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    • 54. Shell Key Anchorage and Mooring Field

      54. Shell Key Anchorage and Mooring Field
      Statute Mile:1161
      Lat/Lon: near 24 55.548 North/080 40.264 West
      Location: the state of Florida maintains a series of 5 five mooring buoys off the Shell Key’s northwesterly shoreline
      Minimum depth: 6-feet
      Swing Room: unlimited
      Foul Weather Shelter: good, but open to northern and northwestern winds

      Rating:

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      Comments from Cruisers (2)

      1. Victor -  February 16, 2013 - 3:39 pm

        Steamboat Channel and Shell Key
        From Plantation Key we headed towards Steamboat Channel. Prior to the Steamboat Channel, there was some sailor angst about shallow water at low tide even on the ICW Magenta line, but we never touched bottom. Steamboat Channel had adequate depth and we went through without any problems. Spent overnight on the northwest side of Shell Key. Good holding with a Delta plow anchor. There was only one mooring ball visualized and of course taken by late afternoon.

        Reply to Victor
      2. John Byrne -  July 17, 2012 - 6:43 am

        We had good holding here in 5-15 knots from ESE through SW. Nice quiet anchorage that was almost bug-free too.

        Reply to John
    • 55. Lignumvitae Key Mooring Field

      55. Lignumvitae Key Mooring Field
      Statute Mile:1162.5
      Lat/Lon: near 24 54.410 North/080 42.246 West
      Location: state of Florida maintained mooring field lies off the the northwestern side of Lignumvitae Key
      Minimum depth: 6- to 7-foot depths
      Swing Room: unlimited
      Foul Weather Shelter: fair to poor, sheltered ONLY from southeastern, southern and eastern winds

      Rating:

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      Comments from Cruisers (7)

      1. Victor -  February 16, 2013 - 3:41 pm

        We spent a night on the western side of Lignumvitae Key due to east winds of 18-20 knots. We were well protected in the lee of this island with good holding in sand with our Delta plow anchor. There was again, only one mooring ball at the northern tip of the key and since it was very exposed to the east wind we decided not to use it.
        Victor

        Reply to Victor
      2. Claiborne -  March 25, 2011 - 2:02 pm

        Spent one night there on March 13. [2011] I found only 1 mooring ball.
        Erwan

        Reply to Claiborne
      3. Claiborne -  February 12, 2011 - 9:48 am

        We dropped the anchor on 11/28/2010 at 2:30am and we really enjoyed the place in the morning when sun came up!! It’s peaceful and beautiful. The wind was East.
        Erwan

        Reply to Claiborne
      4. Jean Thomason (DOVEKIE) -  March 19, 2010 - 4:53 pm

        Lignumvitae House and Tour continue to be only on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. One can visit and walk around the house area only on Mondays and Thursdays. The outside of the dock is available to tie up but watch the depth – I think it was under five feet. We tied to a mooring ball on 3-11-2010 – there are only two left.

        Reply to Jean
      5. Claiborne -  August 17, 2009 - 10:24 am

        Lingumvitae Mooring. Weʼve stopped here twice. With a south wind it was peaceful, with a north east it was very bouncy. A few moorings are sheltered around the south west side but theyʼve always been taken.
        Bob and Toni Dorman

        Reply to Claiborne
      6. Claiborne -  August 14, 2009 - 9:59 am

        Cruising News: Question 31 We stayed 2 nights on the state mooring off Lignumvitae Key (2/1 – 2/2/09). There were 4 moorings available. Took the dinghy to Robbie\’s Marina to feed the tarpons. We came through Channel 5 with no problem, but weren\’t as lucky when we went through Bowlegs…very shallow water. We left on high tide 2 days later and had no problem.
        RL & Karen
        s/v Last Call
        45′ Island Trader 5 1/2′ draft

        Reply to Claiborne
      7. Claiborne -  August 13, 2009 - 3:09 pm

        Subject: Lignumvitae Key
        Cruising News: Today we enjoyed an interesting and informative tour at Lignumvitae Key and would like to update you on the current status of this park. Tours have been cut back from 5 to 3 days a week – now only Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 10am and 2pm. We were told this is due to current economic conditions, that many of the Florida state parks are being cut back or closed, and to contact our legislators to help keep our parks open. We also noted only 3 moorings where there used to be 5 (there is also plenty of room to anchor). This is a great stop for anyone cruising through the Keys. We came up from Marathon on the bay side and never saw less than 6 feet.
        Pam and Frank
        aboard s/v Blackfoot

        Reply to Claiborne
    • 56. Matecumbe Bight Anchorage

      56. Matecumbe Bight Anchorage
      Statute Mile:1166
      Lat/Lon: near 24 52.255 North/080 42.856 West
      Location: on the large bubble of deep water known as Matecumbe Bight, south-southeast of the ICW’s unlighted daybeacon #97
      Minimum depth: 6 ½ feet
      Swing Room: unlimited
      Foul Weather Shelter: fair, but wide open to northern, northwestern and western winds

      Rating:

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      Comments from Cruisers (4)

      1. Mary Dixon -  May 5, 2012 - 10:36 am

        Matecumbe Bight. Anchored here May 5, 2012. Things were good until shortly before dark. Fishing boats started buzzing us. One came so close to our bow that I thought he was going to hit us. One boat stopped by and told us we were in the fishing boats “runway.” So, even though it was dark, we pulled up anchor and moved farther NE behind the mangroves. There apparently is a creek that you can see on the chart, but not the naked eye, the fishing boats use.

        Reply to Mary
      2. Claiborne -  February 23, 2011 - 11:19 am

        Nice spot….good for anything but strong north winds. You might even have it to yourself.
        Dan

        Reply to Claiborne
      3. ron -  May 26, 2010 - 1:15 pm

        This is one of our favorite Keys anchorages. For some reason, the water is always clear, even on the turn of the tides, and the holding is superb. We frequently check our bottom here with the excellent visibility and is a nice place to take a dip. We have rarely seen other boats here. Even if the wind switched from the West, we wouldn’t worry as the most you’d get is a bumpy 2-3 foot chop. There is nothing available here to the cruiser.

        Reply to ron
      4. Hank Haeseker -  July 17, 2009 - 8:20 pm

        June 2009, found good holding and depths as shown on chart.

        Reply to Hank
    • 57. Matecumbe Harbor Anchorage

      57. Matecumbe Harbor Anchorage
      Statute Mile:1168
      Lat/Lon: near 24 51.057 North/080 44.520 West
      Location: marked entryway into Matecumbe Harbor lies well south-southwest of the ICW’s flashing daybeacon #98 and unlighted daybeacon #97
      Minimum depth: 5-feet
      Special Comment: this is a powercraft ONLY anchorage, due to the nearby presence of low-level, high tension power lines
      Swing Room: sufficient room for a 39 foot vessel
      Foul Weather Shelter: very good, in all but unusually strong northern winds

      Rating:    (powercraft ONLY!)

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    • 58. Long Key Bight Anchorage

      58. Long Key Bight Anchorage
      Statute Mile:1169
      Lat/Lon: 24 49.697 North/080 47.962 West
      Location: on the central waters of Long Key Bight, which lies west of Channel Five’s flashing daybeacon #2
      Minimum depth: 4 to 4 ½ feet
      Swing Room: unlimited
      Foul Weather Shelter: fair

      Rating:

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    • 59. Rock Harbor Anchorage

      59. Rock Harbor Anchorage
      Lat/Lon: near 25 04.048 North/080 27.454 West.
      Location: found on the waters of “Rock Hbr,” southeast of Port Largo Canal and Lake Largo
      Minimum depth: 5-feet
      Swing Room: unlimited
      Foul Weather Shelter: fair, but wide open to southern, eastern and southeastern winds

      Rating:

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    • 60. Rodriguez Key Anchorage

      60. Rodriguez Key Anchorage
      Lat/Lon: near 25 03.373 North/080 27.285 West
      Location: lies to the north of Rodriguez Key, northwest of Hawk Channel’s unlighted daybeacon #37
      Minimum depth: 6 feet in the anchorage, but it’s easy to wander into only 2 to 4 feet of water
      Swing Room: unlimited
      Foul Weather Shelter: poor – fair weather ONLY anchorage

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      Comments from Cruisers (5)

      1. Robert Forrester -  April 17, 2021 - 11:04 pm

        New BRIS 11' Inflatable Dinghy (grey, w/oars, aluminum floor) floated away 3/25-3/26 from anchored 38' Beneteau sloop 'Winds or Knot' (white w/blue sail-cover and blue bimini), at Rodriguez Key, FL.
        REWARD for Return. 620-767-2736

        Reply to Robert
      2. a pozun -  August 18, 2015 - 12:45 pm

        i have anchored at rodriguexz at least ten times in my trips to from keys and molllasses reef. \best holding anchorage is in back on nw side but any side in a blow can be done. Hawk side in nw ti n winds// west bay side in all s windss. Its an easy run tgo Marathon or dinner key its minutes from fuel in key largo great spot R Tony Pozun c400 catalina Mystical Paradise 6 ft draft

        Reply to a
      3. s/v ZIG-ZAG -  August 2, 2012 - 10:01 pm

        what an informative post -. thank you
        s/v ZIG-ZAG

        Reply to s/v
      4. Claiborne -  December 27, 2010 - 3:48 pm

        Sometimes you don’t want to stop and savor the swells of Hawk Channel and just want to get to Marathon — especially if your vessel draws 5 feet or more. With Pennekamp State Park now off limits to boats drawing more than 4 1/2 feet, according to the ranger who answered the phone the two times we have asked, that leaves safe harbors few and far between for many cruising boats.
        Rodriguez Key anchorage took good care of us during a small craft advisory one December night. Yes, we rocked enthusiastically when the front came in but we didn’t drag. We chose a spot in the charted anchorage on the island’s north side, close enough to be in her lee. Another vessel was quite a distance north of the island. She was there in the morning in apparently the same position as at sunset.
        We experienced excellent holding in 8 1/2 feet of water– winds were gusting at 20. North swells made it not my favorite experience but tolerable. I’ve experienced far less comfortable southern swells at Indian Key and similar conditions at Pumpkin Key. We set two anchors, a Fortress and a plow.
        It might have been more comfortable on the south side of the island, where another sailboat anchored that night, but I’m not sure as the swells in Hawk Channel are difficult to hide from. The NOAA predictions had been so wrong that day, it was difficult to know which side to choose.
        We met some experienced skippers who use this anchorage every crossing. It certainly makes possible a two-day trip between Dinner Key and Marathon which can be useful in a period of frequent cold fronts when three-day weather windows can be hard to find.
        In short, Rodriguez Key is a swell anchorage (pun intended) with excellent holding. The charted shoal on the eastern point appears to be marked by small floats. In a blow, set two anchors and bring plenty of ginger snaps.
        Captain Jane
        S/V Lady Jane

        Reply to Claiborne
      5. Claiborne -  August 17, 2009 - 11:16 am

        Anchored there in 2004 prior to jumping off to the Bahamas (South Riding Rock). Stayed there a couple days waiting for 22 to 25 kt ESE winds to settle. They never did so we bit the bullet and went anyway. My memory has faded but to my recollection the north side anchorage was surprisingly calm, even to these winds, when staying over to the west side of the anchorage area. Anchored there on the return trip too, but there were only zephyrs then.
        Bob Hanners

        I’ve anchored on both sides of Rodriguez Key. It’s a very convenient jumping off place to cross to the Bahamas. Anchoring was good but you are very exposed if the wind clocks around on you. We also found it hard to find sandy patches to anchor legally. You can get fined if you anchor in sea grass. The good part, is that the water around the island is as clear as Bahamas water. Great for scouting the bottom.
        Dick Mills
        SV Tarwathie

        Hi:
        Anchored on N side of Rodriguez in a max 10 kt breeze from the the NW and was happy with it. Departing on December 5 AM into Hawk Channel, saw two boats anchored on the S side. (Beneteau 343/drawing 4’9″)
        Appreciate your online info.
        Tom
        SV Move
        Boot Key Harbor

        Reply to Claiborne
    • 61. Snake Creek Anchorage

      61. Snake Creek Anchorage
      Lat/Lon: near 24 57.684 North/080 35.721 West
      Location: on the northwesterly arm of the Y-shaped split in Snake Creek south of unlighted daybeacon #10
      Minimum depth: 6-feet
      Swing Room: sufficient room for vessels as large as 36 feet
      Foul Weather Shelter: very good

      Rating:

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    • 62. Long Key Bight Anchorage

      62. Long Key Bight Anchorage
      Lat/Lon: 24 49.697 North/080 47.962 West
      Location: on the central waters of Long Key Bight, which lies west of Channel Five’s flashing daybeacon #2
      Minimum depth: 4 to 4 ½ feet
      Swing Room: unlimited
      Foul Weather Shelter: fair

      Rating:

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      Comments from Cruisers (1)

      1. LS -  February 3, 2019 - 9:34 am

        Sheltered here from strong northerly winds (20s kts. sustained, gusts into 30s). Found poor holding with very sticky clay/mud. The mud glued together a debris ball that fouled my anchor forcing me to clean and reset at the height of the blow. Long key is an uncomfortably close lee shore in strong N – NE winds.

        Reply to LS
    • 63. Jewfish Bush Banks Anchorage

      63. Jewfish Bush Banks Anchorage
      Statute Mile:1169.5
      Lat/Lon: near 24 50.918 North/080 46.952 West
      Location: west of the correctly charted 1-foot shelf of shallows associated with Jewfish Bush Banks, west and north of the Channel Five Bridge
      Minimum depth: 7-feet
      Swing Room: unlimited
      Foul Weather Shelter: fair, but wide open to the northern, northeastern and northwestern winds

      Rating:

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      Comments from Cruisers (1)

      1. ron -  May 25, 2010 - 11:15 am

        The “desired” anchorage according to the guides is Jewfish Hole. Heavy grass/weed bottom. Only a heavy plow has a chance to dig in. Danforth type anchors just skid along the bottom for a good chunk of “salad fixins.” I would not anchor here in any sort of blow as your holding will always be tentative. The only positive is that there is a campground there with ice, fuel and a quik mart.

        Reply to ron
    • 64. Grassy Key Bank Anchorage

      64. Grassy Key Bank Anchorage
      Statute Mile:1181
      Lat/Lon: near 24 46.483 North/080 56.506 West
      Location: east of Grassy Key Bank, and off the shores of Grassy Key to the south
      Minimum depth: 6 ½ feet
      Swing Room: unlimited
      Foul Weather Shelter: fair, but wide open to northern, northeastern and northwestern winds

      Rating:

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    • 65. Grassy Key Anchorage

      65. Grassy Key Anchorage
      Statute Mile:1183.5
      Lat/Lon: near 24 45.832 North/080 57.913 West
      Location: on the waters northeast of the “Obstn” notation, off the northwesterly shores of Grassy Key
      Minimum depth: 6-feet
      Swing Room: unlimited
      Foul Weather Shelter: fair, but wide open to northern, northeastern and northwestern winds

      Rating:

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    • 66. Long Point Key Anchorage

      66. Long Point Key Anchorage
      Statute Mile:1185
      Lat/Lon: near 24 45.182 North/080 59.481 West
      Location: lies northwest of Long Point Key and southwest of charted Burnt Point
      Minimum depth: 5-feet
      Swing Room: unlimited
      Foul Weather Protection: Good, but open to northern and northwestern winds

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    • 67. Bamboo Key Anchorage

      67. Bamboo Key Anchorage
      Statute Mile:1185.5
      Lat/Lon: near 24 45.335 North/081 00.412 West
      Location: off the northwestern shores of Bamboo Key, which is found north of Fat Deer Key
      Minimum depth: 5-feet
      Swing Room: unlimited
      Foul Weather Protection: poor, sheltered ONLY from easterly winds

      Rating:

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      Comments from Cruisers (1)

      1. ron -  May 25, 2010 - 11:08 am

        We once tried to drop the hook at Bamboo Key for over a half hour because of the beautiful water clarity and serenity. After numerous attempts in calm conditions, the hook would not set. We discovered it is a thin layer of sand over hard coral. We would not consider anchoring here even to snorkel without someone aboard and that would only be in very light conditions. Otherwise, very pretty.

        Reply to ron
    • 68. Fat Deer Key Anchorage

      68. Fat Deer Key Anchorage
      Statute Mile:1187.5
      Lat/Lon: near 24 44.547 North/081 00.657 West
      Location: lies east-northeast of Vaca Cut’s unlighted daybeacon #1
      Minimum depth: 5-feet, but soundings drop off much sooner, moving east, than chart 11451 would lead you to believe
      Swing Room: unlimited
      Foul Weather Protection: fair, wide open to northern, northeastern and northwestern winds

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    • 69. Russel Key Anchorage

      69. Russel Key Anchorage
      Statute Mile:1187.5
      Lat/Lon: near 24 44.435 North/081 01.990 West
      Location: off the waters east of Russel Key, south of the ICW’s flashing daybeacon #13
      Minimum depth: 6+ feet
      Swing Room: sufficient room for vessels as large as 42 feet
      Foul Weather Protection: Good, but open to northeastern, eastern and northern winds

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    • 70. Marathon Shores Anchorage

      70. Marathon Shores Anchorage
      Statute Mile:1189
      Lat/Lon: near 24 43.937 North/081 03.608 West
      Location: south of the Waterway’s unlighted daybeacon #14, and 100 yards north of the Marathon Shores banks
      Minimum depth: 6-feet
      Swing Room: unlimited
      Foul Weather Shelter: fair, but wide open to northern, northeastern or northwestern winds

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    • 71. Rachel Key Anchorage

      71. Rachel Key Anchorage
      Statute Mile:1189.5
      Lat/Lon: near 24 43.693 North/081 04.549 West
      Location: Rachel Key lies south of unlighted daybeacon #15; anchorage is found north of Rachel Key
      Minimum depth: 6 ½ feet
      Swing Room: Unlimited
      Foul Weather Shelter: poor, sheltered only from southern winds

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