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Navigation in Florida Bay

Start at the top left of this chart. Note "Crane Keys 149". There are coordinates in a table on the chart for "149". To the right and down are two channels that have no numbers. These do not have coordinates printed on the chart. So today I used my Garmon 12, pictured below, to record the coordinates at the opening of both unnumbered channels through Cross Bank just to the right of the Crane Keys.

Chart of the waters "out front". At the bottom center of this chart is "38" Plantation Yatch Hbr. It was bought when Islamorada became incorporated so now it is Founder's Park Marina. That is the boat ramp I use.

As I leave the protected area of the harbor, I head on a track of 315º to reach either the left or right channel near Crane Keys. I don't use the GPS or chart. I can see the Crane Keys from the shore and head to the right of them.


A photo of the left channel near the Crane Keys as I approached. This is a relatively straight and short channel. Only 4 stakes total. The inverted-L points to the deep part. Many boaters seem to miss this fact judging by the number of propeller tracks in the shallow water.

The water outside the channel is 2-6 inches deep. The channel is probably 3-4 feet at the deepest and 1 1/2-2 feet where they stopped dredging.

I inserted a better image of the lower left stake in the sky above it. The Crane Keys are not shown in the photo but are just left of the image.


The GPS screen after marking the coordinates of the left channel. When you press the 'Mark' key, a screen pops up with the coordinates and an auto-number starting at 001. I later edited waypoint 001 to read CH-LFT.