Florida Keys in Oct/Nov? smart? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 09-19-2011
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Florida Keys in Oct/Nov? smart?

I am planning a cruise around the Keys in late October or early November. I would have posted in the destinations section but they don't seem to get many responses.

My plan is a 2-3 week cruise exploring all the Keys have to offer. My two biggest concerns are the weather and snorkeling opportunities. I plan to drive down from south Alabama and launch my Montgomery 17, leaving my vehicle in a safe place.

I have been doing alot of reading and it seems that in these months the wind picks up pretty good down there. Would this have much affect on the visibility snorkeling? Is that water going to be to cold? Are there any restrictions against spearfishing at this time?

Those questions are some that I would like to figure out before I settle on going down or not. Thank you all for your input!
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Old 09-19-2011
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I would think weather would be your main concern. Also remember hurricane season but at least if something starts to develop, you will find out far in advance. I doubt the water would be too cold. A friend of mine always talks about when he went to Miami one Christmas in December and there were people actually in the water swimming So if one can swim in Miami in Dec without it being too cold, you should be able to in the keys in Oct and Nov months. Someone posted a good thread around here somewhere about their trip to the keys a while back.
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Old 09-19-2011
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As mentioned earlier, its the tail end of hurricane season and before the mad cruiser dash south to Florida begins a little before Thanksgiving. Should be a great time to visit. It may be off-season so plenty of space to yourself. Also, the Big Guy above flicks a switch on October 1st and turns the humidity to "off", so it should make for some splendid days and evenings. 2 weeks really may be rushing through the keys a bit.

Do you plan on anchoring, taking mooring balls, or marina hopping?

Also, watch out for skinny water. Fines for damaging reef and seagrass can be *SEVERE*. Lastly, make sure you plan pump-outs as pretty much the entirety of the keys is a no-discharge zone.
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Old 09-20-2011
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Thanks for the replys!

I plan on anchoring the majority of the time, I may grab a slip if I need to recharge my batteries. I don't have a black water tank, just a port a potty. Can I just swing by marinas and take it to the toilet? Or is this not propper manners?

Skinny water? Does this basically mean that whenever I anchor I should be sure its in sand only?
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Old 09-20-2011
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Minnewaska will become famous soon enough Minnewaska will become famous soon enough
I am not familiar with the Keys, but I've been to many marinas that forbid dumping a porta-potty in the shore toilets. It could be that septics are not designed for the quantity.

Go to ActiveCaptain.com for anchoring feedback from people who have been there.
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Old 09-20-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
I am not familiar with the Keys, but I've been to many marinas that forbid dumping a porta-potty in the shore toilets. It could be that septics are not designed for the quantity.
more like the mess that some people have left

Skinny water is shallow, but yes make sure you DO NOT anchor in the Sea Grass that will get you the fine you dont want
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Old 09-20-2011
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The end of October should be nice in the Keys, but keep yourself active and up-to-date on weather information. We're still in Hurricane Season until November 30, and it's the October storms that normally affect us from the West. The Keys, of course, can be affected from either side, but we on the west coast watch sites like weather underground a little closer between now and the first of November.

There's a lot of beauty in our Keys so enjoy yourself, but don't try see them all in 2 weeks because it's not gonna happen, lol. Water temps should be "refreshing" (as opposed to being in the mid to upper 80s and flat out hot right now). And, like another poster said, humidity "should" be down, but it's been a tough year. Take a LOT of bug spray, as the mosquito's have been mistaken for vultures down here, lol! Enjoy yourself and be careful because the keys have been known to be addicting.
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Old 09-21-2011
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Although I can understand wanting to sail down from AL, I'd recommend trailering down to Miami and starting out on Biscayne Bay. There's also free (last I was there) mooring balls at Indian Key, as well as on the inside side in the same area.
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Old 09-21-2011
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October and November are great months for sailing here in the Keys. Wind is usually from the E to NE quadrants and averages around 15 knots. The water temps should still be in the 80's. Visibility is good except after major blows during the full and new moon phases. As far as spearfishing goes, you may n ot spearfish from the Dade county line to Long Key. In addition, there are many protected areas throughout the Keys so I would recommend going to http//www.myfwc.com to get all of the current regs. If you come by Summerland Key and need a place to tie up for the night, you are welcome to bring your boat in through Kemp's channel and tie up at my dock. I have 60 foot of seawall on a canal and my boat is only a 23 footer. Just let me know on the thread and I'll send you my cell number or you can email me.

Martin
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Old 10-03-2011
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Martin,
Thanks for the excellent info! I will definitely check out that website about spearfishing.

I just found your general area on Google maps and your in a fairly central location in the keys. I may be taking you up on that offer! I'm a easy going, drug free 24 year old that would not cause you any problems.

Since I have someone with a bit of local knowledge may I pick your brain just a touch more?
How is cell phone reception throughout the keys? Particularly Verizon? It would make my girlfriend and family a lot more comfortable knowing if I would be able to easily get a call out if need be.

Thanks again for the docking offer! Is be happy to get your email and cell number. My email is: perithead88@gmail.com.
Trip
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