Southwest to Key West

Yesterday we made a 110 mile crossing from Everglades City on the Florida peninsula to Key West at the end of the Florida Keys.

Entering Chokoloskee Bay from the Barron River

Everglades City is at the head of an eight mile channel leading from Indian Key at the Gulf of Mexico, through a winding waterway, across the large but very shallow Chokolooskee Bay, and into the Barron River (named after Barron Collier, who created E City by dredging the river and mangrove swamps to build up the land).

The narrow and shallow Chok Bay channel

The locals suggested we leave E City at high tide, when the water is at least 1 1/2 feet deeper. But timing the tides was not easy. High tide at E City is about an hour later than high tide at the Gulf, so we left the dock at Everglades Isle around 8:30 AM, just before E City high tide and just after Indian Key high tide. We saw comfortably deep water under R&R the entire hour of our slow trip out to the Gulf.

All along the waterway we saw beautiful wildlife.

Pelican at Everglades Isle.
Osprey on its ATON nest.
Kissing cormorants.
More cormorants on the last channel ATON.

We cruised at 17-19 mph across the Gulf in light South winds and 1-2 foot waves, relying on the autopilot to keep us on course except when I took the helm to steer around crab pot floats.

Rhonda helped spot crab pots and worked on crocheting as we watched the water color change to a beautiful aqua.

We were happy to arrive safely at Stock Island Marina (just East of Key West) at 4:00 PM. Boating friends Scott (recently retired Coast Guard Admiral) and Cathy from “Andante” are also at Stock Island for the month, met us with fist-bumps at the dock, and we shared a socially-distanced dinner on the flybridge.

We look forward to seeing and enjoying Key West a/k/a “Key Weird!”

Just another Key West truck.