Wednesday, March 28, 2012

ICW south to Key West

   Randy, Buddy, and I left Manatee Bay on Sunday 3/18/12.  Spinning around in the narrow space was a bit of a challenge but I had about 3' to spare. The ICW is shallow in some places but if you stay within the markers you are golden. There are plenty of anchorages available and we used Skipper Bob's guide and the Waterway guide.
 Our first anchorage was east of marker 84 and in front of Lore Leis restaurant.  We went in but found the food to be pretty bad but the beer was good.We anchored out away from shore as I didn't know what depth we would experience. It made for an interesting dinghy ride back in the dark. 
    The next day, Monday, we anchored at Long Key in a sheltered NE corner of the bay.  There were two other boats there and it was quiet.  We enjoyed some on board cooking and relaxing. .
    Our next stop is Boot Key Harbor. Wes and I anchored there in 2006. They have 226 mooring balls in the basin now and most of them are being used.  There are a few nice places on the bay that serve little umbrellas and have decent music.  We enjoyed karaoke our first night there.

cool dinghy seen at  Boot Key Harbor
Boot Key Harbor has 226 mooring balls plus room to anchor

 The 23rd we anchored in Newfound harbor and there was one other boat there.  It isn't a popular anchorage but worked great.  Another quiet night.  Buddy and I went ashore and walked around. Not a nice beach -- more of a wetlands.  Buddy enjoyed running around and smelling all of the strange smells.
our neighbor came over in his cool dinghy to say hi

We called the marina managing the mooring field in Key West and they have 50 mooring balls available. They rent for $17.50 per day or $300 per month.

    We headed West towards Key West on Hawks channel, in the Atlantic.  Pretty day with some roll to the waves -- probably 2-4 foot.  We came in towards shore at the southern most point and took a picture from the water of the monument.  We circled around the Key and tied up on a ball on the north side of the Key..  I decided to take the mooring ball for a month. We settled in and took the dinghy ashore downtown to go exploring.  The downtown dinghy dock is expensive.  $6 / day or $80 / month... . Will look for alternate means of getting downtown.

southern most point from the water

entering Key West

Key West  neighbors

     It turns out that key West has a bus service and they give military and us old guys discounts.  I have a 7 day pass for $3.75.We have been all over the island on the bus. We found a great hardware store within walking distance of the dinghy dock.  It is Strunk Ace hardware and they have everything.  We ate lunch at Hogs Breath saloon and breakfast at the French croissant Cafe.  I have some repairs to do on the boat so I won't get bored.  Buddy hasn't been on shore yet as it is a long dinghy ride to the dock.  Maby tomorrow.
bunch of navy guys swimming

Our transportation to shore


  1. I'm in Key West now after arriving today for 9 nites. Beautiful mooring and we took the boat over to Key West marina to f/u on water. Then motored to SW side of Island and saw Mallory Square and new Ft Pierce beach from the water. Enjoying a low cal margerita now and cool breeze. Nice to be here and together!
    Don't walk until Grammie gets home Rosemary!
    Love Grammie

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