We [have] it all, just like Bogie and Bacall

img_6983Today was everything Wednesday wasn’t from the perspective of enjoyable boating, which meant saddle up and go time.  A bunch of our buddies showed up at 9 to help, so off we went.   But first, a moment to reflect on this extended stop.  Marathon was great.  Faro Blanco was great.

In part we’re sorry to leave, but it’s time to move forward.  We’ve got a Loop to close in May.

003a4065The first scary bit was the current sweeping under the only part of Seven Mile Bridge we can get through, although from a distance it doesn’t look too dicey.  Misty Pearl’s draft is too much for the protected inside route, and unless we wanted to hook around the Southernmost Point in The Continental U.S.—which we didn’t—the only way out to the Atlantic is under the bridge.  Woo hoo!  No current after all.  Easy peasy.

Deep draft boats take the Hawk Channel, so we did.  The only song we know about hawks is that one in which John Denver had blood on his wings or some such thing.  No blood on Oscar.  Just a look of happytotravelness.  Or maybe it’s getmethefoffthisboatedness.  Either way he’s dang handsome.

Mostly we enjoyed a straightforward calm and gorgeous day, making us feel pretty good about scrubbing the mission on Wednesday.

003a4075Various Keys rolled by on our port side, while not much was happening to starboard.  Except the Alligator Reef Light off in the distance.

A lot of boats wreck at Alligator Reef.  We’re not sure why since there’s a huge lighthouse in the middle of it, but the reef wasn’t in our path so we didn’t join them.

Wait, there’s one more thing we passed.  The Hen and Chickens sanctuary preservation area.

What the heck?  What are land fowl doing in the Atlantic Ocean?  And is the area actually preserving hens and chickens, or preserving hen and chicken sanctuaries?  At best it’s redundant and at worst it’s just stupid.  Furthermore, aren’t hens a subset of chickens, making the name of the sanctuary doubly stupid?  We looked it up.  Someone decided that the reefs—which are under water and thus not visible to most folks— somehow look like chicks and their mother.  Probably it was that fake State Farm agent in the bad commercials who tells LeBron James that the clouds look like his home being burgled.  If we dive there on Sunday, we’ll investigate further.

Our goal today was  Pilothouse Marina in Key Largo.  Last night Mark (Hotai) stopped by to tell us about the horrors he and Chris experienced there several years ago.  Oh great.  Just great.  The one place we can get in is miserable.  We had no options, of course, but upon researching things we were heartened to discover that the joint is under new management.  Fingers crossed.

003a4086Pilothouse cozily is jammed in a cul-de-sac at the end of a very narrow and shallow canal.  Fortunately Dana’s tide analysis was accurate to both the minute and the inch.  We coasted in with no problem.  WiFi is fast.  New restrooms just off our slip.  We can handle that.  The fixed dock finger is too short, and we may sit on the bottom at low tide, but ain’t nothing to be done about those things so we might as well head over to the restaurant to wait for Mallory and Shannon to arrive.  Hey hey, the restaurant is pretty good.

At sunset, a manatee decided to drift by the garish green lights that someone thought would be a cool underwater feature.  We thought it made the water look like antifreeze, but Dana’s picture turned out.

Mallory and Shannon showed up.  The sunset was awesome.  We’re pretty happy to be us right now.

Except the AC just went out.  Grrrr.

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