|Leaving Miami behind|
If we had lots of time to kill and felt adventurous, we might have continued down this path on the west side of the Keys all the way to Marathon. The route on the “Bay side” includes a few areas that are charted shallower than our boat's draft, but the tides have been running higher than normal, so we might have been successful using that route. However, the challenges we had faced further north with shallow water made us less anxious to tempt our fate. If we couldn't make the entire route through the shallows, we'd have to retrace our route back to this point and head out to Hawk Channel. We decided to try it another year...maybe. On this day we'd be first passing through Angelfish Creek to get out to Hawk Channel. The chart tells us that this too is shallow for us, but all the reports indicated that we could make it with no problems as long as we did so at high tide. We went through near that point in the tide and made it through without difficulty. It is a passage that we might use again to avoid rough ocean weather. (The route from here south is more protected by the reef than the Channel is between here and Miami.)
From here the remainder of the travel was really nice with lots of sun and, again, just enough breeze to help us along and keep us cool. We spent a night at Rodriguez Key and then on to Boot Key Harbor, our winter home.
This is the earliest we've arrived in Boot Key Harbor, so we were surprised to find the mooring field more full than it had appeared upon arrival in past years. There is still room for many more boats, just not as many more as we would have expected. Our favorite mooring was available to us again this year, so life is good.
Upon arrival, we were welcomed by friends we'd gained in previous years here, making it all the more like a homecoming. As of this point, we've been to Tai Chi already, stopped by the library for movies and made our first run (or rather walk) to the grocery store. As some may be aware, the reason for getting movies at
the library is that there is no TV reception this
far from the cities. We get our news from our phones and our
entertainment from the library's movie collection and from Red Box.
As is one of our traditions here, we head out to the Keys Fishery for
our first meal, although we didn't get a lobster reuben this year.
|One of the regular customers at the Keys Fishery|
Once we get the boat arranged for our current setting, I'll begin the work on boat projects. It seems that whenever we travel, something on the boat needs attention. I have enough work to keep me busy for some time...on a part-time basis, of course.
While we enjoyed the brief visit to the cities of West Palm Beach and Miami Beach, we prefer the small town atmosphere we find here in Marathon where passing dinghies offer a wave of greeting and there are lots of other friendly greetings once ashore.