More and more cruisers are choosing to spend their time in delightful Key West, Florida, by tethering their vessel to one of the mooring balls east of Fleming Key. This field is managed by the Key West City Marine in Garrison Bight (one of two Key West city marinas, the other being located in Key West Bight).
Through a rookie’s eyes: We arrived at the mooring field on Feb 19, in beautiful weather and light winds. I had called ahead to get instructions (rookie-remember?) and was told how to pick up a mooring. It was not how it was described; we have an 8 ft high bow and the only way to attach a line is by hand at water level (you cannot lift these mooring balls out of the water). A very helpful boater came with his dinghy, looped the lines through and handed them back up. If we come again, (and we plan to) we will have to grab a buoy at midships by lying on deck at the hatch, get a line through it, and walk it back to the bow, and use the dinghy to get the second line on. All this after being told we could pull it aboard at an 8 ft high bow! In defense of the staff, it was the only mistake we encountered; they were wonderful otherwise. One other note for first time visitors: Finding the office is a bit of a trick: Enter [Garrison] bight in your dinghy; The first docks you see will be filled with houseboats. The dinghy dock and amenities for the mooring field are on the west side of the bight, past these houseboats and the channel to the inner part of the bight (under a bridge) But to check in, go under the bridge, turn left and go all the way to the boat ramp. Tie up and find the office in a long gray trailer in the parking lot. We had to stop and ask directions twice.