Any safe harbors in Key West or Dry Tortugas - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 15 Old 11-20-2012 Thread Starter
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Any safe harbors in Key West or Dry Tortugas

Planning to get to Key West for refueling and last minutes provisioning, any good places to stop? Need to a decent place to hide in case of bad weather, will stay for a good weather window to sail down to Cancun.

Let me know if you have some local knowledge. I will study Active Captain in the next few days. Looking at the weather, we are most likely will not heading to Keys start until next Monday when the wind dies down a bit.


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post #2 of 15 Old 11-20-2012
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Re: Any safe harbors in Key West or Dry Tortugas

I am on a city mooring in Garrison Bight . At $315 per month for a 50 footer, I find it a good deal for dinghy dockage, showers, off the road parking , and pumpouts all inclusive. I just completed a catamaran delivery to Cancun , while leaving my boat there during 20kt northerlies and had people who watched after my dinghy and boat during my absence with no incident. I also weathered Sandy there with no problems. I anchored in 2 places when I first arrived , only to have several boats drag into me at Wisteria[Christmas] Island , and the west side of Fleming.
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post #3 of 15 Old 11-20-2012
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Re: Any safe harbors in Key West or Dry Tortugas

Well, you have Safe harbour Marina, My favorite and where I keep my dive boat. 3D boat yard has sea wall slips,There is another marina near 3d that has a new name, can't remember it. Andy Griffiths Marina, ocean side Marina, Key West Yacht club, to name a few Marinas. The moorings are good as stated above. The north west side of flemming is a good anchorage, the far side of frankfurt bank, I anchored off christmas tree
( wisteria) for years. My boat is anchord in striders cut over by Boca Chica.

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post #4 of 15 Old 11-20-2012
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Re: Any safe harbors in Key West or Dry Tortugas

I am sailing south to tortugas in next week or so. If you have not been there, it is the most beautiful place in the us (my opinion of course). I would not do key west if you want truly protected. Boot key is better.

Tortugas is wide open and not a place to weather storms, though the seas stay mild due to the many reefs. Key west is much better. If you are not traveling with a family, I think you will enjoy it better too. It's a happening place.

If you want to meet up, let me know.

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Re: Any safe harbors in Key West or Dry Tortugas

Brian, I will keep Boot Key in mind. Looks good on the chart.

It looks like we will be in Dry Tortugas a few days earlier than you. I do't know how much weather window we will have. If the weather outlook is good we will hang out there for a few days. Do they have cell service there in DT?


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Re: Any safe harbors in Key West or Dry Tortugas

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Brian, I will keep Boot Key in mind. Looks good on the chart.

It looks like we will be in Dry Tortugas a few days earlier than you. I do't know how much weather window we will have. If the weather outlook is good we will hang out there for a few days. Do they have cell service there in DT?
No cell, no water, no food, no nothing. But the best coral reefs and water in us.
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post #7 of 15 Old 11-20-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Any safe harbors in Key West or Dry Tortugas

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I just completed a catamaran delivery to Cancun ,
Which way did you go? Did you hug the coast of Cuba first and then south to 21N and west to Isla Mujeres?


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post #8 of 15 Old 11-21-2012
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Re: Any safe harbors in Key West or Dry Tortugas

I don't know how xsboats did it, but I've done that run more times than I can count over the past 22 years and your description is how I usually do it. I start my crossing about 10 miles west of the marquesas. I have left out of the Fort however. When you do that, just head for Isla and you will end up on the west end of Cuba, then head for Cozumel, and you'll end up in Isla. When I let out of Key West ,I sail west till I pass the Marqueses, when they are just out of sight behind me I head for the west end of Cuba, Cabo Antonio) and I end up about 30 miles west of Havana. When the Gulf stream is at it's strongest I just start heading due south to get more speed over the ground and lose a little westing, I make up for it the next day with the counter current just out side the reef on the north coast of Cuba. I leave Key West at noon, this will put you with in sight of the mountains of Cuba at sun rise and it is a sight to behold. Each time I run down that coast I do it a little closer. The sun will set on ya as your running down that line, but the reef is well marked with a bunch irradically flashing white's. I'm usually makeing 7.5 knot's when I sling shot around the weat end Of Cuba, head south for 8 or 9 hours and make a rhumb line for Cozumel, that will put you in Isla the next morning. My record is 3.5 day's my longest is 5, but that was in late hurricane season with squirlly winds and ofcourse, I have no engine so there is that.
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Last edited by Capt.aaron; 11-21-2012 at 07:16 AM.
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post #9 of 15 Old 11-21-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Any safe harbors in Key West or Dry Tortugas

Excellent Captain Aaron, thanks the detailed writing up that I can really use. Any particular weather windows that i should looking for. I was thinking just to avoid any wind opposite to the Gulf Stream.

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Re: Any safe harbors in Key West or Dry Tortugas

Captain Aaron,

I just checked the weather for next week for Yucatan Channel. It predicts with strong Northerly wind. I am thinking about skipping Isla Mujeres to Belize City.

Have you sailed directly south following W84.4 degree after you pass Cabo de San Antonio, Cuba and head west after we get to N19 degree. By doing so we will totally avoid the GS and ride the countercurrent south and then west.

On paper it will work, but I need some local knowledge. Thanks.


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