Back from the Keys -what a trip!

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  • Back from the Keys -what a trip!

    We had been wanting to run the boat down to the Keys for a while, and finally did it. Left Saint Petersburg May 3, two weeks ago Sunday, in "Naut Right" our 27-foot World Cat. Our friends came along on their 27-foot World Cat, and we had a blast. We slept aboard all but three nights, with two of those being in Key West. Random thoughts:

    The Innlet at Boca Grande is a great spot to get a boat accessible room and to explore the island from.

    The beginning of May is cold!

    Having an instantaneous fuel mileage readout is fun. You can tune trim, RPMs, etc. In real time. I was able to cruise at 25 MPH getting 2.5 MPG. I can get from Marathon to Saint Petersburg without a fuel stop.

    We took way more stuff than we needed.

    The night sky in the 10,000 islands is unbelievable.

    They sell drinks in lots of places on Duval Street in Key West. .

    The auto route function in the Navionics app is really useful - but check its recommendations.

    People drop anchor directly on the coral at Sombrero Reef. I educated a couple of boaters in petty direct fashion.

    After a lifetime in Florida, I saw something I'd never seen before. May 9, saw a large surface disturbance while coming east from Snipes, stopped to see what it was. Turns out to be a whale, a really big one (50 feet or so), hanging out at the surface. I figured it must have been giving birth or something, so we watched from a good distance. Heard today a sperm whale beached itself near there, probably the same whale. I called in a sighting to FWC, they didn't call me back. Sad.

    Anyway, fun times.

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  • #2
    Sounds like a great trip .

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    • #3
      Damn that’s sounds real fun

      On my list. Thanks for the invite!! 🤪

      much better sleeping on the boat with that temp than the alternative.

      And better to have all that and not need it.

      Glad your back.
      gonna ping you this weekend.

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      • V_Thirteen
        V_Thirteen commented
        Editing a comment
        Be patient, I'm installing soffit.

    • #4
      Love to go visit down there
      2021 Blackwood, twin 300 Mercs
      Fairhope & Orange Beach, AL

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      • #5
        Love KW. It's cool that you took your boat down there. What marina did you stay in? Did you do any fishing?

        I keep wanting to take my boat there but I don't get 2.5mpg (exactly 180 out from that number, reverse it to gpm) and the cost would be astronomical.

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        • Sans Peur
          Sans Peur commented
          Editing a comment
          Bill, probably I was the one in shorts and a fishing shirt.

          Love FF, but we ONLY Spectate and Do Not participate.

        • V_Thirteen
          V_Thirteen commented
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          "we ONLY Spectate and Do Not participate" - That ain't the way to have fun, son!

        • Sans Peur
          Sans Peur commented
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          Yea, that kind of fun is a little beyond me (and there isn't much beyond me).
          Believe me when I say, Nobody wants to see me nekked. Shoot even my gf/f/w want the light turned off.

      • #6
        Boca Grande has the wildest tarpon fishing. 200 boats chasing a solid column of fish around.

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        • #7
          Originally posted by Sans Peur View Post
          Love KW. It's cool that you took your boat down there. What marina did you stay in? Did you do any fishing?

          I keep wanting to take my boat there but I don't get 2.5mpg (exactly 180 out from that number, reverse it to gpm) and the cost would be astronomical.
          We don't stay in marinas, the way our boat is set up they offer no advantages. We prefer to pick anchorages in wild, private locations. However, we sometimes violate this rule for bad weather, or when we just want one night of really dry feet.

          In Key West, the wind was up. We got a "suite" at the Harborside Motel in Garrison Bight, a nice two star establishment that was great. I brought fishing gear, never broke it out - I'm not really much of a fisherman. Tried a couple of holes near Marathon with the speargun, all the grouper were younguns except for one really big Nassau grouper. You could tell he knew he was protected, he couldn't have cared less that we were there. I took a nice closeup of him, will post when I download the underwater camera.

          The water at Sombrero was as clear as I've ever seen it. The fish were tame, if you held still you'd get swarmed by chubs and yellowtail. I think they were begging for treats.

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          • Sans Peur
            Sans Peur commented
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            Love that anchor setup. I bet that things pulls fast.

          • V_Thirteen
            V_Thirteen commented
            Editing a comment
            I just installed it before the trip, and it worked great. It's tough to use a regular windlass on a cat, there's not much drop in the tunnel below the windlass to keep the line falling. I wanted to install the winch under the deck for super-clean OCD install, but my wife (formerly known as the Anchor Wench) talked sense into me. The space I used originally had a ladder that we didn't use, and was covered by a hatch that was level with the deck on either side. I'm going to cut a mouse hole for the anchor shank, and build a small dog box around the winch, and reinstall the hatch. That way we can still walk around up there without having to dodge a hole. Nice extra: no need to cleat your anchor line when anchored - the drum holds it just fine.

            BTW that's an E-Z Pull Patriot 2, all 316 stainless. A real beast, made by an outfit in Clearwater. So far, I've liked everything about the company and their product. I'm going to do a "show it off" post as soon as I get my post-vacation wits back, and get the hatch modified and installed.

        • #8
          Looks like a fantastic trip! Please share more photos! Glad you made it home safely.

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          • #9
            Originally posted by Bstnsportsfan View Post
            Looks like a fantastic trip! Please share more photos! Glad you made it home safely.
            Will do, I just have to do computer stuff at night. Taking a break right now, though, so...

            I practiced some underwater photography at Sombrero. This parrotfish was shy, but he finally warmed up for a portrait.

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            • #10
              My wife spotted this octopus and pointed him out to me...

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              • #11
                Where's our treats? You brought some, right?

                Guy in upper right looks like a cartoon character.

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                • #12
                  Hog in the hole! This was the good-sized (35-40 inches) Nassau grouper we spotted near marathon. I think he was asleep, and paid us no interest at all.

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                  • #13
                    The wenches getting some sandbar time at Snipes. It was crowded, so we left. /sarc

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                    • #14
                      Originally posted by Tiretyme View Post
                      Love to go visit down there
                      One of my mottos is "The most expensive thing you spend every day is one day of your life."

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                      • #15
                        One unexpected find was to arrive in Key Weird and find out it was Songwriters Festival. Great (mostly) live original music everywhere you went. Saturday night we stumbled out of Tony's and walked right into a live show in the middle of Duval. Two performers I'd never heard of, but enjoyed then both.

                        Shelby Darrell from Calistoga, CA: (where my underground utility contractor buddy reinvented himself as a grape grower / soon-to-be winemaker)

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