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Old 21-02-2023, 08:59   #1
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Key Biscayne to Key Largo

Looking for anchorages that are pet friendly and tall mast friendly.
Shallow draft cat with 80' mast so most of my sail is offshore.
Looking for anchorages (this month) where I can land and walk my dog.
All suggestions are appreciated.
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Old 21-02-2023, 09:02   #2
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Re: Key Biscayne to Key Largo

sorry not to edit......anchorages are for Key Biscayne to Key Largo included.
Thanks
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Old 21-02-2023, 10:28   #3
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Re: Key Biscayne to Key Largo

Good morning

From your post I infer that you will be approaching Biscayne Bay from the Atlantic via Biscayne Channel. I am also assuming that you have a dinghy.

With an 80í mast you are limited by the Rickenbacker Causeway to the north and by the Card Sound Bridge to the south.

With a shallow draft cat (less than 4 ft) you have a lot of options.

The most obvious and closest to approach is No Name Harbor. You can anchor in the harbor (first come, first serveÖ..very crowded on weekend daysÖ..good place to shelter from thunderstorms) or in the channel immediately outside. (Fairly steady and early fishing boat traffic). It is easy to dinghy in and you are in a state park.

Very dog friendly (leashed). Big park. About a mile to Ace Hardware, Winn Dixie and a bunch of restaurants. If you get an Uber back you have to enter a state park entrance but they usually waive the entry fee if you explain what youíre doing)

You can also anchor at (just off of) Dinner Key Marina on the mainland Miami side and ther is a large dinghy dock there as well. Take a lock to that one but there is a lot of dog friendly park there.

Much less urban is Boca Chita. Itís a 6í channel at low tide, and a crowded little harbor, but it is easy to dinghy in. Itís a National Park and Iím pretty sure that dogs are not allowed, but itís Miami and enforcement might not be 100%. I have seen dogs there, loud music, partiesÖ..all kinds of things that are against the rulesÖ..and a lot seems to depend on the presence of rangers.

Further south is Black Point Marina. Dinghy dock, big park, dogs ok, and a cafe but not walking distance to anything else.

Way further south you could anchor near the Card Sound Bridge (pay attention to special regulations regarding being in the park) and dingy around to Alabama Jacks. I havenít done this in a while, but itís a motorcycle bar and Iím pretty sure you can take tigers in thereÖ..so dogs probably ok.
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Old 21-02-2023, 10:48   #4
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Re: Key Biscayne to Key Largo

There's a large state park northeast of Largo. Narrow channel through the mangroves to get there. Sorry, the name escapes me.
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Old 21-02-2023, 10:57   #5
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Re: Key Biscayne to Key Largo

We enjoyed Elliott Key and pets appear to be allowed though from this link Boca Chita, pets are not. We are a 42' mono hull and anchored well off but with your draft you should be able to get closer. Check with NPS if the marina can support you but I tend to doubt they are prepared for cats.



https://www.nps.gov/bisc/planyourvisit/pets.htm
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Old 21-02-2023, 11:49   #6
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Re: Key Biscayne to Key Largo

Thanks, very informative
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Old 21-02-2023, 11:55   #7
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Re: Key Biscayne to Key Largo

Boca chita is very pleasant monday thru friday. Officially no pets allowed but keep them leashed and low keyed and you won't have a problem. Do pick up their waste.
Forget Elliot marina except by dinghy.Pets allowed there. Might be buggy even now.
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Old 21-02-2023, 12:14   #8
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Re: Key Biscayne to Key Largo

@landsend reminds me that yes, there were a lot of mosquitos inland. We were there mid-Feb 2022. (https://juno423.blogspot.com/2022/02...vinson-to.html This post and two others)

We enjoyed the beaches in the lee of the shore but when we tried a hike on one of the trails to head inland, we had to quickly retreat. The next day we went from the NPS HQ across to the ocean side and ran quickly through the middle to avoid the mosquitos. Despite that, we really enjoyed anchoring there for a few days as there was little boat traffic (mid-week) and a favorable wind direction.


Also, as noted in our blog post we did encounter a Portuguese man-of-war. Bad luck for my wife as it was the only one we saw while there. We did have several dolphins come by and circle the boat.



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Old 21-02-2023, 13:39   #9
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Re: Key Biscayne to Key Largo

Some additional suggestions:

Anchor outside of No Name only. Inside there are almost always too many boats, too close, most with inadequate scope, and often at least one with a generator and extra loud music. Outside is fine, a few motor boats feel the need to wake the anchorage each day but itís usually fine at night.

Not sure if your boat will fit in the little Boca Chita harbor. You can anchor outside, but holding is poor in heavy sea grass. I did encounter rangers once who chased my dog and I away from land.

You can anchor anywhere along the west shore of Elliot Key and dinghy in. Technically dogs are forbidden but Iíve never had a problem on the many little sand beaches. Mosquitoes are almost always a factor on shore, no problem at anchor with at least some breeze.

Getting a dog ashore between Elliot Key and Card Sound Bridge is very challenging, lots of mangroves and private land.
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Old 21-02-2023, 13:53   #10
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Re: Key Biscayne to Key Largo

I'd avoid Boca Chita. From the website:
  • Pets, with the exception of service animals, are not permitted on the island or boats in the harbor.
Seems like you can't even have a pet on your boat. FWIW pets are severely limited in most National Parks. They can't go on trails, etc.


https://www.nps.gov/bisc/planyourvisit/bocachita.htm
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