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Cruising Guide to the Keys

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The Florida Keys consists of a cluster of over 1,500 islands off the southern tip of the Florida peninsula and extend south and west to the Dry Tortugas. The islands sit on a shallow bank of coral and sand that separates the Gulf of Mexico from the Straits of Florida. This bank is the exposed part of a coral reef system that began forming over 100,000 years ago and have become fossilized as sea levels varied with several recent ice ages.