I fueled up with 113 gallons of diesel fuel and checked out of my slip in Duck Key, by 9:30 i was leaving the channel of Duck Key headed to Hawks Channel. So far doing this trip i feel like i have dodged probably hundreds of crab trap buoys, even at night. For some reason 3 miles out of Duck Key in broad daylight I saw one in my direct path and tried to avoid it, I’ve done this many times before and never got one but this time was different. I don’t know if the trap had to much extra line on it or if the 113 gallons of diesel Jinxed me but my 24″ 4 blade starboard prop looped the crab trap line and we were combined at that moment. I dropped the anchor and got my GoPro, taped it to my boat hook and put it under the boat. When I reviewed the video it made me feel sick to see rope wrapped around my Pura Vidas propeller. My cruising friends Jon and Sue from Pensacola were leaving Marathon today headed north just like me, I called them and they were headed back to help me with the fouled prop. I was nervous about getting in the water by myself so i got my Brownie under water breathing apparatus hooked up so we could dive down for as long as we needed to un tangle the line. Before my friends on “Thanks Dad” could get there i saw another cruiser headed north “leap of faith ” from Palm Beach FL I hailed them on 16 and they offered to come stand by while I try to get the line un done. These people happened to be divers and the wife had not been able to dive the whole week they were down in the keys so she jumped right in and got the line off for me! What awesome people 🙂 Luckily it wasn’t wrapped hard and we were able to un tangle it without cutting anything. I will find these boaters one day and give them a big thank you, this saved John from having to jump in with me lol, I was so relieved when this was over. Since “Thanks Dad” came back for support we cruised together for the rest of the day until we got to Gilbert’s in Key Largo.
This was going to be a beautiful ride, low wind around 5mph I would be going from Hawks Channel crossing back to the Gulf side using Channel 5. This takes you right through Florida Bay which is a shallow bay with super clear water, surrounded by mangrove islands and beautiful flora and fauna. I wouldn’t take a boat with anything more than a 5.0′ draft through here Both Pura Vida and Thanks Dad have a 4′ draft so although the water was “skinny” the channel is well marked and it was like looking into a fish tank almost the whole day. You can see a abandoned crab trap in one of the pictures and how clear the water is. This is all part of the everglades national park and they have strict federal regulations to help keep this place pristine. This route zig zags a lot but is beautiful and I hope everyone gets to see it!
Finally we arrived at Gilbert’s, our slips were in front of a old hotel our boats blocked the views from the rooms but thats how it is laid out so oh well. Sue and John treated me to another meal my debt is growing deeper and deeper to them, i am so lucky to have such great friends on the water. Key Largo the name comes from the Spanish Cayo Largo, or “long key”. It is the first island of the Florida Keys and the originating point of the Overseas Highway to Key West. The bridge right where we stayed the night is the first and last bridge you will go over when going to the Florida Keys
Sue and I Louie on deck of “Thanks Dad”