Ft. Myers Beach to Marathon
05 December 2016
Promise left the mooring field at Ft. Myers Beach at 0730am on December 1, 2016. First order of business was to stop by the near by fuel docks and top off fuel and water prior to heading out to the Keys. Promise departed the Matanzas Pass and headed SE towards Marathon.
We had intended to make and overnight trip to Marathon; however, due to the over abundance of crap pots we decided to anchor at 4pm approx. 7 miles south of Marco Island. This is the beginning of the Florida most people are not aware of. It is sparsely populated with no commercial development, and abundant with wildlife.
The next morning at 0630, Dec. 2, 2016, Promise was underway, headed SE. In order to go further south, it was necessary to go around Romano Shoals, which meant we were approx. 13 miles offshore. Numerous dolphins would come out to greet us and play around the boat. They often will turn to the side and look at you prior to departing. The winds were around 15 knots and kicked up some substantial seas for the next several hours. We were more than happy to drop the hook at Cape Sable at 5 pm.
Cape Sable is located at the very most southern tip of the Florida peninsula, and is part of the Florida Everglades National Park. Although we anchored only 800 ft. offshore, we did not have any cell phone service. Due to this area being so secluded, there is no residual light, and the stars are absolutely beautiful. There was a family camping out on the beach, and shortly after our arrival a catamaran came in and anchored close to shore. This is one of the benefits of having a catamaran. Due to less draft you are able to anchor closer in to shore. With our draft being close to 5 ft. we are prevented from getting in as close. Overnight the winds kicked up, but the anchorage remained relatively comfortable and we slept well.
At 0615 Dec. 3, 2016, under the cloak of darkness, Promise headed almost due South towards Marathon. Marathon is located in the middle of the Florida keys and is a great boating community. We arrived in the areas about noon, after a day of heavy winds in excess of 20 knots. Even with the winds, the ride was relatively comfortable; however, we had to remain vigilant looking for crab pots. Crab pots are all over the Florida bay, and the fishermen put them out so the good folks in the Keys and other locations can enjoy delicious crab with their beer and cocktails; however, they can be detrimental to the life of a boat's transmission. They can wrap around the prop and essentially destroy the transmission. Promise's transmission was destroyed in 2012 by a crab pot and had to be replaced.
We dropped anchor at 1245 and took the dingy in and placed our name on the waiting list for a mooring ball.
More to come about Marathon.
Dale and Christina
PS Good to hear from Tommy and Harriet who were professional cruisers for many years and helped us with head issues while we were in Marathon in 2003. Not the kind of head that sits on your shoulders but the kind on a boat.