Trip South, Outside or Hawk Channel - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Destinations > Florida & SE US East Coast > Florida - Keys
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  #1  
Old 10-26-2010
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Trip South, Outside or Hawk Channel

Pouring over charts to head south towards Key West from Stuart. I've been told to take Hawk Channel once to Biscayne Bay but the charts I'm looking at don't seem to make it very clear where the best place is to duck into the channel. Is it better to just stay outside all the way to Key West or is there that much of an advantage to going inside? We'll be trying to stay in about 60 to 100 foot depths out of Stuart to avoid the north current but once a little farther south I'm trying to decide which way to go.
If inside could someone share some "local knowledge" about the channel? Is it OK to run it at night? I've got a night vision scope plus two plotters so even if there's cloud cover I won't be sailing blind.
I know once we're in the area there will be lots of advice via the radio but I'm kind of Anal Retentive about planning ahead so there's no suprises.
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Old 10-26-2010
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Near the upper Keys the current is very close to the reef, you will want to be inside the reef to avoid it. You can enter any opening though the reef starting at Cape Florida/Fowey Rocks. Charts are very accurate so you can run at night although you risk lobster/stone crab buoys and small dimly lit fishing boats. Of course on the way back north enjoy the free ride outside the reef.
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Old 11-07-2010
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Hawk Channel

The Hawk Channel can be done at night if you have are real good chart plotter that shows all the markers,I have a Ray C-80 and it made it easy.
I don't have my charts handy,when are you leaving maybe I can check them and get back to you.
Nick
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