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Old 05-11-2015, 07:26 PM   #1
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Fort Pierce to Key Largo planning

We want to leave our home port of Ft. Pierce, FL and head to Key Largo with our family. I am a new ocean cruiser but have had ten prior boats. I can handle our 32' Island Gypsy quite well but would prefer to stay in safer waters due to the slow speed that we travel.

Once we clear Miami, is most of the water protected? Where does the ICW end? What sort of course do you recommend to get to Key Largo from Miami with day cruising only. Also are their some good marinas along the way for overnight stays?

Perhaps some one can guide me to a forum or two on this very route. I plan to purchase charts but would love to hear from experience!
Thanks in advance

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Old 05-11-2015, 09:16 PM   #2
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Yes, there are protected waters from Miami to Key Largo

The ICW ends in Key West

There are many anchorages between Miami and Key Largo and a few marinas (Black Point,) but even at displacement speeds you can get from Rickenbacker Causeway in Miami (the last bridge before Biscayne Bay opens up) to Sundowners restaurant in Key Largo for lunch if you leave at sunup.

Which side of the Keys are you interested in? The ICW travels down the bay or "back" side of the Keys. If you want the Oceanside you will still be in the protected water of Hawks Channel, but which path you take will be dictated by where you want to go.

You might find this thread insightful:

Ft Lauderdale to Key West


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Old 05-11-2015, 09:52 PM   #3
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I would consider much of the waters south of Islamorada to be pretty exposed.....not like much of the rest of the ACIW.
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Old 05-11-2015, 10:57 PM   #4
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Sounds like a fun trip. You won't have any problem going down the back side.
If the timing works out, anchor for the night near the Card Sound bridge. Have lunch or dinner at Alabama Jacks. It's on the West side of the bridge, south side of the road. Take your dinghy in and be sure to have the conch fritters. Don't worry about the motorcycle gang. They're all doctors and lawyers.

A dinghy ride up the Miami River is fun and if you stop at my dinghy dock, there is a really good Cuban coffee in it for you.
Parks Masterson
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