02 April 2018 | Palm Beach
We pulled into Key West and passed through the harbor filled with anchored boats, around the north end of Fleming Key and down to Garrison Bight, the home of the Key West mooring field. The drill is to pick one that doesn’t have any floats or tags on it and then go into the City Marina and register. There are over 100 moorings and there were 15 or 29 available when we were there. Ones that are marked with floats are occupied. Make a note of the mooring number and then dinghy into the marina and get signed up. The folks are very friendly and allowed me to use their phone to check in with customs and immigration. Having the Local Boater Option card allowed us to clear in over the phone and it was very painless. The facilities there are nice with heads and showers, laundry and a great dinghy dock, all very secure. After registering you get key cards to allow entry into the facilities.
It was a reasonable walk to the Key West Bight and all the action on Duval Street. We spent 3 days wandering around and seeing our old haunts and finding new places. Everyone was talking about the damage from the hurricane, but it was really cleaned up to our eyes and very little damage was in evidence. I think it was worse further up the keys.
We grabbed a beer and nachos at the Turtle Kralls and watched the crowds go by, had lunch at Maison de Pepe, and a dinner at El Siboney, some of our favorites. The cold front passed by and we were ready to start moving again so we dropped the mooring and headed east up the Hawk Channel and to the Long Key Bight for a comfortable night at anchor. Then an easy day up to Rodriguez Key had us staged to get into Miami the next day. We had planned to go into Dinner Key and the mooring field there, but the weather was going bad again with another front predicted with strong NE winds and we heard that everything was still in recovery mode there after the hurricane so we decided to give it a pass and we sailed over night up to Palm Beach and Lake Worth Inlet.
We hit the inlet at about 2 AM and made our way up to the north end of the lake and dropped anchor in one of our favorite spots at Old Port Cove. As we passed by Palm Beach, Molly was on watch and she saw the coasties patrolling in front of Lago Mar, as the Trumpster was in residence. We were far enough off shore that they weren’t interested in us, thank heavens.
Since we’ve been here we have enjoyed visiting with Denny and Shannon and friends and have had a bit of culture shock with the abundance of groceries and hardware available. I’ve been busy with small boat projects now that I can get parts to fix things. We have been trying to resist getting back into the media frenzy and haven’t turned on the TV yet. Hopefully we can continue to keep our minds uncontaminated.
Our plans now are to head up to Titusville and haul the boat for a bottom job and routine maintenance, and we plan to spend a month in Anna Maria doing all of our doctoring and checkups. Then we’ll be off again to see how far north we can get.