Sunshine Key Rv Resort, Florida Keys, (high 80, low 71)
Yesterday was the first calm day in the week that we’ve been in the Keys. It happened exactly the same way last year as well. Once March ended, and April begun, the winds died down.
We decided it was going to be a good day to take the new boat out for it’s maiden voyage.
Before we launched the boat, we ran into the town of Marathon to the DMV, so that we could give the state of Florida their cut. Al renewed his fishing license while he was there, although he rarely fishes.
We decided to launch at Bahia Honda State Park. Their ramp is free once you pay to get into the park. The entrance fee for 2 people is $9.00, but with our annual parks pass, we got in for free. Good deal. It’s a really nice ramp.
There was a lot to remember: put the plug in, take the strap off, bring the motor up before backing into the water, bring the motor down before trying to start the motor.
These were all things we used to know and were second nature. This time, we had to really think about everything so that we didn’t forget anything important, like the plug!
Al hadn’t backed a boat trailer into the water in a long time, but I guess that’s one of those things you don’t forget because he did great.
I was a bit nervous and of course that made Al nervous. I have a very bad memory of boating in the Keys, that ended up with us being towed in by the Coast Guard. (remember what I said yesterday that they won’t tow you unless it’s a life threatening situation?)
We didn’t go far from the marina and not very far offshore. From the marina, we went under the bridge over to the bay side. It seemed a bit choppier on the Atlantic side.
The boat ran strong, and handled the chop nicely. I felt comfortable when we got some pretty good waves from passing boats. The boat was stable and handled them nicely. We have never had an open fisherman style boat before, and always preferred a cuddy cabin style boat. We discovered, for these waters, we really like the open fisherman style. You have a lot more walking around room, it’s easier to pull the anchor and easier to get in and out of the boat at the dock. The boat was very comfy, and we found we have enough cubby holes to store all our stuff. We both found nice places to sit and be comfortable while we read our books/napped.
We were looking for a little island to park next to, but there weren’t any close by. We had to settle for the shallows. Once the tide went out, this would be beach.
Once we anchored and the boat swung around, we realized we’d made a mistake and were in too shallow of water. Something we never would have done before, but we’re out of practice, I guess!
Anyway, Al jumped out and walked the anchor out to little deeper water. The tide was going out, so we sure didn’t want to get grounded.
Al took a walk in the shallow waters while he was out. It was so pretty and clear. The water temp was only 75 degrees, but he said it didn’t feel too bad.
We really didn’t go anywhere that we couldn’t have gotten to in the kayaks, but it was still fun.
We sat offshore and read for a few hours before heading back in.
Going back under the bridge, you get a nice view of Bahia Honda Campground. Sure wish I could snag a site there sometime, but it’s always booked!
This is the old Bahia Honda bridge. I thought it was interesting with the haze and the sail boat going by.
Heading back to the boat ramp at Bahia Honda. The ramp is in a nice protected area.
We managed to get the boat back on the trailer with no issues and back “home.”
Al rinsed the salt out of the motor when we got home, then we showered and headed to K-mart to pick up a few more things we needed for the boat.
It was a very good day!
My cold hasn’t gotten any worse, but it hasn’t gone away either. I feel okay, but my nose is running and I have drainage in the back of my throat which makes it hard to sleep. I told Al he is doomed! I’m sneezing a lot and in these small quarters, he’s probably going to get my cold. He’s hitting the Echinacea and Oil of Oregano hard now too!
The winds are down again today, so we’ll be taking the boat out again. More tomorrow.