The End of the Road…

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A lighthouse in the Keys.

Well, not the end of OUR road, but we are now at the very southern end of US Highway #1 that stretches up the entire length of the east coast. Only a few months ago we were anchored in Maine, near the northern terminus of this highway. We are now anchored off Key West.  I’ll leave it to the people of Florida and Maine to decide who has the beginning and who the end.

We spend a couple of nights at Big Pine Key visiting a former sailing school associate of mine who now runs the Outward Bound sailing program there. A great adventure program where people learn a lot about themselves and what they really can do when they have to.

Navigating in the Keys is more than just a minor challenge for a boat like Harmonie who needs more than 6 feet of water to float.  Last year we managed to sail Harmonie for about 4 hours before we managed to bump her freshly painted keel on the bottom.  This time it was two days…  What LOOKED like a tight–but doable–channel to get into a nice protected anchorage turned out to be shallower than charted.  We scraped and bumped a few times, and then got stopped dead and had to turn around.  The weather was fine and settled, so we anchored in a more exposed location.  The only problem with the spot was the 10 mile dinghy ride to Alicia’s place. That new, more powerful, outboard we picked up in the Virgin Islands last spring showed its stuff.

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Hurricane casualties being hauled away.

Here in the keys the damage from last summer’s storms is unavoidable.  The clean up is still underway, and rebuilding is going on all around. Here in Key West there are still three large cranes hauling sunken boats out of the water an loading them on barges.

A few days here, and they we will be off again to the Bahamas.

 

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A Miami sunset from the edge of the Gulf Stream.

 

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