Key Largo to Marathon

Ambler Isle
V and S
Mon 8 Jun 2009 15:49

24.43N 81.06W
June 5, 2009
There are three ways to cruise the Florida Keys. We can take the outermost Atlantic Ocean route. This is good for fishing when the seas are calm. The second is the Hawks Channel. A reef separates the Atlantic Ocean and the Hawks Channel and acts as a wave buffer. It is shallower, and dotted with reefs and shoals, but much calmer. The north side of the Keys is the Florida Bay. It is most protected from waves and surge, but is very shallow. Great care must be taken to avoid going aground. But when the seas were rough, it is the only calm way to go. So we entered the Indian Channel cut under a 20' bridge and were treated to the serenity of the Florida Bay. Taking the marked channel, we soon ran out of water! Well, there was 5', but not any room for a bump in the seabed. We crept along slowly, the depth sounder screaming all the way. It was a different look at the Keys from this angle. We anchored in 7' in the Bay near Marathon. The shore seemed forlorn. The abandoned ruins of the Ferro Blanco Marina looked like bones sticking out of the water.
The next morning we dinghyed to land to go to Publix. We found a place to tie the boat and walked 1/2 mile. As usual, I had sticker shock upon seeing the low prices for food in America! Everything seemed free! The yellow bell pepper I'd bought in Exuma for $5.00 cost only $2. Ice cream was $2.50 instead of $2.49. Pineapple? Not $8, but $2.49. I wanted everything. But we would have to carry it back to the dinghy, so I bought only the necessities.
Larry and Ulla visit the Keys often and suggested some places to eat in Marathon. Fisherman's Wharf offered shrimp, conch salad, fritters,and jalapeno poppers appetizers for $2.50. Yummy. We met some men from Troy, Michigan here on a fishing vacation. For dinner we went to Castaways. I think we'd been here before, and it is much closer to the Boot Key anchorage we usually go to. But we walked the 1 mile, thru a Latino neighborhood, and had dinner of more appetizers. Seems we cannot get enough of the great seafood here in Florida.
We'd pull anchor and go to Key West in the morning.