The Marquesas Keys, a sailor and explorers overview
Also know as Button Key or Round Key, the Marquesas Keys are a group of uninhabited islands about 20 miles west of Key West. They are approximately 4 miles in diameter and much of the islands are covered by mangrove forests. As the map indicates, the waters near shore are very shallow and are home to thousands of small bait fish. Mooney Harbor has limited boat access but offers kayaks and paddle boards an escape from the winds and currents just a short distance away. The beaches are in a truly natural state. Pristinely un-groomed and inhabited, they are home to stalking herons and hermit crabs.
The Marquesas Keys seem to be a major stop for migrating Cubans and their watercraft, fondly called 'Cuban Chugs'. Let your imagination take you away to the who's, why's and how's of each landing. You may find your perception and opinions of immigrants plight changing.
SUGGESTED ITINERARY - 3DAYS/2NIGHTS
- Day 1: Key West to Marquesas Key - Arrive dockside as early as 9:00am. We encourage you come aboard after a healthy, hearty breakfast. This will give you the energy you will want and help settle you for your first day at sea. Once aboard, quickly unpack (we recommend soft, foldable luggage) and settle in. We will familiarize you with the yacht, address safe practices, our amenities and fine tune our plan for the day. We are already stocked with plenty of good foods & beverages. Any alcoholic beverages you brought will been stowed in the large coolers on deck. It won’t be long before we are dropping the lines and heading out to your adventure for the day. Going forward, we will encourage you to “Play, Eat, Relax & Refresh – Repeat” throughout your time aboard. Ultimately, we will arrive at the Marquesas (roughly 12 miles from Key West) but you’ll have an option for a free dive/snorkel trip at healthy reef along the way.
- Night 1: Marquesas Key - We will anchor fairly close to shore once we arrive. Depending on available time left before sunset, you may have an interest in kayaking, taking a dip or heading over to what we call ‘Hermit Crab Hill’ for some crab races. Whatever your choices, one of the crew will be preparing for sunset and dinner. When you back on the boat you’ll find it’s a great time to capture the sounds of nature, enjoy the sunset. After dinner you’ll find dessert and a little stargazing from the trampoline to be a fine finale for the day. It’s a great time to ponder all the wonders of the day. Rest assured, you will be sleeping very well tonight.
- Day 2: Marquesas Key - You’ll wake to fresh lattes, teas and move right into breakfast – nourishing, tasty and just what you need to get the energy flowing for another day of adventures. Today we’d like to introduce you to a fantastic wreck – an easy shallow free drive at slack time. Water depths range from less than 3’ under water to as deep as 30’. This large steel hull ship had been used for target practice by the military years back and you can still see several of the larger (blank) bombs littering the ocean floor. The wreck itself offer amazing views and interaction with an incredible assortment of various fish, both predator and prey and an occasional sea turtles will be found nibbling on greens attached to the hull of the sunken wreck. This is a ‘not to be missed’ stop. There are still plenty of other adventures at the Marquesas - Cuban chugs to explore, a fishing rod to cast….whatever you choose we will keep the same philosophy “Play, Eat, Relax & Refresh – Repeat”.
- Night 2: Marquesas Key to Boca Grande – We wouldn’t want you to miss the mangrove jungles or the options to select a big fat conch shell to bring home, so we would like to get you over to Boca Grande Key. Here, you can weigh your choices - dinghy ride thru the mangrove, beach time, shallow water shelling etc. No matter what you choose, a hearty dinner will await you back on the yacht.
- Day 3: Boca Grande to Key West – You know the morning routine. Breakfast will be ready for you. After that we will pull anchor and begin our final sail back to the dock. Likely we will arrive before 2 pm. We help you get it all together and say our goodbyes until..next time.
- We have a variety of add'l itineraries that we are happy to email to you upon request.
This page is currently a work in progress and will to grow. Visit again shortly or call Tortuga Sailing Adventures directly for in-depth information.