Long Boat Key

The Intracoastal Waterway, which we are meandering along, is actually 3000 miles long stretching from Boston, around Key West, Florida, to Texas.  In 1919 Congress authorized the toll-free waterway to be dredged and maintained by the Army Corps of Engineers to a depth of seven to twelve feet.  In Florida, we would not be able to cruise to the places we are visiting if it were not for the waterway.  We see very few sailboats along the way because of the skinny waters and lack of places to anchor, moor or dock off the dredged path that are deep enough.  Sailboats have keels to counterweight the balance of the boat when its sails are full.  We draw 4’10” and have a special shaped keel, called a wing keel, that makes it shorter than other types of keels.  It takes a lot of research and some dumb luck to get around. Sometimes the waterway widens into big beautiful bays and sometimes it seems as narrow as threading a needle.  You have to pay strict attention to the navigation channel markers and your depth.

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We pulled off the Intracoastal to anchor in this small anchorage and ran aground.  It was but a kiss on the bottom and John backed her off without much difficulty.  My stomach was in my throat but no harm done.

We plopped down the anchor and spent Valentine’s day just relaxing with Pringles.

The Grill Master grilled some fantastic ribeyes, brussel sprouts in tin foil and we had pasta with olive oil, fresh basil and cherry tomatoes.  Oh, and a nice bottle of Shiraz.

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Afterwards, we sat in the cockpit sipping wine and heard dolphins breathing.

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