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Sailing Key West

keyswater Sailing Key West

Sailing Key West from North Palm Beach

By Charles Milby

floridamap Sailing Key WestWinter sailing in Florida can be fun. The water is turquoise and the weather is usually warm.  Over the Thanksgiving Holidays, Suzanne and I were invited to help our friends Dave and Kris Popken move their sailboat from North Palm Beach to Key West. We had a great time. Most of the coast of Florida is developed, but when you travel by boat you get to see the best parts and avoid the snow birds. Key Largo and Marathon were two of the most delightful stops on our trip. I didn’t make it to Sloppy Joe’s Bar, which is where Hemingway hung out, but I did go to the Schooner Wharf Bar and the Island Dog Bar. Suzanne liked Grunts, a very nice dinner spot off Duval Street. You will have to explore and find your own little place in Key West; it’s filled with friendly watering holes where everyone is welcome.

Dave Popken aboard Orion, a Sabre 38

Dave Popken aboard Orion, a Sabre 38

As we were walking down the pier at our marina one day we saw a manatee. He was so big. I thought it was a rock on the bottom until he moved. I’m not sure what he was looking for as he posed for pictures, to the delight of our party, but he was fun to watch. Having been to Key West I would definitely go back, so check it out. If you like to fish and sail then make some plans soon. I’m sorry to say Southwest Airlines will no longer be flying into Key West. You can still get there is by car or by boat. I preferred the boat.

The manatee at the marina was not shy.

The manatee at the marina was not shy.

 

Chickens were brought into Key West by Cuban immigrants in the 1800s for the purpose of cockfighting. This was outlawed in the 1970s and now these birds roam the streets freely.

Chickens were brought into Key West by Cuban immigrants in the 1800s for the purpose of cockfighting. This was outlawed in the 1970s and now these birds roam the streets freely.

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