Wednesday, February 10, 2010

“Marooned” in Marathon

Captain Pete wanted to leave Matecumbe Bight at first light due to predicted shifting winds. I am NOT a morning person, but was a bit concerned as I took this photo at sunrise. Does not “red sky in morning; sailors take warning” have a nice ring to it?

We crossed “outside” to Hawk Channel and I never went below for the next 6 hours. NOAA lied again, forecasting 15 knots and 2’ seas. Instead we experienced 18-22 knots with 4-5’ waves; I was a tad “green around the gills.”

I entertained myself by taking a series of bridge photos. See the remains of one of Henry Flagler’s railroad bridges of the early 1900s. What a visionary and entrepreneur he was. Ya gotta admire his fortitude. But he underestimated the power of the hurricanes (especially the unnamed one of 1935) that destroyed his efforts to link Miami to Key West by railway. Cruising sailors weren’t so prevalent then either, and we welcome those 65’ bridges that allow us to pass back and forth between the ICW and the ocean.

We were very happy to see Flagler’s 7 Mile Bridge (called the 8th Wonder of the World when it opened in 1912), and dropped the hook in sheltered Boot Key Harbor in Marathon.

This is the heaviest “populated” anchorage we’ve ever seen. About 400 boats are anchored or on moorings here, many of them for months, many waiting for that elusive weather window to cross to the Bahamas. Boot Key used to have the reputation as the anchorage most fouled by its residents. Derelict boats were removed, pumpout boats now remove that fouling “stuff,” and clear waters are returning.

Pete took a long dinghy ride in to the marina to put our name on the waiting list for a mooring. We’re # 18 but no one will want to leave with windy days forecast for the next 4 or 5 days. On the way back to MicMac, he spotted “About Time” and left our card aboard. Our non-boater friends might not know that most of us have business cards with boat names, blogs, email addresses, etc. to exchange with those we meet along the way. Cruisers become instant comrades! 

We met Dan and Deb, now full time liveaboards on their roomy 46’ Hunter, "About Time," last summer at a Stingray Yacht Club party and have been emailing each other our respective progress south stories since last October. Pete's card didn't blow away, so Deb dinghied over an hour later and we invited them to join us later for libations before dinner ashore.


  1. Hey, we met Deb & Dan also on About Time. They are friends of ours Al & Patti on Full Circle, that we met 3 years ago. Deb & Dan came over to say Hi from them. We had drinks on their boat a few weeks ago. Say Hi.
    Love Patti

  2. Well, after I posted, I remembered they are friends of Gary & Kathy on Windkist, we also met 3 years ago in the Abacos. Hope I'm right this time. Sucks getting old.