Posted by Claiborne | Posted on 04-29-2010
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.