Snake Creek is the northernmost (and easternmost) channel in the Florida Keys that provides reasonably reliable access from the Florida Keys Inside (Florida Bay) Route to Hawk Channel, or the other way around. Several earlier articles here on the Cruisers’ Net, as well as my own soundings, indicate that MLW soundings on the extreme Hawk Channel end of the Snake Creek channel, have risen to 5-foot levels.
Snake Creek, is one of only three passages (the other two being Channel Five and Moser Channel) between Miami and Big Pine Key that cruisers can (reliably) use to cruise between the inside and outside Florida Keys routes.
So, timely operation of the bascule bridge crossing Snake Creek is an important consideration for cruisers. Below, Captain Dennis found the bridge tender a bit balky, and he also comments on some nearby powerlines.
I just went through Snake Creek bridge yesterday in a Hunter 285. They publish that they open on demand other then restricted hours. They have change the restricted hours a couple times in the recent past so I won’t quote those hours now, but during the restricted hours they still open on the hour and on the half hour when requested. After just missing the 10:00 am opening, when we could not get a response on the VHF radio from the bridge attendant, we whistled for passing at 1030 at 11 and again at 1130 before we finally got an opening. The bridge attendant’s phone number is 305-664-3632. the mast on our hunter is 44 and a half feet above the water. I estimate that we cleared the power lines by 6-10′ so your 70′ stick is way too high. I tried to call just to see for cities reference, but all I got was a recording.
Capt Dennis with Sailshare
We went through the snake creek channel twice in a leopard 46 with a 70′ mast without incident. The lower wires are telephone and data cables. This was done in Feb 2011.
We have taken a 50′ Prout 3 1/2′ draft with 70′ bridge clearance under the Snake creek bridge wires at low tide. The bridge tenders said we were pretty close to the lowest wires, maybe within a foot or two.
Captain Harold Ochstein
January 14, 2014
We took 42ft cat through Snake Creek 12/30/13 – Took it on rising tide with no issues, except – bridge tender would not respond. After waiting 15min and requesting response again, then waiting another 15min requesting response, another captain came on and said he was waiting also and that bridge would open at 4. It did open at 4pm, however no response what so ever from bridge tender. I asked some of the locals at fuel dock, and they indicated this was pretty common complaint.
Brenda & George Lindberg
Don’t know why they have not replaced that bridge yet. I lived in the Keys in the 80′s and 90′s and that bridge was stuck in the up position more than twice that I can remember. Great for the boaters, but once it was stuck for over 24 hours. Hundreds of people south were stuck, missed flights and also the nearest hospital was in Marathon. Monroe County needs to hire more friendly people as bridge tenders.