Marathon, FL

From Naples we took advantage of 2 good weather days and headed toward Marathon.
Our first day took us outside of the ICW for ~60 miles. It is pretty odd to be 15 miles offshore and still be in only 20 ft of water. That just does not happen in the Pacific Northwest.

Dolphins joining us along our trip.

These 2 stayed with us for a few minutes enjoying our wake.

Penny spent the next hour waiting and watching for them to come back.

We anchored for the evening in Shark River which is in the Everglades. There were 5 other boats already there when we arrived, one of them being Jon & Stacey (Ceci Kay) who are from Washington state. We have crossed paths with them a few times and it is always refreshing to talk with fellow PNWers.

Shark River is remote (remote enough that there is no cell coverage) and very scenic with mangroves all around. Most of the reviews on the anchorage warned of thirsty mosquitoes. We must have been lucky as we only saw 2 of them the entire time we were there.

Dingy ride through the mangroves.

Heartbeat at Shark River.

There are no options to go to shore in Shark River (it’s all mangroves). Penny is still not learning to do her business on the boat. She “held it” for ~30 hrs before we got to Marathon. Can not teach this old dog new tricks.

Our second day in route to Marathon was ~45 miles and fortunately we had calm seas just like the day before. As with the day before it also brought us crab pots galore. At times it was like driving through a mine field, dodging strings of them in all directions. We kept all eyes peeled as we don’t want to run over one and foul our prop.

Dodging crab pots on our way to Marathon.

Approaching 7 Mile Bridge.

We pulled into Skipjack Marina in Marathon on a Wednesday afternoon knowing that Thursday and Friday it was expected to blow hard and we were glad the weather did not move in earlier than forecasted.

It was about to get windy on Thurs and Fri.

We ending up staying in Marathon at the marina for more than a week which is not really something we typically do but the nearby large mooring field was full and weather kept coming in which kept us from heading to anchor in Key Largo and then make the jump over to the Bahamas. There also just are not a lot of great anchorages to explore given the weather we have had. It can be frustrating to want to move on but we do not control the weather.

~260 mooring balls in Marathon that the city marina manages.

On a positive note it was nice to just stop somewhere for more than a few days. We walked/rode our bikes every day to explore the city, get our errands done and we enjoyed a nice mellow Christmas in Marathon. Highlight of the stay however was catching the bus a couple times to Key West which was 50 miles south of Marathon.

Bikes and bike racks just about everywhere in Marathon.

Obligatory Painkiller cocktail our first night in Marathon.

Christmas dinner – lobster tails and hogfish from the local fish market. Eaten under the disco light we were gifted from our dock neighbors. 🙂

Sunset from our upper deck at Skipjack Marina.

Sombrero Beach – one of the very few beaches in the area.

Should you be a turtle in need of help you are in good hands in Marathon.

Key West – classic tourist pic of the Southernmost Point in the US.

Christmas day dingy ride. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!