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Florida
Charter Destination: Florida

Catamaran Charter Destination

Tips and Hints to Sailing

Catamarans in Florida

2012 Gemini 105Mc
Lavezzi 40 - Fountaine Pajot
Lagoon 41 - La Bamba
Lagoon 420 - Knot On Call
Lagoon 440 - CatTales
Lagoon 440 - Windance

Start your charter in beautiful Ft. Lauderdale and make your way down to the Florida Keys. The Climate is deliciously tropical, yet tempered by cool ocean breezes.

The Florida Keys have become a popular destination for Americans looking for a tropical vacation without leaving their own country. The Florida Keys can be considered the American Caribbean and features all the same amenities as other island destinations such as world class sport fishing, scuba diving and snorkeling, boating, sailing, kayaking and eco-tours. Each of the island destinations has some special features. We invite you to visit each area individually and discover the tropical paradise in the Florida Keys.

The Keys are known for their spectacular coral reefs, excellent marina facilities and quiet restful anchorages.

Sheltered by the only living coral reef in the U.S., the Keys offer splendid sailing conditions year round.

The islands of the Florida Keys run south west from the city of Miami, FL. The first island you will encounter is Key Largo. The Florida Keys span some 110 miles and are connected by bridges and causeways.

Key Largo offers some of the finest diving and snorkeling in the Florida Keys. One of the main attractions in Key Largo is the John Pennekamp State Park. There are many dive companies that run guided trips to the park and to area sunken wrecks just off Key Largo.

Islamorada is the next island destination just south of Key Largo. Islamorada is known for it's world class sport fishing. Each season welcomes new fishing tournaments and angling opportunities. Bonefishing is especially popular with large bonefish up into the 10lb. range. Offshore sport fishing can be equally exciting during the winter months for sailfish just off the reefs of Islamorada.

Marathon is considered the heart of the Florida Keys because of its location ... about the middle of the Florida Keys island chain. The area of Marathon consists of many Keys or islands starting with Long Key, the Conch Keys, Duck Key, Grassy Key, Boot Key, Crawl Key and Pigeon Key.

Marathon is separated from the Lower Florida Keys on the south end by the Seven Mile Bridge. This bridge is famous and has been seen in many movies and is host to the Seven Mile Bridge Run each year.

Marathon is a quaint place to take a very relaxing vacation. There are many great amenities including some great restaurants that serve fresh seafood and some good shopping with many gifts and crafts from local artists. Marathon has some very nice communities including Key Colony Beach and Sombrero Beach.

If you are into a family vacation with some relaxation, fishing, diving, eco tours and shopping right at your disposal, then Marathon is a great place to stop on your travels through the Florida Keys.

Big Pine Key and the Lower Florida Keys are as kicked back as it gets here. Boating is one of the number one attractions and there are many different tours and trips to Looe Key for diving and snorkeling or out in the backcountry for fishing or bird watching.

Key West is also known as the Last Resort, the Southernmost Point in the continental U.S. Key West is whatever you want it to be. You can walk the beach and watch a beautiful sunset, or dance all night and peruse Duval Street in downtown Key West.

The azure blue waters that surround Key West and the Lower Florida Keys have much to offer for SCUBA divers, snorkelers and fisherman. There is no place else in the country to see so many species of marine life in one place. Wrecks and reefs, both artificial and natural coral, are home to hundreds of species of tropical and game fish. Whether you choose to go snorkeling on our catamaran or take a night dive on a wreck, you will be surprised at the sea life in the Keys waters.

Whatever your taste, the Florida Keys has something for every individual, couple and family.

If you want a relaxing charter and don't want the responsibility of handling the boat yourself or are not qualified to bareboat charter (sail the boat yourself), then you may opt for a captained sailing charter. We have captains that you can hire for your sailing adventure so you can kick back and enjoy the sun and sea.

If you would like to experience the tropical waters of Florida aboard one of our fine sailing catamaran please contact us today.

Florida Keys Itinerary

Keys - One Week

Day 1 - Provision in the morning board and depart by 2:00 PM Sail to Miami and spend the night at Dinner Key Marina, Bay Side Marina, Miami Beach Marina or anchor in "No Name Harbor". (18NM)

Day 2 - Depart from the Miami area and sail south down Biscayne Bay, anchor on the inside of Elliott Key (Swim, Snorkel, Beach). Spend the afternoon there and then sail a little further south to spend the night behind Pumpkin Key. (17NM)

Day 3 - Sail out through Angel Fish Creek to the out side. Best done at high tide. Entrance and exit are trickiest but in between is plenty of draft. Sail to Craysfort reef and Elbow Reef snorkel mid-morning to mid-afternoon. Then sail north to Key Largo and pull into Marina Del Mar. Have dinner at a restaurant get off the boat for a while spend the night. (26NM)

Day 4 - Sail southwest on the outside down to Marathon. Full day of sailing. Spend the night at Marathon Marina. (47NM)

Day 5 - Sail out to Sombrero Reef for an early morning snorkel. Then head back northeast and sail to Windley Key. Pull into Holiday Isle Marina (Do not dock at transient dock). Spend the night. (38NM)

Day 6 - Full day sail on the outside up to Government Cut and into Miami, sailing with the Gulf Stream will make for a very fast sail. Choose from the many marinas or moorings to spend the night. (59 NM)

Day 7 - Sail on the outside up to Port Everglades and back to Fun In The Sun Marina. Spend the night on the boat. (18NM)

Upper Florida Keys - 3 Days

Day 1 - Provision in the morning board and depart by 2:00 PM Sail to Miami and spend the night at Dinner Key Marina, Miamarina, Miami Beach Marina, Crandon Park Marina, or anchor in "No Name Harbor" or at Nixon's Harbor. (18NM)

Day 2 - Depart from the Miami area and sail south down Biscayne Bay, anchor on the inside of Elliott Key (Swim, Snorkel, Beach). Spend the afternoon there and then sail a little further south to spend the night behind Pumpkin Key. (17 NM)

Day 3 - Sail out through Angel Fish Creek into Hawks Channel. Best done at high tide. Entrance and exit are trickiest but in between is plenty of draft. Sail to Craysfort Reef snorkel mid-morning to mid-afternoon. Depart the reef and sail back to No Name Harbor or Miami Beach Marina to spend the night. (17 NM)

Day 4 - Depart early in the morning and sail on back to Fun In The Sun Marina. Unload, clean up and be on your way by 12:00 Noon. (18 NM)

Lower Florida Keys - One Week*

Sailing from Marathon Key you will experience the many pleasures and sites of the Florida Keys. The unspoiled coral reefs of the Lower Keys have many sites where you can tie up to a mooring ball and snorkel or dive. Hawks Channel provides fantastic sailing, as there is protection from the ocean swells but still great wind.

Day 1 - Depart out of Marathon and sail to Bahia Honda. One of the best anchorage's in the Florida Keys. Drop your hook near the Old Keys Trestle Railroad Bridge and enjoy the calm natural harbor at Bahia Honda State Park. (12 NM)

Day 2 - Depart Bahia Honda and sail out to Looe's Key. (6NM) Looe's Key is a National Marine Sanctuary with great snorkeling and diving. The Reef is from 1 to 80 feet with a great wall for SCUBA. Tie up to one of the mooring balls placed there for your ease of use and also to protect the coral from dropping anchors. After a few hours on the reef head for Newfound Harbor. (5NM) Here you may anchor out or stay at a very exclusive and expensive marina. Little Palm Island Marina offers transient dockage at $7.50 per foot per night with a minimum of $350.00. They have a 5 star restaurant and hotel accommodations, which are very pricey as well. If such an expensive marina is not in your itinerary Newfound Harbor is a great place to spend the night on the hook and there is a restaurant that you can dinghy into.

Day 3 - Depart Newfound Harbor and sail to Key West. (27 NM) Stay at Key West Bight Marina or anchor out in Man of War Harbor. Enjoy the nightlife and shopping in the quaint village of Key West.

Day 4 - Depart Key West and sail to the uninhabited island group of the Marquesas. (26 NM) Enjoy the quite and solitude that this island group offers. Calm waters and nice sandy beaches provide wonderful swimming and relaxation.

Day 5 - Depart the Marquesas and sail back to Key West. (26NM) Stop along the way for some fantastic snorkeling by mooring to the dive buoys on the reef. Spend two nights in Key West to take in all that this "end of the road" destination has to offer.

Day 6 - Explore Key West and maybe do a day sail out to the reef for some snorkeling.

Day 7 - Depart Key West and sail back to Bahia Honda for your last night out on the hook. (33NM)Day 8 - Depart Bahia Honda and sail back to Marathon. (12NM) Arrive early enough to unload, clean the boat and be on your way by 12:00 Noon.

Dry Tortugas - One Week*

Day 1 - Depart out of Marathon in the evening and sail to the Dry Tortugas. (107 NM) It will take anywhere from 12 to 16 hours to make this passage. You should try to arrive in day light hours so that your approach is easier.

Day 2 - Arrive at the island group known as the Dry Tortugas. This is the most isolated and least visited national park in the United States. You should plan to spend two nights here but if the weather deteriorates be flexible enough to cut it short and head back to Key West. There are no services out on these islands so you should plan to be self sufficient while in this remote area.

Day 3 - Go ashore on Garden Key and tour Fort Jefferson National Monument. This was originally built in the mid 1800's as a military fort to be used by Union forces during the Civil War. The fort was converted to a prison whose most famous inmate was Dr. Mudd of Lincoln's time.

Day 4 - Snorkel the reefs surrounding the islands. Go ashore on Loggerhead Key and/or Hospital Key for a cookout, just be sure to clean up well and leave as little of a footprint as possible. Bush Key offers great bird watching from your yacht. Bush Key is a bird sanctuary and landing is prohibited.

Day 5 - Depart the Dry Tortugas early in the morning and sail to the uninhabited island group of the Marquesas. (44 NM) Be careful of Rebecca Shoal on the way and arrive before dark. Enjoy the quite and solitude that this island group offers. Calm waters and a nice sandy beach provide wonderful swimming and relaxation.

Day 6 - Depart the Marquesas and sail to Key West. (26NM) Stop along the way for some fantastic snorkeling by mooring to the dive buoys on the reef. Spend the night at Key West Bight Marina or anchor out in Man of War Harbor. Enjoy the nightlife and take in all that this "end of the road" destination has to offer.

Day 7 - Depart Key West and sail to Bahia Honda for your last night out on the hook. (33NM) One of the best anchorage's in the Florida Keys. Drop your hook near the Old Keys Trestle Railroad Bridge and enjoy the calm natural harbor at Bahia Honda State Park.

Day 8 - Depart Bahia Honda and sail back to Marathon. (12NM) Arrive early enough to unload, clean the boat and be on your way by 12:00 Noon.

Bahamas Itinerary

Chain in the Bahamas

Across the Gulf Steam from Florida's east coast lies the Bimini Island Chain. These sub tropical low-lying islands are a fantastic destination for a weeklong sail. Bimini offers some of the finest SCUBA diving, snorkeling, fishing and beachcombing anywhere. These "islands in the stream" offer water clarity, which is nothing less than spectacular. You may rent snorkel gear at our office in Ft. Lauderdale if you have not brought your own. For those who are certified divers we recommend renting your SCUBA gear from Underseas Sports in Ft. Lauderdale before you head across the Gulf Stream.

The Bimini Chain is lightly populated with the center of village life located on North Bimini, in Alice Town. There are many small restaurants, shops, and bars, as well as the Hemingway Museum at the Complete Angler. Marinas are abundant if you decide not to anchor out. The beaches on North Bimini offer miles of un-crowded fine white sand and snorkeling from the waters edge. Golf Carts and Mopeds are available for rent so you can explore the island. One of the most interesting dive and snorkel sites off of North Bimini is "Bimini Road", which some say is the ruin of the lost city of Atlantis.

South Bimini is primarily residential with only two marinas. The new Bimini Sands Marina is located at the entrance to the harbor and has a Customs and Immigration office so you can clear in there without having to take a taxi and ferry over to North Bimini. The other marina is located at the south end of the island. A new channel has been dredged in Nixon's Harbor that takes you into the marina. Not far from the south end of South Bimini lies the wreck of the "Sappona". This is a great snorkel and dive site.

The only other island in the Bimini's with a marina is on North Cat Cay. This is a private Island with some "high profile" homeowners. For this reason the local authorities limit the accessibility of the island for non-members. You are welcome at the Marina for transient dockage but they prefer for you to stay in the area of the marina where there is a fine dining restaurant a store for provisions, dock bar, and gift shop. It is a truly beautiful setting at the marina and we recommend this for your last night in the Bahamas. Just off the coast of South Cat Cay is a fantastic dive site. "Tuna Alley" has mooring balls and is 50' to 80' with deep caverns and crevasses in the coral.

There are many other Anchorages such as Honeymoon Harbour, Dollar Harbour. Moxom Rocks, and Nixon Harbour. Please call to speak with our knowledgeable staff for more details.

One Week Itinerary to the Bimini Islands

Day One - Arrive at Fun In The Sun Marina before mid-day. Part of the Crew goes to shop for provisions while the skipper and mate run through the inventory and do a systems check out. Skipper and mate should rest late afternoon and early evening. Finish loading the boat and depart for Bimini between 10:00 PM and Midnight. The crossing is done at night so that you arrive in daylight hours (due to no lighted navigational aides in the Bahamas).

Day Two - Arrive in Alice Town, clear customs and Immigration. It is recommended to spend your first night at a marina since you will be very tired when you arrive. Bimini Blue Water Marina is a reasonable marina to stay at. Explore Alice Town, Rest, walk over to the beach, and have some cracked conch for dinner at one of the local establishments.

Day Three - Sail to the north end of North Bimini. Anchor off the beach and carry a picnic lunch to a wonderful swimming beach. In the afternoon sail out to Bimini Road for a nice snorkel or shallow dive. Go back in near the beach and anchor out for the night.

Day Four - Sail south to the wreck of the Sappona. Snorkel around this old 1940's concrete hull sunken freighter. Pick up anchor and head south, sail to Gun Cay and anchor on the east or west side depending on conditions.

Day Five - Dinghy into Gun Cay and explore this uninhabited island. Check out the lighthouse and the nice beaches. There is also good conching around the east side of the island. Sail on down to the south end of North Cat Cay where there is a protected bay and a beautiful beach. Spend the night.

Day Six - Sail out to Tuna Alley, hook up with a mooring ball, and enjoy a world-class dive site. This is a 50' to 80' dive with coral caverns and giant crevasses. You will see lots of reef fish and an occasional turtle, shark and other wildlife. In the afternoon sail to the east side of North Cat Cay and spend your last night at Cat Cay Marina. There is fine dining there at the marina as well as a more casual dining room.

Day Seven - Check out the gift shop at the marina on Cat Cay in the morning. Sail down to South Cat Cay. Anchor off the west side for a couple for hours and do some snorkeling. Head back to Ft. Lauderdale so you arrive before dark. Stay at the Fun In The Sun Marina and go out to dinner in the Ft. Lauderdale area.

Day Eight - Clean up the boat, pack up your gear, and depart by 12:00 noon.
To add a little excitement, try fishing while you are sailing. It's a thrill catching Dolphin (Mahi Mahi), Tuna, Pompano, Mackerel, and Wahoo, not to mention the occasional billfish. There is nothing like fresh caught fish for dinner! You can also take along a kayak for island exploration and/or a windsurfer for the water sports enthusiast.

Obviously there can be a lot of variation on this itinerary, but it shows there is plenty to do in a week charter to the Bimini Island Chain. If you would like further information or would like to plan a different Bahamas trip give us a call and speak with our knowledgeable staff. We can provide you with a cruising guide to the Bahamas Islands as well as charts of the area.

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