Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 10-19-2011
Many, many thanks to professional nautical writer, Captain Jessica Geffen, for allowing the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net to publish her in-depth account of Dinner Key Marina, their adjacent mooring field, and the nearby Coconut Grove community, as well as the included photos. This article offers GREAT information to all cruisers who coil their lines at this popular port of call!
Miami, Coconut Grove, Dinner Key Marina
The highly sought after Dinner Key Marina, in the cozy little village of Coconut Grove now has 225 moorings located on Biscayne Bay, giving boaters more options in Miami. Dinner Key Marina’s location has roots in the Pan-American Airline industry. The mooring field has many benefits to cruisers either passing through to ports further south or as a storage option.
While slip rates are up to $33 per foot, a mooring ball costs just $295 per month. Dinner Key Mooring Field offers transient or short-term rates. Amenities include dinghy dockage, showers; closed for cleaning twice daily, laundry, a detergent -dispenser, a snack machine, soda machine and an ice machine. A few shelves in the office denote a book exchange. Other services include; package handling, pump out service, and a shuttle boat.
When choosing a port to wait for weather, parts, or labor we look for a few key items. Access to Internet is always high on the list, marine and hardware stores and access to good grocery stores as well as safety in the harbor. Transportation can be an issue for cruisers that lack a vehicle or even a bicycle but Miami’s super convenient public transit has endless possibilities for those wishing to provision or sightsee.
The marina is conveniently located close to Highway US 1, the main road that runs North and South. The Grove Circulator, a bus that runs every 15 minutes stops within walking distance to the marina and costs just 25 cents. Stopping several times until arriving at the Coconut Grove Metro-Rail Station where a high-speed train runs from South Miami – for $2 per ride. Another option is the Tri-Rail that runs from North Miami to West Palm Beach round trip for under $10. With about 20 different stops along the way one can find just about anything.
Coconut grove is the home to Coco-Walk centrally located in the business district, street shops geared with tourists in mind. A bevy of eateries and art galleries are nestled in among the Post Office and Bookstore. The Bookstore in the Grove, a local’s spot, located on the corner of Virginia and Grand, is a very cozy place to get a cup of coffee while checking emails. Supplies for boat projects can be purchased between Shell Lumber, West Marine, Home Depot and Crook & Crook Marine all within walking distance.
Refilling Propane can be a daunting project. It is illegal to transport a propane tank by public transportation. Our daughter’s passport needed renewing before we left, the Passport office is easily accessible. This time we rode our bikes a total of (3 miles) and hours of operation were convenient. The Public library is located at the south end of Bayshore Dr and will allow guests Internet access.
Monday – Nachos free with purchase of pitcher
Tuesday -Tumbleweed fried onion free with purchase of pitcher
Wednesday – 10 wings free w/ purchase of pitcher
M-T lunch deals under $8
Wi-Fi & Happy Hour at the bar only
***Las Culebrinas (The Snakes)
$1 tapas, buy 1 get 1 happy hour
*Burger King Dollar Menu & 2 for $3.33 daily deals
Check the back of your receipt for a coupon
**Sandbar Friday night Trivia night up to 7 players
Trivia begins at 7 with an extended happy hour until 9pm if you play
Happy hour from 4-7 Daily
***The Knife – Argentinian Buffet Style Steakhouse
**Pizza at NY Roma Style pizza sidewalk café
Coco-Walk offers several eateries including CocoWok, Chili’s, and Cheesecake Factory.
The businesses are more and more becoming aware of the presence of the local boating community are very welcoming. With this many options it’s no wonder more and more people are calling Coconut Grove home!
Dinner Key is great in many ways. It is a beautiful location but its flaw is the bathrooms. All those 275 mooring cans plus the many dock slips all use the same small bathrooms that are outdated and minimal in number. Time for the City of Coconut Grove to give back to boaters and renovate the facilities. A comfy lounge for boaters would be welcome too.
The DKM mooring field is limited to 42′ and exposed to wins and chop
Sailing enthusiasts should visit the Barnacle, a state park just 1/2 mile away from DKM. it was the home Ralph Munroe, of one of the early settlers (late 1800) on Biscayne bay. Originally from Staten island he designed and built a number of boats, incl the recently revived Presto sharpie
Capt Nat herreshoff spent a few winters there late in his life, always bringing a boat from Bristol RI to enjoy the bay, still great sailing ground.
And, a question from a fellow cruiser, inspired by the article above. If anyone has an answer, PLEASE send your info along to CruisersNet@triad.rr.com. Thanks in advance!
Can we anchor off Hobie Beach for an extended period of time? If not where would there be a safe anchorage in the area not a mooring field.
And, a warning from Captain McMurtry:
I hope the locals will not turn it into a “liveaboard” community and destroy it for transient visitors. good to see a positive result. Hope it stays that way.