64. Islamorada to Key Largo

The mechanics arrived about 8:30am to go with us on a sea trial. Underway before 9am and out the long channel. Tide was going out and we touched bottom going over the bar. Sea trial was about 5 miles. Two clamps needed to be tightened and that was it. Tried a slightly different route back to the marina and with the additional falling tide, went aground. Since it was going to be another 4 hours before the tide bottomed out and then returned up to the current level before we might have floated off, I called BoatUS. I am a member and they are like AAA for boats. Provided my GPS position and within 15 minutes we saw their boat coming. Tied a line to each stern corner and in 5 minutes we were off the bar floating free. He radio’d how to get past the bar (outside the channel marker) and we headed back to Postcard to drop of the mechanics. Pulled in at their fuel dock and got a needed pump out as well. The boat runs like a top.

Left the marina again at 10:45 am. Started heading north and quickly started to call for reservations. There were no vacancies on the ocean side so we decided to go inside – in the ICW on the Gulf/Florida Straits side. We’re charting this change ‘on the run’ and when we charted to go inside by crossing at the Snake Creek Cut, the charts showed a max 3’9” depth. Last Resort draws 4’2” so we turned back south about 7 miles towards a different route to the inside. On the way, we called BoatUS, told them where we were, where we wanted to go and our draft. They told us to go to Snake Creek Cut and cross over that way. When we asked about the less than 4’ charted depth, they told us we’d actually find 6’ at that point. So we turned around again and headed to Snake Creek Cut, went under the Overseas Hwy and into the Gulf.

Going inside was not a favorite. Very shallow and lots and lots of crab and lobster pots. I would guess that probably half of the run was done with a foot or less water under our props. At one point I came too close to a pot (hard to dodge them) and cut the line with my prop. Big vibration at above 1000 rpms on the stbd side. But some miles later had to use reverse and unwound the line. No problem from then on.

Stopped for the night at Anchorage Marina at the base of the US1 bridge that leaves Key Largo and heads towards Homestead. Following are some pictures along the way:

Key Largo
Numerous channels through the mangroves
My crew got this shot. Followed from side to side for quite awhile. Speed about 12 mph.

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