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boca chita on the weekends

Wanna take an overnighter to boca chita sometime soon. Haven't stayed there in about 3 years and when I did go it was during the week so it was nice and deserted. Does it get packed on the weekends? If I show up sat at about 11 or 12 is there likely to be some dock space open or is it a hit or miss type of thing?
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2000 pro-line 30 walk W/ 2012 250 zukes

Replies

  • alacrityalacrity Posts: 2,666 Captain
    it does get packed on weekends esp at this time of the year. you might have a hard time finding open space if you arrive mid morning on saturday.


  • Dream CatcherDream Catcher Posts: 205 Deckhand
    alacrity wrote: »
    it does get packed on weekends esp at this time of the year. you might have a hard time finding open space if you arrive mid morning on saturday.

    I agree and I have heard the bugs are still bad right now. The lack of cool weather has kept them around. Last yr we camped 2 nights over new years and there we no bugs at all.
    Its NOT the boat that catches the fish. :fishing
  • martian171martian171 Posts: 19 Greenhorn
    Bugs are def. A deterrent, thats why I dont even think about that place after march. Last time I went was early april and it was cool and windy, the place was bug free. Id hate to plan a nice trip only to be chased away by bugs or have no place to tie up. It would be two, poss. Three boats so maybe its a problem. Is rafting up allowed?
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    2000 pro-line 30 walk W/ 2012 250 zukes
  • rodzrodz Posts: 668 Officer
    On a weekend? I would recommend arriving Thursday afternoon to get dock space - I think it's $20 to tie up over night payable at the vending machine along the dock. You can raft up just avoid the yellow marked dock that is for the park service. Usually you will have a dozen sportfish type boats that used to go to the Bahamas but now frequent Boca Chita. They will take up most of the dock space. I have wished many times for a hurricane to render the basin a 2' draft . . . many times. When we had the old CUDA Club I would go Thursday to hold dock space for the guys coming in Friday. I've been disappointed more than once. A second choice would be to putt around the north side shallows and anchor near the micro beach on the north side of the island - the kids like this spot. It's close to the tent and close to the anchored boat. I would recommend two anchors to hook up to accommodate tide shift in the trough there which is at most about 10' deep. Should be a nice weekend - good luck.





    www.cudafishingclub.com
  • capt benjcapt benj Posts: 125 Officer
    rodz wrote: »
    Usually you will have a dozen sportfish type boats that used to go to the Bahamas but now frequent Boca Chita. They will take up most of the dock space.

    That is what I usually see there, why they don't anchor out and let small boats have dock space to camp is very frustrating.

    Another option is to go to elliot and camp on the points as far away from the treelines as possible to avoid the bugs. We have had a couple nice camp visits there too.
  • rodzrodz Posts: 668 Officer
    Check the park service website for updates . . . a storm has torn up all the docks and I don't think you can dock there . . . yet.

    Parts of Elliott Key Open, But Harbor Still Closed Except for 3 Slips for Unloading and Loading Only
    Winds, surge and tides associated with Hurricane Sandy caused considerable damage to docks & boardwalk at Elliott Key. The harbor, except for 3 designated slips for loading/unloading only, & boardwalk are closed until further notice. Other areas are open. More »
  • DirtySouthDirtySouth Posts: 223 Deckhand
    I could not agree more with rodz, I have written countless emails to the Park and no surprise they never write back. And now to add insult to injury, Elliot Key is closed, well not completely, but the docks are closed. So if you want to camp there, you have to WADE to the island and set up that way. You are not even allowed to use the maintenance dock to off load your camping gear.
    If you look at most of the yachts that tie up at Boca Chita, they have dinghy and could just ferry their boats over to let their dogs crap on the island. I mean, there's no other reason for them to dock at Boca Chita other than that. There should be a boat size limit, IMOP.
    Good Luck,
    Ed
  • rodzrodz Posts: 668 Officer
    What the park service should do in the Boca Chita basin is allow boats 30 feet and less to utilize the dock space from the service dock to the lighthouse. The larger vessels then would only be allowed to dock from the service dock to the picnic shelter on the point. I would guess this would be about 15 vessels from each category. This would allow the small boaters who camp and need to establish sleeping quarters a position closer to the campsites were they set up camp. The yachts have staterooms so dock position is irrelevante for the most sense. It can be discouraging to get out there with all the camping gear and kids only to find it's already packed.
    I did that ONCE.:banghead
  • capt benjcapt benj Posts: 125 Officer
    Forgot about Sandy and Elliot docks, ugh....

    My son was bugging me last night for a camping trip. Now we need a few more cold fronts to get rid of the bugs.
  • martian171martian171 Posts: 19 Greenhorn
    I agree, it would be very disappointing to show up and see the whole basin taken up by a total of 5 big sportfishers. I completely forgot about the dock situation @ elliot. I think id rather anchor out by university pier than deal with the hassle at Elliot. Is rafting up allowed or is that a mortal sin to the park rangers ?
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    2000 pro-line 30 walk W/ 2012 250 zukes
  • rodzrodz Posts: 668 Officer
    martian171 wrote: »
    Is rafting up allowed or is that a mortal sin to the park rangers ?

    Last I heard 5 boats together with 75' to the next group was the request by BNP. This was implemented for Columbus Day Regatta but I doubt it is enforced now.
  • CaptHeavyCaptHeavy Posts: 717 Officer
    It's been a while since I've been down that way. Lewis cut is marked right? What's the depth in the channel?
    Lady Mitchell, Haulover
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    www.CaptainHeavy.com
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  • alacrityalacrity Posts: 2,666 Captain
    lewis channel is not marked, although the approach to boca chita is marked. lewis is no more than 2 to 3 feet at low ide.


  • rodzrodz Posts: 668 Officer
    Lewis Cut is not a marked channel as mentioned above but for a small boat it's doable. Single and twins I've done but triple's I don't know about. Tide can rip through there at times and watch for outbound/inbound traffic approaching turn at the island - it can get tight sometimes. I followed other boats the first times thru.

    Hug the south side of the two shallow water markers while on plane. Anything outside this path and just below it you will find solid rock. I know, me too. Once. :banghead But it was a stormy night . . . plot it if you can on the GPS.
    LC.jpg 55.6K
  • TeanmTzHerTeanmTzHer Posts: 100 Officer
    You can get there on friday afternoon you will probably have to moore up with somebody because the sea wall will be full. Most people won't give you a hard time. THe docks at Elliot key havent been fixed yet but i have some friends that stayed at Elliot not to long ago and didnt have a problem tieing off to the sea wall.
    If you aint fishin you aint Livin!
    DSCF2380-1.jpg
  • CaptHeavyCaptHeavy Posts: 717 Officer
    What channel are the sportfish type boats using to get oceanside? They going all the way up to stiltsville to get out?
    Lady Mitchell, Haulover
    600211_10200798788204965_398630343_n.jpg
    www.CaptainHeavy.com
    Instagram: @captheavy
  • martian171martian171 Posts: 19 Greenhorn
    Unfortunatly, I wont be able to get there until Saturday morning. So hopefully we can tie up to someone or get lucky and get a spot. I guess the weekends may not be the best time to take a trip there. I'll give it a shot, but if its too much trouble, im gonna scratch boca chita off my weekend getaways list.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    2000 pro-line 30 walk W/ 2012 250 zukes
  • DirtySouthDirtySouth Posts: 223 Deckhand
    "didnt have a problem tieing off to the sea wall."
    What see wall?? That's good info to know.
    Thanks,
    Ed
  • DirtySouthDirtySouth Posts: 223 Deckhand
    I copied this URL from the forum and sent it to Biscayne National Park, to be exact to:
    Christiana Admiral
    Chief of Interpretation
    Biscayne National Park
    305-230-1144, ext. 018

    And she responded with this:
    "Thanks for sharing! I sent the idea up to the park's management team for review. Each year, the park reviews a compendium of rules and regulations that the park superintendent is delegated authority determine."

    So remember the squeaky wheel gets the oil. Don't hold back and either call or email BNP. Boca Chita belongs to ALL of us and we ALL should be able to enjoy its beauty.

    Take Care,
    Ed
  • alacrityalacrity Posts: 2,666 Captain
    getting BNP involved in anything is usually a mistake, they do not have our interests in mind at all. if it were up to them, they would close boca chita in order for them (and no one else) to sit in a circle and contemplate how beautiful it once was.


  • DirtySouthDirtySouth Posts: 223 Deckhand
    Alacrity, so true, but what else can we do??
    Anyways, speaking of closing us all out, here's another example of BNP doing what the do best, screwing the citizens of south florida. The docks can't be that bad, this is just another power play by BNP!

    Date: February 6, 2013
    Contact: Christiana Admiral, 305-230-1144, x018
    Contact: Willie Lopez, 305-230-1144, x020
    To prevent dangerous attempts by boat captains to swim to shore after unloading passengers and gear, Biscayne National Park is closing the designated loading and unloading slips in Elliott Key Harbor. Three slips in Elliott Key Harbor were opened last weekend to provide short-term access for unloading and loading passengers and gear. The intention was that after using the slips, captains would anchor outside the harbor and reach the shore via vessels that can be hand carried to and from the shoreline, such as canoes, kayaks or other small boats. However, after opening the slips, park officials observed numerous boat captains using the slips to unload, then anchoring outside the harbor and attempting to swim to shore.

    With cooler weather, frequently windy conditions, currents, and submerged obstacles in the water, attempting to swim to shore is a tremendously risky endeavor. Providing limited access to Elliott Key Harbor exacerbated potential drowning risks for island visitors. "We understand that closing the harbor and campground during the winter camping season is an unfortunate last resort, but public safety is our primary concern," said Biscayne National Park Chief Ranger Willie Lopez. "In the meantime, we are doing everything possible to restore Elliott Key Harbor to full operations after extensive structural damage sustained by the docks during Tropical Storm Sandy."
  • alacrityalacrity Posts: 2,666 Captain
    not surprising. you cannot ask them to help. they will screw it up every time. it is their motto and goal.

    you have to act from a position of obligating them to do it rather than asking them to do it.


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