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    • 101. Bahia Honda Channel/State Park Anchorage

      101. Bahia Honda Channel Anchorage
      Lat/Lon: near 24 39.442 North/081 16.819 West
      Location: lies between the two Bahia Honda bridges, off the westerly shores of Bahia Honda Key
      Minimum depth: 5- to 9 -feet
      Swing Room: sufficient room for vessels as large as 45 feet
      Foul Weather Shelter: good, but open to southern, northern and northwesterly winds

      Rating:

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      Comments from Cruisers (5)

      1. Mickey -  April 30, 2013 - 7:52 pm

        Waters get very rough at night with a lot of rocking and rolling. More of a jerky roll. Park looks nice but if you want a good nights sleep don’t stay here. winds got to 30 knots and boat next to us drug anchor. winds were SE to S.

        Reply to Mickey
      2. Claiborne -  February 1, 2011 - 11:50 am

        Great anchorage with sandy beach and walking trails at the state park. Currents are strong, but a good Delta with chain worked great. We would not suggest this site with any north winds as it makes for an uncomfortable, sleepless night. Make sure you go to the beach on the Atlantic side for a beautiful sunset.
        S/V Arkeoo

        Reply to Claiborne
      3. Jules Robinson -  December 26, 2009 - 2:16 pm

        Hello,
        I have anchored here, while the currents are strong, the holding is very good and our all chain rode kept us dug in well along with a few other boats during 30-40 knot squalls from the south one night. we didn’t drag and I didn’t see anyone else that did.
        And the state park is very nice for hiking, swimming, sunbathing, bathrooms, showers, snack bar, gift shop etc. they have a tour boat that goes out to the reefs and other amenities. I look forward to returning.
        Cap Jules
        S/V Nemesis
        Dinner Key Marina
        Miami

        Reply to Jules
      4. jim -  December 12, 2009 - 3:25 pm

        Dont risk anchoring here, pay a few bucks and tie up dockside at the State Park marina. The tide rips between both bridges and you will flip direction every time the tide changes. The current is so strong under the old abandoned bridge that you need to be on a plane in a power boat at peak ebb tide to pass under it ! The north bridge has little vertical clearnace and the abandoned railroad bridge has concrete piers every 100′, so if your anchor slips you will be sanded with concrete.

        Reply to jim
      5. Claiborne -  August 14, 2009 - 10:05 am

        Bahia Honda State Park
        11 miles west of Marathon
        (305) 872-3210
        Imagine water, water, everywhere as you sail eastward in Hawk’s Channel along the Keys’ island chain. At Big Spanish Channel you take a turn to the north and see an opening in what used to be a section of Henry Flagler’s Overseas Railway. Today, this section is more often called Bahia Honda Rail Bridge. It may very well be one of the most unique entrances to anchor ever.
        As you turn ever so slightly to the right, you see that Bahia Honda’s uniqueness continues. Amid a lush landscape, beautiful palm fronds wave you a welcome in the gentle breeze. Between you and the landscape is a gorgeous white sand beach. It seems the only difference between here and Michener’s Shangri-La is the notice of a row of covered pavillions boasting concrete floors and BBQ grills. Even so, it is all picturesque.
        This is Bahia Honda State Park. With lots of land for long walks and bike rides, Bahia Honda also has a marina, ship’s store, ample changing and bathroom facilities, outdoor freshwater showers (hot showers are available in the camping areas), and the wonderfully unique anchorage that sits front and center of its main beach. All the Park employees are very friendly, cordial, very helpful, and anchoring is free of charge.
        There are other lovely beaches on both Oceanside and Bayside of the Park. The water, during calm weather, is very clear for snorkeling. For safety reasons, it is not permissible to dinghy directly to the beaches. Instead, dinghy tie-up is free at the marina where it is then a short and enjoyable walk to any of the beaches.
        So…what’s not to love about Bahia Honda?
        Anyone who has been there will tell you: Anchoring can be problematic. The problems are: 1) the Bahia Honda anchorage is located in between two bridges (the old railroad bridge and US1); and 2) the bottom is mostly rocky so holding is questionable.
        However, with the know-how, one can anchor at Bahia Honda and have a gloriously trouble-free and extended visit. First, keep in mind:
        – There is no protection from the North or South.
        – The best anchoring areas run parallel to the swimming buoys where plenty of sand and grass provide a good bottom for holding.
        – Fluke style anchors don’t usually hold well here because they are designed to let go in a blow and then reset. The often swift current and rocky bottom can hinder the flukes from taking hold quickly enough to avoid danger.
        Time and again while anchored at Bahia Honda, I have witnessed couples struggling to get a good hold with their anchors. I wait as they try and try again. By the sixth time or so, I’ll get on the radio and ask the Captain if he’d like a few local knowledge tips. By then he’s more than ready to listen to the other things to keep in mind:
        – Let out no more than 30 ft. of rode to set the anchor.
        – Face the current if it is swifter than the wind direction.
        – Back down slowly, slowly, until firm resistance is felt.
        – Rev up (e.g., 3000 RPMs on my 22 HP Yanmar) until the bow snatches downward and whips in a very quick, narrow arc.
        When the snatch and arc occurs, you have found excellent holding and are dug in. Let out the remainder of your rode and let the boat fall back on its own. I find it prudent to then set the MOB (the sooner the additional confirmation you’re not moving, the sooner all can relax).
        Now you have a bit of insight on what it takes to have a safe and stress-free visit at one of the most beautiful anchorages in all of the Florida Keys. Hopefully, if not already, Bahia Honda will be at (or very near) the top of your list of anchorages to enjoy while cruising the Florida Keys.
        Photographs link: s/v September Sea at Bahia Honda Anchorage
        Charmaine Smith Ladd, bringing you “The Low Down from Down Low”

        Reply to Claiborne
    • 102. Newfound Harbor Channel Southerly Anchorage

      102. Newfound Harbor Channel Southerly Anchorage
      Lat/Lon: near 24 38.286 North/081 22.686 West
      Location: lies east of the Newfound Harbor Channel between unlighted daybeacons #4 and #6
      Minimum depth: 5 ½ feet
      Swing Room: unlimited
      Foul Weather Shelter: fair, but wide open to westerly winds

      Rating:

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      Comments from Cruisers (3)

      1. Claiborne -  January 10, 2011 - 5:09 pm

        Fantastic, quiet anchorage. The entrance is between 50 and 50A on Hawks Channel. (Directly SE of the channel is some of the best snorking in the Keys, Looe Key.) When entering the channel, keep R”2″ 200′ to starboard. You will pass ritzy Little Palm Island resort (formerly known as Munson Island). It’s so expensive, you’re not even allowed to look at the island or they send you a bill (http://www.littlepalmisland.com). After passing, R”4″, head to G”5″ as there is a shoal in the middle of the channel. After passing G”5″ bear NE to R”6″. We dropped anchor just N of R”6″ (24 38.936N 081 22.637W) There are several unoccupied sailboats permanently anchored and you can drop the hook anywhere. There is no boat traffic to speak of except the small wodden vessel “The Truman” that ferries between Little Palm Island and the mainland.

        Reply to Claiborne
      2. Claiborne -  August 22, 2009 - 10:44 pm

        Between Marathon and Key West, anchor in Newfound Harbor. It’s huge and well protected from all waves. If you scuba, go to Looe Key Reef there. It is really nice, and there’s a dive boat that goes through Newfound Harbor to the reef that’ll pick you up and drop you off at your anchored boat. Or just go out to the gov’t. mooring balls on the reef (carefully) in your own boat.
        Doug

        Reply to Claiborne
      3. Claiborne -  August 13, 2009 - 3:33 pm

        Last night we stayed in Newfound Harbor. It is a very protected anchorage and there were 7 other boats in there with us. Just be careful and watch your depth finder. There are some shallow places. There were several sailboats and they draw much more than we do (about 3.5 ft.).
        It as a great, close by, anchorage after diving/snorkeling off Looe Key. Just look for the weather/radar blimp (called Fat Albert) you can’t miss it.
        Ben and Barbara Falmlen
        Two Cats Too

        Reply to Claiborne
    • 103. Newfound Harbor Mid Anchorage

      103. Newfound Harbor Mid Anchorage
      Lat/Lon: 24 38.768 North/081 23.206 West
      Location: on the waters south of Little Torch Key, between unlighted daybeacons #5 and #2
      Minimum depth: 5 to 6 ½ feet
      Swing Room: sufficient room for vessels as large as 40 feet
      Foul Weather Shelter: good, but open to southwesterly winds

      Rating:

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      Comments from Cruisers (2)

      1. Claiborne -  August 22, 2009 - 10:44 pm

        Between Marathon and Key West, anchor in Newfound Harbor. It’s huge and well protected from all waves. If you scuba, go to Looe Key Reef there. It is really nice, and there’s a dive boat that goes through Newfound Harbor to the reef that’ll pick you up and drop you off at your anchored boat. Or just go out to the gov’t. mooring balls on the reef (carefully) in your own boat.
        Doug

        Reply to Claiborne
      2. Claiborne -  August 13, 2009 - 3:33 pm

        Last night we stayed in Newfound Harbor. It is a very protected anchorage and there were 7 other boats in there with us. Just be careful and watch your depth finder. There are some shallow places. There were several sailboats and they draw much more than we do (about 3.5 ft.).
        It as a great, close by, anchorage after diving/snorkeling off Looe Key. Just look for the weather/radar blimp (called Fat Albert) you can’t miss it.
        Ben and Barbara Falmlen
        Two Cats Too

        Reply to Claiborne
    • 104. Newfound Harbor Western Anchorage

      104. Newfound Harbor Western Anchorage
      Lat/Lon: 24 38.780 North/081 23.906 West
      Location: on the waters charted as “Newfound Harbor,” east of Ramrod Key, and east of unlighted daybeacon #1
      Minimum depth: 5 feet
      Swing Room: sufficient room for vessels as large as 48 feet
      Foul Weather Shelter: good, but bit open to southeasterly winds

      Rating:

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      Comments from Cruisers (2)

      1. Claiborne -  August 22, 2009 - 10:45 pm

        Between Marathon and Key West, anchor in Newfound Harbor. It’s huge and well protected from all waves. If you scuba, go to Looe Key Reef there. It is really nice, and there’s a dive boat that goes through Newfound Harbor to the reef that’ll pick you up and drop you off at your anchored boat. Or just go out to the gov’t. mooring balls on the reef (carefully) in your own boat.
        Doug

        Reply to Claiborne
      2. Claiborne -  August 13, 2009 - 3:34 pm

        Last night we stayed in Newfound Harbor. It is a very protected anchorage and there were 7 other boats in there with us. Just be careful and watch your depth finder. There are some shallow places. There were several sailboats and they draw much more than we do (about 3.5 ft.).
        It as a great, close by, anchorage after diving/snorkeling off Looe Key. Just look for the weather/radar blimp (called Fat Albert) you can’t miss it.
        Ben and Barbara Falmlen
        Two Cats Too

        Reply to Claiborne
    • 105. Newfound Harbor Channel Northerly Anchorage

      105. Newfound Harbor Channel Northerly Anchorage
      Lat/Lon: near 24 39.711 North/081 22.721 West
      Location: discovered north of unlighted daybeacon #8, hard by the tip of the charted tongue of deep water,
      Minimum depth: 6-feet
      Special Note: sailcraft and other masted vessels are officially prohibited from making use of this anchorage due to the nearby presence of high tension, over-water powerlines
      Swing Room: sufficient for vessels as large as 50 feet. Note B of the NOAA chart states “No anchoring by sailboats or other masted vessels due to the presence of high tension power lines.”
      Foul Weather Shelter: very good in all but unusually strong southern winds

      Rating:

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      Comments from Cruisers (7)

      1. Capt. Jerry Robbins -  October 30, 2013 - 3:43 pm

        Thank you so much for the brief on the Hawk channel pumpout! Living some distance away but planning on sailing through Florida next spring all I have been reading made one feel that conchs had had it with tourist and planned on making it as difficult as possible to sail without going outside! This story indicates that that thinking was just crazy, thank you so much.
        Capt. Jerry Robbins

        Reply to Capt.
      2. Ron Olson -  October 30, 2013 - 3:33 pm

        I was pleasantly surprised today while anchored out in Newfound Harbor in the FL Keys. We were on our way back from Dry Tortugas to Marathon, but the winds and seas were supposed to pick up so we pulled into one of our favorite anchorages in Newfound Harbor. It looked like we would be stuck here for a while and we were getting concerned about our holding tank. On Friday morning we hear a boat come by and ask if anyone is on board. We thought it was just someone being friendly, but when we look it is a boat marked as a pump-out boat. They gave us a free pump out funded by FL registration fees. They said all I had to do was register and I could get a pump-out every week, free, paid for by the state of FL. I filled out the simple form and they pumped me out at no cost, but they were happy when I tipped them. They said they offer this service from Islamarada to Key West, and their web site is http://po-keys.com/
        I am very happy to see this happening in Monroe County and hope that this spreads throughout the world.
        Ron Olson

        Reply to Ron
      3. Mickey -  February 10, 2013 - 1:01 pm

        Current NOAA Charts show this as a designated restricted area> see note B < This area is restricted no sailboats or other masted vessels.

        Reply to Mickey
      4. Mickey -  February 8, 2013 - 11:01 am

        Masted vessels are not allowed here. They have white PVC markers and a sign. As soon as I anchored a small boat came out and informed me of the markers and signs. Designated anchorage is to right of the markers as you approach from the south.

        Reply to Mickey
      5. Claiborne -  February 1, 2011 - 12:12 pm

        Found that the depths were not there for a 4′6″ draft and we quickly retreated to the other Newfound Harbor anchorages which were fantastic. Very little boat traffic.
        S/V Arkeoo

        Reply to Claiborne
      6. Claiborne -  August 22, 2009 - 10:46 pm

        Between Marathon and Key West, anchor in Newfound Harbor. It’s huge and well protected from all waves. If you scuba, go to Looe Key Reef there. It is really nice, and there’s a dive boat that goes through Newfound Harbor to the reef that’ll pick you up and drop you off at your anchored boat. Or just go out to the gov’t. mooring balls on the reef (carefully) in your own boat.
        Doug

        Reply to Claiborne
      7. Claiborne -  August 13, 2009 - 3:34 pm

        Last night we stayed in Newfound Harbor. It is a very protected anchorage and there were 7 other boats in there with us. Just be careful and watch your depth finder. There are some shallow places. There were several sailboats and they draw much more than we do (about 3.5 ft.).
        It as a great, close by, anchorage after diving/snorkeling off Looe Key. Just look for the weather/radar blimp (called Fat Albert) you can’t miss it.
        Ben and Barbara Falmlen
        Two Cats Too

        Reply to Claiborne
    • 106. Niles Channel Southern Anchorage

      106. Niles Channel Southern Anchorage
      Lat/Lon: near 24 37.779 North/081 25.537 West
      Location: south of unlighted daybeacon #6 and just northeast of the shoal charted as “M Grs,”
      Minimum depth: 6-foot depths
      Swing Room: unlimited
      Foul Weather Shelter: poor, fair weather anchorage only

      Rating:

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    • 107. Niles Channel–Pye Key Anchorage

      107. Niles Channel–Pye Key Anchorage
      Lat/Lon: near 24 38.235 North/081 26.263 West
      Location: lies 450 yards off Pye Key’s easterly banks
      Minimum depth: 5-feet
      Swing Room: unlimited
      Foul Weather Shelter: fair to good, but open to southern and eastern winds

      Rating:

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    • 108. Niles Channel Northern Anchorage

      108. Niles Channel Northern Anchorage
      Lat/Lon: near 24 39.506 North/081 26.113 West
      Location: on the water lying 200 yards off Niles Channel’s westerly banks and 250 yards south of the fixed bridge
      Minimum depth: 6-feet
      Swing Room: sufficient room for vessels as large as 50 feet
      Foul Weather Shelter: very good for all but unusually strong northern and southern winds

      Rating:

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    • 109. Bow Channel Anchorage

      109. Bow Channel Anchorage
      Lat/Lon: near 24 39.525 North/081 30.887 West
      Location: found north of Bow Channel’s unlighted daybeacon #24 #24 and 350 yards south-southeast of the 8-foot fixed bridge
      Minimum depth: 4-feet
      Swing Room: sufficient room for vessels as large as 42 feet
      Foul Weather Shelter: very good

      Rating:

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    • 110. Saddlebunch Harbor Anchorage

      110. Saddlebunch Harbor Anchorage
      Lat/Lon: near 24 34.923 North/081 37.613 West
      Location: lies north of the Hawk Channel’s unlighted daybeacon #55 and just north-northwest of Saddlebunch Harbor’s unlighted daybeacon #8
      Minimum depth: 5 ½%f-foot depths, but typical soundings are 8 feet or better
      Swing Room: sufficient room for vessels as large as 38 feet
      Foul Weather Shelter: excellent

      Rating:

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      Comments from Cruisers (1)

      1. Claiborne -  August 17, 2009 - 10:12 am

        Saddlebunch Harbor is one of our favorites. Itʼs especially great if you enjoy watching F18s take off over your mast. Four or five boats fit in, the entrance channel is well marked, but itʼs best to have someone on the bow at the outer marker
        Bob & Toni Dorman

        Reply to Claiborne
    • 111. Boca Chica Anchorages


      111. Boca Chica Anchorages
      Lat/Lon: see detailed account in “Cruising the Florida Keys”
      Location: many possible anchorages lie northwest of the Boca Chica Channel, which strikes to the north-northeast, between Hawk Channel’s flashing daybeacon #56 and unlighted daybeacon #57
      Minimum depth: Depths vary greatly on these anchorages, ranging from 4 to as much as 18 feet
      Swing Room: generally sufficient room for vessels as large as 40 feet
      Foul Weather Shelter: good

      Rating:

      Comments from Cruisers (1)

      1. John Regar -  February 18, 2010 - 11:20 am

        60 ft. Power Lines across Boca Chica Channel at Green “7” and Red “6” on the SW corner of Boca Chica Key NAS were destroyed by previous hurricane.

        Reply to John
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