Heading to the Florida Keys

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Started day: mile marker 1100 (No longer on the ICW)

Ended day: mile marker 1152

Thursday, we woke and exited South Basin, raised the sails, and headed to the ocean via Cape Florida Channel to Hawk’s channel.  It was a beautiful day, and we did some sailing without the motor.  We couldn’t do that for long because we needed to travel 52 miles today before dark.

Since we draw 6’ we could no longer travel in the ICW.  We had to use Hawk’s channel that is a marked channel in the Atlantic Ocean that extends all the way to the Keys.  The depth is about 10-15’ so it’s easy to navigate.

A further problem for us is that we cannot enter at any of the inlets or channels to move to the Florida Bay side of the keys until the Channel 5 bridge by Long Key.  Which means no marinas are accessible, nor can we “tuck-up” around one of the main keys to get protection.  So for tonight we would need to basically anchor in the ocean!  Pretty scary because if a storm came up we would have nowhere to go for safety to get out of the wind.

Rodriguez Key was the only place we could get a little close to shore.  There was a 6-7’ area on the north side and also on the south side.  This is a VERY small key, but it would give us a little relief from the wind (unfortunately not the ocean swell).  But it was a calm night, and the water was very clear which helped our nerves.  We both took a dip before dinner.

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