After Biscayne Bay, Anne Marie and I motored into Card Sound and dropped the hook right in front of Alabama Jacks. They have a dock but it’s too shallow for me to use. So I anchored on the other side of a row of mangroves in about 5 feet of water, right in front of the cut. We dinghy through the mangrove cut and as soon as I step into the restaurant the waitress asks me if I anchored there on purpose, giving the whole place a scenic view of my lovely ketch in the afternoon sun. You bet I did, CJ at Alabama Jacks.
From there we sailed most of the way to Tarpon Bay, just past Blackwater Sound in Key Largo. There we met up with Elizabeth again and sailed on to Islamorada. It was blowing about 20 out of the northeast and we had an amazing sail through Florida Bay.
We stayed in Islamorada for a few days, enjoying the good weather, caught the Gator game, tried some fishing and made a daily ritual out of the $1.25 drafts at Lorelei’s for happy hour.
From there, Anne Marie and I took the boat to Marathon and got a mooring at Boot Key Harbor. This place was interesting. Met a guy named Neil who told us that at peak season there will be 400 or so boats either moored or anchored there. Its a vibrant community of about half full time liveaboards and half transients like myself. He had been there for 3 years or so, but there were many who have been living there decades. The location wasn’t that great though as far as walk able grocery stores and the like, but it was a good stop for a couple of nights.
Elizabeth joined back up with us the following day and after a little provisioning, we again dropped mooring lines on a big northeast blow and shot all the way down to Key West. There was plenty of breeze and we slid along the coast at about 6.5 knots under only the jib. That’s probably become my preferred way of sailing: lots of breeze at the back and just rolling out the jib. Its just so easy. Since it was blowing so hard we decided to splurge on a dock for a few nights right in Old Town.
Key West was a wonderful Newport reunion of sorts. Andy and Katie, Greg and Alana, Chris from the original Newport to Baltimore sail, Jeff and Natalie, even Emyl from my first delivery on When and If back when it all started. Everyone was there.
After a particularly raucous Saturday night, which may or may not have included time spent at the Garden of Eden, I awoke the next morning to the dock master knocking on my hull.
Dockmaster: “Did you lose your phone last night?”
Me: “Um, yeah, how on Earth did you know that? I’m guessing you know where it is?”
Dockmaster: “Yeah, tried to call you to ask if you were staying another night, which it looks like you are. Your phone was picked up by some tourist and is at the Sebago Wastersports desk on Duval Street.”
Yeah, at some point my phone fell out of my shallow board short pocket and ended up on Duval Street.
Elizabeth and I spent the remainder of the week we had there visiting the beaches, public gardens and museums, capped off with the boat parade on Hindu. We’re back in Stuart now for the holidays with Pi resting on a city mooring ball still in Key West. I go back on the 26th, fingers crossed the Coast Guard approves my paperwork for Cuba!