It was time.
We left the mooring in Boot Key Harbor and headed out. Carol was going to do some fishing, so we stopped at Berdine's on the way and bought shrimp, topped off the diesel and dinghy gas tanks, pumped the holding tank, and left for parts unknown. Well, actually, only unknown to us. We were going into the Gulf of Mexico.
Not very far into the Gulf, you understand, but still. We set our sights on Cocoanut Key, a small spit of land where, we had been assured, it would be "deserted". After the constant buzzing of dinghy engines at our mooring, I was ready for some "desert".
As soon as we cleared the channel, we started seeing buoys. These mark the location of crab/lobster pots, depending on where in the ocean you are. In this case, I believe they are fishing for Spiny Lobster or Stone Crab. Either way, they are not something you want to hit, especially while motoring, as the rope can get wrapped around the propeller, causing, at the least, a bit of bother. So I avoided them. A lot.
It was, as advertised, remote. And peaceful, if you ignored the "cocktail party" sound the birds make.
The next morning we awoke to fog. Not because of the wine from the previous evening's festivities. I can only describe it as "dense". Especially as we had never seen it in this area before. It burned off around noon, so we readied the dinghy for an excursion around the island.
As long as I can share these moments, I'll not complain about the protein.
The next morning, amazingly, and unexpectedly, it was foggy again.
After another successful passage through the Seven Mile Bridge, we were back in Boot Key, where Carol piloted us to another stunning mooring ball maneuver. All were aghast at her prowess behind the wheel.
And so we are back. The plan is to remain here for a couple more weeks and then start meandering back north. We want to see some of the sights that we missed on our mad dash from the cold on the way down. At least this time, if we overrun the weather, it's a waiting game for warmth instead of a panic to outrun the cold.