Running the Gauntlet..
12 October 2012 | Boot Key Harbor, Marathon, FL
Well, yesterday I slept in until 7:00 for a change. I got up and did some boat jobs including topping off the fresh water before leaving my last slip for a couple of weeks. The weather forcast was sunny skies and windy.
I got back out into Hawk Channel and found 20- 25 knots of wind off my stern. This kept my speed above 6.5 knots and often over 7.0 for the entire day. YAY! My only complaint would be @*&^%$!! TRAP FLOATS! As I left the John Penecamp State Park, the trap floats started. And they got more numerous and closer together as the day went on. Consequently, I had to hand steer virtually the entire day lest I risk hitting one and fouling my prop.
As labor intensive as this was, it was manageable until late in the afternoon when the sun began to get lower in the sky in front of me. The reflection off the water made it harder to see the little buggers. But, somehow I made it all the way to Boot Key Harbor with only a few close calls.
The only thing I saw of note was a good size sea turtle that submerged as quickly as he could when he finally saw me. He looked pretty funny with his back feet flailing in the air as he dove under the water. I arrived at the marina and picked up my mooring ball (on the third try.... It was windy, alright?!?). I arrived just at closing time so they said I could wait and check in in the morning.
This morning I rowed ashore... (my dinghy motor is being obstinate) and completed my paper work. Also, I have a leaky dinghy (again, things that sound dirty that aren't.....). The rubber gasket inside the drain on the stern is torn and leaking water. Since West Marine doesn't have a replacement, I'm just going to plug the darn thing with epoxy.
Maybe I'll see what I can do about the engine while I'm at it. It ran for a while and then stopped. I can get by just rowing but my dinghy has the rowing characteristics of a bottle cap. It's hard to go in a straight line... Oh well, its not like I can't use the exercise. People pay good money to use rowing machines right?
Anyway, I plan to be here until I leave for Key West on the 24th. Here's another pic from the trip down.