The anchorage by Ramrod Key was so peaceful, we could have easily stayed there a week or two. The shallow waters were relatively calm, the area was peaceful, and boat traffic very limited.
We even took the family “car” out for a spin to look for a Geocache and grabbed a bite to eat at Looe Key Resort. What an adventure that was.
We tied the dinghy to the mangrove plants under the Highway 1 overpass, scaled to hill to get to the street level, and walked along the highway, until we played our best “Frogger” move to get across. The geocache was right in front of Looe Key Resort, although we didn’t know it or we would have gone around with the dinghy and tied up at the resort. Oh well, it was more adventurous our way.
A group of dolphins even swam right by our dinghy! Love it!
Even Gizmo became complacent and his appetite came back with a vengeance. At this rate, we will run out of his special low protein kidney disease diet food in no time. Yikes! He even braved exploring the cockpit today for the first time. All good things must come to an end, though, and we were advised to proceed to Marathon Key for our jump off point to the Bahamas. Sunday as a weather window became more dubious, however, and we will likely need to wait until Tuesday now. I wish we had stayed in that quiet marina. There are still no marinas or moorings available in Marathon as the other boaters wait for the weather window as well.
Luckily, we arrived at the anchorage ahead of many other boats and claimed a nice spot protected from the worst of the wind.
Being a catamaran, we have two hulls to point into the wind or current, whichever is stronger. So we use a bridle. It is a rope that attaches to the anchor chain and forms a “V” as each side attaches to each hull. Without the bridle, we would be much more squirrely and more pressure would remain on the chain and windlass. We let out the chain until the bridle is pulled tight and the chain dangles slightly.
In this anchorage, the effect of the current is stronger than the wind, even though the wind is blowing around 25 knots! All of the boats are facing into the current with the wind off to our port (left) side. The strong current is likely to be caused by the opening under Seven Mile Bridge. It is the only thing dividing the Atlantic from the Gulf of Mexico here. The bridge can be seen in the background behind the catamaran anchored aft and starboard of us (rear and right).
Settling into our new marina, a small pod of dolphins (including two babies) checked out each boat, one at a time. When they came to see us, we were delighted with their attention. We have seen a lot more dolphins on the Atlantic side of Florida than the gulf side.
The water is about 69 degrees, too cold to jump in, and too murky to see the sea life with our underwater lights. We are anxious to put the lights to good use. Another thing waiting until we reach the Bahamas. Now, here in Marathon, we just play the waiting game.