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Regatta Pointe MarinaRiviera Dunes Marina Just off Tampa Bay Owned and Operated by Boaters Welcome to the Staniel Cay Yacht Club, your own paradise in the middle of the beautiful Exumas.FULL MARINE SERVICE ON SITE TRANSIENT DOCKAGE WELCOMEKey Lime Sailing Club in Key Largo, 305-451-3438, www.keylimesailingclub.comThe Pilot House Marina is located on secluded Lake Largo just minutes from downtown Key Largo. This choice location borders on John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, an underwater park famous among snorkeling and diving enthusiasts.Punta Gorda, Florida - a GREAT cruising destination
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Archive For: Keys3 – Hawk Channel – Government Cut to Tavernier

  • Report on John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park Marina, Key Largo, FL

    The entrance channel to John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park Marina is found off Hawk Channel, on the east side of Key Largo, at flashing red marker #2 which lies west, northwest of Hawk Channel marker #35. By panning down on the linked Chart View page below you can find marker #35 off Mosquito Bank.

    We stayed three nights over Thanksgiving weekend 2010. The facilities were fine, but the showers weren’t available since a contractor was working on the park facilities. Our only complaint was the no-see-ums, which were voracious when the wind wasn’t howling. Helpful folks at the marina, and acted like they were actually glad we were there!
    Skipper Jack Kuhlmann

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Florida Keys Marina Directory Listing For John Pennekamp Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park Marina

  • Rodriguez Key Anchorage (Hawk Channel – Key Largo)

    Captain Jane’s observations on this anchorage mirror my own experiences. It’s fine if you must anchor near to Hawk Channel, as long as the weather does not get to agitated. Give me a well sheltered Florida Key Anchorage on the inside route very time, but, with the draft of Captain Jane’s vessel, that would be an iffy proposition at best.

    Anchored on north side of Rodriguez Key

    Sometimes you don’t want to stop and savor the swells of Hawk Channel and just want to get to Marathon — especially if your vessel draws 5 feet or more. With Pennekamp State Park now off limits to boats drawing more than 4 1/2 feet, according to the ranger who answered the phone the two times we have asked, that leaves safe harbors few and far between for many cruising boats.
    Rodriguez Key anchorage took good care of us during a small craft advisory one December night. Yes, we rocked enthusiastically when the front came in but we didn’t drag. We chose a spot in the charted anchorage on the island’s north side, close enough to be in her lee. Another vessel was quite a distance north of the island. She was there in the morning in apparently the same position as at sunset.
    We experienced excellent holding in 8 1/2 feet of water– winds were gusting at 20. North swells made it not my favorite experience but tolerable. I’ve experienced far less comfortable southern swells at Indian Key and similar conditions at Pumpkin Key. We set two anchors, a Fortress and a plow.
    It might have been more comfortable on the south side of the island, where another sailboat anchored that night, but I’m not sure as the swells in Hawk Channel are difficult to hide from. The NOAA predictions had been so wrong that day, it was difficult to know which side to choose.
    We met some experienced skippers who use this anchorage every crossing. It certainly makes possible a two-day trip between Dinner Key and Marathon which can be useful in a period of frequent cold fronts when three-day weather windows can be hard to find.
    In short, Rodriguez Key is a swell anchorage (pun intended) with excellent holding. The charted shoal on the eastern point appears to be marked by small floats. In a blow, set two anchors and bring plenty of ginger snaps.
    Captain Jane
    S/V Lady Jane

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Florida Keys Anchorage Directory Listing For Rodriguez Key Anchorage

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Rodriguez Key Anchorage

  • Depths in Largo Sound Mooring Field??? (Key Largo, off Hawk Channel)

    I have rechecked my notes as to what depths I discovered when I last sounded Largo Sound. I did indeed record depths as shallow as 4 feet, and as much as 6-feet or slightly less. HAS ANYONE ELSE PICKED UP A MOOING HERE LATELY. What depths did you find? Please click the “Comment on This Posting/Marina/Anchorage/Bridge” link below, and share your information.

    Claiborne,
    I recently sent an email to you regarding Largo Sound. The park’s dockmaster wouldn’t take a reservation for our 5′ 2″ draft – he was adamant that the channel/mooring field only had 4′ 6″ of water. Your cruising guide states 5′ 6″ minimums. Have you had any other comments/updates on this issue? I had to continue on to Marathon because of weather/lack of anchorages.
    Cheers,
    Ty Giesemann

    The cruiser who asked about Pennecamp: here is link to a 2010 story about it. They found 6 foot depths.
    http://cruisersnet.net/john-c-pennekamp-coral-reef-state-park-marina-off-hawk-channel-near-key-largo/
    Jane Tigar

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Florida Keys Anchorage Directory Listing For Largo Sound

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of

  • Praise for Marina Del Mar Resort and Marina in Key Largo, Fl.

    Marina Del Mar Resort and Marina lies along the south side of the Port Largo canal, just to the west of Key Largo Harbour Marina.

    On Monday, July 12th, we headed southwest between the reef and the island chain on Hawks Channel. One of our favorite marinas is Marina Del Mar in Key Largo. It is pricey at $3.00 a foot. However, we like the resort feel and opted to pay the price. We were going to continue on to Duck Key and Hawks Cay Resort, but after doing the turtle speed this far, we decided to just stay put and spend 3 nights at this marina. The dockmaster, Candi, is a knowledgeable and helpful host. If you do not want to pay resort prices, you can always anchor to the south on the lee of Rodriquez Key.
    As you enter Port Largo Canal follow the red channel markers. It is very shallow (hitting 3-feet at low tide). Make sure to do a security call on channel-16 as you enter the canal and again as you approach the 45-degree turn known as crash corner. There are some large commercial vessels who call this canal home. So the security call is a must for safe passage. The three hotels at the end of the canal (Marina Del Mar, Holiday Inn, and Ramada) are owned by the same group, so marina guests can use facilities at any of the hotels. We like the pool and Jacuzzi at Marina Del Mar (just steps from our slip). The restroom and laundry facilities are clean and well maintained. As a marina guest, you can partake of the resort’s complimentary continental breakfast.
    There are lots of dive shops to service your needs both on the canal and just steps away on US-1. A Dollar Store and a Service Station are just outside of the marina for small grocery purchases. A real grocery store is further away and would require a cab on a bicycle. Key Largo is the closest of the Keys to the mainland and has numerous mobile mechanical services available.
    There was a small but gregarious live aboard community at this marina. They said we could have bargained for a lower slip rate. I find it hard to believe. Unlike Pier 66 there were very few open slips. Just a few steps down the dock is Ocean Divers. They run two dive boats from there. They have a full-service dive shop. They have the least expensive fuel we saw anywhere. Right next to Ocean Divers is a local hangout called Sharkeys. Their happy hour is great fun. Coconuts is a fun bar and restaurant with good food right next to the Marina pool.
    Jeff and Michele Prahm

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Florida Keys Marina Directory Listing For Marina Del Mar

  • Angelfish Creek – Passage Report as of 1/12/10

    I don’t think any channel in the Florida Keys has occasioned more comment here on the Cruisers’ Net than Angelfish Creek. For those who don’t already know, this creek provides a means to cruise from the Inside/Florida Bay Route (from Card Sound), to Hawk Channel and the briny blue. There has always been some question about depths along this route, and we have received many reports here on the Net about an underwater “rock,” near the point where the marked passage meets up with the deeper waters abutting Hawk Channel.
    I have personally sounded the Angelfish Creek on many occasions, and never seen less than 5 1/2 to 6 feet, and I’ve never found the infamous underwater rock. Other veteran Captains insist the rock is indeed out here. I guess yours truly and Captain Dunn (see below) were just lucky enough to avoid this obstruction.
    Even though we have had a recent question and answer string concerning Angelfish Creek here on the Net, I thought Captain Dunn’s report below was detailed and helpful enough to warrant a fresh posting. So, voila!

    Subject: Angelfish Creek Passage on Jan 12, 2010 and Anchorage Resort and Yacht Club, Jewfish Creek, Key Largo
    Cruising News: This is our first trip to the Keys in our 5.5′ draft sailboat. We came down the ICW from Miami to the very nice Anchorage Resort and Yacht Club on Jewfish Ck, Key Largo. I had read and asked for a week and worried about the passage out to Hawks Channel through Angelfish Creek. The dock master at Gilbert\’s Marina where we filled the diesel tank the morning of departure said “wind has been out of the north for several days and the water will be blown out of the creek and under no circumstances to try the passage”. Totally confused at that point, I called the Tow Boat US Key Largo operator on the VHF and asked his opinion. He told me that I should have no problem, especially if I went out on mid to high tide. We anchored for the night on the lee of Pumpkin Key, great anchorage, and left the next morning on the late incoming tide.
    All I had been told was to stay in the middle of the channel, especially at the west and east ends of the Creek. The mention of the infamous rock just before the deeper water of Hawks Channel loomed in my mind. All went very well. I never marked a true depth of less than 8.5′ and never
    felt the “rock”.
    I hope this helps others. I did follow the channel carefully, stayed in the middle at all times, and went out on a late to high tide.
    Captain Paul Dunn
    Serendipidty

  • John C. Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park Marina (off Hawk Channel, near Key Largo)

    The marina associated with John C. Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is accessed by a marked passage, leading from Hawk Channel, just north of the Key Largo Canal. I have always found this passage deep, reliable, and far better marked that what the charts would indicate. However, there has been some whisperings here on the Net of late, that depths along this entrance channel are shoaling. Can anyone update us on the soundings here????? If so, please click on the “Comment on This Posting/Marina/Anchorage/Bridge” link below, and share your observations.

    We really enjoyed 2 days at John Pennekamp State Park where the coral reef is on Key Largo. They have 2 slips that they rent ($50 per day a few years ago) right in front of the park dock where the dive boats are. We had no problem with our 4.5 ft. draft 53 ft. Hatteras. You can take the park boats out to snorkle or dive the beautiful reefs, or go to the free govt. mooring balls with your big boat if it’s a nice day.
    Doug

    Jana and I enjoyed 2 days at Pennecamp between xmas and new years on our 45′ sundancer (Sun Dog). If you carefully stay in the marked channel, you’ll be fine. We never saw less than 6′ depths.
    Mike Griffin

  • Crandon Park Marina (Key Biscayne)

    Crandon Park Marina is located on the extreme northerly end of Key Biscayne. It is accessible from the AICW via a marked channel.
    Didn’t know about the cats and buzzards here. Interesting combination!

    On May 4 & 5 diesel price was $2.16 including tax.  The rate for transient dckage was $1.25 per foot, plus tax.  A $50.00 cash deposit for the gate key.  Pumpout was a $5.00 token that you have to buy in the office.  The fuel dock and marina offices are under construction and you have to walk to each trailer to pay the bills and  the heads and showers were spartan.  The feral cat population is dwindling, but they do get on the boats at night and there are still a couple of buzzards around, it seems the cats and the buzzards  live harmoniously.  Once you figure out the bus schedule, it is an easy trip to Winn Dixie, CVS, Post Office, etc on Key Biscayne.  The best part of the marina is the chance to buy fresh fish off the back of the charter boats on the commericial dock – Mahi Mahi was $10.00 per pound and swordfish was $15.00.  Lots of people on the piers on weekends, but quiet the the rest of the week.  Be sure to organize your time in order to return the gate key when the office is open if you want to get an early start.


    Click Here To View the Florida Keys Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Crandon Park Marina

  • Mysterious Rock On Angelfish Creek Channel

    Angeflish Creek is the first serous crossover stream, cruising south from Miami to Jewfish Creek, that cruisers might use to transit for the Inside to the Hawk Channel route, or the other way around. For years, there has been discussion here on the Cruisers' Net "Florida Keys" section about a mysterios underwater "rock" on the Hawk Channel end of the Angelfish Creek channel.
    Below, as you will read, Captain Steve seems to have discovered the "rock," the hard way. Others have not found this obstruction, and earlier questioned its existence. I don't think there's any question in Captain Steve's mind, and we should all go to proverbial school on his misfortune. Hope Steve does have the opportunity to perform his "snorked research," and the "rock" can be located once and for all!

    I read in your 2005 keys guide about the phantom rock on the east side (hawks Channel) side of angel creek
    I will verify that the rock is there as I bent a prop on it a year ago. I still can not tell you exactly where it is because when I hit it I wasn’t looking for it… so it happened so fast that I wasn’t cognizant of just where it was. However I can say that I think it is just to the north of the last westerly buoy that marks the channel on that side
    I draw 5-1/2 feet so I only go through there now at mid to high tide. I have been through there three times since and always hold my breath when I go through
    If you have any additional information on this rock, please let me know
    We are members at the Ocean Reef Club and keep our boat in Lauderdale so when the wind is up we take the ICW down past Miami and then across Biscayne Bay through Angelfish Creek to the Hawk Channel side to Ocean Reef
    Please e-mail me if you ever get a bead on this rock
    I plan to try and take the tender out form ocean reef and snorkel the area and see if I can find it. If I do find it I will get the GPS coordinates and send it to you
    Thanks
    Steve

    Subject: Angel Fish Creek "ROCK"
    Cruising News: We came to the Bahamas on March 17th and used Angel Fish Creek Cut to get to Bimini. We had spent the night at Pumpkin Key and at 7 AM went to sea via that cut. We were concerned with the west side depth since all charts show very little water just at the west entrance which turn out to be no problem and soon after that we had depths of 7 feet and more.
    The problem we had was the same rock stated by Capt Steve. We were in the middle of the channel which is well marked and as we approached between the two last sets of red and green markers on the east side of Angel Fish Creek cut we "FOUND" the rock or something very solid. There were two hits, telling me that there are at least two obstructions next to each other closer to the north side of the channel. We draw only 3 feet and it was low tide at that momentn(7am March 17th, 2009) , but just before we hit we had at least 5/6 feet of water!
    We are never again using this cut!!! until some government body fixes or remove this obstructions.
    Please be aware. We were lucky. we just had a scrape on the keel of out power cat and were able to proceed to the Bahamas. Had our boat been a little deeper, we could have sunk right there!
    Take care.
    Captain George

    Last year (Nov 07) we used angel fish creek as a crossover to Hawk Channel from Bayside—never again.  We are in a 48 Krogen whaleback (5’ draft) and maybe we were carrying 5’6”—Anyway, coming out right at high water, we were outbound just before the red and green (last ones before Hawk) and in the middle and struck hard rock bottom.  You don’t get stuck unless you stop and with our full keel and protected wheel (single engine) we plowed on scraping the paint off the bottom of our keel but getting to deeper water.  The swell either helped or hurt depending on your point of view but we made it to deeper water and will not go that way again.
    Steve and Teresa Hutchins
    Sea Quill

    Cruising News: I wrote to you 2 years about the presence of the rock.  It is actually more of an area of rocks.  I paid for my initial knowledge like many.  Also a member of Ocean Reef Club and Anglers Club we are there a lot.  I have sounded the channel with our tender and have snorkled the Creek.  It is tough spot.  The normal tide at that point is 2.7 ft but varies.  I will pass there with my 5.5 draft at high tide only!  This is not like grounding in GA or SC, this is ROCK.  I have been it the dock masters office one holiday weekend when the Miami crowed arrives Friday afternoon at low tide.  3 boats + 6 props ruined.  What proof do you need?  The worst spot is between the second 2 markers inside on the east end.  Just abeam 3/3A.  There is a little snake creek that spurs off to the north but shoals at the east end.  As it has been said many times before "Local Knowledge Required".  Use the Stiltsville channel 20 miles north.  The folks in the know do.
    Ed Potter
    "Alfie"
    55 Fleming

    And, here's a fellow cruiser who made multiple transits through Angelfish Creek, and never found the "rock." Note Steve's very apt comments about movement of the channel markers!

    I just returned form the Keys and made four passages through angelfish creek without incident
    The winds were high, in excess of 25 knots all week, so I was not able to snorkel and look for the infamous rock
    However, the channel has been remarked with pole markers. The mouth of the channel is now very narrow so I think that since the markers have been moved together and my original thought was that the rock was just north of the mouth of the channel that the rock issue may be eliminated if you approach from the southeast stay within the narrow entrance markers
    Steve

  • John C. Pennekamp State Park Marina and Largo Sound Mooring Field

    On 12/4/08, as part of a “Florida Keys Wish List,” I posed the following question:

    Turning now, for the first time, to the outside/Hawk Channel route, has anyone run the channel and canal leading to John C. Pennekamp Park Marina? Were you able to find an overnight transient slip here? Please describe the services you encountered, and the general condition of the marina. Conversely, did you pick up a mooring in Largo Sound? This mooring field is also managed by the Pennekamp Park. What depths did you find in the mooring field? How about shelter from inclement weather? Would you recommend this mooring field to fellow cruisers?

    Responses follow:

    John Pennekamp park.  Weʼve stayed at the marina and on a mooring. The marina is really for commercial tourist boats and not well suited for pleasure craft. The Lagoon entrance is shallow, maybe 4 feet, the moorings limited (get reservations) and have little protection from strong northerlies. To enjoy the park you must dinghy around back to the marina.  Restaurants and Publix are within walking distance.
    Bob and Toni Dorman

    I called John Pennecamp Park Marina to ask about a slip.  They said that the channel in was only 4.5 feet deep at high tide and that the bottom was rocky.    Definitely not for me — I draw 5.5
    Dick Mills
    SV Tarwathie

    Click Here To View the Florida Keys Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For John C. Pennekamp State Park Marina

  • Rodriguez Key Anchorage (off Hawk Channel, near Key Largo)

    On 12/4/08, as part of a “Florida Keys Wish List,” I posed the following question:

    21. Has anyone anchored off Rodriguez Key (west, northwest of Hawk Channel’s marker #37)? Did you find enough shelter here for a comfortable overnight stay?

    Responses follow:

    Anchored there in 2004 prior to jumping off to the Bahamas (South Riding Rock). Stayed there a couple days waiting for 22 to 25 kt ESE winds to settle. They never did so we bit the bullet and went anyway. My memory has faded but to my recollection the north side anchorage was surprisingly calm, even to these winds, when staying over to the west side of the anchorage area. Anchored there on the return trip too, but there were only zephyrs then.
    Bob Hanners

    I’ve anchored on both sides of Rodriguez Key.  It’s a very convenient jumping off place to cross to the Bahamas.   Anchoring was good but you are very exposed if the wind clocks around on you.  We also found it hard to find sandy patches to anchor legally.  You can get fined if you anchor in sea grass. The good part, is that the water around the island is as clear as Bahamas water. Great for scouting the bottom.
    Dick Mills
    SV Tarwathie

    Hi:
    Anchored on N side of Rodriguez in a max 10 kt breeze from the the NW and was happy with it. Departing on December 5 AM into Hawk Channel,  saw two boats anchored on the S side. (Beneteau 343/drawing 4’9″)
    Appreciate your online info.
    Tom
    SV Move
    Boot Key Harbor

    Click Here To View the Florida Keys Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For Rodriguez Key Anchorage

  • Key Largo Canal and Marina del Mar (off Hawk Channel)

    On 12/4/08, as part of a “Florida Keys Wish List,” I posed the following question:

    19. Who has cruised from Hawk Channel into the Key Largo Canal? Were you able to find dockage at Marina Del Ray, or some other facility on this canal? Did you experience “crash corner?”

    Responses follow:

    We have cruised into Key Largo Canal many times.  Marina Del Mar is an excellent facility.  You must make reservations in advance to reserve a slip in the winter.  We have experienced “crash corner”.  Just call ahead on channel 16,  announcing your approach.  No problem
    Ron Hollander

    Weʼve been around crash corner 4 times with no problems. Listen closely to your VHF as all commercial vessels announce their intent and location.
    Bob and Toni Dorman

    Click Here For The Cruisers’ Net’s Florida Keys Marina Directory Listing For Marina del Mar

  • Angelfish Creek (Card Sound to Hawk Channel)

    On 12/4/08, as part of a "Florida Keys Wish List," I posed the following question:

    5. Who has cruised through Angelfish Creek from either the inside/ICW route to Hawk Channel, or the other way around? Did you encounter the infamous “underwater rock on the Hawk Channel side of Angelfish Creek? Has anyone anchored in the creeks making off from the interior reaches of Angelfish Creek?

    Responses follow:

    We have cruised thru Angelfish Creek many times, both ways and have not encountered the infamous "underwater rock".
    Ron Hollander

    I anchored a 38' sailboat in the last creek before going out to Hawk channel. It's a tight squeeze, I was up against the mangroves in windshifts. The channel going out is very narrow and has a bend but was well marked. I went out at night with a spotlight, suggest you have a spare spotlight ready in case the other one fails. I never heard of the rock. 
    Bill

    I have cruised the Intracoastal from Melbourne to Marathon and up the west coast to St Petersburgh many times.  As for Anlefish creek I never had an encounter with the rock at the Hawk channel end but my draft is only 4 feet. You can anchor in the creek but don't venture up the side channels, and ues good ground tackel.  The current will dominate which means you will do a 180 degree switch with the change of the tide so use two anchors. I have also anchored in tarpon basin. I found that there is a good area off  the south west shore.  Beware of the shol in the middle of the basin, but if you need less than 5 feet you can get around the shol via the south west approach. 
    Richard A Bruning

    Subject: Andelfish Creek
    Cruising News: We entered the channel from Card Sound at mid tide and we had 7 ft. all the way to the anchorage at Middle Creek. We had 9-10 ft. in the anchorage. It was a great spot in the mangroves. We left at high tide Hawk Channel side to 7-8 ft. We did not find the elusive rock.
    George & Carol Myers
    S/V Traumerei

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