Posted by: nosmokingsails | January 29, 2011

Trouble in the Upper Keys

While it only took Rob and I a few days to reach Islamorda, and motor into the Little Basin of the Upper Matecumbe Key, the wind in the keys proved to be fierce.

Here’s a couple shots along our way:

This is Key Largo’s very own pirate ship!  It’s name is Queen Anne’s Revenge II and it takes people on lovely sunset cruises!  (It was named after one of the famous pirate Blackbeard’s ships.)

And here’s what the green waters of the Keys look like when a storm is approaching on the horizon…(this is a view towards the tiny islands south of the Everglades).

Now the story: the day we arrived in Islamorda, we realized that we should motor into the Little Basin, which was surrounded by mangrove clusters and therefore more protected than the anchorage just north of it.  We took our dingy to shore and spent the day at the library.

When we got back to the boat that night in the dark, our boat was busy dragging anchor in the high winds.  We dragged anchor all the way to shore!  Luckily, instead of smashing into one of the docks, we landed against some mangrove trees.  Rob spent the entire night throwing anchors out and pulling us away from shore.

The next day we were able to motor farther out and we’ve spent a week here now and have not been blown to shore again.  Rob did spend another night throwing anchors to keep us in the middle of the basin, though.

Here’s a shot of the place where we crashed against the mangroves (and where we did not get a hole in our boat! Yay!):

It looks so peaceful here, but it was scary that night!

Then, a day later, I noticed our floor was wet and we lifted the panel to find our normally dry bilge filled with over 600 lbs of water.   Rob tasted it to make sure it wasn’t sea water and it was sweet. He opened the trash to find that I mistakenly dumped a nearly full bottle of maple syrup that had gone bad into the trash without pouring the syrup out first :(.  Our water tank had somehow been leaking for weeks probably, and all the water poured through the trash before filling the bilge.

Rob has spent the past many days getting the water out, diagnosing the problem to actually have just been a faulty pipe that he has now replaced, and cleaning everything up.  I’ve spent the past week at the library catching up on my editing job.  Fun.

We planned to leave here today, but once again, things aren’t finished when we would like them to be, so now we have to wait until tomorrow morning to head farther south.

Rob has a potential job in Key West, so we are hustling down there within the next few days.  I’m excited for larger grocery stores and hopefully a library with a much faster internet!  And finally, a place to STOP and REST for a month or more…the only thing missing right now is my doggie Willow.  (I am trying my best to not fly home to RI and bring him back here with me!)

I also miss snow more than I ever have.  Every time I leave New England for the winter, it snows more than ever, which makes me never want to leave.  I dream of the Little House on the Prairie winters  I remember seeing on TV as a child – where the snow was 10 feet high and they had to climb out the second floor windows to scramble over to the barn with the animals.  So amazing!  Maybe next year?



  1. longing for 10ft high snow peaks? our driveway is getting there!
    hopefully NOT again next year. Bite your tongue!

    love, MOM

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