Yesterday we motored under the old abandoned bascule bridge that leads into the busiest harbor in the keys, dropped anchor and realized the fulfillment of the last of our “commitments”.
But first, we left you in Islamorada waiting for the nautical two day flea market. It was cool, and we spent some money on little stuff, including $5 for a knee board for Ryan. We pulled him behind the dinghy with our 15hp Yamaha and he was up on his fourth try looking like a pro!
Sunday we had a beautiful sail 15 miles to Fiesta Key, about 24 miles northeast of Marathon. This is a funny little place with a RV campground on a very small key with everything from families living in tents to three hundred thousand dollar motorhomes. As we pulled in, there was loquacious “dj” in a small bar with too much microphone power and a few too many beers. We were the only sailboat there and felt quite special.
Yesterday morning (after the Goose run), we heaved in the anchor (stepped on the electrical capstan switch and brought in the chain and barnacle anchor) and set a course through the crab pots for the Channel 5 bridge.
This 65 ft bridge is one of the few places we can move from the bay side of the keys to the ocean side. At 8am, with no wind at all we motored a few miles offshore to fishing grounds, dragging a couple of lures just for grins.
The water was so absolutely clear, from the bow we watched everything on the bottom all the way to 80+ feet deep! It was beautiful! After dragging the lures around a lighthouse on one of the reefs, we had to get a move on as we were scheduled to attempt a fairly shallow canal at high tide to tie up behind a friend’s house if possible.
Right after we had seen flying fish go flying (yes they really do fly!) across the water, Shelly pointed to one of the fishing rods and said something had hit it.
So we reeled it in and sure enough there was mackerel on the lure! (This is how all professional fisherman fish!)
Just as I finished cleaning that one, another one jumped on the lure. We were sort of hoping something big would grab the other lure, but I was kinda glad not to clean any more fish. No one else was offering to do the cleaning either. They were tasty!
We stopped for a nice swim in about 15 feet of water an hour or so later, then headed in for our rendezvous with high tide.
There was no way. We tried very hard to get in – to the point of getting so stuck we had to kedge ourselves off with one of the big anchors, and use Ryan in the dinghy and Randy in a power boat to get us out of there!
Lesson learned. A boat weighing 28,000 pounds needing 4.5 feet of water does not fit in 4 feet of water. Period.
So off to Boot Key harbor another three miles or so south where we met our good friend Dr Angel, with her friends for some great food and conversation.
Today was spent on getting organized to start some odd jobs and whatever else we can find to replenish the cruising kitty.
Although it is crowded, we will be here a minimum of two weeks, and knowing how time seems to slow way down here, possibly four. You would not believe the scene at night in the anchorage as there are over 300 boats here and it is the law to have your anchor light on. Looks like Christmas!
The Pig Festival (National Pig Day) is this weekend , and the annual Marathon Sea Food Festival is next weekend, so if you are coming this might ba good time. Of course it is the height of the season…
Don’t forget we are sending this weather to you, and you should be seeing it within a few months!
Goose says hi!