Gulf of Mexico

Once clear of Venice inlet we set course for the channel entrance for Key West, some 132 nautical miles (NM). There was two swells running, a long period big one from the SW and a shorter and smaller one from the north. Once we set course Kapowai started to roll so on went the stabilisers, no more rolling.

We cleared Venice just after 1300 so had an overnight passage to Key West. There was very little wind, at 1300 RPM and 7 GPH we did an easy 8 knots.  The sea was glassy with a lot of seaweed debris. Fish jumping all over and dolphins in sight most of the time. One group of 5 bow wave surfed for over 30 minutes. As it darkened we took it in turns to have a couple of hours kip. Once dark we were treated to a spectacular lightning show from over the southern Keys.

Next morning we had breakfast and prepared to arrive at Key West.

ICW

After bunkering it was time to leave Longboat Key Moorings, they have looked after her for over 15 months, 4 of them as Kapowai. A good team who kept her clean, checked her over and dived on her twice a month. Friendly and helpful.

The passes to the sea being a bit tricky, due to shifting sandbars, we needed to go about 20 odd miles to the south and go out to sea through the Venice inlet which is always maintained at 8ft.

Out of the channel is very shallow in places, you have to keep a watch for sea life an in a lot of places slow down to ‘no wake’. Plus 4 bridges.

Otherwise it is fun, lots of boats, nice houses, Ospreys nesting on navigation markers and the occasional challenge like bridges that only one side opens.

Here are some photos, in no particular order. Unfortunately the photographer spent more time looking than snapping although there was one time when I reached for the last biscuit.

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