On Wednesday, we left Newfound Harbor in the a.m. and headed out to Looe Key to dive. The seas weren’t as bad as the day before, but visibility was still stirred up on the reef. After diving, we headed to Bahia Honda to anchor for the evening.
Bahia Honda is a Florida State Park just south of the 7 mile bridge. It has a small marina, Looe Key snorkel excursions boat and campgrounds. We anchored here last year and found the anchorage to be a bit noisy and rocky with boat traffic. It was the same this year, but we do love the water here and Corey went crazy kayak fishing for mangrove snapper. We still planned to dive Looe Key the next day and this spot is only about 9 miles from the reef. We met up with friends Greg and Shannan here since they were camping for a few days and we had planned for them to join us on Blue Turtle for snorkeling the next day.
The next day, dive conditions were perfect. This was the flattest calm water I have ever seen on Looe Key. Apparently, everyone else knew this as well since we had an issue getting a mooring buoy. We finally snagged one but it wasn’t the greatest—there was really nothing below our boat to look at. Luckily, since it was so calm and virtually no current, we could swim over to the good spots very easily. It was a great dive and after that, we headed back to Bahia Honda to drop off Greg and Shannan. We had planned to head on Northwest towards the Content Keys, but it was getting late in the day and we decided to stick around one more night. After anchoring, Randy and I packed a cooler and the dog in the dinghy and we headed to a sandbar just off the beach to hang out for the rest of the afternoon while Corey went kayak fishing.
The next morning we prepared to leave and came up with a plan to see if we would fit under the Bahia Honda bridge. We were told the bridge height was 20′ and Blue Turtle is in the 18′-20′ range with her mast. Since the incoming current was so strong, Randy decided to back into the bridge, letting the current carry us. Corey and I would be on watch to let him know whether we would fit or not and Randy was ready to steam forward if we didn’t. It appeared we would fit and Randy pulled forward anyway to turn us around so we could pass under the bridge going forward. We were very happy to fit since this saved us considerable time from having to go under the 7 mile bridge instead.
We arrived mid-afternoon near the Content Keys (where we catch our lobster during season) and anchored. The boys took the dinghy to go see if they could spear a Hogfish. They returned later with a Hogfish that was 2 inches too small and they had to throw him back. Luckily I laid out some meat for dinner!
This morning,Randy got up between 6:30-7 a.m. and started the engines to get us headed toward home. We were in for a brutal 10-hour day with calm seas and no breeze but eventually made it to an anchorage off Marco Island. We’ll stay here for the evening, and head North in the morning to New Pass. It’s hard to believe our 3 weeks in the Keys are almost over.