We had so many plans for our time here at Boot Key Harbor but my being sick for over 2 weeks certainly ate up alot of that time! Once I was feeling better I still was not 100% so we could only do small things. We did try to enjoy the sunset every night.
One project we really needed done was our mast light changed. Yes, up the 56′ mast!! A friend of ours, Christian (S/V Uinen a.k. S/V Distant Drummer), offered to do this… so once we had a calm, light wind day – up the mast he went! Unfortunately the light bulbs we thought went to the mast lights were not correct and he discovered that the bulbs were not even burnt out. This is terrible news because it means we have an electrical problem in the mast wiring!! UGH. We did some rewiring when we stepped the mast – it all worked until about Dec 2021… that was the first we noticed we had no mast light. When we anchored we made due with a light that we posted outside – but having a mast light is really what we want and far more convenient! We will have to figure out what we will do about this electrical problem! I have a feeling that unstepping the mast is in our future!!!
A constant in our life these days is making water. We have to do this every 4-5 days so the membranes in the water maker don’t “foul”. We also need to do it simply because we need water. Since we are on a mooring ball it would be very inconvenient to have to fill the tanks by going to the marina. Water also now costs money (and this seems to be true through out southern Florida) (in the north water was free). So making water when we need it (for free, well other than the super expensive investment in the water maker!) is really great. It takes us about 2 1/2 hours to do this – it would take at least this long to go from the mooring ball to the marina to fill up anyway!
Once I felt better we managed to do some adventures around town, besides going to the grocery store and doing laundry. while I was recovering the old 7-mile bridge finally reopened (I guess it has been closed for a number years) as a walking and biking bridge. The cool thing is you can ride out the bridge for 2 miles and then enter Pigeon Key. Pigeon Key is only accessible by ferry, until this part of the old bridge reopened. All-in-all it was about a 7 mile ride with a stop in the middle at Pigeon Key.
We also spent some time playing pickleball. The community park, right next door to the City Marina, has quite a bit of sports equipment that you can borrow anytime between 9 & 5. So we spent several afternoons borrowing the pickleball equipment and playing for an hour.
This past weekend we had a huge cold front move in. Temperatures were down to 40’s at night and 50’s in the day. It was crazy to be that cold again. We pulled out the long johns and the hot water bottles. We laid around and drank hot tea and watched “The Last Kingdom” for the third (or is it the fourth time?) and made popcorn. I did alot of baking – as long as the stove or oven is on we have heat!
The cold temperatures effect not just humans but other Florida inhabitants. We found out that Iguanas, Florida’s squirrels, will actually be so cold they will fall out of the trees. On our ride to 7-mile bridge (a cold day) we did witness one that had fallen into the road, probably from the cold.
There was an iguana that we visited every time we went in to shore – he was a large iguana with bright coloring and hung out in the mangroves just outside the dinghy dock area. I was afraid he might fall into the water and drown – but he made it through the cold spell and did not fall!!
We always saw cool fish etc on the way to the dinghy dock. The Atlantic needlefish were really cool – their faces looked a little like a seahorse. The fish I think are Stoplight parrotfish. They were bright green and orange.
We really enjoyed our time here at BKH. We listened to the Cruisers’ Net every morning on VHF 80-Alpha, always fun and we learned the various personalities of our neighbor cruisers. We also listened to a few night-nets, hosted by various cruisers on a topic. Diesel Don on Trianna hosted a great one on Yanmar engines. We also downloaded a pdf from the BKH facebook page that someone had created from Diesel Don’s night-net on the “Backcountry”. This is our next stop!
The Backcountry includes the minor keys that are in the Florida Bay north/west of Marathon. It looks like there is some good snorkeling and we are excited to do more of that!!
We also enjoyed the community park and the new walking/biking bridge and, of course, the library where we finally found good internet!
The other cruisers really make this place. Marathon itself it basically a very expensive dump, Its been hit by hurricanes and other storms and is in the midst of being rebuilt. But riding along Rte 1 is terrible and the grocery situation could not be more stressful. We wanted to give the bus a try and go to Key West but we lost all that time with me being ill.
We have witnessed spectacular sunrises and sunsets but we are ready to continue our adventure and head to the backcountry! Just have to wait for a good weather window!