That title should really read “the Florida Keys.” Visiting the Keys is on my bucket list – time to check it off. Our timing was just right. Tim and Amanda are spending the months of December through March in the Florida Keys. They spent December in their 25-foot Airstream and then moved into a rental house on Big Pine Key for 3 months to experience non-moving land life for the first time in 5 years. Check out their latest adventures on Watson Wander.
To reach Tim and Amanda on Big Pine in the Lower Keys, we drove on the Overseas Highway, a 113-mile roadway carrying U.S. Route 1 through the Florida Keys. Large parts of it were built on the former Overseas Railroad, the Key West Extension of the Florida East Coast Railway. No map is necessary because this is the only road that takes you over the bridges and through the islands.
It was so good to see Tim and Amanda again and have time to really visit with them. In a switch of roles, the son (Tim) has to work during the day while the Dad (Al) has time to play.
While the kids worked, we spent our first day in the Keys, visiting cruising friends that we had met through Anthony and Annette on Magnolia. Ted and Sally are wintering on their boat Amici, in Marathon, just a 30 minute drive east of Big Pine Key.
Ted and Sally took us on a dinghy ride into Boot Key Harbor. We rode though the Marathon City Marina mooring field. Pretty impressive field. Mooring balls are assigned first come, first served, no reservations. You cannot request a mooring until you are in the mooring field area. Marathon is a very popular place for cruisers so there may not be a mooring available when you want (need) it. There is a waiting list, so boaters can wait in a nearby anchorage and hope they get the call.
A turn into Sisters Creek, edged with mangroves.
The day was not over yet. Back on Big Pine, Tim and Amanda were ready for a sunset kayak trip. One of the best features of their little rental house is that it sits on a canal and their kayaks are ready to go at anytime.
We kayaked through the canal and out to the waters between Big Pine and Big Torch Key.
And the sun set on a very good day.