I left the island this weekend.
Saturday morning I didn’t have too much going on and Brian and my friend, Sunshine, invited me out on their friend’s boat. At first I was hesitant to go. I was feeling a little overwhelmed with just moving and having not unpacked much. Brian broke it down for me and said, “Never waste a boat day.” So around noon we headed to the grocery store for some snacks and booze and then headed to the Stock Island Marina. I didn’t bother to weigh myself at the store.
7 adults and 2 puppies ventured off into the deep blue ocean searching for a beautiful sandbar where the locals go.
This little nugget doing the Rose pose is named Mako.
When you get there, you set your anchor in the sand, and you crack open a beer and start to mingle with other people. Only small boats are allowed and you may want to bring water shoes. The boats tend to get stuck as the tide rolls out and everyone helps each other with getting the boats out safely.
One group had their boat stuck, and as we pushed, someone yelled “Turn the boat left!” a couple times. I noticed no one jumped to do so, and I jumped on the boat thinking I could turn the steering wheel left. Immediately I heard, “Get off the boat!” and then I heard “We appreciate you being proactive but that doesn’t help.” That is a pretty normal Judy move, where I want to help but I have no idea how. Next time I’ll remember that it only works if the motor is in the water, and you don’t want the motor in the water if people are behind the boat, so just push. Did you know that sometimes actually rocking the boat by having everyone get on and shift from side to side will loosen it enough to free it?
I met a lot of people while out, including a captain of a boat named Ron (not Kurt Russell), and Kathy who is a new dj on Island106.9 FM Monday nights from 5-7 PM. Everyone was really friendly and welcoming!
Unsure of when I would return, I was taking in every moment.
The next day Gwen invited me and my roommate, Nick, out on her friend’s boat. We launched out of a canal by Sunset Drive, heading to a different location only locals know about. We stopped at the same place I had been to on Saturday for a little bit until the wind died down. The weather was just as perfect as the day before and we stayed for a couple hours and headed to the second spot.
The second spot was a little quieter and we nestled in on the edge of the sandbar. A small current was flowing and the water was only knee deep. The water temperature was like bath water and if you crawled in the water, you would find when you stood up you felt a little chilly. We walked through some grassy areas and came out to this open view of clear water with some smaller keys in the distance. It was serene and I laid on my back and floated while looking up at the blue sky, while my friends snorkeled and found a stone crab.
Our group got back on the boat, pulled in the anchor and started to head back to Key West. A family of four were stuck and we turned around to help them get out and within a couple of minutes, everyone was good to head back home. We were cruising for a little, and we ran aground. After we got unstuck, the motor gave out. The bad news was we needed a tow, but the good news was we had more swimming time. Gwen, Nick and I explored the area, finding sand dollars and fish egg sacks. We even caught a pristine view of the sun setting.
“You have to look up longer than 1 minute to really see them all.”
I haven’t seen that many stars in years. As tired as I was, I didn’t want the night to end. You don’t see stars like that in Baltimore, or even outside of the city. It didn’t look like the same old stars shining through the solid darkness, it looked like explosions of dust scattered as a background to the brighter stars. I wish I had had my nicer camera to capture it.
This weekend was a perfect first weekend in Key West. I was able to see things some people don’t see for months or even years while living here. I really have lucked out.
Can’t thank my friends and new friends for letting me be a guest on their boat and showing me places I’ve only seen in my dreams.
Today I finished unpacking and organizing, and I’m starting to feel a little more at home.
I’m watching, “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and it’s crazy how things have changed for me since the last time I watched it, 6 years ago. It puts a different perspective on it all together.
I’m hoping to get a lot accomplished this week, and hopefully I’ll have more to talk about next week. Stay tuned!