Monday, December 5, 2011

Crystal River to Key West

Have left Crystal River for points south. I spent the first night anchored off Egmont Key at the entrance to Tampa Bay. As the winds were NE it was well protected and good holding in sand. The next day I went into Venice and tried to anchor off the ICW, touched twice and headed for the marina to shell out $90 for a night. Ouch!
Left on the tide in the morning and had a fantastic downwind run in 10-12 knots. Arrived in Boca Grande and went up the ICW and anchored near 61. Up with the sun and had a great downwind run to Ft Meyers until about 2 hours out when trying to go around Sanibel Island, 20 knots on the nose. Rough going for the last 10 miles. Finally made it to Naples the following afternoon after a great sail with easterlies of 10-15.

In this part of Florida an easterly is superb if you sail in close to the coast, no fetch so a beautiful flat sail! Alison joined the boat in Naples so we spent a couple of days for her to recuperate from the jet lag from OZ. Naples is way up market. The best deal in town is the moorings. $10/night with access to showers and laundry. You are allowed to use the moorings for 4 days at a time with a break 8 days a month. After bour 4 days were up we went to the mouth of the river and made ready for the next day. We departed at 0330 for Key West. The wind was blowing 15-20 with a large north component. Not ideal for a course of 187 but we still did 6.7 knots and arrived in Key West before dark. About a 75 mile run.

 One of the four Schooners that ply the waters of Key West doing the sundown tourist gig.
 View from my mooring in Naples. After walking around town I KNOW where the 1% hang their hats in the winter. Fifth ave rivals Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills for opulence. I have seen maybe 2 Bentleys in my life up till now. I saw three parked next to another on one block.
 A funky shopping are of Naples on the water front is called Tin City. Arts and crafts and eateries make up the scene in this waterfront area.In a quilt shop this woman and her husband had pet alligators. This is a 3 footer. Very docile friendly critter.
 This is a 4 footer. This couple has a help the alligator fund going to help protect the reptiles. Floridians like alligator meat and hunting is allowed once a year.
 Old house in Key West. The architecture in Key West is a combination of many styles. The old house abound and with the overhanging foliage just walking around looking at the old houses is enjoyable.
Another schooner doing the Sun Down gig.

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