March 14, 2016 – Monday – Shell Key to Tarpon Basin, Key Largo – 23.2 statute miles traveled

We thought the water was shallow yesterday but the waters around Islamorada are even shallower. We were in one foot of water under our keel often and we could see the edge of the channel easily with very little depth there. Still, it was a very enjoyable cruise to Tarpon Basin in the middle of Key Largo. We had departed at 0750 so arrived before noon and had the rest of the day to enjoy the anchorage.

We put the anchor down in about six feet of water and backed down on it. It set with a clunk and stopped the boat dead in the water in a heart beat. We were pretty confident we were going nowhere in the 10 mph breeze. There were three crab pots nearby that made Vicki nervous but they ultimately caused no problem.

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Vicki Dawn on dinghy ride to shore in Tarpon Basin with the M/V Sea To See in the background.  This is a huge anchorage but well protected with four to ten foot depths.  

Once settled we launched the dinghy and took a trip ashore. The Monroe County Government Center had great dinghy docks available and a very nice park for use by transient boaters. Unfortunately nothing else of any consequence is within easy walking distance so we just enjoyed the center and then toured the basin with the dinghy before going back to relax on the boat.

Later in the afternoon I took the dinghy on a tour of many of the canals along the edge of the bay. The houses along these canals went from mansions to shacks and the boats from significant yachts to derelict dinghies.

Again, the temperature was in the 80s but the 8-10 mph breeze made it very comfortable.

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