how protected is it?

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Originally Posted by tkeithlu View Post
I don't think that you can count on anything there. The channel is not protected by anything. All you get is plenty of depth, and the Gulf Stream ripping on by.
It is actually well protected by a reef, the Gulf Stream is outside the reef and has little to no effect in Hawk Channel. There is not "Plenty of Depth", it runs around 8 to 16 feet in the northern bit, and gets deeper west of Alligator reef, a bit deeper in a few places with some shoal spots that are well marked on the chart.

It is pretty nice because if the wind is north or easterly you have the wind but no sea, just a bit of chop which is hardly noticeable, and the farther south you get the more it moves aft. If the wind is south or west, you just end up motoring.

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Old 26-01-2022, 12:57   #12
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Re: Hawk channel- how protected is it?

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Check your marine weather forecast. On Saturday calling for extremely rough out to the reef. That's at least 4 footers and in rapid sequence. Not fun.
^^^^ This ^^^^

In E/SE winds over 18ks you can get some pretty uncomfortable short period waves that will beat on you pretty hard. The reef will knock down the ocean swell but the wind waves, when the winds are parallel to the channel, can get a little nasty from a comfort standpoint. As pointed out above the GS does not influence inside of the reef.
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Old 26-01-2022, 18:09   #13
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Re: Hawk channel- how protected is it?

Be advised that there is NO dockage available in Marathon! Based on the Windy wind forecasts it's going to be quiet windy so if you do the trip plan ahead as to where you'll anchor, outside of Boot Key Harbor. Plus even if you follow the "magenta line" you will be dodging hundreds of trap buoys that will be hard to see in the wave set. I'd recommend waiting it out in the Marine Stadium until you get a southerly. JMHO
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Old 26-01-2022, 18:54   #14
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Re: Hawk channel- how protected is it?

We are currently at Conch Harbor Marina, heading for Marathon tomorrow. A few comments from reading previous posts.

1. Yes, crabpots are prevalent. I had to go into the water twice within 30 minutes on our way here. Keep a good lookout.

2. Boot Key harbor is pretty full. You may be able to get a mooring ball. If money is no object, marina slips are available. We drop anchor just East of the bridge. Plenty of room two weeks ago.

3. Marathon City Marina: $22 a day for dinghy landings. Great showers. Laundry wash/dry $6 per load. Propane fills within walking distance.

4. Native Taxi: $7 to local Publix supermarket.

5. Dockside Boot Key Harbor
(305) 735-4205
https://maps.app.goo.gl/ECwn41oxPrAhNHTB7
is a great dinghy friendly spot.

Safe travels.
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Old 26-01-2022, 19:03   #15
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Re: Hawk channel- how protected is it?

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Originally Posted by Scrimshaw4 View Post
Be advised that there is NO dockage available in Marathon! Based on the Windy wind forecasts it's going to be quiet windy so if you do the trip plan ahead as to where you'll anchor, outside of Boot Key Harbor. Plus even if you follow the "magenta line" you will be dodging hundreds of trap buoys that will be hard to see in the wave set. I'd recommend waiting it out in the Marine Stadium until you get a southerly. JMHO


Yacht Haven Marina probably has dockage available, if you want to pay the price!
Looks like winds from the NW in the 20s to 30s on Saturday so either anchor of Sombrero Beach where it would be a long anchor drag to Cuba, or set an anchor in Sisters Creek and tie the stern of to the mangroves. Shouldnt be many noseeums roaming around in that wind!
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