We need some advice from the locals on sailing in the Keys. My 11yo son and I will be coming from the DC area the 1st of May. We plan to bring our '11 AI and stay at Curry Hammock & Pennekamp Parks.
Our idea was to sail out to the reefs and wrecks, around 5 miles or so from shore. We were planning to do copious amounts of snorkeling and enjoy going at our own pace instead of using a dive boat. My question - is this feasible?
We haven't seen anyone write about doing this so I don't know if it's a realistic expectation. We have the normal safety gear (SPOT, VHF, GPS, etc.) but maybe we're missing something. It seems like a reasonable and exciting trip but we haven't found anyone that has done it- is there a reason?
We expect to have an off-shore breeze but we don't know the currents, wave heights, etc. Would the sailing time limit the amount of snorkeling? Are there dangers or weather issues or other factors I'm not considering? Are there better places to sail and snorkel in Southern Florida? We would appreciate any feedback from fellow AI/TI owners about this idea.
FYI, We have reservations at Curry Hammock 5/2-5/4 and Pennekamp 5/6-5/9. We haven't finalized the weekend but we're up for suggestions. Also, we invite anyone in the area to join us.
Here's a map of the mooring buoys we can use: http://floridakeys.noaa.gov/mbuoy/buoymap.html
There's lots of web info on the sites but no mention of getting out and back. Obviously, they want us to patronize the local shops but we'd like to set our own schedule.
Florida, here we come!