To see as much of the world as we can,
Using the smallest carbon footprint we can,
Spending the least amount of money we can,
Making as many friends we can.

Team Red Cruising

Ph. IV, day 1, Pumpkin Key

This "day sailing" is fun. Instead if a bruising 20-hour overnight passage, we did a leisurely five and one-half hours down Biscayne Bay and into Cove Sound.

Pumpkin Key
Pumpkin Key

We're anchored at 25°19.860′N 080°17.736′W, not far from Pumpkin Key.

Tomorrow we expect it could rain, but there won't be much wind, so we'll press on to Tavernier via the Hawk Channel. Which means squeezing out through Anglefish Creek. And that's the source of a great deal of worry.

Despair Factor

This is a potentially scary route because it's pretty shallow at low tide. It's charted as just under 6′. And we draw just under 6′.

I spend the afternoon looking and looking and looking at the charts and the tides. I read the Waterway Guide information (again) on the Angelfish Creek channel. There were folks claiming the Hawk Channel side is really only 4′ deep.

| 4′. That's impassible.

This has lead to a tremendous gloom and doom this evening. After a delightful day, it looks like I may have totally misplanned this. If we can't get out, then, we have to spend tomorrow going back up to Key Biscayne. We can then try again, this time using the Cape Florida channel.

For me, this is a very, very upsetting thing. A total failure to plan.

CA says we get two days in Biscayne Bay, which is nice.

She's right. But. I'm pretty sure I failed at the planning part of this.

Correcting my Mistakes

Here's the first part of the problem. I have both Waterway Guide and Active Captain information enabled. I tend to see the Waterway Guide because the icon is more prominent.

Eventually, I found the Active Captain information. It was much more recent, and much more positive. It was a lot of folks who transited the creek at high tide seeing 8′ of water. Not 5.9′. I need to turn some of the Waterway Guide details off.

CA says post a query to the Whitby 42 group on Facebook. I got several answers, all of which were "You'll make it just fine; we did."

More important, some of advice pointed out the second part of my problem. Use the tide table for the Ocean Reef entrance in the Hawk Channel. Do not use the tide table for Pumpkin Key. Inside Cove Sound, the tide is six inches. Outside, in the Hawk Channel, the tide is two feet.

Two feet above 5′9″ is closer to the 8′ some folks are reporting. And further from the 4′ reported in Waterway Guide.

I'm feeling a lot better when I look at the right tide table.

And finally this: Bob423 Long Tracks. The Long Tracks included Angelfish Creek in the Keys This was a life-saver.

I downloaded this immediately and put it on the chart-plotter.


Attribute Value
Depart Key Biscayne 25° 40.455′N 080°10.042′W
Arrive Pumpkin Key 25°19.860′N 080°17.736′W
Distance 22 nm
Time 5h 20m
Engine 5h 20m