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off-the-grid 07-02-2011 10:44

Miami - Government Cut at Night
Both entering and exiting. How hard is it, what to expect?

Looking to possibly do some night diving once, I get down there.

Kettlewell 07-02-2011 11:07

I'ts one of the best-marked entrance channels anywhere, and I have been in and out at night numerous times. The only real problem is sorting out all the various lights and markers. It pays to study the charts ahead of time, and to plot out the few course changes just so you know exactly where to turn at the angle in the channel. It's also deep and pretty much all weather, though in a strong NE wind with an outgoing tidal current it can be rough. Also, be wary of commercial traffic of all sizes.

off-the-grid 07-02-2011 11:54

That's pretty much the answer I was expecting. Thanks!

s/v Moondancer 07-02-2011 13:04

On entering you must turn to port at the junction opposite the large fancy condo development, Fisher Island and go past the commercial dock, they do not like you going past the cruise ships which are to starboard.

You then need to know where you are going because past the commercial dock you have to go right or left on the ICW. There is a serious shoal at the junction of Government cut and the ICW.

As Kettlewell writes, study the charts well.

RTB 07-02-2011 13:10


Originally Posted by s/v Moondancer (Post 613912)
On entering you must turn to port at the junction opposite the large fancy condo development, Fisher Island and go past the commercial dock, they do not like you going past the cruise ships which are to starboard.

We called the CG and asked permission to go straight in. They gave us the go-ahead, but there were no cruise ships in port at the time. You could get lucky, but otherwise Moondancer has it right.

s/vfootloose 07-02-2011 13:25

"they do not like you going past the cruise ships" means if you attempt to you will run into all sorts of cops with guns and bad attitudes.

mjwarner 07-02-2011 13:37

Very well marked, the lights can be confusing with all the traffic. Can get very bumpy for a smaller sailboat with all the larger mega yachts trying to get through the channel with you. They tend to not slow down. As per recent poster, you will have to peruse your charts ahead of time, as you won't need to go all the way out to the last marker to enter, but you will want to avoid the rip-rap that prevents you from cutting into it too close to shore. We came from the north, went shoreshide of the commercial anchorage outside the cut, and did fine. Keep a sharp watch as you enter the loading container channel. Some of those big boys are underway directly toward you, and at slow speed, so it is hard to tell that they are not docked at the pier due to the angle you enter.

RTB 07-02-2011 13:39

Very true. They were waiting in the channel when we were heading back out. There was no doubt we would be going the long way round. :(

off-the-grid 09-02-2011 18:23

Thanks for all the tips! Looked at the chart, and doesn't look too bad. I also luckily draw next to nothing!

Tellie 09-02-2011 18:26

Just curious. Why at night and how does that relate to the night diving you'd like to do?

off-the-grid 09-02-2011 18:54

Well, how else are you going to do a night dive without going in and out the inlet at night? Other than going out in the afternoon, and anchoring out there all night.

North26West80 09-02-2011 19:01

The main channel past the cruise ships is closed when two or more ships are there. See the chart.

Greg S 09-02-2011 20:11

An alternative to going all the way through Government Cut or Fisherman's Channel (Lummus Island Cut) would be to anchor for a quick exit or return on the south side of Fisher Island. Plenty of room, but the charted depths are not totally accurate, check it out in daylight.

A second alternative would be to use Biscayne Channel on the south side of Key Biscayne. It's pretty straight forward and there are no big ships to contend with but, as stated before, study the charts. I would also recommend a daylight run to familiarize yourself with it. To make it even easier you could anchor just on the east side of Key Biscayne or just around the corner outside of No Name Harbor and make the exit and return from there.

osirissail 10-02-2011 07:46

If a current is running good you can expect some "standing waves" at the beginning of the entrance to Government Cut.

Alecadi 10-02-2011 11:11

night diving in gvt cut... I wonder why? there is other places to do some diving but ina channel full of commercial boat?

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