At the south part of Florida, you will find a sequence of islands 170 miles long, which is entrenched in turquoise water. That’s the Keys, surrounded by the majestic living coral reef in the U.S. The subtropical climate and the unique beauty of the Atlantic have made this natural wonder one of the most esteemed destinations for sailors.
In this post, we will provide you a guide to sailing the Florida Keys and other important things you need to know:
Sailing the Keys is an excellent option to prevent the weather-dependent Gulf Stream that crosses the Bahamas. You could sail in about any weather, as you have 3 route options:
The intra-coastal waterway. This is slow because of the zigzag channel and irregular markers.
Inside the reef via Hawke Channel with less current impact.
Outside the reef in the Gulf Stream along with deep water; however, with a South to North current of approximately 2-3 Knots.
The backdrop to sailing the Keys is the shallow and distance waters. If you calculate an average of five Knots traveling South with the Hawk Channel, it will take you twenty-seven hours of sailing continuously to arrive at Key West.
Since you could travel throughout daylight because of the shallow reefs and water, that offers you more than eight hours of sailing a day, that compares to a 3-day trip without pausing off anywhere.
The Florida Keys are an excellent option for sailors particularly in the dubious winter months when the risk of icy fronts coming across from the West are most predominant. Such fronts generate uneasy weather, which would make a Gulf Stream crossing somewhat rough.
Another problem with the Bahamas in winter is its timing factor. Often, you could get across to the Bahamas unscathed. However, when the time arrives for the return crossing, you find that the weather situations have improved and you cannot get back.
Florida Keys Sailing Tips
Make sure that you feel the Florida Keys similar the locals do. After all, that is the best motto when you visit this beautiful destination.
Sailing local style: If you want to sail where the locals sail, you wish to head to the Seven Mile Bridge, also known as Downtown. Flock and take in the southern sun and some southern conversation too.
Fishing: Islamorada is the fishing heart of the keys. Situated in the Upper Keys, a lot of renowned fishing charter captains are itching to be on the water.
Sunrise: The majority of Key West guests love the sunsets. So make sure that you prioritize to charter a sailboat for an early morning voyage. The colors on the open water are surely worth setting your alarm clock for.
Watering holes: In case you didn’t know yet, the Hogfish Bar and Grill is the ideal sanctuary the Keys has to provide. You are going to wish your boat for this one, as this gem is situated on Stock Island. You can pull up, dock and take advantage of smoked fish dip.
An expedition around the Keys on a lux jet boat, a relaxed day of sun on a platform, or setting sail on a yacht, are all excellent ways to take in the Florida Keys.