To Key West and Back
On March 17 – 30th Moment traveled from Fort Lauderdale to Key West and back stopping along the way to enjoy swimming, snorkeling and scenery and wildlife. The first couple days of the trip were unseasonably chilly, but brought beautiful North East winds that pushed us down the coast and through Biscayne Bay and created a couple spectacular sunsets.
We had to be very cognizant of Moment’s 6′ draft as we navigated the very shallow waters of the Keys. There were times that we were sailing along at full speed with only a foot of water under the keel. With so much shoaling and reefs, there are not many protected anchorages so we had to plan carefully where we would stop each night. The most interesting and calm anchorage was Bahia Honda, a State Park with a couple beaches and protection between two bridges—one being a defunct railroad bridge from long-ago. On the last day we stopped to snorkel at Looe Key Reef, where we had to anchor far out and then tender in to the reef because of the depths. On the reef we saw lobster, lot’s of colorful fish, barracudas, a nurse shark and a reef shark! Light wind carried us the remaining afternoon into Key West, where we stayed two days. Our nights in Key West were filled with food and fun as we explored the town, then said goodbye to some crew and hello to new crew for the return trip.
On our return, the wind was lighter and some days quite hot, making it well worth halting Moment to jump in the refreshing turquoise waters. The only notable piece of drama that occurred during our trip was the stainless steel main sheet shackle that attached to the traveler snapped… TWICE. It appears that the screw came loose on both occasions—a freak occurrence that has now been rectified by extra tightening and a safety line. The second night, we anchored off of Rodriguez Key in Key Largo and dinghied into enjoy a dinner at the Island Grill. The dinghy ‘dock’ was a rock that we did our best to secure Tary the Tender to. Our Last stop was No Name Harbor, Key Biscayne that included some more crew switches, food at the Boater’s Grill, and some swimming with the Manatees!
We delayed our return by one day to let the winds clock around to a favorable direction. Even though we had winds in the proper direction, the seas were rather rolley, causing half the crew to wait to eat the masterfully prepared breakfast until back on terra firma. On the 30th, we safely landed Fort Lauderdale sun-kissed, full of stories, and ready to plan the next journey… To the Bahamas on May 3rd. Will you be join us?