Getting to Key West

May 05, 2012 — Key West, FL

Getting from Cabbage Key to Key West was interesting. Cita, who suffered a bad case of mal de mer between Venice and Cabbage Key had somewhat recovered. She was thrilled to be back on the ICW in flat water for a bit.

Fortunately, the weather was pretty settled. While Denise and I were looking forward to getting back into open water and sailing overnight, Cita quailed at the prospect. Getting out of Cabbage Key was a cinch. Nothing like the spin cycle we were in getting out of Venice. Once out of the channel, we broke out the sails, tuned a smidge east of due south, woke Otto von Helm (autopilot) and settled in.

The wind was light — 10kts out of the south east. The sails settled the boat. We meandered towards Key West at a sluggardly 3.5 kts to weather. Late afternoon, the wind dropped down to about 5 – 6 kts. We kicked in the engine and started motoring. While it would have been fun to putter along, this would have meant getting to Key West on the manana plan — which wouldn’t have worked since we were meeting Joe there on Sunday. Motoring it was.

Sunset was spectacular. I forget what we had for dinner. My guess is that it was a beans and rice combo with veges that seems to work well when under way. I am not sure that cheesy stuff like lasagne and pasta works well for this. Cita and Denise deserted me after a while, and I was left on watch by myself at the tender mercy of the stars.

And then it got fun. Around midnight, the wind started to pick up and veer to the West. It climbed from the 5 – 6 kts it was to 10 – 12 kts, and then to 15 kts. Wheeee! Time to break out the sails. I couldn’t resist. The sails came out, Pearl heeled a bit, the engine was turned off. I was back in my element.

The wind continued to build until it was 20 – 25 kts — my idea of a great time. Unfortunately, since we were fairly deep, the water got choppy, Cita and Denise came back on deck. Denise was happy to be sailing again but Cita was beginning to look a bit green again. It was, however, had to deny Pearl the wind.That, was fun sailing. Stars. Brisk wind.

We made it to Key West on Saturday afternoon. The sun was out. We came in on the main ship channel from the north, following a barge with a tow. We followed the channel in, took the dogleg at the harbor to get to the Key West Bight Marina. Voila! Key West, and off to the Schooner Wharf bar for a cold Beer!



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