105 miles to Key West

Me and Jacob departed Marco Island after fueling and buying some trolling tackle to pull across the Gulf this night.  (this is Friday evening the 12th)  After one last check of the weather we departed Roses Marina a little before  5pm with a little over a hour and 1/2 till sunset, this looked like our best window to make it down to the Keys because a front was coming through, and going to make the Gulf turbulent for the next few days.  I’m very happy we decided to go straight to Key West, we only had 105 miles and didn’t want to arrive while its still dark and navigate a channel i’ve never been through.  So we pulled the CATERPILLARS back to around 700rpms at 2am with a following wind and sea this was still pushing us around 6mph, still to fast.  I threw the Starboard engine in neutral and only had the Port in gear this reduced our speed to about 4.5-5mph slow enough to get to the GREEN #1 sea buoy by 7AM when it would be enough light to get to safe harbor.  Me and Jacob took shifts standing watch so the other could take a nap this worked well and the 2-3′ following seas were for the most part a smooth comfortable ride.  Having a Hatteras also gives you piece of mind because their construction is much heavier than the other brands.  Hatteras wasnt worried with speed or fuel consumption so they made these boats heavy and very strong.  You sacrifice a little speed but making a night crossing you always have a slight chance of hitting a debris under the surface like a log or ship container, by the way at any given time their are over 15,000 ship containers circling the globe that create hazards to navigation.  long story short Hatters with its solid fiberglass hull would potentially be fine if it came in contact with a big piece of debris as long as i’m not going to fast.  also in the 80’s they didn’t for sure know how long fiberglass would last so they made it extra thick.  come to find out fiberglass doesn’t ever go bad.  unless you have a boat with wood coring which is in between the fiberglass and if it gets water in the coring you will get rot and a soft spot and have major fiberglass work to do.  I think you get my drift.  solid fiberglass boats are the best, period!  Our whole way to Key West we had to keep a constant eye on the Lobster traps and Stone Crab traps that their buoys are a floating prop fouler.  We did hook a buoy with the trolling line and ended up spooling my reel probably around 12am oh well, so we did catch something.  We made it to Northwest Channel by 7am, i hailed the marina on 16 and they weren’t quite ready for us so we took a anchorage just outside the Key West Bight Marina entrance.  Hundreds of other boats were in the mooring field with us, lots of them looked derelict and their were quite a few sunken ones to.  the marina called me at 9am telling me they were ready for Pura Vida, north wind around 15 had a crowd out watching my maneuvering skills.  I was backing in between two nice and new boats so the pressure was on and everyone was impressed how well we got her docked in with the wind and narrow slips.  Always feels so good to be tied up somewhere new, i have met some great people here, other boaters are the best and willing to help you out with anything you need.  The view from the slip is awesome and we are the closest boat to the hotel pool, hot tub, gym, observation deck, and private beach.  We have a great view of the passing boats in Key West Harbor.   Key West Bight marina where all the slips are is surrounded by bars restaurants shops and lots to do, its a great spot to be.  Hanging out by the dingy dock we had lunch and watched all the interesting people come in from their boats in the mooring field, very very entertaining. I will post more pictures later, have a great week!  Pure Vida mon

Watching the sun set and sun rise on the water is one of the most humbling things, it gives you major appreciation for every morning the sun comes up

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