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Archive For: Keys4 – Inside/Florida Bay – Cross Bank to Channel Five

  • Plantation Yacht Harbor Marina (Florida Bay/Inside/ICW Route, in Islamorada – neat St. M. 1155)

    I’ve always said that Plantation Yacht Harbor is one of the very best facilities on the Inside/ICW Florida Keys route. Looks like Captains Pete and Mary Ann agree!

    I recommend Plantation Yacht Club Marina in Islamorada for anyone with a boat that doesn’t draw more than 5′ and who wants good protection from these blasted fronts in the Keys. The mangrove breakwater makes the whitecaps out on Florida Bay a non-issue. John is their terrific dockmaster with an amusing sense of humor. A marina slip includes all the amenities of Founders’ Park: a sheltered beach with showers; bocce, volleyball, and tennis courts; a huge pool; a dog park; a community band shell with free concerts; picnic tables and gas grills that work; locked showers and lundry room for marina residents; and cable and pump outs at EVERY slip, a real luxury. Fuel prices are great too.
    Pete & Mary Ann

    Click Here To View the Florida Keys Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Plantation Yacht Harbor Marina

  • Plantation Key Yacht Harbor (near Islmorada, St. M. 1155)

    Plantation Key Yacht Harbor is one of only two marina facilities directly on the Florida Keys Inside/ICW/Florida Bay route that caters to crusiers. It is located southwest of Tavernier Creek, just off the ICW.

    Was assistant dockmaster there for a spell-nice bunch of liveaboards and always an opening for transients, ask for John for the best and friendliest help, get a taxi to Lazy Days for the best fish anywhere. Lorelei for sunsets, avoid Trading Post for groceries unless you like to pay double, boat over to the sandbar halfway out of whale harbor oceanside at low tide for a nice walkabout on the sand, take a fold up chair and a six pack ( please don’t litter) and kick back. See you there soon.
    Robert Wittenbeck

    Click Here To View the Florida Keys Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Plantation Key Yacht Harbor

  • Shallow Depths on Snake Creek Channel/Inlet

    Snake Creek is an important passage that allows Florida Keys cruisers to easily pass from the Inside/ICW/Florida Bay route to the offshore Hawk Channel route, or the other way around. A couple of years ago, I began to hear reports that the Snake Creek channel was shoaling on its extreme Hawk Channel side tip. However, the report from Captain Brad below is the most alarming I’ve seen. Looks like vessels drawing 5 1/2 feet or better may have trouble in Snake Creek, even at high tide.
    It would be very helpful to one and all if some other cruisers would chime in, and share their experiences and soundings observed while running Snake Creek within the last several months. Just click on the “Comment on This Posting/Marina/Anchorage/Bridge” link below.

    I had a slip in Islamora for a month (October). [My] boat draws 5”7′. [I] ran aground in Snake Creek on the way in on a mid tide, then bumped twice in the channel.
    Tried to day sail bumped twice on the way out and wound up hard aground on a falling tide and was stuck for 7 hours, 150 feet from open water.
    When I left there the final time on an almost high tide. bumped once in the middle but was ok after that. Even on a +2 tide lots of places set of my shallow water alarm (6ft)

    I went through here with a 53′ trawler drawing 5 feet with tides starting to go out. Jan. 13, 2010, 2:00 PM
    Very low depths but no touching going east into the Hawk Channel. Worst point, according to my dephtfinder, was just east of the last markers where the depth was showing right at 5 feet. My keel did touch coming in to the creek on the western end.
    Andrew Scallan

  • Coral Bay Marina (Inside Route, Islamorada, FL, near Statute Mile 1160)

    Coral Bay Marina is located near World Wide Sportsman and Bayside Marina on Little Basin. Depths can get a bit skinny here during low tide.

    We called the marina on a Saturday with tornadoes on the way. The emergency number reached the owner who said “Come on in.” With a long face dock we were secure from the not-as-bad-as-forecast storms, but watched boats drag in the anchorage. Basic but good facilities with access to land-based services. And helpful characters in the marina. It was a welcome haven we would recommend.
    Jeff Wingfield

    Location, Location, Location, this marina is smack dab right in the middle of the some of the finest restaurants, bars, live music and shopping in the Keys.
    It’s very small and rustic, tucked away in the mangroves and just a short taxi ride away is all the fun you can imagine, five star restaurants, resorts and spas or no star dive bars and everything in-between, I like them all and there’s live music everywhere !! Some art galleries, museums, etc..etc..etc… Plus, The Trading Post, a small gourmet market just one block away, all the fresh food you could want, open 24 hrs when I was there. Several shops that the ladies will like are within walking distance as well.
    Great staff, friendly and helpful live aboards, small but updated and very clean bathrooms / showers, a small laundry and a full service yard. I would go in and out with a five foot draft at mid to high tide.
    Be sure to have a good recent landside guide when you come in.
    Jules Robinson

    Click Here To View the Florida Keys Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Coral Bay Marina

  • Matecumbe Bight Anchorage (Inside Route, southwest of Peterson Key Bank)

    Matecumbe Bight is a large, somewhat open anchorage  that nestles up to the northwestern shores of Matecumbe Key, on the large bubble, south-southeast of the ICW’s unlighted daybeacon #97. I would not want to be caught here in strong northern or northwestern winds.
    More info on this anchorage at: /56-matecumbe-bight-anchorage-2

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

    Click Here To View the Florida Keys Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For Matecume Bight

  • Good Food at Hungry Tarpon – Robbie’s Marina

    Robbies Marina is located on the western side of the long causeway/bridge, joining Upper and Lower Matecumbe Keys, in Islanmorada. It’s not the easiest place to get to by water, but you can always anchor up around Lignumvitae Key, and then dinghy into Robbies.
    For years, the attraction at Robbies has been to purchase a bucket of bait fish, and then feed the beautiful tarpon which hang around the docks, waiting for a free meal. Now, it looks as if there’s a reason for famished cruisers to pay a call at this facility.

    Subject: Robbie’s marina
    Cruising News: We just came back from a week’s trip to the upper keys.  We sailed down from Miami and had a great time.  Your latest cruising guide was a big help.  We had now issues with water depth, we draw 4.5′. One thing I would like to mention is that after taking the dinghy out to Indian Key we stopped in to visit Robbie’s for some beer and a little gas.  We decided to stay a while and eat dinner at the Hungry Tarpon.  I was not expecting too much based on the write-up in the current cruising guide, but we were very pleased with our dinners and the experience.  The recently new chef, Joseph Sassine is delightful and a master chef.  I would highly recommend it for food and atmosphere.
    Bill R.

  • Visiting Lignumvitae Key

    Lignumvitae Key sits just off the Inside/ICW route, between Upper and Lower Matecumbe Keys, north of the long Indian Key bridge and causeway. This historic and ecologizal attraction makes for a great visit, but, as you will see, the state park operatings here are being cut back at the moment, and only three moorings are available.

    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

    Click Here To View the Florida Keys Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Lignumvitae Key Mooring Field

  • Channel 5 Depths

    I think Captain ran into some unusually low water levels (see below), due to wind tides. However, caution is advised in the areas he notes.

    Your keys guide is being put to good use on my trip. The wind is howling and it's nice to have a reference to figure out where we can hide.
    FYI, we touched the bottom (5' 1" draft) in the middle of the channel approaching Channel 5 from Hawk. We were probably 100-150 left of the first red, right on the line on my chartplotter. The tide was -0.2' at  the time.
    Then, in on the way to Matecumbe Bight, we were in 5.4' to 5.9' of water most of the way, where the chart said 7'. Combination of the low tide and 25 knot winds I suppose, so didn't surprise me as much as the Channel 5 depth did.
    S/V Mayari

  • Mooring Field at Lignumvitae Key State Park (Islamorado)

    I was wondering how many moorings there now were in this small field. Captains RL and & Karen answer that question below.
    Notice also that this cruising duo discussed the current shallow water depths on the Florida Keys Inside/ICW route. This is the subject of a string of messages posted just below this one.

    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

    Click Here To View the Florida Keys Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For The Lignumvitae Key Mooring Field

  • Lignumvitae Key State Park Mooring Field

    On 12/4/08, as part of a “Florida Keys Wish List,” I posed the following question:

    Does anyone know if the mooring field off the northwestern side of Lignumvitae Key (off the Inside/ICW route, near #91A) has been re-established since the 2005 hurricane season? If so, have you moored here? Did you find enough shelter for a comfortable overnight stay? Did you go ashore and take a tour of the Florida state park on Lignumvitae Key? Did you enjoy your visit ashore?

    Responses follow:

    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

    Click Here To View the Florida Keys Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For Lignumvitae Key State Park Mooring Field

  • Channel Five

     Welcome to the Staniel Cay Yacht Club, your own paradise in the middle of the beautiful Exumas.On 12/4/08, as part of a "Florida Keys Wish List," I posed the following question:

    32. Channel Five (near Statute Mile 1150 on the Inside/ICW route) is arguably the most important passage to connect between the Inside/ICW passage and Hawk Channel. That’s partly because it is crossed by a fixed, 65-foot bridge. Conversely, there is a real absence of navigational markers on Channel Five. Has anyone else been bothered by this scarcity of aids to navigation?

    Responses follow:

    Channel 5 Bridge posed no problems for us in either direction.  We did pass through both times with good daylight.

  • World Wide Sportsman, Bayside Marina and Islamorada Fish Company (Little Basin)

    On 12/4/08, as part of a “Florida Keys Wish List,” I posed the following question:

    26. Who has cruised into Little Basin and possibly stayed at Bayside Marina (at World Wide Sportsman)? What MLW depths did you discover in Little Basin? Did anyone eat next door at Islamorada Fish Company? Are the grouper sandwiches as awesome as ever?

    Responses follow:

    IFC still has great sandwiches as well as everything else. 

  • Islamorada Anchorage and Lorelei Marina

    On 12/4/08, as part of a “Florida Keys Wish List,” I posed the following question:

    Moving now into Islamorada, has anyone stayed at Loreli Marina off the Inside/ICW route? I’ve always gotten the impression that the wet slip side of this operation is more of the live-aboard variety. Has that changed? Who has hoisted a few at the on-site tiki bar? Are the sunsets still as spectacular as ever?

    Responses follow:

    Islamorada is still great.  We anchored there in clean 5 to 8 foot water for several days going down and back up.  Great anchorage and Loreli’s still allows cruisers to land their dinghy’s there.  The Tiki bar is great and the sunsets are still the same.  Also nice place to eat but grab seat long before the sunset because it gets full then empties out (a bit). 

    Anchored out off the Loreli and took the dinghy in for refreshments. The marina looked full with long term residents. The beer and entertainment were fine.
    Bob and Toni Dorman

    Click Here To View the Florida Keys Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For Islamorada Anchorage

    Click Here To View the Florida Keys Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Lorelei Marina

  • Snake Creek Channel

    On 12/4/08, as part of a "Florida Keys Wish List," I posed the following question:

    Snake Creek, southwest of Plantation Key, is the first of the really important connector streams, which provide access from Hawk Channel to the Inside/ICW route, or the other way around. Within the last several years, however, the Hawk Channel side of the Snake Creek channel has shallowed. The last time I sounded these waters, MLW depths of 5 feet were noted. Who has run the Snake Creek channel lately? What were the minimum soundings you observed?

    Responses follow:

    We have been thru snake creek many times, both from the ICW and hawks Cannel.  We try to time our departure for hi tide.  We go very slow entering and exiting snake creek.  So far no problems.  We encountered depths of about 5 to 6 feet.
    Ron Hollander

    Snake Creek  Depths here were 5 ft or better at mean tide. Watch out for the currents when waiting for the bridge to open. Itʼs very easy to drift out of the channel and go aground.
    Bob and Toni Dorman

    5 to 6' MLW ealier this year…

  • Plantation Key Yacht Harbor (Plantation Key, south of Tavernier Creek)

    On 12/4/08, as part of a “Florida Keys Wish List,” I posed the following question:

    22. Moving back to the Inside/ICW route, Plantation Key Yacht Harbor lies on the southern shores of Cotton Key Basin, near Statute Mile1155. This is an important facility, as it offers some of the only readily available transient dockage on this passage, north of Marathon. Who has berthed here recently? Please give us a full report on the marina? Did you find any dining or provisioning within walking distance?

    Responses follow:

    We have been to Plantation Yacht Harbor many times. We like it. It is somewhat laid back. No restaurants or food available. It is too far to walk for dining or for a supermarket.  You must hail a cab. Last year, the Marina was completely redone with new concrete piers and pilings. It is a lovely family atmosphere with a large sandy beach and a large pool. The bathrooms were cared for.
    Ron Hollander

    Havent’ been there in a year or so, it’s my favorite place.  freindly staff, little beach, swimming pool, park, etc… many restaurants within walking distance, no provisioning nearby except a hardware store and a convenience store.  it’s short drive to the Windixie in Tavernier though.

    Click Here For The Cruisers’ Net’s Florida Keys Marina Directory Listing For Plantation Key Yacht Harbor

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