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94. Cudjoe Key Channel – Tarpon Belly Keys Anchorage

94. Cudjoe Key Channel – Tarpon Belly Keys Anchorage
Statute Mile:1227
Lat/Lon: 24 43.776 North/081 31.374 West
Location: Cudjoe Channel runs the gap between Crane Key Mangrove to the east and Riding Key-Sawyer Key to the west; anchorage lies west of Tarpon Belly Keys westerly banks
Minimum depth: 8 feet but depths rise sharply as Tarpon Belly Keys are approached
Swing Room: unlimited
Foul Weather Protection: fair, but open to northern, eastern and northeasterly winds

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Comments from the Cruisers' Net Community (3)

  1. Chas & Bev -  May 16, 2012 - 10:32 am

    We are in the Keys and tried to anchor at Tarpon Belly Key, a pretty remote place. We have a 43 Mainship with 75′ of chain and 250′ with a 75 lb. Rocna, 8 feet of water and 7 feet of pulpit. Our usual procedure is to drop about 20′, let it settle while slowly reversing and add in about 20′ segments until we feel a good grip, then bump reverse multiple times to deepen the set and eventually increase
    reverse a few hundred rpm’s to set. When we did the set, the anchor released. A few efforts to set and we finally pulled up. Holy cow! A massive ball of grey clay (looked and acted like cement) and grass. Could have been a small planet. Boat hooks, dunking and dragging thru the water finally got it off. We tried 3 other locations at the same anchorages with the same, but smaller ball, result. At 5PM, we finally went to a marina. Just beat sundown by 15 minutes.
    Our question is should we not done the finally set, as we usually do, on this type of bottom? Would the anchor, with time and gentler prodding by the wind and tide, eventually buried deeper? (I wouldn’t have been able to sleep)
    The Rocna has been great for us and we love it.
    We also have a 45 lb. Bruce and a Fortress. Would it have made sense to try them?
    Thanks,
    Chas & Bev
    …and Everywhere

    Reply
  2. Captain Rick -  December 4, 2009 - 6:48 pm

    Just a note about Fat Albert. It has a diesel generator in it so they have to bring it down every so often to fill the diesel tank. it can fly in up to about 60 MPH winds so it is not that dependent on the wind speed. it is also interesting how often it points in a different direction than the wind direction at sea level.

    Reply
  3. Hank Haeseker -  July 17, 2009 - 8:46 pm

    June 2009. Anchored off Tarpon Belly Key. First attempt to anchor failed, but found good holding further out from the key in deeper water. Lots of current thru here carrying grass that found its way to my sea strainers. Feels wide open but is sheltered by all the surrounding flats. Very easy to find your way in and depths are pretty much as shown on chart. Watch for “Fat Albert” baloon that flys from a cable nearby to put radar high in the sky. We noticed that when they bring Albert down, the wind may soon blow hard.

    Reply

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