Please Note That Postings Below From Fellow Cruisers Are Listed in Chronological Order, Based on Publication Date
Please Note That Postings Below From Fellow Cruisers Are Listed in Chronological Order, Based on Publication Date
Alligator Reef Light is on the eastern side of Hawk Channel, 3.2 nautical miles southeast of Indian Key Channel that separates the two Matecumba Keys.
STRAITS OF FLORIDA – FOWEY ROCKS TO ALLIGATOR REEF – CHEECA ROCKS: Hazard to Navigation Alligator Reef Light.
ALLIGATOR REEF LIGHT (LLNR 980) is extinguished. The structure is unstable and considered unsafe. Mariners are advised to exercise extreme caution while transiting the area. Charts: 411 11013 11420 11449 11450 11452 11460
In response to a number of SSECN articles and editorials concerning the abuse of anchoring rights by official Florida mooring fields and in support of a lawsuit currently in Federal Court, SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Key Lime Sailing Club, is offering all cruisers up to a $100 credit at their facility, if you will contribute the same amount towards the legal expenses of the Federal court challenge to the Florida Pilot Mooring Field Program. All donations should be sent to Key Lime Sailing Club in Key Largo, FL (see below), NOT to SSECN. For more on the Federal Court challenge, go to http://cruisersnet.net/?p=129877.
If you would like to donate $100 or more to this legal fight and get full credit of $100 toward a Vacation in the Tropical Florida Keys, that includes a cottage and a 22′ sailboat send a check to Key Lime Sailing Club & Cottages 101425 Overseas HWY #922 Key Largo Florida 33037 and in the memo put Anchoring Rights Fight. I will forward the funds raised and credit each Person back $100 to a future stay at Key Lime Sailing club & Cottages. Note: Credit is Limited to $100 but Please send more if you can. Lets keep our waters Free for us to “Roam about”.
We picked up the message below from the American Great Loop Cruisers’ Association Forum (AGLCA, http://www.greatloop.org/). It is authored by one of the dockmasters at Hawk’s Cay Marina (off Hawk Channel between east and north of Marathon).
Not only does this article contain a very nice fall, 2013 dockage offer at this absolutely first-rate facility, but it also confirms that the fall months, BEFORE the arrival of the “snowbirds,” is a very good time for cruising the Florida Keys!
Now that the frenzy of Lobster Season Opening has passed, it’s your chance to enjoy the time of year when you feel like you have the beautiful Florida Keys waters a bit to yourself. We want to share our quieter season with you, so we are offering extra savings on our already value oriented fall rates. Book your Main Marina dates for a stay between August 15 and December 23, 2013 and receive 20% off our published Daily, Weekly or Monthly rates. To qualify, you must confirm with a deposit by August 31st. Ask for the Fabulous Fall Special. Enjoy our tropical destination resort marina and the beautiful Keys waters during this special time and save money at the same time.
Several years ago, because of severe shoaling in the entrance channel to Little Crawl Key anchorage, Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net removed this body of water from our directory of Florida Keys anchorages. With this good report from veteran cruiser, Chuck Baier, we probably need to relist the location.
We just spent a couple of great days anchored at Little Crawl Key, just east of Marathon. What a pleasant and peaceful anchorage, and we enjoyed the use of Curry Hammock State Park. We had no problems getting in. The channel is well marked. There could be issues with extreme low tides for a vessel with over 4 foot draft, but at high tide even 6 feet can get in. We recommend it best for 5 feet or less. The channel markers have been relocated at some point and are not in the charted position.
North and east of Marathon, and Vaca Cut, a marked and charted channel leads north from Hawks Channel to several facilities at Key Colony Beach and Coco Plum Beach. Follow the “Chart View” Link below to learn more.
Anyway, after entering this cut, Bonefish Marina C. A. (the “C. A.” stands for “Condo Association”) will be spotted just north-northwest of Key Colony Beach channel’s unlighted daybeacon #2, along the easterly banks. As its name implies, this is a condo marina, BUT they will accept visitors when wet slip space is available. Follow the link below to this facility’s listing in the SSECN’s “Florida Keys Marina Directory,” and telephone them to make advance dockage arrangements.
Another suggestion, although it is out of town, Bonefish Marina on Coco Plum is a condo marina that often has slips for rent by the owners when everyone else is full for the season.
Hawks Cay Marina can ONLY be entered from the Hawk Channel side. A low level bridge and shallow water block any entrance by cruising size craft from the Florida Keys Inside Route.
Stayed Memorial Day weekend 2011. VERY pricy, and think the resort fee is ridiculous – after all, pools should be included. They’ve spent millions upgrading the resort, and not 5 cents that we could see on the docks. Falling apart – a woman fell into the water when the rotten 4×4 piling snapped when she leaned on it! All wooden structures around the marina appear warped. That said, the marina staff (Beverly et al) are friendly and very helpful. No plans to return.
Hawks Cay is undoubtedly one of the most prestigious marinas in all of the Florida Keys. You certainly won’t leave here dissatisfied with the service of the amenities, but your wallet may be a bit lighter.
Note that this marina can ONLY be entered from the Hawk Channel side of Duck Key.
Anyone traveling to the Keys ,now or in the future, should consider a stop on Duck Key at Hawks Cay Marina . It is just fantastic. It’s worth the splurge on the slip fee.
The dockmaster, Beverly, is very helpful, along with everyone at the resort. As part of the slip fee, you will have access to all of the resort amenities. They have done an excellent job of catering to both adults and children without compromising one for the other. We can’t say enough about our 3 day stay last month. We are already making reservations for our return trip in February. (We are currently 13 miles away at Sombrero Marina and Dockside Grille in Marathon, 1/2 the price of Hawks Cay with less than 1/100 of the amenities.)
According to the USCG out of Marathon, the vertical clearance in Moser Channel of the Seven Mile Bridge is 65 feet.
Is the 7 mile bridge clearance 63′ 0r 65″ as my chart shows? Please verify & thank you. Our Lord’s Blessings & Fair Winds
Ed & Bonnie aboard Almost Heaven
Hawks Cay Resort Marina has always struck me as one of the most “swanky” pleasure craft facilities in the Florida Keys. After reading Captain Whitten’s message below, looks like their prices reflect this point of view.
Note that only very small powercraft can reach Hawks Cay from the inside/ICW/Florida Bay route. Coming from this side, you must pass under a very low, fixed bridge. Virtually all cruising size craft will need to enter here from Hawk Channel
We entered and left in strong southeasterlies – 15-20 kts – at high water with no problems. The small bay the marina is in, following the channel counter clockwise to the north side, is quite protected. The shoal in the middle of the bay is unmarked but obvious. The marina office is in an unusually well stocked tuck shop – at tuck shop prices – with offerings stopping short of encouraging you to cook and eat on the boat at the expense of the 5 restaurants on the resort’s grounds.
The negatives – the price was $3.50/ft, not $3 as stated here. In addition, a $20/day ‘resort fee’ was levied for use of resort facilities that included nothing more than what a top of the range marina offers, mainly a swimming pool. Also, applicable to our 27-footer, the minimum length charge was 30 feet. I contested the two extras as they were not identified when I rang and inquired of the fee. On this basis, and because we used no resort facilities, they waived the resort fee for the two days of our stay but would not budge on the minimum length charge.
I argued they were charging top dockage fees and offering nothing more than what other top end marinas provide and charging a fee for the extras one expects when paying this rate.
The resort was quite busy in April with many tourists engaging in boat tours and fishing charters so the marina was not a quiet one, albeit reasonably pleasant. The four toilet/showers were small and shared with the general public, making them quite busy.
We were the only sailboat in the marina, making us somewhat of an oddity. There were many empty slips. The charter fishing office staff inside the tuck shop were quite helpful, providing us with current wind reports to help us pick our time for departing.
Conclusion – the stay was pleasant but the marina was overpriced – even by Keys standards.
On another note, the resort keeps two dolphins in a very small pen. They are used for a ‘swimming with dolphins’ experience. For anyone who has seen The Cove”, this year’s Academy Award winning documentary depicting how the trainer of dolphins for the Flipper TV series had a complete change of heart about keeping dolphins in captivity, it was shocking that this practice is still being carried on. The urge to want to fish out the boat’s shroud cutters and cut the wire keeping them from entering the channel and leaving with us as we motored by was strong.
Fair winds and following seas,
s/y Discovery II (4’ 6” draft)
We just left Hawks Cay marina a couple of days ago. We thought it was terrific. The staff was as helpful as they could be and the resort makes all their facilities available to guests at the marina (although they did charge a resort fee).
The marina is very well protected even with the high winds and seas that we saw last week.
We will be back to stay again.
Wow, here’s some worthwhile news and no mistake. The so-called, Little Crawl Key Anchorage, has never been the easiest to enter, but based on Captain Dave’s report below, it’s now not even worth considering as an anchorage. I’m removing it from the Net’s “Florida Keys Anchorage Directory,” and everyone else should just cross it off their list as well.
Subject: Little Crawl Key Anchorage
Cruising News: Earlier this week, we were enroute from Key West to Miami via Hawk Channel and decided to anchor for the night in the ancorage at Little Crawl Key.
The first hint that things were not going to go well was that the markers that we saw out the windshield were not even close to the way they were shown on the chart plotter. We found the entrance markers and proceeded inbound, very slowly. Our boat draws 44 inches and in the middle of the channel, right between the number 1 and 2 markers we touched bottom. It was too narrow to quit so we continued down the winding channel.
As we approached the entrance to the lagoon we could see that it was shoaled almost completely across the entrance channel. To top things off there was a fellow standing in the middle of the channel in water up to his knees.
With great dificulty, we managed to turn around and get out of that place. I strongly recommend that no one in anything other than a kayack try and get into this place.
On 12/4/08, as part of a “Florida Keys Wish List,” I posed the following question:
Who has visited sumptuous Hawks Cay Marina recently (on Duck Key). This facility can only be accessed from the Hawk Channel side. What did you find here? Did you try out any of the on-site restaurants? Did you leave with your wallet considerably lightened?
We have visited Hawks Cay Marina. It is first class. Yes, our wallets were considerably lightened when we left.