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

Pt. IV, day 2, Rodriguez Key

Another fun bit of "day sailing". (Not actually sailing, the wind was on the nose, so it was a 4-hour motor.)

Rodriguez Key Sandbar Party
Rodriguez Key Sandbar Party

We're anchored at 25°03.500′N 080°26.734′W, not far from Rodriguez Key. And the sandbar party.

Yesterday, I had a fit of despair because I thought I had badly mis-planned.

This morning, I read the responses to my request on Facebook, checked the Ocean Reef tide table, and loaded the Bob423 track into the chart plotter.

I realized it happened to be the perfect time to leave. About an hour before full high tide means we'll be motoring into the current, which keeps things slow and intentional. And any bump means we have a little bit of rising tide to help float us off.

CA pulled up the anchor and we started toward the mangrove-lined channel at about 09:34. It was only a mile or so away, so we probably went past the entrance buoy at 09:45. High Tide was 10:43. We exited into the Hawk Channel a little before 10:20.

After my moments of despair yesterday, this was a delight.


It was purest dumbest luck that the tide fit exactly with our hopes to get the anchor down early in the afternoon.

We set helm for Tavernier Key and motored into the wind for 3½ hours. As we passed Rodriguez Key and looked past it to Tavernier Key, I decided to switch destinations. It's barely ½ hour difference in travel time, but Rodriguez Key is bigger.

And had a party.

It's a really wide-open space with very little cover. We expect to get bashed around by wind from E or NE. Folks gripe about it being a poor anchorage.

We're in about 6.6′ of water, which is skinny, but, with a sandy bottom, we're not too worried if we do settle into the sand a low tide.

Tomorrow, we'll have 10-12 kt breeze out of the SE. This might let us sail down to the Channel Five bridge. It's about 30 miles, about 5 hours of motoring (or sailing.) We may also have rain.

But. I haven't misread the tide chart. The Channel Five bridge really is 65′, and we can tuck in behind Lower Matecumbe Key. Then the Fanny Keys, behind Vaca Key and Marathon. Then Key West. With -- maybe -- some time spent waiting for weather.


Attribute Value
Depart Pumpkin Key 25°19.860′N 080°17.736′W
Arrive Rodriguez Key 25°03.500′N 080°26.734′W
Distance 26 nm
Time 4h 40m
Engine 4h 40m