Side Trip to Mile Zero – Key West

Our month was up at Faro Blanco- Hmmm.  where to next?

Key West by boat? When only 50 miles from US HWY 1 mile Zero ; yes, we need to boat to Key West.   So Feb 1 we said good byes at Faro Blanco Marina and headed south.     Navigating under the 7 Mile Bridge can be turbulent. Partially due to the currents converging where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Gulf of Mexico in this area.     We are heading south under the bridge then will travel west a couple miles from shore along the Atlantic side- referred to as the “outside route” – it is also called Hawks Channel.       The outside route is preferred on calm days as it has more depth.

Today the sky is clear, we have a slight 11 mph east wind.   We covered the 52 miles in 6 hours, and pulled into the Galleon Marina at 2:45.


The traffic increased as we approached Key West.   Cruise ships, tour boats, cruisers, yachts and sailboats abound (plus the usual bevy of crab pots).   The charts are very detailed- so following the day markers is important.   A quick call on the VHS radio to confirm our slip and the dock hands were at the slip ready to tie us off.     There are at least 3 marinas in this harbor- The Galleon proved to be a great choice for us!

key west to boot key

Great view, pool, staff and location, location, location!

We got a key to the roof top deck and had a great view of the city!

key west to boot key


First day in the marina, and we saw a huge Manatee by our boat.

key west by boat

The Hogs Breath bar is memorable for Dave, so we made sure to stop in.   (memories of Boy Scouts , Sea Base trip and Leaders?)

key west by boat

The bars around here like their license plates!     You will see them every where- of course folks then look for the one from their state!

key west by boat

Another common décor is an old bike-  we have seen them in almost every tourist town!

key west by boat

Mallory Square is famous for beautiful sunsets and street performers.   It provided both just as ordered.


Colleen purchased a CD from one performer to remember the sunsets of Key West.

key west to boot key


Another performer has been on the square for years-   he had a bit of a meltdown when folks started walking away before his finale with out tipping.   Hope he had a better second show!

key west to boot key


The best advice for travel – bring comfortable shoes!     We ended up walking so far one day, we had to call for a taxi to get back to Mallory Square by sunset.     Taxis are reasonable, and quick to arrive.

Two nights in Key West and we are heading North once again.   The Galleon is great, but at $4 per foot per night for the slip it adds up fast.    We love boating along in our own boat; but someday a cruise ship in is our future.

key west by boat



February 3 – the winds are light at 12 mph from the North East.   Cruising at 8.5 mph we are anchored at Boot Key Harbor by mid afternoon.   Boot Key Harbor is home to over 200 boats on mooring balls, plus there are about 30 boats anchored in the harbor on the waiting list for a mooring ball.     We chose to anchor  outside the harbor with about 10 other boats.

key west to boot key

Just as we had anchored and got settled in we saw a dinghy coming towards us!   Small world, our friends Mark and Karen from Captains’s Choice were out exploring and saw us at anchor!     They were on the way back to Faro Blanco Marina after taking the dinghy over to Sombrero Beach.

Took time to bake muffins in our silicone muffin tins.  mmmm….

key west to boot key


The wakes from boats coming and going into the harbor caused a bit of rock and roll over night, so we decided one night is enough- time to move on.



It took until noon to make the decision to leave Boot Key ; the winds are NE 15 mph. 77 degrees.     By traveling about 3 miles off shore along the Atlantic coast we followed the well marked Hawks Channel to Long .

key west to boot key


3.5 hours later, we had logged 28.5 miles and nosed our way into a shallow protected harbor adjacent to Channel 5 Bridge.

key west to boot key

Studying the tide charts, it is a little concerning to anchor in 5 feet of water- when the tide fluctuates a couple feet!     We anchored at low tide (hope we read the chart correctly)   it is 4.6 inches deep; leaving only 10 inches below keel!

Dave is confident of the depth;  and relaxed by tossing a fishing line in the water.     He caught a blow fish, and after googling it, was glad he carefully tossed it back.   Poisonous.

key west to boot key


Next stop up the East Coast of Florida will be the John Pennekamp Park. Looking forward to it, as it has great reviews!!       Thanks for reading!




About mnsailors

Our blog will highlight our travels along America's Great Loop. We sold our sailboat on Lake Superior for a Trawler to do America's Great Loop in 2016.
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