Key West & friends!

The last 100 miles was a pleasant three days running down Hawk Channel on the east/south side of the Keys. Well protected by the outside reef, and with moderate winds, it was a nice change of pace to have sails up. Arrived in Key West Harbor on Tuesday (12/17).

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                                                           Approach to Key West Harbor

Coming into new, unfamiliar territory is always a bit tense. But good friends had made a connection for me with a convenient and inexpensive mooring. One call to the owner returned lat/long and a description that took me there easily. It is re-assuring to know the boat is secure, especially with the frequent, high winds that blow this time of year.

My friends also opened their home as an ‘on-land’ base so I don’t need to make daily dingy trips between boat and land. Those trips are frequently very wet when winds blow above the low teens and other boat traffic creates significant chop.  Add to that, they have included me in an assortment of fun, Key West social activities including Christmas parties, cook out, artist’s mart and upcoming New Year’s dinner. It has been busy!

One notable party was at Casa Antigua, an historic hotel turned into a private residence. The owner has an open house for the community each year with incredible foods and open bar. The decorations were spectacular.

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Only down side has been some issues with the dingy outboard. The first created by my forgetting to re-attach the fuel line – rookie mistake that resulted in a very long row to get back to the boat from the city dingy dock. The second appears to have been an air block that was solved quickly and inexpensively by a local engine repair service.

Weather has been warm to hot and breezy, pretty normal for this season. I’m looking forward to getting familiar with the town and its history, as well as several unique aspects/activities that define Key West and make it such an attraction. And yes, I did get the required photo of Mile ‘0’, the southernmost point.

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Looking forward to Race week in January and a sail out to the Dry Tortugas… more and pics later.

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