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 Post subject: Biscayne Bay sail
PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 1:53 pm 
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Location: Boynton Beach
The conditions look good for sailing out of Black Point Marina into Biscayne Bay tomorrow. With NE winds, it would be a beam reach across the Bay to Elliott Key and a beam reach back. Might even slide out of Sands Cut and dive Triumph Reef.
Late notice, but why not. If any boaters down this way want to give it a go, let me know.

Ted


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 Post subject: Re: Biscayne Bay sail
PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2010 10:46 am 
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Read this a little too late... We are thinking about trying to try to get to Elliot key tommorrow...

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 Post subject: Re: Biscayne Bay sail
PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2010 2:48 pm 
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It was beautiful out there. I first went to Black Point Marina. They said there was a canoe launch there - there wasn't! Forget about Black Point. The park headquarters in Homestead has an excellent canoe launch. You will need some wheels as you can't back a trailer down the launch, but it is close to the road.

Since I got out later that I wanted to, I sailed half way across the bay and back. Given the effort involved in packing, driving 90 miles, rigging, unrigging, driving 90 miles, unpacking and cleaning, I think overnighting on Elliott is the way to do it.

I'm charging the camera battery and will try to get some pictures up as sone as possible.

Ted


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 Post subject: Re: Biscayne Bay sail
PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2010 4:43 pm 
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Wow 90 miles! Yes, you are correct. Biscnayne National Park has the best (free) launch. We'll be there at about 8AM tommorrow.

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 Post subject: Re: Biscayne Bay sail
PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 2:15 pm 
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We left this morning from BNP Vistitor center at 9AM and headed over to Elliot Key.

We saw the big giant party they had set up for the Columbus Day regotta (HUNDREDS upon HUNDREDS of boats tied up to each other of the coast of the key. We didn't join the party, but instead turned a bit South and arrived at the park marina at about 12 Noon.

After a quick picnic we were on our way back. Less wind on the return, but we got back at arounf 3:30PM.

Total trip was about 21 miles (it's about 18 as the crow flies).

Next time we will definately camp on Elliot Key.

We had an awsome time!

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 Post subject: Re: Biscayne Bay sail
PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 4:20 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2007 6:14 pm
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Location: South Florida
Sounds like you fellows had a couple of nice day-sails. I must admit, Elliott Key on Columbus Day Regatta Weekend is something that I would try to stay far, far away from. Still, an overnighter sometime might be a possibility.

We are getting close to camping season. Looking forward (from 9500') to lift off.

Keith

PS You fellows know that 3 people were killed in 2002 and 2 in 2006 in boating accidents at the Columbus Day Regatta--clearly a lot more dangerous than camping in the Everglades (w/ alligators, crocs, pythons, sharks, sting rays, etc.)

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Last edited by Chekika on Sun Oct 10, 2010 6:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Biscayne Bay sail
PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 6:30 pm 
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Location: Boynton Beach
It was pretty mellow Saturday, Keith. There wasn't a lot of motor boat traffic, and those that passed by gave a polite wave and went on their way. It felt like I had the Bay to myself, which is what I love about the south end of the Bay. You can see the taller buildings of Miami in the distance, but most of the noise and visual pollution is a good 20 miles to the north. Being in Biscayne National Park and Everglades National Park is like being in another world - and only two hours away. Reminds me of some song lyrics from old: "take a trip and never leave the farm" - don't think those lyrics were about sailing, though:)

Ted


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 Post subject: Re: Biscayne Bay sail
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:21 pm 
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Here are some pics from our trip.

It's kind of an interesting feeling to be out on the water only able to see water in all directions:
Image


This should give you an idea of the "boat raft" at the Columbus Day Regatta:
Image

Here's the path we took to get there - er, at least until the GPS abtteries gave out (Important note to self - don't use wife's camera batteries but instead get your own set and mark them as such) The sharp turn to the south on approach to Elliot Key is us turning to avoid the big party:
Image

Securing our vessle at the Park Marina on Elliot Key (another important note to self - extra rope and and bumper or two might be a good idea):
Image

As you can see, we mostly had the place to ourselves even though the party was just off-shore (Visitor's Center is the building behind me). Too bad we had to eat our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (important note - need to upgrade chow) and get back on the water to make it back for when the PArk closes the gates at 5:30PM. We made it back with plenty of time to spare-3:30PM:
Image

We had a great time! 3 hrs out, 3 1/2 back, a total of about 21 miles. A great day!!!!:
Image

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 Post subject: Re: Biscayne Bay sail
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:43 pm 
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Nice pictures. Mine didn't come out too well - may be time for a new camera.
It looks like the raft up was at Sands Cut. It's pretty ugly there every weekend, though probably not like that.

I didn't realize they close the gates at the park. Can you park overnight so you can camp on Elliott? I think it would be great to camp there for a few days and take the Islands out to the reefs on the ocean side, circumnavigate Elliott Key and maybe do a little fishing.

Ted


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 Post subject: Re: Biscayne Bay sail
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:09 pm 
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My understanding is that you can leave your car there. You have to buy a "permit" to camp in the park (it's like $10 night). There are bathrooms and showers and water and even grills at the Park Marina at Elliot Key, so none of that is a problem.

We want to try to do the same sorts of things on Elliot - camp, hike, snorkle. I'd love to get out to the ocean and do a little diving, but we haven't worked up to that yet. The reef is like 4 miles beyond Elliot.

I figure if I leave BNP Visitor Center at about 9AM and get to Elliot Key at about 12 Noon, that leaves the rest of the day to hike over to the other side and snorkle or whatever, then leave for BNP Visitor Center at like Noon the next day for a 3 or 4PM return, leaving a little extra time just in case.

All that on a weekend where 8-12 Kt winds and a light chop on the bay forecast would be perfect, with wind out of the North or thereabouts.

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 Post subject: Re: Biscayne Bay sail
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:32 pm 
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That sounds about right. I've been out to Triumphs Reef. It's directly out from Sands Cut. It ranges from about 5' to about 15' deep. It covers a pretty small area but is very pretty. There are anchor balls you can tie off on. That cut is treacherous for boats with a keel or prop (it's rock bottom and very shallow) , but the Islands would scoot right out - might want to go with the tide though. You buy the permit on Elliott. It's 20 to dock and camp and 15 to pull up a kayak and camp. Weather is just about there.

Ted


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