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    • Another Great Key West Dining Attraction

      Sounds GOOD, but you will need auto transportation to take advantage of this dining find!

      If you can drive to MM 22.5 you’ll find the `Square Grouper’ ‘“ one of the BEST restaurants I’ve ever eaten in, and clean ‘“ it’s so clean I swear you can eat off the floor. When I complemented the owner on the cleanliness, she said I ought to see the kitchen, `it’s even cleaner!’ GREAT!!!!
      August Trometer

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    • Captain Jane Finds More Healthy Eating in Key West — But with Beer on Tap!

      Well, I’m glad to hear that some of my earlier comments inspired Captain Jane to discover more healthy eating in Key West, BUT with alcohol also on the premises!

      Claiborne “complained” in his introduction to my recent review of the organic health food restaurant “help yourself” that it doesn’t offer Mount Gay Rum…
      Well, Claiborne, since you mentioned it…. It just so happens that the human crew of Lady Jane just ate at a Key West health food restaurant where you don’t have to bring your own. The sign in the window says it all: Beer, Vegan, Vegetarian, BBQ Unwing Dings.
      How Key West loves internal contradiction! Tawdry bars, fried fish, restaurants with no complete walls and some with none at all… boozing until the wee hours and then somewhere else, not so much in full view are the health food folks, classical music concerts in the Episcopal church and yoga on the beach… We present to you, on the health food side, complete with internal contradiction, The Cafe.
      Its specialty? Organic food and organic microbrews and wine. Here you can sin — organically. The perfect place for a mixed marriage — where one partner needs beer and one needs to eat organic and vegan.
      Vegan items are clearly marked with asterisks; for those who need animal protein, there is fresh tuna and mussels, and if I’m remembering correctly the specials when I was there included local shrimp. Gorgonzola, fresh mozzarella, goat cheese, feta cheddar are among the cheeses that can be added to sandwiches.
      If you are vegetarian, or even hardcore vegan, this is a find. The Cafe makes its own seitan (an Asian-style high-protein wheat gluten that is often used as a “mock” meat) and it’s chewy and the best I’ve tasted — it bears no relationship to the packaged kind I’ve bought in supermarkets. The veggie burger is made with legumes, carrots, broccoli, mushroom, scallions and sunflower seeds — this is no skinny pre-packaged Boca Burger. Crisp outside and yummy on garlic Ciabatta bread. Falafel is excellent and the salad elements fresh. The stir fry is huge, especially if you add a protein, the brown rice perfectly done and the peanut sauce we tried was excellent, not too sweet and not overpowering — it had just the right hint of peanut to make it unctuous, not deadly. There are vegetable stir fry dishes, sandwiches, salads, pizzas and a category called “Food Food” that includes BBQ tofu, kung pao tofu, polenta cakes, seared yellowfin tuna, udon bowl, mussels, quiche, lasagna and a pasta of the day.
      Everything we tried was first rate, cooked with care and good fresh ingredients. We’ve been here three times and still like it.
      The Cafe is located at 509 Southard Street, just off Duval. It is open Monday through Saturday, 11 to 10 PM.
      Captain Jane
      S/V Lady Jane

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    • How to Get Half Price Drinks in Key West

      No guarantees, but it certainly might be worth a try!

      Cruising News:
      We love coming to the Keys each winter. Good friends, weather, great boating,… However, it gets old when you constantly read stories in the local papers about the need to increase or invent new TOURIST TAXES to pay for the locals’ government needs (never, of course, any suggestion about imposing an income tax). We’ve also noticed that many cafes and restaurants add a tip to your bill without prior notification (check your bill!). A group of friends recently did the Duval Shuffle. When they returned to one of the bars, the server asked, “Are you locals?” My smart friend quickly answered “Yes” and like magic they got a big reduction on their bar bill.
      The Keys are a tourist mecca, but it gets annoying when you’re constantly reminded that through the eyes of “locals” you are viewed as a cash cow.
      Wade Ehlen

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    • Conch Harbor Marina (Key West Bight)

      Conch Harbor is one of four outstanding marina facilities overlooking the shores of Key West Bight. The others are Galleon Marina, A&B Marina, and Key West Bight City Marina. All are within easy walking distance of Key West’s many dining, shopping and diversionary attractions.

      We went with Conch harbour in the end as the other downtown marinas were charging $4.50 a foot with a five day minimum. We booked into conch for the 3 days that we needed (no five day min) and they
      were a buck a foot cheaper.

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Florida Keys Marina Directory Listing For Conch Harbor Marina

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Conch Harbor Marina and Key West Bight

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    • Recommendations for Christmas in Key West

      The Degroots have some excellent suggestions for enjoying Key West during the holidays, both on and off the water.

      The “walk to town” marinas are in the Key West Bight. We stayed at the Galleon Resort and Marina for a month. Plenty of room except for New Years eve. Galleon is the only marina with floating docks in the bight. Only place with a small beach next to the outdoor bar. Galleon is also a timeshare so if you have friends coming down they can stay there as well. I think the Hyatt is next to that and they have great holiday buffets. The folks at A&B Marina (fixed docks, most without finger piers) next door aren’t particularly fond of the racing sailboats or race week so you can most likely get a slip there. Again, New Year’s is tricky. This bight itself is a “happening place.” But you really do need to chill out a while before you amble over to Schooners. The dog sits on a bar stool and drinks beer from a mug, but the bands are great – if you get my drift. If you’re there over New Year’s. They lower a wench from the yard arm to count down the seconds before midnight. There are three or so other marinas in the bight. Just keep in mind you need to make reservations well in advance. The marinas up closer to the mouth of the bight are a bit more on the rolly side (you’re sideways to the opening. Lots of traffic including tour boats. Go for a monthly rate. Even if you only stay a couple weeks, it’s still less expensive. Have fun, we did.
      Bob & Kemba DeGroot Aboard M/V Spirit Dancer

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

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Florida Keys Marina Directory Listing For A and B Marina

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

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    • Private Developer Seeks Approval For Mooring Field Around Wisteria (Christmas Tree) Island – Key West

      Below, you will read a series of messages that have passed between the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net and Roger Bernstein, a developer who is seeking approval to establish a planned mooring field off the Key West waterfront, around Wisteria (Christmas Tree) Island. We are glad to bring this proposed project to the collective attention of the cruising community, but the appearance of this posting should in no way be inferred as approval or recommendation of this field by the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net.

      We are seeking approval to install a 116 ball mooring field at Wisteria Island in Key West Harbor. Good depth, dinghy dock and all support facilities on the Gulf side of the Island. We plan scheduled water taxi service from the Island to the Westin dock in Key West.
      Check out the website and please contact me to discuss.

      I e-mailed Roger and asked him for the website’s URL, referred to in the message above, and received the following response.

      The site can be found at
      We are getting serious and noisy opposition from the no-growth segment of the Key West community. They oppose the project, particularly the requested zoning designation that would let us do the mooring field and limited upland development. I have explained that the infrastructure necessary to proceed can not be supported by the mooring field alone. Their site,
      The proposed 116 ball mooring field is linked to the 22 acre Island we own in the harbor, 2500 feet offshore. We plan to service the mooring field from the upland on the island and to provide scheduled water taxi service to the Westin Hotel docks so people can leave their dinghies on the Island.
      Thank you,

      This is a private venture-100% open to the public, but not operated by the City.

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    • Don’t Dare Miss Schooners Wharf Bar In Key West

      “Amen,” to the recommendation of Captains Joe and Mary Beth below. I think I remember having some of the best Key West times we’ve ever experienced at Schooners Wharf Bar!!!!! This great watering hole is found harborside in Key West Bight!

      A trip to Key West is never complete without an afternoon (12 -5, any day but Tuesday) to Schooner’s wharf bar (outdoor tiki bar downtown).
      Music by Michael McLeod, throw a $5 in his jar and ask him to play the National Anthem of the Conch Republic.
      Have Fun!!
      Joe & Mary Beth Amelia
      S/V “Pot ‘O’ Gold”

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    • Galleon Marina Recommendation (Key West)

      Galleon Marina is truly one of the finest facilities in Key West. It is located in Key West Bight. Just be sure to check our Florida Keys Marina Directory listing (see below) for the latest transient dockage rates to avoid surprises.

      We go to Key West often since it is only a little more that 100 mile from here in Naples. We always stay at the Galleon Resort and Marina. It is very close to all the action on Duvall St., Mallory Square, etc. with many restaurants within easy walking distance, and several adjacent to the yacht basin.

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

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    • Wisteria Island (Christmas Tree Island) Eastern Anchorage (off Key West Waterfront)

      The city of Key West is seriously considering the establishment of a mooring field around Wisteria/Christmas Tree Island. Only time will tell if this popular anchorage morphs into a mooring field.

      The last time we were here, the anchorage was an overcrowded assemblage of derelict boats-many of which were liveaboards who never left their mooring. It was too crowded to anchor safely and frankly, I wouldn’t anchor there under those conditions. It may have changed since the advent of the new mooring field and perhaps the derelict boats have gone.

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Florida Keys Anchorage Directory Listing For The Wisteria Island (Christmas Tree Island) Eastern Anchorage

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    • Stock Island Marinas Recommended

      The posting below was copied from the Cruisers Forum ( I suspect one of the marinas on Stock Island that Captain Lorenzo is referring to is Safe Harbor Marina. This is a truly laid back sort of place!

      What a lovely stay we had in Key West. We highly recommend staying at one of the marinas on Stock Island, quiet laid back with great restaurants, fresh seafood right off the boat, and the price is right. If you don’t mind staying at a boatyard or have some work to do, check out Robbies on Shrimp Rd.
      Now we’re off to Cape Cod for some real lobster.
      Lorenzo B

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Florida Keys Marina Directory Listing For Safe Harbor Marina

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    • Westin Resort and Marina (Key West)

      Hmmmmm! Other nearby alternatives are the marinas in Key West Bight, and the city marina in Garrison Bight.

      We just spent four very uncomfortable days at this marina. The docks are in disrepair and the surge is unbelievable all day long.
      While the marina is in the thick of things, skip it!
      Sheldon Gawiser

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Florida Keys Marina Directory Listing For the Westin Resort and Marina

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    • Key West City Marina at Garrison Bight

      Interesting that this Key West city facility charges for power connections even if you don’t use them. Only in Key West!

      The location is fine, worth the 4 nm traipse around Fleming Key to get there if you cannot clear the 19-ft bridge. It’s equidistant between the old town to the west and the three supermarkets to the east ‘“ about 1 mi each way. There’s an excellent bus service right outside the marina with three buses to choose from ‘“ schedule at marina office ‘“ for $1 per ride.
      The negatives ‘“ the toilet for transients is open to the public and the two unisex showers are open at the top to the toilets with attendant smells and sound effects. Liveaboards and mooring field customers have their own facilities. My wife talked the marina office into giving us a swipe card for the former after supplying a graphic description of transient facilities for $1.90/ft. They also charge a $6.25/day `service charge’ for electricity. When I said I wouldn’t plug in, they said I had to pay it anyway.
      I asked what the rationale was and they said they lose money on boats that have air conditioning and refrigeration and make up for it in this way. We have neither and I said I didn’t appreciate subsidizing those that do, especially since I buy ice from marinas so end up paying for my refrigeration and for others! The last marina we were at for three weeks was metered and for the 21 days I paid $5.85, or $.30 per day. Marinas need to install meters or determine what the power usage will be, and definitely allow clients to decline power.
      The marina has no gate and is near well-used public thoroughfares. A guard walks down the dock occasionally at night. I know of no problems but’¦
      Fair winds and following seas,
      Austin Whitten, s/y Discovery II

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    • Depths in Fleming Key/Garrison Bight Mooring Field – Key West

      When I received the note below from Captain Jim, I queried him on the location of the “shower and laundry facilities building.” I was not sure whether they were located in Garrison Bight, or Key West Bight. As you will see in the second note below, the new showers and laundry are in Garrison Bight!

      Subject: Min. depth Garrison Bight Mooring Buoys
      Cruising News: We have been here 2.5 years and the least water I have seen in the mooring field is 8′. This area was dredged for sea planes landing area for WW II. They have also completed their Shower and laundry facilities building located at the dinghy dock.
      Capt Jim

      This is Garrison Bight next to the dinghy docks on Palm Blvd. not the Key West Historical bight. I was there two days ago and they were tied off the dinghy dock in two rows from the dock. It is a zoo there now. They charge by the month or by the day there. If you had any other questions of the area, I would be glad to answer what I know or look into it. Keep up the good work on the Cruisersnet. We do appreciate it.
      Capt. Jim

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Florida Keys Anchroage Directory Listing For The Fleming Key/Garrison Bight Mooring Field

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    • A&B Marina (Key West Bight)

      A&B Marina is one of several quality facilities located in Key West Bight! I must say, though, Captains Marsha and Bob’s review below is about as glowing as it gets. Give A&B your most serious consideration!

      Tina Turner said it best- `Your’re simply the best.’ This describes A&B. Mark and his crew, plus the location make it so.
      Reservations most times are needed. Don’t miss it !! It’s worth the trip.
      Marsha & Bob
      M/V Threadbare

      Click Here For The Cruisers’ Net’s Florida Keys Marina Directory Listing For A&B Marina

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    • Garrison Bight – Fleming Key Mooring Field (Key West)

      The Fleming Key mooring field is administered by the Key West city marina in Garrison Bight. It is HUGE, and seemingly very well run. This is a GREAT spot so park your craft while visiting fascinating Key West! Follow the link below to the Net’s “Florida Keys Anchorage Directory” to check out this field’s location in Key West.

      We have been tied to a mooring ball for 5 days at the Garrison Bight Field. Its been great. The fee is $16.59 per night and monthly breakeven is 17 nights. Fee includes showers, laundry facilities and dinghy dock parking at the Garrison Bight. A mile walk to Winn Dixie, mile to the Beach. We take the dingy around to the Key West Bight to see that side of island and the famous attractions.
      Protection is reasonable with the most exposure from the north, but we did just fine with N15-20.
      You need to put your own line on the mooring. This is difficult for our trawler with a high bow. Usually someone sees a new boat coming in and goes out to help with a dinghy. We had a buddy boat when we arrived and used one of the dinks to get both.
      42 Hatteras LRC

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Florida Keys Anchorage Directory Listing For The Garrison Bight – Fleming Key Mooring Field

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    • Having Fun In Key West

      Below, all crusiers will find some really good advice on how to have some fun, and, in particular, how to take a cooling dip while in Key West, courtesy of Captains Jason and Shelley. Sounds like a good plan to me. Anybody want to buy me lunch at Sunset Island??????

      Key West Tips. A great low cost tip on enjoying yourself in Key West’¦ if you are anchored off or staying in a marina where there is no pool (e.g. City Marina), you can use the one at the Conch [Harbor]Marina [on Key West Bight] simply by eating or drinking lunch at one of the two poolside restaurants there. (Diablos is the name of one) The food is quite good and the pool is fantastic. The only downside is that it closes at sunset. Don’t miss the Schooner Bar- a great world class cruiser friendly facility. We have docked at The Conch twice and it is really friendly, central and wonderful but like most things Key West’¦expensive. Mallory Square is overrated and increasingly more like a freak show than a sunset celebration.
      Another fun thing to do is take the launch out to the restaurant on Sunset Island for lunch. Dinner there can be very pricey but the food and experience is fun and nearly affordable at lunch.
      Jason and Shelley

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

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    • Garrison Bight City Marina (Key West)

      Garrison Bight is one of two city owned facilities in Key West, the other being Key West Bight City Marina. Garrison Bight is a good facility, particularly now that the showers were rebuilt after the 2005 hurricane season, but sailors need to be aware of some fairly low power lines in this harbor.

      Garrison Bight City Marina Mooring Field located between Fleming Key and Sigbee Park has expanded to 100+ mooring balls at a monthly rate of $296 or daily at $16.75 w free weekly pump out that comes to your boat. Will accept up to and including 50 foot boat. Dink ride to Old Town is 10 minutes where one must pay $6 day to tie up OR use the free 2 hour dingy dock. The other dingy dock at Garrison Bight for those using mooring ball is free, but about a 15 minute ride and a long walk to Old Town. Call Dockmaster @ 305-809-3981 for details. We are quite happy here, planning to stay for two months’¦.but where is everyone else? Not crowded at all.
      Sharon Larrison Stepniewski

      Click Here For The Cruisers’ Net’s Florida Keys Marina Directory Listing For Garrison Bight City Marina

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    • New “Dive Site” Established 7 Miles From Key West

      New FL Keys Dive Site:
      The Sinking of the Vandenberg
      Location: 24.27 N, 81.44 W
      by Charmaine Smith Ladd
      A decade-long project in the making by Artificial Reefs of the Keys (ARK) finally became a reality this morning.  At 10:21 a.m., approximately seven miles off Key West ((between Western Sambo and Sand Keys & South of Hawks Channel marker 32), the 522 ft. USS Gen. Hoyt Vandenberg officially became the second largest artificial reef. 
      Following two explosions via well-placed detonators the retired U.S. Naval vessel sank in about two minutes and settled perfectly upright, its keel down about 140 feet on the bottom of the Atlantic. Much of the structure can be reached at only 40-50 ft. below the surface.
      The massive Vandenberg will be a most wonderful addition to the fabulous dive sites of the Florida Keys.  In as soon as a week the new dive site will be open to all. 
      Valeo Films via Keys News offers this video clip of the sinking of the Vandenberg:
      Charmaine Smith Ladd, SSECN's Regional Correspondent for the Florida Keys, bringing you "The Low Down from Down Low."

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    • Galleon Marina – Key West

      GREAT report below from Captain Gary Riss, who is normally our correspondent for Western Florida. Obviously, Gary is off cruising the Keys, and we thank him most sincerely for this marina review.
      Note Gary also mention “Schooner Wharf Bar. That is also one of this writer’s favorite Key West haunts. This bar’s motto is “Where you can hang with the Big Dogs.” GREAT place, particularly for cruisers!

      Having spent the last 12 days weather bound by wind at the Galleon Marina in Key West, I think we qualify as fresh water conchs. If you have to be weather bound, there aren’t many better places!
      The dock hands at the Galleon are excellent at shoehorning large boats into small slips. Sometimes there is even room for fenders. Dock hands John, Fred, Susie, Heather and Mike have never met a stranger. They have unbelievable patience with even the inexperienced boater. They make the boat captain look like an old pro. The docks are all floating which makes for an easy exit from your boat. One should absolutely call for assistance when docking because they know all of the tricks for an easy docking experience. Don’t forget to ask for assistance when leaving because the wind and current can also present a challenge.
      One of our favorite places to spend the afternoon is the Schooner Wharf Bar. Michael McCloud performs most days and has a show not to be missed. His music is not exactly G rated, but gives you a good insight into the Key West lifestyle. An island cheeseburger is always welcome when accompanied by an adult beverage.
      Gary Riss
      M/V Far From Normal

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

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    • Anchoring Not Allowed Within 500 Yards of Fleming Key (Key West)

      I certainly hope the info in Captain Ned’s note below does not preclude anchoring adjacent to Christmas Tree Island. This is indeed one of the few good places to anchor in Key West. Of course, I’m sure the large, city sponsored mooring field east of Fleming Key is still in full operation.

      Subject: No Anchoring Flemming Key , Key West
      Cruising News: The Navy is not allowing anchoring within 400 yards of Fleming Key. This was one of the few spots to anchor at Key West.
      Ned Young
      SV Dreamweaver

      Click Here To View the Florida Keys Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For Fleming Key/Man of War Harbor Anchorage

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