I'm back from sailing the Keys on Cap'n Jimbo's boat, safe & sound. What a blast--perfect weather for a week, great company, sunny, breezy days filled with adventure and strenuous activity. Some of my friends will be heartened, but shouldn't get too hopeful, that I worked on the long-neglected (since college) leg of the hidden tri athlete in me, swimming.
I took to visiting the fleet in the mornings, swimming to the other two boats and begging a cup of coffee at each one while I rested up on board for the next swimming segment. Some swims involved about half a mile. I think the great salinity of the shallow waters on the inside part of the Florida Keys helped my buoyancy, but still, when you're a quarter mile off a boat in open water with nothing closer, there's nothing to do but keep going whether you'd like to quit or not. I perfected a back-floating flutter kick to cover the distances.
Mooring at Indian Key, going ashore on the kayak beach at the Lorelei, taking the Cowpens Cut, snorkeling at Hens & Chickens Reef, dropping anchor at Cheecha Rocks, running the trails on Lignumvitae Key, holding up an ambulance while we cleared the raised bridge at Snake Creek at 3 MPH (whoops! sorry), floating off with the tide after running hard aground in the Atlantic Ocean at mean low tide off Treasure Harbor, seeing a shark (a 3-footer) while snorkeling off Shell Key, going under the high arch bridge at Channel Five, it was a spectacular week. Hail to Cap'n Jimbo, Cap'n R and Cap'n Todd for providing an eventful but safe passage for the 14 of us.
I'll post more later but I'm not back from vacation yet, as I volunteered to be bumped from my flight out of Ft. Lauderdale this afternoon. So now I am 200 feet off of I-95 at the Holiday Inn in Hollywood, FL, miles away from anything worthwhile (I can barely see the tall buildings by the shore in the far away distance) while I await a 7 am flight. I am getting a free domestic flight for my troubles; perhaps I'll use it for next year's Bucket Trip. Already there's talk afoot of hiking a 14,000 foot peak and rafting in Colorado.