On the Move – Sailing south Florida with varied waters and winds

Our journey began in Fort Lauderdale and we sailed down to Biscayne Bay. My group of friends and I hoisted a reefed main, rolled out the jib, and greeted the 20-knot northeast wind. We spent our first night at No Name Harbor. The next morning we headed for the entrance to Angelfish Creek, (a pass that leads to Hawk Channel), the following winds lingered closely behind. The breeze settled down by the late afternoon, so the catamaran glided along nicely as we neared Rodriguez Key. With the main in its boom-mounted pouch and the headsail furled, we motored into a secluded anchorage to drop the hook for the night where we dined, swam, and discussed possible anchorages further down the Florida Keys.

The following morning, the wind was still blowing from the north-northeast when we set off again, sailing buoy to buoy but making sure our track didn’t stay too far from the channel. The catamaran was sailing all the way like an absolute dream. By noon, we were around Duck Key with hard winds blowing, sailing southwest past the Davis Reef. When the 20 mph breezes subsided we found the full main and jib to be the perfect combination. I easily adjusted to the motion of sitting on the starboard, up on the hull, and steering by the telltales: the tracking was smooth, and the helm responsive and quick. By evening, a considerable chop was whipping up at our anchorage at Boot Key near Marathon. The next day we sailed on to Newfound Harbor. We stopped at Looe Key where we tied up to a mooring ball and snorkeled the pristine reef. After Lunch we took a short sail into the anchorage at Newfound Harbor and spent the night. The next day we sailed the final leg all the way to Key West. As we approached Key West I fired up the diesels and motored into the Galleon Marina in Key West Bight. We enjoyed a great meal and libations in the old town of Key West on our final night of the trip. The journey had truly flashed before my eyes, I couldn’t wait to plan a new adventure on these exciting Florida waters.

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