One Unhappy Review And Many Postive Comments Concerning the Dinner Key Mooring Field (near St. M. 1094.5)
Posted by Claiborne | Posted on 05-15-2010
Even though the inspiration for Captain Sherman’s message below was in response to an earlier posting here on the Net concerning Dinner Key Marina, I’ve posted this note separately, as it pertains more to the adjacent mooring field than to the marina.
Clearly, the mooring field is a facility that some cruisers love, and some cruisers loathe. We have had comments both ways here on the Cruisers’ Net. Read what Captain Sherman has to say, follow the links below, and make up your own mind!
Opinions appear to vary widely on the Dinner Key Marina. We stayed three nights on a mooring in the new mooring field. We will NEVER do that again and suggest others pass this mooring field by!!! In moderate winds from the east or south (10 knots) it was a wet and close to dangerous dinghy ride to the totally inadequate dinghy dock!! There is a shuttle boat that they want you to use but two friends who are in the mooring field warned us that their boats had been hit and damaged by the shuttle boat so there was no way we were going to expose Enchantress to that!!!
We were assigned a mooring ball by the shuttle boat and then they wanted to change it when we went in to check in. They sent us to a slip on a fixed dock in our dinghy to fill some Jerry jugs with water but didn’t tell us to bring a hose, so no water! The dinghy dock which doesn’t have anyway near enough space anyway had a sign saying half of it was closed as apparently the are going to tow it out of the semi-secure marina and put it at the public boat ramp in the adjacent park where there is no security at all!!
The shower/restroom facilities are tolerable (barely), although the big roach did have me checking my shower bag carefully before taking it back to the boat! They close the restrooms for an hour during peak morning and afternoon times for cleaning although what is done during that time was not readily apparent.
This is a marina that may understand the needs of boaters who stay in slips but they have no concept of what cruising boats or boats that use moorings or who anchor need. We need easy access to water to fill Jerry jugs in the dinghy and adequate dinghy access.
Although we anchor almost exclusively when on the move, we like mooring fields (we spend our winters on a mooring in Boot Key Harbor) but not this one. It is poorly managed and not worth paying for. Protection is horrible, may as well anchor in the middle of Biscayne Bay or out in the Atlantic! Provisioning is not convenient, Publix Supermarket requires a bus and trai ride. The only grocery store is a gormet Fresh Foods with poor selection and high prices.
We have anchored or moored in more than 100 harbors and would return to most but NOT this one!! Did I mention the murder that occured in the anchorage adjacent yo the moorings just before we arrived?
And, here are several very different point of view:
Clearly many folks have many opinions, but I was shocked by Mr. Sherman’s review of the Dinner Key Mooring Field. I just spent a night there and I agree it is an exposed area. But almost 10 years ago I lived in the anchorage where the moorings are now, and let me tell you it felt good to be on a ball.
I can’t help to feel a bit sorry for Mr. Sherman who obviously had a bad stay. Perhaps his experience should serve as a wakeup call to himself and others; that life at sea is subject to many things (we don’t always get what we want). Perhaps those who find they have experiences like this where they don’t get what they want when they want it should look into life in an R/V or retirement village, because if you are getting everything you want when you want it on a boat your probably some middle eastern sheik with deep pockets or worse on a cruise ship.
So I am clear, the weather was rough the dingy ride was wet, the dingy dock was small, the supermarket was to much money not enough selection, the supermarket was too far yadadayada.. , Were you really expecting the Ritz? Because if you were, just across the street from Dinner Key is the Ritz, but I wonder if you would just find it failing your expectations. Maybe the city of Miami should have planned the city around the mooring field?
I had an excellent time at Dinner Key, and hope one day to return soon.
I had a wonderful experience at the new Dinner Key Mooring Field. When I dinked in to get some water I brought my own 2ft hose (because I like to be prepared) and had no problem.
As far as the dinghy dock goes, yes it’s a first come first serve deal but that’s the wat it is everywhere. Maybe Mr. Sherman didn’t realize that Miami, like all major metropolitan cities, have certain amounts of danger. I felt safe in the managed moring field. I wouldn’t have felt safe if I just dropped the hook.
I thought the staff and management were professional and the facility up to par. I will stay at the Dinner Key Mooring Field again!
Perhaps if Captain Sherman would have spent a few days on a Rickenbacker Marina Mooring he would have appreciated the Dinner Key moorings a bit more.
I had my boat at Rickenbacker marina for about two years where the dingy dock was a mud bank under mangroves trees. So either you got your dingy full of mud and dirt when you got in it or the tree leaves would fall into the dingy and foul it all up in no time.
And not only are the moorings there exposed to all but east winds, they right next to a power boat and jet ski freeway. weekdays were bearable if the winds were calm but weekends were like being in a washing machine. And the bathrooms were in terribly shoddy condition. I would take dinner key bathrooms any day after that.
I only wish that the dinner key mooring field existed at that time, I would have taken on in a heartbeat.
It seems to me that Captain Sherman has some axe to grind as any sailor with experience can tell from which direction he is going to be exposed prior to taking up an anchorage, and as if the city had any control of how mother nature created the bay and how much wind and from where it was going to blow when he pulled into town.
As the other post said, we have to take cruising with a grain of salt. and sometimes a geat big one…… but that is what makes it an adventure and what makes it worth doing at all.
P.S. I forgot the mention, I have very fond memories of my days at Rickenbacker Marina.
Captains Jule and John have a GOOD idea below, AND Coconut Grove Sailing Club is a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!
An alternative to the Dinner Key mooring field is the Coconut Grove Sailing Club mooring field. CCSC is just to the south of Dinner Key, and its moorings are completely sheltered by mangrove islands. While CCSC is a private club, they do have several moorings for transient, non-member cruisers. They have shower/restroom facilities and a water taxi that runs 24 hours a day. We spent 5 very windy days there ( winds up to 35 knots) in comfort and felt very welcomed by the staff and members.
Julie and John Stocksdale
Just want to say that the folks at Dinner Key seem to really try to make your experience a good one. We had a wonderful experience with them. When we couldn’t return as planned due to a medical emergency, the guys checked our lines and even went aboard found my husband’s passport and sent it to him so he could travel for some work out of the country.
Yep, the moorings are exposed and the shuttle may ding your boat on occasion, but I think they’re really trying and doing a great job. Thanks James and Daniel and all the crew!
on S/V SEEKER