Sionna has arrived. Apparently.
After 2200 miles of moving, we’ve now been anchored in Boot Key Harbor, Marathon FL for over a week, with no particular plans to leave. That’s a new thing for us.
Always before it’s been a given that we had somewhere else to be, somewhere farther south and warmer, but having arrived in the Florida Keys, we seem to have suddenly grown roots.
And it’s true that Boot Key Harbor is a cruisers Mecca, combining all the facilities that cruisers need, a very pleasant town to wander, and even a cruiser community that provides – among other things – yoga classes, botche ball, a softball league, volunteer opportunities and advice on everything from maintaining your boat to raising your children. It’s a busy place.
But it’s also expensive. Everything in the Keys – including fresh water – has to come from the mainland, so prices on all goods are 25%-50% higher than we’re used to. When you’re a couple of semi-retired people with outstanding medical issues trying to see the Universe on less than 30 Altairien dollars a day, that’s a problem. Living on the boat was cheaper than living ashore through a Maine winter right up until we got here.
Moorings in the harbor cost the same as anchoring, and the moorings are generally closer to everything significant than the anchorage. Since we figured to be here for a bit, we put our names on the waiting list for a mooring – and that wait is 2-3 weeks right now. But the catch is we have to be HERE – in the harbor – to stay on the list. If we go off exploring for a couple days, we risk missing a mooring and getting bumped back to the bottom of the list.
And then there’s the anchorage. We found a good spot to anchor when we first arrived, but those spots are now scarce as hen’s teeth. If we pull up our anchors (we have two down to keep us from bumping the closer boats – it’s that crowded) to go for a sail, we won’t have a spot when we get back. That’s another reason to want a mooring. Once we have it rented, we can leave it and come back with no risk of loosing our spot.
So we’re kinda trapped, a bird in a gilded cage. Yes, we’re safe and have all we need – including way too many opportunities to spend what money we have left. But we can’t use our boat for what it’s intended (sailing), and we’re not able to explore the rest of the Key’s unless we want to loose our foothold in Boot Key. It’s a quandary.
Do I sound like I’m whining? I don’t mean to. But I guess it never occurred to me we might get stuck in the quicksand of Velcro Harbor.
At least it’s warm!