Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Key West, Florida

After nearly a week in the Dry Tortugas, we made a day run to Key West. We intended to overnight at the Marquesas, but the wind and large swells were from the north, and it would have been an uncomfortable night. Instead, we sailed on and dropped the hook northwest of Wisteria Island, outside Key West. Unfortunately, the anchorage is open to the weather on three sides and the holding left something to be desired, and one night after a big blow Mr Mac dragged anchor into some shallows. This always happens in the middle of the night (3:30 AM, to be precise), but the tide was rising and we had no problem getting afloat and back to our spot. Later that day we changed to an anchorage southwest of Fleming Key, which was much more protected. We expect that sometimes we’ll go bump in the night (or the daytime) because Florida waters are so shallow, but we hope that we never get to the stage of the boat in this picture, not far from us at the Wisteria Island anchorage.

Key West was our real first chance to do some of the day-to-day chores that are just a bit more complicated on a boat. We dinghyed into Key West with our computers and laundry one morning, and made our way to the Coffee Plantation, a funky internet cafĂ© on Caroline St. near the docks. The first hour of internet access is free with a purchase, so we munched on yummy pastries while we paid bills online, answered emails, etc. Then we hiked a couple of blocks to the Hilltop Laundromat, a small, open-air place. We did not buy food here because a gallon of milk was more than $7. We’re really not into the Duval St. party scene, but we did do some walking around in Key West, saw Truman’s Little White House, and had a margarita at Bogart’s Irish Pub (I know, a Mexican drink in an Irish pub is unorthodox, but it was cold and tasty, just what we needed after walking!). Nearly everyday there was a cruise ship in port, most of them as large as the one in this picture, towering over the town.

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