The Florida Keys are a 170-mile-long island chain imbedded in turquoise water, running south from Miami and Key Biscayne to Key West and the Dry Tortugas. These islands are bordered by the third largest coral reef in the world. Coral reefs are among the most biologically diverse ecosystems on our planet and are second only to the tropical rain forests in the number of species they harbor. Indeed, sometimes they are called “The Rain Forests of the Sea.”
Island Dreamer Sailing will take you to the many reef marine sanctuaries that stretch all along the Keys in the Florida Straits, so that you can explore this underwater world. However, even without getting in the water, you will enjoy the view as many species can be seen from the boat. Many of the lighthouses that mark this reef were built before the Civil War and they still help mariners navigate the Keys.
The gulf side of the keys is dotted with remote, mangrove islands and is a shallow-water nursery for young plant and animal life. The subtropical climate and simple beauty of the Florida Keys make this American ecological treasure a sailing destination that should not be missed.
Sailing the gulf side of the Keys gives us access to areas that are seldom visited. In this backcountry there are remote anchorages where city lights are not visible and the calm water makes for great sailing.
After having sailed and explored the Great Heron and Key Deer Wildlife refuges for many years, we feel this area is one of the most remote and beautiful parts of the Keys. There are several "deserted" islands where we go ashore and explore. These islands have large and varied bird populations and key deer may also be found here. You will enjoy snorkeling and boating over sea grass beds, in deep channels and around the mangroves.