Saturday, February 18, 2017

Key West - A day sail and dinner at Schooner Wharf

The morning routine starts out with coffee from the Cuban Coffee Queen
What do you do in Key West with a temperature in the high 70's, a 10 to 12 kt wind that's steady and full sun with crew - you sail! We had two young ones so we didn't go out to the reef. Key West has an inside channel called the Northwest Passage that's protected from ocean waves. That's was our sailing area for the crew we had.

Lots of rocking during lunch from these boats
First was getting out of the slip. It's incredible all the attachments to land that accumulate over several weeks. Two lines per side to prevent being pushed into the dock when a front comes through. Add to that the two aft lines to the pilings and two forward lines to the dock to center the boat, eight in all. Then comes the coax cable, the electrical line, water hose, the line to the dropped anchor to keep it from making noise at night, and finally the dinghy painter. Thirteen attachments to land in all. Of course I also had to remove the boarding platform over the anchor roller which is secured with three web straps.  Last year we forgot the line to the dinghy ("What was that sound?", it was the dinghy line snapping as we backed out). So we had a captain's meeting so everyone knew what to do relative to slipping lines. With a wind from the port side, the boat would be pushed sideways if we didn't exit quickly. So it was "Go!" Carrie handled the port lines, Mike the starboard lines and I handled the forward lines. Ann was at the helm and backed the boat around the pilings while turning, changed gears to forward and we were out without crashing into anyone, always a good sign.

We prepared for lunch by buying Cuban Mix sandwiches from the Cuban Coffee Queen and anchored by Sunset Key. With all the boat traffic from tourist rides such as flying a parachute with a passenger behind a speed boat, it was not calm but then we sailed - heaven for two hours.

On the way back to our slip it was time for a captain's meeting again. Every crew member had a role and once again we avoided crashing - always a nice thing. The dock is not forgiving and it's incredibly frowned upon to impact a neighbor, especially a long term neighbor.

Schooner Wharf - Unique
Safely back at the dock, we were treated by Carrie and Mike to dinner at Schooner Wharf, a truly unique experience. There is no roof, no sides and what cover there is above are trees growing in the middle of the restaurant/bar. The food is not  bad, especially the fish sandwiches and they have entertainment from noon till 11:00 pm. Besides, what other restaurant has two Happy Hours, one from 7:00 am to noon and a second one from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm although I've never yet partaken of the morning one.