Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 06-11-2014, 08:51 AM   #1
Guru
 
timjet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,905
Anchorages lower Biscayne Bay to Marathon

We're headed north from Key West on Thursday and are looking for some anchorages on our way north. Our plan now is to stay at Boot Key Harbor for a night or two then head north on the ICW (inside route) to Biscayne Bay. I'm new to the upper Keys and am looking for some good anchorages.

I have 2 constraints;
1. I need to have a place to dinghy ashore for the dog, in the morning and in the evening.
2. Bugs, we were eaten up by bugs off Indian Key in the Everglades even with a strong SW wind.

After Boot Key we were thinking of anchoring in Cowpens Anchorage off Plantation Key and hit the Marker 88 restaurant. There should be a place to get the dog off there.

40 miles north of Cowpens should put us in lower Biscayne Bay or Card Sound. Card Should looks nice but it doesn't appear there are many places to go ashore and it has been reported as buggy.

Then that should put us in the Biscayne Bay area early in the week and avoid the Cuban Navy which is active on the weekends.

Suggestions please.
__________________
Advertisement

__________________
Tim
Tampa Bay
Carver 355 ACMY Twin Cummins Diesels Sold
timjet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2014, 10:08 AM   #2
Guru
 
Capt.Bill11's Avatar
 
City: Sarasota/Ft. Lauderdale
Country: USA
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 5,422
Take a look at No Name Harbor on the South end of Key Biscayne in Bill Baggs State Park. And the anchorage at the Marine Stadium on Virgina Key.
__________________

Capt.Bill11 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2014, 10:28 AM   #3
Guru
 
Moonstruck's Avatar
 
City: Hailing Port: Charleston, SC
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Moonstruck
Vessel Model: Sabre 42 Hardtop Express
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 7,848
Tim, Rodriguez Key is a marginal anchorage area. Depending on wind direction. It is a long dinghy ride to shore for , but restaurants doable. I have anchored there. It was good holding in about 7' depth. There are really only a few anchorages that I have found on Hawk Channel. Boca Chita Key if you are there during a week day is a good tie up with no services, but I don't think pets are welcomed. Elliot Key can be good if the wind is right.

Please give us a trip report with pics.
__________________
Don on Moonstruck
Sabre 42 Hardtop Express & Blackfin 25 CC
When cruising life is simpler, but on a grander scale (author unknown)
http://moonstruckblog.wordpress.com/
Moonstruck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2014, 10:42 AM   #4
Guru
 
HopCar's Avatar


 
City: Miami Florida
Vessel Name: Possum
Vessel Model: Ellis 28
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 3,505
Tim, Cowpens is a nice anchorage. It's been a long time since I've been there but you might want to check if the park there is dog friendly.

If you don't think you can get much further north than Card Sound, at least get north of the bridge. If you anchor over by Steamboat Creek, that's a fun shoreline to explore in the dinghy. You can eat at Alabama Jacks at the western end of the bridge. Just run in with your dinghy. Bugs will likely be a problem until you get further north in Biscayne Bay.

If you stop in Miami, come to my store and say hello. I'll give you a good shot of Cuban coffee.
HopCar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2014, 11:44 AM   #5
Guru
 
timjet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,905
Quote:
Originally Posted by HopCar View Post
Tim, Cowpens is a nice anchorage. It's been a long time since I've been there but you might want to check if the park there is dog friendly.

It supposedly is dog friendly. I'll report

If you don't think you can get much further north than Card Sound, at least get north of the bridge. If you anchor over by Steamboat Creek, that's a fun shoreline to explore in the dinghy. You can eat at Alabama Jacks at the western end of the bridge. Just run in with your dinghy. Bugs will likely be a problem until you get further north in Biscayne Bay.

I can get farther north and am considering doing so primarily due to bugs. Alabama Jacks sounds like fun but the reports from AC on the anchorages around the area indicate a problem with bugs.

If you stop in Miami, come to my store and say hello. I'll give you a good shot of Cuban coffee.
Will do, are you a walk or bike ride from Biscayne Bay or the anchorages in the Miami Area? We may stop at Dinner Key and splurge on dinner at the Chart House.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt.Bill11 View Post
Take a look at No Name Harbor on the South end of Key Biscayne in Bill Baggs State Park. And the anchorage at the Marine Stadium on Virgina Key.
Will check that out this evening. We're headed into town (Key West) for some fun.
__________________
Tim
Tampa Bay
Carver 355 ACMY Twin Cummins Diesels Sold
timjet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2014, 11:47 AM   #6
Guru
 
timjet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,905
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonstruck View Post
Tim, Rodriguez Key is a marginal anchorage area. Depending on wind direction. It is a long dinghy ride to shore for , but restaurants doable. I have anchored there. It was good holding in about 7' depth. There are really only a few anchorages that I have found on Hawk Channel. Boca Chita Key if you are there during a week day is a good tie up with no services, but I don't think pets are welcomed. Elliot Key can be good if the wind is right.

Please give us a trip report with pics.
Will look at Boca Chita and Elliot Key. I've got some crud in the carb of my dinghy motor I've got to get out to get it running right, so will do that before I get to that area so we can do longer dinghy rides.
__________________
Tim
Tampa Bay
Carver 355 ACMY Twin Cummins Diesels Sold
timjet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2014, 12:29 PM   #7
Guru
 
caltexflanc's Avatar
 
City: North Carolina for now
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Small Incentive
Vessel Model: Boston Whaler 130 Sport
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 3,797
Are you planning on being inside or outside? What is your bridge clearance.

Here are our favorites twixt Key West and Biscayne:

If coming outside on Hawk, and Boot Key is a stretch, Newfound Harborhas a few places, we liked the tongue of deeper water between Little Torch and Big Pine below the bridge.

Next is lovely Bahia Honda Park, we'd anchor between the bridges (20ft, the Hawk side has a cut out in the old bridge from which a nice fellow baoter took my avatar picture), set it well because there is a strong reversing current and the bottom is inconsistent in some spots. There is a little dinghy dock marina ashore. We'd go there from Boot Key just to hang out for a few days, probably the best beach in the Keys on the ocean side. I know some people would anchor out on the northwest side of Bahia Honda who were on the ICW.

Next stop for us after Boot Key (we wintered there for a few months on a mooring) was to come in Channel Five (65ft) and anchor off Lignum Vitae os Shell Key parks. Not sure what the dog regs are but fun places to hike. But a little further east is our favorite "civilized" anchorage off Islamorada/ Upper Matecumbe. Deeper than Cowpens, far preferable IMO, and you have all sorts of shoreside eateries, drinkeries and shops, such as the legendary Loreleis right there, and World Wide Sportsman in Little Basin (has a replica of Hemmingway's "Pilar" in the store and a decent restaurant and fish store).

Then if you are inside there is Tarpon Basin which has places to land ashore and not far from a Publix. As noted, on the outside is Rodriguex Key, but I jave never been ashore there, just anchored out. Or, you canproceed to John Pennekamp park and the moorings in Largo Sound. No direct experience (boat too big) here but many happy reports.


Next up for us was the north side of Pumpkin Key, which is private but a lot of places to take the dinghy up through Anglefish Creek. Plus you can dinghy in to Ocean Reef and see how the 1% are doing. Adams Key park a little further north has a day dock , fun visit, again not sure about dog regs.

If haven't anchored off Elliot Key and or docked at Boca Chita, it is worthwhile, especially weekdays, though Elliot is such a big anchorage even then it is not so bad and we'd dinghy to Elliot to hike or over to Boca Chita just for the experience and uniqueness. When we had guests in town and were docked in Hollywood, a night or two here and a night at Pumpkin were always popular. On shore at Elliot you will want the DEET, we never found it too bad but were never there this late in the spring either. (I have to say I was a little surprised at your bug problems at Indian Key, we used to go there this time of year when we chartered).

Others have mentione No Name Harbor on Biscayne. It was always too crowded for us to anchor, we'd anchor off just outside and a bit south, outside the channel, and take the Whaler in. We really liked the carribean style restaurant there. You can also just day dock on the seawall. Again, check the regs on dogs, but a favorite destination of ours for a night or two.

Take your time, smell the roses, have fun!
__________________
George

"There's the Right Way, the Wrong Way, and what some guy says he's gotten away with"
caltexflanc is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2014, 12:45 PM   #8
Guru
 
Moonstruck's Avatar
 
City: Hailing Port: Charleston, SC
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Moonstruck
Vessel Model: Sabre 42 Hardtop Express
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 7,848
The Largo Sound mooring field is a great idea. Watch you depth carefully. It is a narrow channel through the mangroves going in. We kept our Boston Whaler 17' at Key Largo for a couple of years. We used the cut to get through to the reef. Been through there many times. It should really be a protected mooring. You can take the dinghy to a lot of stuff from there. Probably worth a couple of days if you like to take the dinghy to snorkle the reef.
__________________
Don on Moonstruck
Sabre 42 Hardtop Express & Blackfin 25 CC
When cruising life is simpler, but on a grander scale (author unknown)
http://moonstruckblog.wordpress.com/
Moonstruck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2014, 01:27 PM   #9
Guru
 
HopCar's Avatar


 
City: Miami Florida
Vessel Name: Possum
Vessel Model: Ellis 28
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 3,505
Tim, my store is about a forty minute dinghy ride up the Miami River.
Head up the river, pass under the 27th Avenue bridge and take the next left.
Go under the swing bridge and we're about a 1/4 mile on the right.

You mentioned outboard trouble. If it isn't resolved by the time you hit Miami, there is a good outboard repair guy in the Marine Stadium complex. That would be a good place to anchor while the motor is worked on. Good restaurant there too.

Dinner Key area is good for cruisers without a car. Lots of stuff within walking or biking distance. You must know the area if you know Chart House.

If you need any marine supplies, I deliver. The delivery charge is usually a tour of the boat.
HopCar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2014, 11:37 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
City: Louisville
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Lucky Dog
Vessel Model: Mainship 350 Trawler
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 101
The folks at Marker 88 will allow you to bring your dog along with you.

From the bay side at Key Largo over to the Pennekamp anchorage there is a low bridge, you better check the clearance prior to. Lots of good info on Active Captain.
David O is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2014, 07:13 PM   #11
Guru
 
pilothouse king's Avatar


 
City: St. Lucie VILLAGE -NOT- Port St. Lucie!!!!!
Country: USA
Vessel Model: 15' Hobie Power Skiff w/90hp Yamaha-owned 28 years. Also a 2001 Bayliner 3788 that I took in trade
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 533
It's shallow the whole route, so you can drop an anchor about anywhere (outside the channels of course) depending on wind direction. "Bugs?" You haven't seen mosquitos until you get a wind from the west (Glades) during the summer time. Even off Elliott, Boca Chita, and Key Biscayne you want to anchor pretty far off from land. And when dog walking keep in mind that Barnes Sound is a crocodile sanctuary, and them and gators can be found all the way basically to Virginia. Love your generator and ac at night.
pilothouse king is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2014, 08:51 PM   #12
Guru
 
timjet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,905
Quote:
Originally Posted by HopCar View Post

If you need any marine supplies, I deliver. The delivery charge is usually a tour of the boat.
A very kind offer HopCar. I haven't planned that far north yet.

Here is a tentative itinerary after Key West.

Boot Key Harbor

Cowpens Anchorage

Barnes Sound near Alabama Jacks. We'll run the genny cause of bugs.

Elliott Key

No Name Harbor or Hurricane Harbor off Key Biscayne

Dinner Key Mooring

Marine Stadium. I grew up in Miami and remember once or twice seeing the races there.

Boca Chita doesn't allow pets.

Anybody know of a good outboard repair place in Marathon?
__________________

__________________
Tim
Tampa Bay
Carver 355 ACMY Twin Cummins Diesels Sold
timjet is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:50 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012