Being in Boot Key Harbor with 240 other boats has its advantages. Boats are here from all over the world including Australia to Nova Scotia – there is even a boat from the Saskatchewan province. They not only arrive here from around the world, but everyone is going in a different direction. Some are going to Belize, Mexico, and Honduras area. Others are going to Jamaica, Caymans, Cuba (mostly Canadians since Americans still aren’t permitted.) And others, like us, are going to the Bahamas and then maybe onto the Eastern Caribbean.
As a means to help coordinate safe travels, the City Marina has a buddy board where people can sign-up and indicate their future destinations and maybe find another boat going their way. There is a feeling of comfort in looking on the horizon and knowing that someone is out there, not too far off, just in case. Well, as it turns out, we have about 7-8 boats in the harbor who have all gathered waiting for a Bahama crossing weather window. The buddy boats are different shapes and sizes – which means different speeds. Also, personal comfort for varied winds and wave heights is another variable that has to be matched.
Baxter and I would love to have a buddy boat to travel with but we also know the conditions we would prefer and will make the best decision for Stella Blue including where we leave from as well as the conditions we’ll accept.
Based on the current forecast, our plan is to leave Marathon on Sunday morning and sail north to Rodriguez Key. From there, instead of continuing to head north to Miami, we will head east across Hawk Channel, into the Atlantic, catching the Gulf Stream. That should push us north with the current and then we can jump off as we arrive at Bimini. It is about 80 miles from Rodriguez to Bimini and with reefs and a new island (as well as country) we would like to arrive in the early afternoon with the sun overhead and plenty of daylight. That means leaving Rodriguez around 1 a.m.
As always, the plan is subject to change and probably will given that we have two more days. Tomorrow, we are heading back to the grocery store for a few more provisions and we’ll take one last hot shower and one last load of laundry.
|Beautiful sunsets were just one advantage of Boot Key Harbor.|
|Even Kala appreciated the beauty of the Florida Keys.|
|Lots of boats to look at and play with but staying in the mooring field is not where we want to be all season.|