View Full Version : Trip to Keys
I would like to make a trip to the Keys in December with my family. Just wondering about the best way to locate an area for camping. We have a pop up camper and like to be on the water if possible. Since I know nothing about the area, I thought I would ask the members in the area about this.
Of course, my son and I will want to dive while there. Is this a good time to go? What is water temp during Dec.? And lastly, do you have any reccomendations on good camping areas near or on the beach? Any help would be greatly appreciated,
10-05-2003, 05:51 PM
Try the Geiger Key Marina/Campground on Big Coppit Key. It is only a few miles from Key West, on the water, cheap, has a good bar with live music and great hogfish sandwiches. Lots of patch reefs for easy shallow spearing of grouper and hogs within 5 minutes by boat. Do you have a boat?
The locals think the water is extremely cold, but they are spoiled. Water temp. isn't bad if you have a decent wetsuit. The bigger issue may be weather. It tends to blow in the winter, so it can be hit or miss if your only there for a short time and can't plan around the weather.
Here is a link to their website. http://www.geigerkeymarina.com/
By the way, the kid on their home page is my nephew. I got watch him shoot a couple of hogs while I was there this summer. My sister wasn't too happy when a cuda took one he shot while she was holding the spear. She knows the locals and can fix you up if you need someone to take you out.
Hey Griswold, thanks for the reply. I will check this out for sure. I think we would make it about a 5 day stay. No, I don't have a boat I can bring.
10-06-2003, 10:17 AM
Camping in the Keys, without A/C, can be brutal. If the wind isn't blowing, Noseeums (Indians named them first) will tear your ass up outside. Bug spray helps but not enough. The little bastards crawl into your hair, ears, wherever they can find a spot. There's quite a few economical motels to stay at down there. This forum is a good place to ask if you want to find out. Good luck.
10-06-2003, 10:38 AM
Marcus is right on with the noseeums. We call them teeth with wings:eek: In December they should not be as big a problem as they would be in summer.
10-06-2003, 10:41 AM
Yep we have those here in Charleston too, those little bastard are EVIL. The worst is when they get in your hair and in your nose (Or both at the same time for those of us who look like a party favor when they sneeze).
Yikes, noseeums, lucky we have a/c but still hate to think about those dudes.
We have talked about a motel or the camper, just not sure which would be most economical at this point.
I also meant to ask about renting tanks there. We have all gear except tanks. Any problems? Air refills? Would you suggest bringing our own tanks? I can borrow tanks, just didn't know if it would be better to rent or bring our own.
Oh yeah, how about fishing license(spearfishing). in Alabama gulf, it was a hassell to get spearfishing license. Is it like that in the Keys?
Hey, I really appreciate the responces from ya'll.
10-06-2003, 09:55 PM
Jim, you might try Sunshine Key Resort... I believe its on Big Pine Key. I hanvt been there in quite a few years, but do remember they had showers, electrical hookup, and they allowed campfires. the bugz shouldnt be too bad in December, and if you can get a spot on the water (the campground beach faces north) tany breeze will help with the bug situation. When I was there, we dropped anchor just off the beach, and had turtles swim under the boat as we waded in!! Nice little campground!! BTW, it was a KOA at the time, so it might show up on their website. Hope this helps...
10-07-2003, 07:34 AM
Tanks and fishing license are no big deal.
I read your post regarding being new and not wanting to mix spearguns and tanks yet. I commend you for having enough brains to take it slow, especially with your son learning at the same time. The keys may be a perfect spot for your family. If you get someone to take you to the right spots, there are numerous shallow areas where you and your son can shoot fish while snorkling.
Others may know some spots to dive from shore, but in my experience, you need to plan for diving from a boat. PM me if you need help finding someone to take you out.
10-07-2003, 08:00 AM
Lots of good dive shops around but one place has blown me away with such great customer service sooo many times that I gotta recommend UnderSea Inc.
You can find the address and # online. These guys have treated me so well in the past few years that I can't even think of going anywhere else. Again, lots of good shops but IMHO, cant be beaten. They are certainly low key but will always do you right and will Never sell you what you dont need.
Thank you for the info Randy, I'll check this out,
Griswold, thank you for the compliment and the offer for help finding someone to take us out, I really appreciate that and will definately keep this in mind.
Vandolin, thank you for the heads up on the shop, I'll check them out too.
This board is great with so many willing to help out a newbie. Thank you each and all for the input. I will definately keep you informed of my progress on this adventure.
By the way, what exactly are noseeums???? :D
10-07-2003, 09:45 AM
"By the way, what exactly are noseeums???? "
Really small (No see um) knats. If you look at them under the microscope, you'll see a BIG mouth with wings and 1 very sharp BIG tooth in that mouth. They'll make you jump in a pile of shit in order to get away from them.
10-07-2003, 07:19 PM
I'll be heading to La. last week of October and plan on stopping somewhere along the Bama shoreline...any good beach spots worth slingin' steel?
Hey straight shaft, sorry man, I don't know the area, I'm stuck in Tennessee area. Some one from that area jump in here and let straight shaft know about this.
10-08-2003, 05:39 PM
Marcus, you're dead on with wanting to jump in a pile to get away from them, but it'll only turn em on! The more you sweat, the more they bite. The only thing so far that's helped me is skin so soft. They're all over the place at the John U LLoyd boat ramp, making everyone prep their boat in record time. It's great watchin the idiots there on Sat. or Sun.
10-13-2003, 06:52 PM
We stayed at Sunshine Key a couple of years ago. It was ok, but thought $45 a night was a little steep for the facilities. Kids were disapointed the pool was salt water.
Noseeums shouldn't be too bad in Dec. Didn't bother us much then. The secret to keeping them out of your face is to cut a hole in the seat of your pants:D
Old Bateman, urcmu:d,
we got em here, just didn't know them by that name. They are a pain, and just love me to death too.
I checked on Sunshine key, thanks for the heads up though. We got to figure something out pretty soon. Isn't there some one on here who has a condo they want to share?, for free? :D
10-16-2003, 11:28 AM
look i am a guide out of summerland key for kayaking and primative camping, if you want to camp out there is plenty of out islands if your in to the primative camping, the noseeums wont bother you because of the constant breeze of the gulf stream, the end of summmer is the worst believe me i know i have no building to hide in or electricity or rumming water for five days a week, i know all about the bugs. look on a map there is plenty of islands to camp on the gulf side and off of bog pine there is sand island, and a martin key. gulf side is tarpon belly and the contents, very nice camping and you can have an island all to yourself
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