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Archive For: Keys1 – Inside Passage – Dinner Key to Jewfish Creek

  • Great Description of the Dinner Key Mooring Field, Statute Mile 1094.5, Miami, FL

    Dinner Key Marina overlooks the waterfront south of Grove Key Marina and north of the Coconut Grove Sailing Club, within sight of the huge Miami City Hall.

    I would like to give you my thoughts on Dinner Key Mooring Field. First, this is not Marathon and will never be. This field will develop its own cruiser community and style over the years to come. The moorings are secure and well maintained. The field itself is open to the ESE to the S and in a strong wind can be a bit choppy. The mooring field is big and if you’re at the outer edge it will be a long ride to the marina. I believe this to be a secure and safe mooring field. They have a shuttle boat service that runs on the hour till five pm and 7pm on weekends. This is a nice for that long ride, the down side to the service is that if it is windy and choppy they may suspend the service, leaving you to use your own dinghy. The dinghy dock in the marina, at this time is inadequate and would never accommodate a large transit group of boaters. The second dinghy dock, which is inadequate in size as well and is shared with the local anchorage, is not secure and open to the public at this time. Hopefully they will address these two issues to better improve there facilities.
    For those of you who like shopping this is a great place to shop locally or take the Miami Transit system to downtown Miami or Miami Beach. There is also good bus/train service to the airport and even to Ft Lauderdale as well. There are food stores within walking distance and serviced by buses as well. They have showers and laundry on site, but the new trailer with showers and laundry at this time is not open. I have found the working staff to be very friendly and helpful. I think that anyone who stays here will find it to be a good place to be. The rates are similar to Marathon and there is wifi in the field, but is not provided by the marina. There are wifi cafés in Coconut Grove, a 5 minute walk from the marina, and as boaters we all could use a little walk. I hope that anyone who does stop here will find it to be a pleasurable experience.
    Captain Wil

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Florida Keys Marina Directory Listing For Dinner Key Marina

  • Reminder of Transient Moorings at Coconut Grove Sailing Club (AICW Statute Mile 1094.5)

    We’ve had numerous reminders of moorings available to transients at Coconut Grove Sailing Club on Biscayne Bay over the last year and the location sounds so inviting! Give the Club a try and let us hear about your stay, because they are A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!

    Coconut Grove Sailing Club is a member supported sailing club but the moorings are available to the public on a first come first serve basis. They have 200 moorings in the most protected mooring field in Biscayne Bay. The restaurant on property offers great lunch and dinner choices with a view that is hard to beat in the Grove and they usually have live music on Friday nights.
    Sean Connett

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Anchorage Directory Listing For Coconut Grove Sailing Club

  • The Good and Bad of Anchoring (or Mooring) in No Name Harbor (Key Biscayne, St. M. 1096)

    No Name Harbor is located on the southern portion of Key Biscayne. Shelter from foul weather is superb, but you must now pay a fee here to anchor (or moor) overnight. Below, Captain Ron gives you some of the other good news and bad news for this overnight haven.
    By the way, if anyone knows whether moorings have indeed been installed in No-Name (or not), PLEASE click the “Comment on This Posting/Marina/Anchorage/Bridge” link below, and share your information.

    The Hurricane Hole you mention can be one of two places both of which are located in the Cape Florida channel. The one most frequently used is No Name Harbor further to the East. In the past you could anchor there, but recently I have heard they have installed moorings. In any case, it is a small, hot, muggy, airless harbor that most would not want to spend too long. The boats meander with the changing currents and the only positive is that there was an excellent Cuban restaurant at the harbor wall. Many first time cruisers who feel insecure about anchoring in a semi-open anchorage find this harbor appealing. When you want to depart, especially at night, you have to weave through the tightly packed boats to enter the Cape Florida Channel.

    And, thanks to Captain Jules, here is the answer to the question of whether moorings have been installed in No-Name Harbor:

    I just called the park and no moorings have been installed. It’s a very nice park to visit with an award winning beach, two great restaurants, bike, kayak and catamaran rentals, hiking trails and a restored historic light house open to the public with amazing views from the top. For the overnight boaters, showers, laundry and free pumpout so it’s well worth the very nominal anchoring fee.
    Yes of course in summer it will be hot and buggy in a small landside anchorage and like all anchorages there is a capacity limit, this one being very very small fills up fast. I have stayed in fall and winter and found it to be very enjoyable and all chain rode keeps the meandering to a minimum and I never have had problems with neighbors swinging to close. Also a good deal of the boats that anchor during the day are locals don’t spend the night. Outside of summer if there is space I will go in. When it is full I anchor in the channel and dingy in to take advantage of all the park has to offer. There is little or no traffic in the channel at night so you can still get a good night sleep there, just be sure your anchor is well set as a strong current runs but I have never dragged.
    I know that anchoring in a channel seems like the wrong thing to do but the channel is wide and it is common for boats heading to the Bahamas to anchor in the channel to one side when the harbor is full.
    Cap. Jules

    As of July 29, 2010 there is a fee to anchor in No Name Harbor. Two dollars for a day use and $20.00 per night. This is on the honor system.
    Captain Cheryl Martin aboard Fair Winds

    <a href=”/3-no-name-harbor-anchorage-2″><span style=”font-size: normal;”><strong>Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Florida Keys Anchorage Directory Listing For No-Name Harbor</strong></span></a>

  • Virginia Key Anchorage (Statute Mile 1092.5)

    Captain Ron knows whereof he speaks below. This anchor down spot, hard by the southern shores of Virginia Key is convenient to both Government Cut and Biscayne Channel inlets.

    The Virginia Key anchorage is the perfect staging point for a Gulf Stream crossing. Good holding in sand and gravel, protection from the banks to the South and an easy exit out the channel to the Gulf Stream. The channel markers are well lit and easy to follow for a night departure. If you get bad weather, there is an excellent anchorage just to the North- the Marine Stadium. We have sat through 50 knot blows and held steady. The only downside is that the bottom is mud and your anchor retrieval will be quite messy. Still worth the effort.

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Florida Keys Anchorage Directory Listing For The Virginia Key Anchorage

  • Ragged Keys Anchorage (Biscayne Bay, Statute Mile 1106)

    This anchorage lies off the eastern flank of the Florida Keys Inside/ICW Route through Biscayne Bay, just north of Boca Chita Key. We have certainly seen other boats anchored here, but note Captain Ron’s advice about the poor holding!

    This is another question mark anchorage. Sand over coral, strong tidal current and strictly a day anchorage with someone always on board. However, this is one of the most beautiful areas in the Keys for water quality, tranquility and beauty. It’s just not an anchorage.

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Florida Keys Anchorage Directory Listing For The Ragged Keys Anchorage

  • Pumpkin Key Anchorage (Statute Mile 1122.5)

    Pumpkin Key lies off the eastern flank of the Florida Keys Inside/ICW Route’s run through Card Sound. Our fearless roving reporter, Captain Jane, recently wrote an in-depth article about the many different spots one can anchor on these idyllic waters (/pumpkin-key-anchorage-indian-key-anchroage-and-angelfish-creek-captain-jane-reports). Sounds like Captain Ron agrees that this is a very fine place to spend an evening!

    Pumpkin Key is one of the best anchorages for an exit from Bayside to the Gulfstream. Even at low tide if you draw 5ft or less you’ll have no problem. Deeper draft boats will have to wait for high tide. The anchorage is not where it is shown on the chart, but to the SW of R12 between Pumpkin Key and the marker in 8-12 feet of water. Good holding and protection and even if it blows from the West, you’ll be OK. However, if you’re expecting bad weather, you can go NW of the anchorage across the bay to the Arsenicker Keys and anchor in 8 feet of good holding sand with beautiful clear water and excellent protection from the West. The oddity is that the water at Pumpkin is opaque green while the Arsenickers is Bahamas like.

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Florida Keys Anchoage Directory Listing For The Northeastern Pumpkin Key Anchorage

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Florida Keys Anchoage Directory Listing For The Western Pumpkin Key Anchorage

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Florida Keys Anchoage Directory Listing For The Southern Pumpkin Key Anchorage

  • Southern Card Sound Anchorage (Statute Mile 1124)

    Be sure to follow the link below to discover just where the anchorage which is the subject of this posting can be found. Entry here is a bit more complicated, and is made vastly easier by use of a GPS chartplotter.

    Very pretty mangrove anchorage away from the crowds. Anchor here based on the prevailing winds. Good holding in sand with abundant wildlife.

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

  • Thursday Cove Anchorage (Statute Mile 1132)

    This near little anchorage lies just off the Florida Keys Inside/ICW route, just north of Jewfish Creek. You don’t want to be caught here with fresh northerly winds. We did this late one inky black night, and you can’t take my word for it – it’s a really bad idea. HOWEVER, during southerlies, this is a GREAT spot that we really like!

    Another pretty mangrove anchorage. Take your dingy and fish for snappers in Jewfish Creek along the mangrove roots. Be aware the powerboats will not be considerate with their wakes.

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Florida Keys Anchorage Directory Listing For Thursday Cove Anchorage

  • Pumpkin Key Anchorage, Indian Key Anchroage and Angelfish Creek – Captain Jane Reports

    Is there anything better than an article authored by our fearless roving reporter, Captain Jane. We don’t think so! Not only is

    At anchor at Pumpkin Key.

    Jane a very keen observer, she’s also a marvelous writer and we feel very privileged to have her as a regular Net reporter.
    Below, Captain Jane does her usual sterling job of presenting information on two Florida anchorages, with a quick blurb concerning depths on Angelfish Creek.
    Her first anchor down spot, Pumpkin Key, is located off the Florida Keys Inside/ICW/Florida Bay route, near the eastern shores of Card Sound. We provide links below to these waters’ entries in the Net’s “Florida Keys Anchorage Directory” listings.
    Indian Key lies on the Hawk Channel side of the Keys, abeam of the gap between Upper and Lower Matecumbe Keys. We all collectively think SO LITTLE of this so-called anchorage that we have chosen NOT to list it in our directory. Captain Jane lays bare the reason for our low opinion of these waters as an overnight haven below.
    Thanks for another wonderful job Captain Jane!!!!

    Captain Jane Reports on Two Anchorages between Miami and Marathon: Pumpkin Key and Indian Key with a bonus comment on Angelfish Creek
    First, look at these two peaceful photographs. Don’t they conjure up the ideal idyll of the cruising life? But you and I know better, right? This season, we experienced both the “why are we heeling if we are at anchor” feeling and the epiphany that mooring balls don’t necessarily make you feel secure and comfy.
    So here is a current report on two popular places to swing on the hook or a ball while making your way to or from the Keys.
    Keys-bound, first up is Pumpkin Key. Depths of 8 to 11 feet, shelter from all but a western blow. Caveat: we are two for two for dragging here; watch yourself carefully when you first drop the hook. It’s easy to hook up with a clump of seagrass and drag at an impressive speed. One afternoon in January it took us and another vessel four tries each to get set in actual bottom. The other vessel switched from a plow to a Fortress style anchor, and we found security doing the exact opposite, same day, same time, same channel. Go figure. That’s the science of anchoring. The good news is, once we were set, the holding was great.

    Perfect sunset for a nauseating rocking rolling night on a mooring at Indian Key; historic site on shore.

    We had the same experience in early February but it only took three tries. Once we got the anchor in, we were secure even while we took a strong blow on our unprotected side.
    Next stop on your way to Marathon is Indian Key. It’s a wonderful place to visit, featuring historical sites and a dinghy dock and three free mooring balls. Signs at the dinghy dock say this ungated park is open from 8 AM to 6 PM and we hear it is worth a stroll. We confess that your fearless roving reporter was neither fearless nor roving. Intimidated by rolling and nauseating sea swells, described below, neither of us kayaked ashore to provide you with an up to date site visit report.
    For all the poetic appeal of visiting Indian Key, if there has recently been an extended blow, especially from the South is our theory, you can expect large sea swells to be a feature of your stay. But perhaps you enjoy a quiet night swinging — and we mean swinging — on the hook or mooring, with your nose not just in a book but literally slamming into it every 11 seconds.
    We made the mistake of thinking that when the wind clocked to something other than south, “rock-a-bye baby the cradle will fall” sensation would stop. We were wrong and, as a result, on top of our own physical discomfort, we had to endure 16 hours of intense guilt-demanding glares from the more sensitive of our two boat cats.
    Our advice — visit Indian Key in calm weather. There is no protection from any wind but north and the swells can be quease-inducing. Also, the tackle on the mooring we chose was quite frayed, something to consider if you are looking for shelter in heavy weather. Matecumbe Bight nearby might be a better choice.
    Captain Jane
    S/V Lady Jane
    PS: My most excellent first mate thinks I would be remiss if I did not mention that on our winter 2010 passages through Angelfish Creek to and from Hawk Channel, we found no less than 8 feet. We favored the red marker side of the channel. Now I’m not remiss.

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Florida Keys Anchorage Directory Listing For the Northeastern Pumpkin Key Anchorage

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Florida Keys Anchorage Directory Listing For the Western Pumpkin Key Anchorage

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Florida Keys Anchorage Directory Listing For the Southern Pumpkin Key Anchorage

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Pumpkin Key

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Indian Key

  • One Unhappy Review And Many Postive Comments Concerning the Dinner Key Mooring Field (near St. M. 1094.5)

    Even though the inspiration for Captain Sherman’s message below was in response to an earlier posting here on the Net concerning Dinner Key Marina, I’ve posted this note separately, as it pertains more to the adjacent mooring field than to the marina.
    Clearly, the mooring field is a facility that some cruisers love, and some cruisers loathe. We have had comments both ways here on the Cruisers’ Net. Read what Captain Sherman has to say, follow the links below, and make up your own mind!

    Opinions appear to vary widely on the Dinner Key Marina. We stayed three nights on a mooring in the new mooring field. We will NEVER do that again and suggest others pass this mooring field by!!! In moderate winds from the east or south (10 knots) it was a wet and close to dangerous dinghy ride to the totally inadequate dinghy dock!! There is a shuttle boat that they want you to use but two friends who are in the mooring field warned us that their boats had been hit and damaged by the shuttle boat so there was no way we were going to expose Enchantress to that!!!
    We were assigned a mooring ball by the shuttle boat and then they wanted to change it when we went in to check in. They sent us to a slip on a fixed dock in our dinghy to fill some Jerry jugs with water but didn’t tell us to bring a hose, so no water! The dinghy dock which doesn’t have anyway near enough space anyway had a sign saying half of it was closed as apparently the are going to tow it out of the semi-secure marina and put it at the public boat ramp in the adjacent park where there is no security at all!!
    The shower/restroom facilities are tolerable (barely), although the big roach did have me checking my shower bag carefully before taking it back to the boat! They close the restrooms for an hour during peak morning and afternoon times for cleaning although what is done during that time was not readily apparent.
    This is a marina that may understand the needs of boaters who stay in slips but they have no concept of what cruising boats or boats that use moorings or who anchor need. We need easy access to water to fill Jerry jugs in the dinghy and adequate dinghy access.
    Although we anchor almost exclusively when on the move, we like mooring fields (we spend our winters on a mooring in Boot Key Harbor) but not this one. It is poorly managed and not worth paying for. Protection is horrible, may as well anchor in the middle of Biscayne Bay or out in the Atlantic! Provisioning is not convenient, Publix Supermarket requires a bus and trai ride. The only grocery store is a gormet Fresh Foods with poor selection and high prices.
    We have anchored or moored in more than 100 harbors and would return to most but NOT this one!! Did I mention the murder that occured in the anchorage adjacent yo the moorings just before we arrived?
    Larry Sherman

    And, here are several very different point of view:

    Clearly many folks have many opinions, but I was shocked by Mr. Sherman’s review of the Dinner Key Mooring Field. I just spent a night there and I agree it is an exposed area. But almost 10 years ago I lived in the anchorage where the moorings are now, and let me tell you it felt good to be on a ball.
    I can’t help to feel a bit sorry for Mr. Sherman who obviously had a bad stay. Perhaps his experience should serve as a wakeup call to himself and others; that life at sea is subject to many things (we don’t always get what we want). Perhaps those who find they have experiences like this where they don’t get what they want when they want it should look into life in an R/V or retirement village, because if you are getting everything you want when you want it on a boat your probably some middle eastern sheik with deep pockets or worse on a cruise ship.
    So I am clear, the weather was rough the dingy ride was wet, the dingy dock was small, the supermarket was to much money not enough selection, the supermarket was too far yadadayada.. , Were you really expecting the Ritz? Because if you were, just across the street from Dinner Key is the Ritz, but I wonder if you would just find it failing your expectations. Maybe the city of Miami should have planned the city around the mooring field?
    I had an excellent time at Dinner Key, and hope one day to return soon.
    Peter Shemp

    I had a wonderful experience at the new Dinner Key Mooring Field. When I dinked in to get some water I brought my own 2ft hose (because I like to be prepared) and had no problem.
    As far as the dinghy dock goes, yes it’s a first come first serve deal but that’s the wat it is everywhere. Maybe Mr. Sherman didn’t realize that Miami, like all major metropolitan cities, have certain amounts of danger. I felt safe in the managed moring field. I wouldn’t have felt safe if I just dropped the hook.
    I thought the staff and management were professional and the facility up to par. I will stay at the Dinner Key Mooring Field again!
    Charlie Stewart

    Perhaps if Captain Sherman would have spent a few days on a Rickenbacker Marina Mooring he would have appreciated the Dinner Key moorings a bit more.
    I had my boat at Rickenbacker marina for about two years where the dingy dock was a mud bank under mangroves trees. So either you got your dingy full of mud and dirt when you got in it or the tree leaves would fall into the dingy and foul it all up in no time.
    And not only are the moorings there exposed to all but east winds, they right next to a power boat and jet ski freeway. weekdays were bearable if the winds were calm but weekends were like being in a washing machine. And the bathrooms were in terribly shoddy condition. I would take dinner key bathrooms any day after that.
    I only wish that the dinner key mooring field existed at that time, I would have taken on in a heartbeat.
    It seems to me that Captain Sherman has some axe to grind as any sailor with experience can tell from which direction he is going to be exposed prior to taking up an anchorage, and as if the city had any control of how mother nature created the bay and how much wind and from where it was going to blow when he pulled into town.
    As the other post said, we have to take cruising with a grain of salt. and sometimes a geat big one…… but that is what makes it an adventure and what makes it worth doing at all.
    P.S. I forgot the mention, I have very fond memories of my days at Rickenbacker Marina.
    Jules Robinson

    Captains Jule and John have a GOOD idea below, AND Coconut Grove Sailing Club is a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!

    An alternative to the Dinner Key mooring field is the Coconut Grove Sailing Club mooring field. CCSC is just to the south of Dinner Key, and its moorings are completely sheltered by mangrove islands. While CCSC is a private club, they do have several moorings for transient, non-member cruisers. They have shower/restroom facilities and a water taxi that runs 24 hours a day. We spent 5 very windy days there ( winds up to 35 knots) in comfort and felt very welcomed by the staff and members.
    Julie and John Stocksdale
    s/v Jolie

    Hey folks
    Just want to say that the folks at Dinner Key seem to really try to make your experience a good one. We had a wonderful experience with them. When we couldn’t return as planned due to a medical emergency, the guys checked our lines and even went aboard found my husband’s passport and sent it to him so he could travel for some work out of the country.
    Yep, the moorings are exposed and the shuttle may ding your boat on occasion, but I think they’re really trying and doing a great job. Thanks James and Daniel and all the crew!
    on S/V SEEKER

    Click Here To Read An Earlier, Positive Posting About the Dinner Key Mooring Field

    Click Here To Read Another Positive Posting About the Dinner Key Mooring Field

    Click Here To Read An Earlier, Negative Posting About the Dinner Key Mooring Field

  • Dinner Key Marina (south Miami, near St. M. 1094.5)

    Dinner Key Marina is now the principal city of Miami Marina pleasure craft facility. It sits in the heart of the Coconut Grove community, and there are lots of restaurants and shopping within walking distance. Security might be a concern in Coconut Grove, however, after dark.
    I notice Captains John and Susan do not say anything below about the shower/bathroom facilities here. We have always found these unit sub-par!

    We enjoyed Dinner Key Marina. Had no problems finding the slip. The Piers were well marked on the ends and each slip has the number on its dock box. We didn’t have any help on the way in, but we didn’t ask. Saw several dock hands helping others who asked, though. On the way out, a line handler showed from the Marina and several volunteers were there as well. We had great dinners and thoroughly enjoyed the walking and Coconut Grove area.
    John and Susan

    We live in Miami and have kept our boat at Dinner Key Marina for about a year now and have had no problem with security at any hour and we have had some very late nights, we walk to and from the bars, shops and restaurants at all hours of the day or night and never had a problem.
    The bathrooms are in very good condition. The showers are in just good condition. Most important is that they are cleaned daily.
    We are very happy with this marina and the overall location is excellent. Everything you need / want is within walking distance.
    Jules Robinson

    On Sunday, July 11th we did not want to run all day since we wanted to celebrate my birthday. South of downtown Miami and south of the Rickenbacher Causeway, we found the long, privately marked, channel into Dinner Key Marina. 6-feet was the least depth I noticed in the channel. We have stayed here numerous times. It is a huge facility with a diverse and fun liveaboard community. Restaurants on the water are just north of the marina. The funky-artsy village of Coconut Grove is a short walk to the southwest of the marina. After dinner on the boat, we went to a dueling piano bar to continue my birthday celebration. We paid $2.50 a foot per night plus electricity. They hold a $25 deposit for each gate/restroom key you want. This is a city marina (its sister marina is Bayside in downtown Miami). The restrooms here are always questionable. They seemed better maintained this visit, but they are old and could use a refurbishment.
    Jeff and Michele Prahm aboard MV Java Girl

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Florida Keys Marina Directory Listing For Dinner Key Marina

  • Key Biscayne Anchorages

    There is an ongoing discussion on the T&T (Trawlers and Trawlering) mailing list about anchorages in or near Key Biscayne.
    Note that the anchorage Captain George refers to below as “Nixon Cove,” we have listed in the Florida Keys Anchorage Directory as “Key Biscayne Anchorage.” Also, as you will see, there is discussion about anchoring on Key Biscayne’s “Hurricane Harbor,” which is just south of the “Key Biscayne Anchorage.” I’ve never tried this anchor down spot, due to concerning about shallow water at its entrance. We would WELCOME MORE INPUT on anchoring in Hurricane Harbor. What depths did you find at the entrance? Would you recommend this anchorage to fellow cruisers? Please register your input on Hurricane Harbor by clicking the “Comment on This Posting/Marina/Anchorage/Bridge” link below.

    No Name [Harbor Anchorage] can fill up or cause swing anxiety for the newbie. As mentioned, the anchorage at “Nixon Cove” (nickname, not on the chart) off of the Yacht Club, northwest of Hurricane Harbor on your chart, is good, and popular, or we have anchored several times just outside and slightly south of No Name, just stay to one side of the rather broadly defined channel. The sport fisher will wake you now and then if too close. Then you can take the dinghy into No Name and have a meal at the excellent Cuban/Carribean restaurant that over looks the harbor and take a nice walk in the park.
    Lots of nice spots to anchor from there on south to Marathon, take your time! How big is your boat and how much do you draw?

    I think you would find Hurricane Harbor preferable to No Name Harbor on the southern tip of Key Biscayne.
    It is much larger, uncrowded, has better holding ground, and you can use a longer scope and swing at anchor without ending up near another vessel. It is also a whole lot quieter. Also, there are no fees for anchoring in Hurricane Harbor as opposed to No Name.
    Just be careful to watch the water depth and avoid the shoal that extends out to the north and west as you make your approach to the harbor. When actually entering the harbor, stay close to the north wall where the channel is deepest.
    Martin I. Veiner

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Florida Keys Anchorage Directory Listing For The Key Biscayne Anchorage

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Florida Keys Anchorage Directory Listing For The No-Name Harbor Anchorage

  • Caesar Creek – Rubicon Key – Reid Key Anchorage (Biscayne Bay, near St. M. 1115.5)

    The “comment above” Captain Jean refers to below can be seen by following the link below her message to the Cruisers’ Net’s “Florida Keys Anchorage Directory” listing for this anchor down spot. Then, click on the red outlined link near the bottom of the listing to read comments from our fellow cruisers concerning this haven.
    To be sure, the anchorage between Rubicon and Reid Keys is very nice, BUT depths and markings entering Caesar Creek from Biscayne Bay are both on the very thin side. Take extra care if you make the attempt!

    Contrary to the comment above, we have anchored here several times, the latest being 3-6-10. Mosquitoes have never been a problem if there is even a modest breeze. It is a beautiful remote-feeling spot and well-protected. Getting in to the dock at Adams key can be a trick as the current is swift but that is an option if one wants to walk around. Many boats go through Caesar Creek but their wakes don’t reach the anchorage between Reid and Rubicon Keys.
    Jean Thomason (DOVEKIE)

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Florida Keys Anchorage Directory Listing For The Caesar Creek – Rubicon Key – Reid Key Anchorage

  • Boca Chita Key Marina and Visitors Center (Biscayne Bay, near St. M. 1106)

    Boca Chita Key Marina and Visitor’s Center is found in Biscayne Bay, and is part of Biscayne Bay National Park. The “marina” part of the operation is truly bare bones, and finding good entrance depths can be tricky. And, as Captain Jean notes below, this place can get crowded on weekends. At other times it’s idyllic, and well sheltered.

    One of our favorite places in the keys and our first stop south of Miami. Stopped there again March 7-9, 2010. We tried to get in on Saturday March 6 but the basin was crowded with boats rafted two and three deep. So after a night anchored out near Adams Key, we returned to Boca Chita Sunday afternoon when the crowd begins to leave. Heard that the Rangers had payed an early morning visit and everyone without a receipt for payment got a ticket (and one boat docked in the “no docking” zone got a fine of $750 for that and other violations). The regs don’t seem to be enforced often but when they are there’s no fooling around! Note that the senior age pass rate is only &10.00. The toilets are salt water flush and have been recently refurbished. There is a resident volunteer who works on keeping everything looking good. While the weekends are crowded, we have enjoyed joining in with Cuban families who gather to party there- a cross-cultural experience and interesting to hear their stories and viewpoints.
    Jean Thomason (DOVEKIE)

    <a href=”/8-boca-chita-key-marina-and-visitors-center”><span style=”font-size: normal;”><strong>Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Florida Keys Marina Directory Listing For Boca Chita Key Marina and Visitors Center</strong></span></a>

  • Pumpin Key Anchorage (Card Sound, near Statute Mile 1122.5)

    There are several spots where it can be pleasant to drop the hook around privately owned Pumpkin Key. Just pick the side that gives you lee from the prevailing winds. Do NOT try going ashore at Pumpkin Key or the adjacent ocean side banks. Both are private property!

    Just spent 2 nights here and the holding was excellent, scenery great, except for all the Do Not Trespass signs on the island, and very quiet. We stayed about 300 yards off the shore of the island. Great place to drop the hook. Last year we stayed on the opposite side and also had a great experience. Left this morning by going out of Angelfish Creek to Hawk Channel and never saw less than 7.7 feet, 3 hours before high tide.
    Larry Morrow

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Florida Key Anchorage Directory Listing For Pumpkin Key

  • Boca Chita Key Marina and Visitors’ Center (Biscayne Bay, south of Miami, near St. M. 1106)

    It’s interesting to see the wide ranging opinions that have been expressed here on the Cruisers’ Net about stopping in Boca Chita Key Marina. This facility is part of Biscayne Bay National Park, and is maintained by the US Park Service. I know from our visits it’s a pretty, well sheltered harbor, but entrance channel depths are somewhat suspect! This is a case of some really like it, and some do not. Give this harbor a try and let us know your opinion.

    I have never gone into Boca Chita as we have a dog. I went in today for a looksee and was blown away. Everyone has told me that it is special, it truly is. If this was a commercial place with power and water it would be a bargain at $3 per foot, a great place.
    Charles Hardin

    As Charles says, Boca Chita is an amazingly peaceful place to tie to a sturdy concrete wall in an absolutely non-commercial area. It is truly lovely in the right conditions, and is a good place to wait out
    a heavy blow (not hurricane) in not-so-quiet conditions.
    However, from about Thursday evening or Friday morning until about Monday morning during the warm times, the “locals” (that’s the nicest word I can use) take the place over to the point of paying you to
    leave so a buddy can come in and tie up. At other times, it is Paradise.
    Maybe that’s why the “locals” like it.
    Actually, it is easy to raft off from a friend if it is crowded.
    Bill Donovan

  • Good Review of Dinner Key Mooring Field ( St. M. 1094.5)

    If you’ve been following our fellow cruisers’ postings here on the Cruisers’ Net concerning the waters in and just south of Miami, you already know the city of Miami opened a new, large mooring field just off Dinner Key Marina, a few months ago. While we have had one negative comment here on the Net concerning this facility, all the rest, like Captain account below, have been overwhelmingly positive.

    March 2010. I stayed at the new Dinner Key Mooring Facility from 3/1/10 to 3/6/10 and it was one of the greatest experiences on the water that I have had. The mooring field is located just east of the main Dinner Key Marina. I was greeted by a shuttle boat that took me to shore to square away my paperwork (only $19/day). They have showers and a pumpout boat. It was a great deal.
    A friend asked why did I not just free anchor and sneak onto their facility to use their bathrooms. I answered him that I am not a thief nor do I want to be associated with thieves. Plus, Dinner Key Marina is really serious about their security. I witnessed the Miami Police arrest a tresspasser who thought he was entitled to free everything just because he was sailing.
    Listen, I believe you you should be able to drop anchor in the middle of nowhere, but Miami is a major city and I don’t expect to have access to upland facilities without paying something. It turns out that it’s cheaper to stay overnight at Dinner Key Mooring Facility, with all it has to offer, than to park your car in Coconut Grove over night.
    I almost forgot, the $19/day also includes parking. I LOVE the new Dinner Key Mooring Field!!

    Click Here For The Cruisers’ Net’s Florida Keys Marina Directory Listing For Dinner Key Marina

  • Herbert Hoover Marina (Biscayne Bay, south of Miami, near St. M. 1111.5)

    Herbert Hoover Marina is southernmost of several Dade County owned marina faciltiies on Biscayne Bay.

    Entering Biscayne Bay in strong northwest winds we opted for the Herbert Hoover Marina (named after the vacuum icon not the U.S. President) in Homestead, arriving just before sunset. At the northern fringes of Everglades Park, we were greeted by flocks of birds and seagulls. This calm, protected harbor was a welcome relief after rocking and rolling in Plantation Key for the past month. So calm that I couldn’t sleep.
    Jan & Steve

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

  • Great Dining in Dinner Key – Coconut Grove (south Miami, neart St. M. 1094.5)

    Sounds yummy, and a good deal to boot!

    Want a real good meal in Coconut Grove? Try “The Ivy” in the Grove. Tell them Bob said, “Give us the local price”. Sunday to Thursday should get you 50% off on your meals. The food is great, desert even better. Also. Happy Hour 4-7 weekdays.
    Bob Gray, Sevierville, TN

    Click Here To View the Florida Keys Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Coconut Grove Sailing Club

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

  • Two Historic Sites Not to Miss in Coconut Grove – Captain Jane Reports

    What a wonderful report from our fearless roving reporter, Captain Jane Tigar. So many cruisers spend time in the Coconut Grove – Dinner Key region of South Miami every year, whether tied to the dock at Dinner Key Marina or on a mooring at Coconut Grove Sailing Club (A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR) or the new Dinnery Key mooring field. Captain Jane informs one and all about two historic sites within walking distance of the docks that “should not be missed.” Give her story a read, and then let us know

    Sometimes, it’s so tempting to stay in our cocoon like boats — after all, once you are on board, why would you want to get off a boat except for laundry, land heads and supermarkets — and West Marine?
    The parade of winter storms of ’09-’10 taught us how important it is to remember to get off our boats and explore the communities we visit and as much as I cherish the lonely anchorages where it’s just us, the wind, the water, the birds and the under water life, I admit that civilization has its charms. Dinner Key is one of those places that has some serious charm. Here are two places where we found charm and connection to the essential spirit of Coconut Grove, both within walking distance of the Dinner Key City Marina.

    Close-up of part of the restored ceiling art and murals in the historic Dinner Key City Hall. Photo by Jane B Tigar

    City Hall is well worth a visit and it’s literally next door.
    If you’re here on a week day, worth a visit is City Hall, adjacent to the marina (to the right facing the land). It’s so close you can probably see it from your slip or your mooring ball. Since 1954, City Hall has been right here in the former Pan American seaplane terminal. Pan American World Airways’ flying boats were based here in the 1930s and ‘40s and Dinner Key became a main hub for air traffic between North and South America until seaplanes went out of style. At that point, Pan Am moved its hub to Miami.
    The terminal has been carefully restored and you can now see wonderful art deco murals commemorating aviation history along with Zodiac symbols on the ceiling that had been painted over in the ’50s. There is also a small display of fascinating photographs from the seaplane era, including one of Charles Lindbergh. For more information about this historic site, check out the City of Miami website:

    Barnacle House - Steve Dimse, Florida Park Services Specialist, giving us an engaging two-person "I can't believe you came out in this cold weather" tour

    Step through a Time Portal at Barnacle Historic State Park.
    The Barnacle Historic State Park is reason alone to visit Dinner Key and do so on a weekend or Monday. A 20-minute walk (just under a mile) from the marina, up Main Avenue on the left hand side, you will see a little off-set treed area with a historic marker and a path. Follow that path — in a moment you will forget the bustling commerce and you will enter a real “hammock” of indigenous Florida vegetation and towering ancient live oaks.
    You are now in the late 1890s when Miami was undeveloped and natural. Here you can explore the five acre park that was once the homestead of a real character of a guy from Staten Island who “discovered” Biscayne Bay. Ralph Middleton Munroe, a relative of the poet Longfellow, and a follower of the transcendentalist movement, settled in Biscayne Bay, first in a tent camp, and then in a house that, thanks to the generous donation by his heirs, is now the centerpiece of this Florida state park. Ralph Middleton Munroe built the Barnacle House in 1891 and it is furnished with some of his original furnishings plus antiques and other items donated by his family. He was a yacht designer, naturalist, seaman, and civic activist whom the US Parks Service describes as “one of Coconut Grove’s most charming and influential pioneers.”
    Note, the park is closed Tuesday through Thursday. It is open Friday through Monday from 9-5. Tours are at 10 and 11:30 AM, and again at 1 and 2:30.
    Check with the Park about special events. Wednesday nights at 6 PM there is a yoga class. If you are visiting the weekend of January 15, the park is hosting Shakespeare in the Park with a production of Taming of the Shrew. Sunday, January 24, 2010, there is an Old Time Dance with live music and someone teaching traditional American folk dance steps. There seems to be one or two events a month. For more information:
    If you do visit Barnacle House, and we hope you do, please post a comment here and let us know if you, too, felt the multi-faceted genius Ralph Middleton Munroe come alive. That visit alone gave us a feeling of deep connection to Coconut Grove. As you walk around town, you may see historical markers referencing his contributions to other parts of life in Coconut Grove. In fact, I’m transmitting this story to the Salty Southeast while using the free wifi in the public library, a charming historic site itself, surrounded by palm trees and garden and only a short walk across the street from the Dinner Key Marina. It’s on land donated by Ralph Middleton Munroe who started the first library in the area, acquiring and delivering books by boat. It is also the site where Munroe’s first wife is buried. Just next door to the library, is another historic site, the women’s club built in the 1890s, also on land donated by Mr. Munroe.
    Jane Tigar
    S/V Lady Jane

    Hi Jane
    Thanks for a great post. I’ve just returned from a 10 day stay aboard our boat “Cloud Nine” at Dinner Key Marina. You’re right. We can see the Miami City Hall from our slip and I never set foot inside the building. I will be sure to visit on my next trip for sure. My husband, Tom is currently in Dinner key and I will pass this site on to him. We loved the Coconut Grove Arts Festival over President’s day weekend.Much to see and do in this charming town
    Keep up the good work.
    Pam Frech
    Cloud Nine

    Great post ,good to see the old Monroe house has been preserved. I had a friend that I worked with at Bertram Yacht yard in the mid 60’s that was the care taker of the house when the Monroe where out of town. My wife would Join them on weekends at the house which was a great treat. The gardens and front lawn down to the water were magnificent in the evening.
    S/V Seamist
    Dave Skiff

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