It was 86.3 beautiful miles to marathon yacht club, stone crab traps thick and waiting to foul your running gear. This leg was fairly rocky, south east swell once we passed Cape Sable and got into Florida Bay. It stayed rough until we were within 3 miles of the Keys. Arriving into Marathon Key from the Gulf of Mexico is a shallow shelf. MYC is one of my favorite marinas, they have a great monthly rate for florida yacht club members. We rented our slip for a month planning to spend three weeks here and one week driving up to Palm Beach to have a vacation with my family and visit President Trump at Mar-A-Lago for a dinner party.

While we were here we decided to list our dinghy and davit for sale in hopes to buy our friend Jack Stringfields 16′ Carolina skiff to tow and give us a better safer larger dinghy to get to and from shore. Our hopes are to anchor more, have more privacy and save some money in the expensive areas

We did sell the dinghy to owners of a great restaurant called Seven Fish in Key West. They wanted to pull it with their main ship trawler. We enjoyed a delicious meal when we were in Key West courtesy of the new dinghy owners.

Boot Key Harbor is on the Atlantic side of Marathon, almost directly across from the yacht club. Boot Key harbor is home to 300-400 boats at any given time. About 275 of those slips are owned by Monroe county and are pretty reasonable to lease. They have an expansive wash facility for the moored boaters. It’s very entertaining and fun to visit. There is an abandoned radio station in the middle of Boot Key that used to host Cuba radio and is very cool. We ventured back in here and met “BugMan” the resident caretaker. He is in charge of kicking squatters off the island who take advantage of it. Every Wednesday morning you can hear boot key news on channel 68. They give daily/weekly news and talk about group boat trips, weather, and services offered.

Home depot, Publix, keys fisheries and dozens of great restaurants are bike riding distance. I wish we had odometers on our bikes to see the miles add up. We rode to Sombrero Beach a few times, the only real beach on marathon key.

to anchor in boot key harbor your boat has to have a running engine, that is probably why you see stuff like that.

Panther Key

goodland was a great spot to spend three nights on the hook, we conserved our fresh water, ate well, put some hours on the generator and lived comfortably here. I am excited to come back! Thanks to Ted and Sarah on the Manatee for telling us about this spot.

leaving Goodland is as shallow as coming in, stay in the channel and check your active captain comments, stay east of COON KEY while coming or going and you should see no less than 5′. Panther Key is only a short 11.5 mile run today.

Welcome to the Cape Romano Ten Thousand Islands Aquatic Preserve, Panther Key is close by and is a very remote and scenic anchorage with miles and miles of shoreline to walk. we anchored by Panther Key North by the redfish icon on the chart, I fished this area with shrimp off The dinghy and didn’t have any luck and the bugs came out at sunset so we stayed inside for the night. the beach walk before sunset was great tho and its nice to have a short day so you can get anchored and do some exploring before sunset. the days sure get short in the wintertime. This is our last night at anchor before we arrive in the keys.

Marco Island