June 16, 2012 — Key West, FL
Okay. So you’ve seen the glam pics of isolated anchorages, brilliant sunsets, and crystal waters, but every boat needs base at some point. This is a place where you buy your groceries, fill the water tanks, do laundry, pump out the holding tank, and do repairs.
Pearl’s home base for the summer is actually a marina, the Sunset Marina in Key West, specifically. Why there you may ask? Boats in the Gulf have a couple of options, they can either leave for the summer, or find a base that’s protected from hurricanes and bad weather that defines summer around the Gulf of Mexico.
Pearl’s current location is at a former submarine base, at the end of a long channel, at the around the northeast side of Key West. The Marina is well protected from high winds except from the north-north-west. It’s also in a very shallow area. The average depth for several square miles surrounding the marina is about 3 ft. All of this makes for a good Hurricane Hole — hence Pearl’s location.
Additionally, the marina has concrete floating docks, a decent ship’s store where one can get sundries, showers, laundry, relatively easy access to other services, and excellent fishing. Oh! And the price is right. Marina’s and moorings in Florida are egregiously expensive. Docks similar to the one I was at in Portland ($250/mo) run about $1500 in Florida. Crazy. I, however, am paying almost as much as I did in Portland to sublet the slip of a friend of a friend.
All told, I couldn’t be more pleased. I’ve always wanted to explore the Florida Keys and this is my chance.