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  #1  
Old 10-13-2008
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Cruising Florida Keys

Hi All
I am planning on a 7 day cruise down the Florida Keys from Miami. I have the Florida Cruising Guide from Young Stinemetz and charts. But I am looking for first hand knowledge of good spots to anchor at along the way or a possible itinerary. I draw 4'11" if that helps. Thanks
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Old 10-13-2008
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Mel...can only tell you about those in the Hawke Channel...just off Rodriguez key and Boot Key Harbor Marathon are two good spots...beieve there is another good one under the 7 mile bridge that also may have moorings as well. Of course there is a town mooring field in Key West just north of town as well as a bit of a dicey anchorage...fine in good weather...but grab a mooring in a blow.
I'm sure others will have more suggestions as we just kind of rushed through to Key West.
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If the wind is hard out of the east, Hawke Channel can be unpleasant and sheltered anchorages are not easy to come by until you get to Marathon. Also, be prepared to dodge crab traps all the way down.

This being said, I found the ICC, which follows the west side of the Keys to be a great alternate route. It gets less boat traffic than Hawke, offers many quiet spots to drop the hook, and is almost totally sheltered from an easterly wind.

From Miami its an easy cruise down Biscayne Bay, under the fixed bridge, through the Rte 1 drawbridge, and you're home free. Water depths were not a problem for me and I draw 4'6".

Have a great trip!
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Old 10-13-2008
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Assuming 7 days is for a round trip, you will be hard pressed to make Marathon then turn around and head back. Drawing 5 foot means watching the tides when picking your way into a anchorage. Sister's creek at boot key is only four foot in one spot at mean low, with .5 feet above mean low water no problem. Bahia Honda is a great spot to explore.
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Old 10-14-2008
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There are free mooring balls at Indian Key and on the north side of the Channel 5 bridge, to the east. Miami to Rodrigeuz Key is one day, then another day to Marathon (Indian Key about half way between). You could make Key West in a day from Marathon. Haven't taken the inside route.
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Old 10-24-2008
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I drop the hook at Bahia Honda and it was nice a little rolling now and then, I also drop the hook near gopher key and I have a 3foot draft twin keel Westerly Centaur sailboat, I hope that helps some I will be sailing this winter down there

Ian
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Old 10-31-2008
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Thanks everyone for the advise... Not sure yet where and how I will go down yet. I have 3 plans so far depending on the weather. If the weather is real nice, I might just take off for the Bahamas. But right now the Gulf Stream has been very very nasty all month. Why the Keys are looking real good right now. But I still have 10 days before I go and time to plan. However the $300 Bahama entrance fee might keep from going there. Ugggg......
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Fair winds which ever way you go Mel.
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