Monday, February 10, 2014


The small bay in the Northwest corner of the island is where we were
Kintala didn't go anywhere today but Deb and I went sailing anyway. Friend Bill coasted by in his Tri "War Canoe". We jumped aboard and went exploring. Boca Chita Key lies to our north. We tacked up the Bay, through the narrow spot in the shallows that split the bay in half, and down another channel toward the Key. The last bit needed to be done with the motor. Boca Chita Key is a State Park with a small harbor marked by a make-believe light house. It was kind of cool nonetheless. (Along the way we spotted a sea turtle ... the first we have seen so far in our travels.)

Pick a spot on the sea wall, hang a couple of fenders, and tie to. While there, five other boats dropped by, one carrying the Park Ranger. We waded in sparkling clear water on the Hawk Channel side of the Key, chatted with the owner of a Tartan 4600 that warped in behind us, climbed the lighthouse thanks to the timely arrival of said Park Ranger, (the view from the top was pretty impressive even if it was only about a third as high as the real lighthouse of a few days ago) and sliced open a green coconut for a drink. (That was a first for me. I figured when you opened up a coconut you would find a Mounds Bar.)

Word is one can tie up to the wall overnight but the bugs will drive you back out into the bay in order to recover your sanity, long before the sun comes back up. I believe it. Anchored as we are nearly a half mile off the beach, my left arm is still pretty raw from being munched on by No-seeums last night. Tonight might be worse since what little wind there is is blowing directly from Elliott Key to our bow. Then again, maybe I was the final meal for a bunch we carried down from No Name Harbor.

The afternoon faded away, along with the wind. Even War Canoe couldn't find anything to work with so Bill drove us home with the motor. Along the way we traded some more flying stories. Then he made the perfect touch-n-go along Kintala's starboard side, we jumped back aboard, and our new friend headed off down the bay. In a couple of days he will be back in his Black Hawk chasing bad guys. We will probably be back in No Name Harbor. A cold front is due in Wednesday night through Thursday and that is a good place to hide out.

Hard to see in this picture, but the sea anemones are starting to return after multiple hurricanes and over fishing wiped all the bay sea life out over the past few years.
Last night the wind was churning up the water, it was dark as could be, we were on pretty open water, rain threatened and the moon was swallowed up in the overcast. A few years ago I would have been uncomfortable anchoring out in Coles Creek in similar conditions and much smaller water. I took one last look around to be sure everything was secure, zipped up the dodger, and went to bed. I think we are getting the hang of this.

The light areas in the water are scarring from boats going aground and killing the sea grass. It takes more than 20 years to grow back.


S/V Veranda said...

As always a great read with terrific pics....

Unknown said...

awesome.... :-) and you guys are sailing on a real sailboat to boot :-)
tell your buddy hello from a fellow with training wheels...

Looking at the pics I am now really really jealous ...