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The Florida Reef is the only living coral barrier reef in the continental United States, and the third largest in the world. It is about four miles wide and extends for 170 miles. The barrier reef tract forms a great arc protecting Hawks Channel, where we will spend most of our time on this trip. Our planned itinerary will provide opportunities to explore the Upper Keys, and Duck Key in the Middle Keys. (We will leave the Lower Keys for another trip). There are more than 6,000 individual reefs, and they are 5,000 to 7,000 years old, having developed since sea levels rose following the Wisconsin Glaciation, the most recent glacial period.

Upper Keys Chart

This trip is perfect for those ready to escape winter in the northeast; eager for an adventure, which includes a snorkel or dive of these spectacular coral beds; and then indulge in some luxury and R&R at an elegant resort marina. We're planning a layover day at Hawks Cay Resort and Marina on days five and six. It is in the Top Ten Best Florida Resorts listed by Travel & Leisure magazine.

pink flamingo

The starting point is historic, charming, and the best-restaurants-in-Miami neighborhood of Coconut Grove. Our charter base is at Bayshore Landing Marina, Coconut Grove, Miami, Florida. Nine days of sailing, snorkeling and exploring the marine preserves of the Florida reef lay ahead. We also plan to visit Key Largo, Indian Key, Rodriguez Key, and Pumpkin Key.
 

Day 1 - Saturday, Feb 2, 2019 - Fly into Miami airport - Arrive at Florida Yacht Charters, Bayshore Landing Marina, Coconut Grove, Miami, FL. Crews will assemble on designated boats, provision as necessary. There is a Publix and a Fresh Market within walking distance of the marina.

Day 2 - Sunday, Feb 3, 2019 - Weíll make our way out to Biscayne Bay and on to Pumpkin Key. We will cast off our lines and leave the marina via Dinner Key Channel heading southeast. Pumpkin Key always has a lee side.

Day 3 - Monday, Feb 4, 2019 - Marina Del Mar, Key Largo - We will take Hawks Channel from Pumpkin Key. This channel is the body of water running between Key West and the offshore reefs of the Atlantic. Early explorers of the area called it a river, as it flows south, while the ocean-side currents usually flow from south to north. There are pools and hot tubs to enjoy at Marina Del Mar, free wifi, food and beverages, and laundry facilities.

Day 4 - Tuesday, Feb 5, 2019 - Key Largo to Indian Key anchorage (approx 25 nm) - We will pass so many great snorkeling spots that we may have to stop at one or two on the way (Conch Reef, Davis Reef, Pickles Reef). Indian Key is a state park and is at the north end of Lower Matecombe Key. This would be a perfect anchorage to barbecue off the stern of the boat - a cool and easy way to cook dinner.

Day 5 and 6 - Wednesday - Thursday, Feb 6 and Feb 7, 2019 - Indian Key to Hawk Cay Marina -
 

Hawk Cay Marina
Hawk's Cay Resort and Marina

 

Marina, pools, hot tubs, lagoon, restaurants, spa and fitness center, shuttle service, marina grill.

Point of interest nearby - The Dolphin Research Center - www.dolphins.org

Day 7 - Friday, Feb 8, 2019 - Heading north - After a leisurely breakfast and just one more dip in the pool and/or hot tub, we will head to our night anchorage at Rodriguez Key (12 nm). This small island is a Wildlife Management Area.
 

pink flamingo

Day 8 - Saturday, Feb 9, 2019 - Our destination today is back to Pumpkin Key (23.5 nm); hopefully with a stop for just one more good snorkeling spot. Dinner aboard.

Day 9 - Sunday, Feb 10, 2019 - Pumpkin Key through Biscayne Bay and back to the marina at Coconut Grove. Must go cocktail hour. Group photos, boat photos.

Day 10 - Monday, Feb 11, 2019 - You donít have to go home, but you canít stay here - We have to be off the boats by 10 am. If youíre an early riser, and already packed, I bet there are a few good breakfast places nearby.
 

The cost of this trip is $1,350.00 per person (Skippers and Trip Leader $713.00). This price covers charter fees, insurance, and three (3) nights slip fees. Provisioning, fuel, and other incidentals are additional and will be handled by each boat's crew. A $200.00 deposit and Release of Liability and Zero Tolerance Form must accompany your reservation form.

Please make your check payable to The Sailing Club, Inc. and mail it, along with your completed reservation and release forms, to Mary Ann Gordon at the address below. Reservations will be processed beginning May 28, 2018 with a random draw of those received by that date. All reservations received after that date are on a first come, first served basis. A second payment of $575.00 is due on August 1, 2018, and the final payment of $575.00 is due on November 1, 2018.

NOTE: A special cancellation policy applies for this trip. Any cancellation after November 2, 2018 will not be eligible for a refund, unless a replacement is found.

A pre-trip meeting will be held at a time and place to be announced. All crewmembers should make every effort to attend in order to meet your crewmates, plan your meals, and make travel plans.

Please note that sailing conditions are dynamic, that your safety, and that of your crewmates, depends on your good physical health and agility.

Trip Leader     

Assistant Trip Leader

Mary Ann Gordon                      
2714 Packer Court
Bridgewater, NJ 08807                      
908-575-1457
maryagordon14@gmail.com
Bob Rainey                      
2006 South Branch Drive
Whitehouse Station, NJ 08889
908-872-9101
rjraineyjr@aol.com

 

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