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Old 05-29-2014, 11:19 PM   #45
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City: Fort Lauderdale
Country: USA
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 15,652
Originally Posted by healhustler View Post
Elliott Key is a favorite weekend hangout and an easy half-hour to half-day ride (depending on the boat) from Miami where you can spend the day on crystal blue water. There's plenty of anchorage to keep distance and still be part of the party. But when it thins out at night, coming through the anchorage area can be dodging and weaving for a mile or so, not because the boats are so dense, but some anchor near and some hundreds of yards from the beach. In daylight, people hotrod through the thick foolishly, of course (that's Miami), but to be at any kind of speed that time of night around the Key.....well, I dunno, it would take a lot more kahones or a lot less sense than I have to do it. With the bright party lights of one boat, the single mast light of another, etc., it's just damed hard to make-out what is what, and it's not just the boats....the anchor lines are just as hazardous and get struck even more often. We stopped camping out in Elliott Key after the first Memorial Day experience.
Frankly, it's one of those places no one should be boating at night and if circumstances force you to be then it's an area to proceed at a crawl. We very seldom enter an inlet of any sort at night. The one exception is Port Everglades but then it's lighted better than a city street. Even there though we would be very careful if we were headed to Sylvan Lake or an area like that.

I hate that a life was lost and another in peril from what I read. I do hope though that others will at least take more caution in the area now. Unfortunately I'm afraid those who learn from events like this already are cautious and to others this makes no impact.

When we lived on a lake, we never boated at night, only found ourselves out a couple of times and got home at about 6 knots. The second worst scare was fishing boats all around, lights off so as not to attract bugs. Worst was high speed (as in 55 mph +) bass boats zooming by with no lights. They said they could see better without them. Never crossed their mind that the lights were to be seen.
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