The “Johnson Keys Northern Anchorage” is one of many spots to drop the hook off Big Spanish Channel. The so-called “Back Route” from Marathon to Key West, uses this passage to lead from the southerly waters near Bahia Honda Keys, past Pine Island, and finally into the open waters of the Gulf. From this point, cruisers headed for Key West turn (what else) west and skip along the northern face of the undeveloped Keys, staying well off the land, except for another host of good anchorage possibilities.
We like this spot, stayed here in Dec and now in March. Good protection from N to E winds. Very quiet, no boat or road traffic. No crab pots either.