After our weekend diving at Looe Key, we headed back to Marathon Marina for a couple days to fill the water tanks, take on some fuel and provision for our trip home. We planned to head west from Marathon, on the Gulf side, toward Content Keys for sport lobster season, also known as mini season. Mini season in the Keys is the last Wednesday and Thursday of July and is open for all non-commercial lobstering. This gives folks like us a chance to catch a few lobster before the commercial traps are put out.
On Tuesday, we headed to the Content Keys and anchored near Sawyer and Cujoe Keys. We arrived in the late afternoon and Corey and Randy immediately got into the water to snorkel and make sure we were on a good spot. After about 15 minutes, we pulled up anchor and moved over a bit to another spot that looked more promising.
After we set the anchor, all of us snorkeled for a bit and dove down to make sure there were ‘bugs’ under the ledges or brain coral. We determined that this spot would work and settled in for the night. The wind was out of the west which made for an uncomfortable night. We were being hit with 2-3′ rollers on the side which is the worst place to take on waves. It rocked the boat and made cooking dinner a hassle—I couldn’t even keep the skillet on the cooktop surface. Needless to say, everything we owned was tossed and most of it was on the floor. We even ended up watching a movie with our tv on the floor. The three of us planned to get up very early (6:00am) to be ready to go in the water. Early bird gets the worm with mini season! We ended up getting up earlier (5:30am) because none of us could sleep a wink with the rough seas. Randy and Corey were in the water at 6:30am and were back up on the boat about 1 hour later with our limit (6 lobster each for Randy and I or 12 total).
Once they were back on board, we were so exhausted that we tried to take a nap. The rocking wouldn’t stop, so Randy and Corey found another anchorage 3 miles away. We moved Blue turtle to a more protected anchorage near Tarpon Belly Key in Cujoe channel. We napped in the morning and dinghed to shore that afternoon to explore some. Corey got a chance to do some dinghy surfing there and back. The next morning after a restful sleep, we headed toward Flamingo, Florida for our journey home.