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Key West & the Dry Tortugas

By May 28, 2010 No Comments

Last week we were in Key West for the whole week waiting for the 20-30 knot winds to die down.  I visited the southern most point in the continental US, Ernest Hemingway’s House, Duval St (the main street in Key west with lots of bars that Ernest Hemingway hung out at), a pirate museum, and a shipwrecking museum.  The town is nice, but a bit too touristy.

 On Monday we had 10 knot winds and 3-5 foot seas for a 65 mile trip to the Dry Tortugas.  We were able to sail all but the last two hours of the trip (the winds became too light).  Once there we were greeted to crystal clear water with nice colorful coral and fish.  The next day we toured Fort Jefferson, which is a fort built around the 1850’s and was the largest 3rd Coastal Defense System fort.  It was fantastic.  Chase and I even got to play a hole of golf inside the fort with the Park Rangers after hours.  After that we used the dingy and went to Bird Key Shipwreck.  The wreck was a coastal boat carrying bricks.  The prop was insanely big for the size of boat.

 The next day we motored 2.5 miles west to Loggerhead Key and visited the lighthouse.  Then Chase and I used the dingy and went a mile south to the Windjammer Shipwreck.  This was a 262 feet long sailing vessel that went down in 20 feet of water.  We saw a five foot shark and I got a picture with a two foot long lobster.  By far the coolest thing either of us had snorkeled.  On the way back we stopped on the west side of the island and snorkeled around coral the size of buses.  That night we met David, April, and Sara and they came to the boat for dinner and drinks.  We got up the next day and motored back to Key West with the wind on the nose again.

 We took care of a few things in Key West and were ready to go, but the winless decided it did not want to go up so we messed with it for a while and came to the conclusion it was shot and we would hand crank the anchor up the next morning.  We finally got out of Key West and were on our way to Newfound Harbor when I spotted a drifting dingy two miles from shore.  We picked it up (broke the boat hook in the process) and called the Coast Guard.  After talking with them for a hour, it was decided the dingy broke free the night before and no one was lost, so we towed it to a dock on the southeast corner of Key West and continued on our way (hopefully the good karma will keep anything else from breaking for a while).

We got to Newfound Harbor last night and went hunting for the Key Deer, which is the smallest deer in America.  We saw several and they came up to my hip.  It was a lot of fun and very neat.  Today we pulled up the anchor and the winless was working again (go figure).  We stopped at Little Pine Island Resort because we were told the Sunday brunch was spectacular.  Well we were not even allowed on the island due to no reservation and I had a tee shirt and not a  collared shirt.  We found out the brunch was $75 each.  I could not believe how rude they were and how ridicules was the price.

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