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Monday, September 12, 2011

Setting Sail and Later Anchoring in Bahia Honda...

Well all good things must eventually come to end and so it was with my five days of loitering at my lady-friends, "Hurricane Irene Refuge" on Marco Island. I tried convincing her that there were even more intense storms brewing out in the Atlantic and heading on down to the Keys but she wasn't buying any of it.

So that was that as she politely reminded me of "Booty-Call Protocol, Tenant #2"... "Live Close By but Visit Often" and with that I was back on the road once again and driving across the Tamiami Trail and on to Homestead and later on down the Keys.

Blondie-Dog was right as I had left her, sitting quietly at anchor in what now seemed to be an almost vacant anchorage... a far cry from just months earlier when that anchorage seemed as if it were bursting at the seams with many boats strewn about.

That almost vacant anchorage held no warm fuzzies for me this time around and all I could think about was of wanting to get underway to Key West as soon as possible weather permitting.

And the last thing that I wanted to see happen was to somehow inadvertently get tangled up in someone else's petty squabbles. So the sooner I was out of there, the better.

Departure day was rather uneventful. I went ashore one last time to use the Marina facilities only to then head right on back to my boat and pull up anchors. I got a rather late morning start but that was okay since I'd only be sailing as far as Bahia Honda which was but some fifteen miles down the Keys.

Marathon sits on Mile Marker 50 with Key West at Mile Marker 0 and please know that the difference between sailing 35 miles as apart from 50 miles in one day can feel significant if one is single handling while manning the tiller the entire way.

That hot sun can feel brutal after a while with or without a boater-hat and the reflexion of the sun upon the deck can indeed fry up one's face and have one looking like an aborigine by the end of the day.

So yeah, I'd much rather sail seven hours as apart from ten hours in one stretch. It's a no-brainer. Hence my decision to sail that first day to Bahia Honda and only then sail on to Key West in earnest the following morning at daybreak.

Winds were rather light upon motoring out of the channel from Boot Key Harbor but I nevertheless did raise the sails and shut that outboard motor off at the first opportunity.

It felt good to be underway once again and away from the confining feel of Boot Key Harbor. Winds did pick up a bit once Blondie put a little distance between herself and Boot Key's shoreline.

Soon thereafter Blondie-Dog was swiftly sailing out past Moser Channel, Pigeon Key and the Seven Mile Bridge. Before long I was lining up Bahia Honda Channel and turning in.

I'd soon be sailing straight out under the old Flaggler Railroad Bridge that had once seen better days but had long ago been put out of service. In no time I was furling the jib, bringing the main down and setting an anchor.

My subsequent sponge bath and afternoon nap was a nice respite after that three or so hour long sail.

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