Key Lime Sailing Club and Cottages (Day 5)
Day 5 (April 26th 2020):
We got up early today, ate a quick breakfast and headed out. The cottages have a bunch of kayaks that you can take out on a first come first serve basis. Being larger people we wanted to test a few out to see what worked for us. We were quickly glad that we had as the single kayaks proved to be too tippy with our extra weight. We settled on the sit on top canoe.
We tied off the kayaks to the back of the sailboat and cast off the lines. With a light breeze we put up the sails quickly and sailed parallel to the intercoastal water way towards where it enters the mangroves. Just before the channel markers we dropped the sails and motored into the mangroves. There were not a ton of boats, and we were glad we made this trip on a weekday.
The boats would slow down a few feet in front of us to avoid throwing us in their wake. Really this wasn't effective. When a boat slows down, it tends to dig in on the front creating a huge wave that would throw us around. We appreciated that they thought to slow down, just wish they understood what they were doing.
After a short motor up the intercoastal waterway we pulled out of the channel into a big opening. The cottages had mapped out the best locations where to anchor in the opening. We tried to figure out where the mangrove trail entrance was that we were looking for, and anchored where I thought it was. It turned out I was wrong, but not by much.
Nikki climbed into the canoe first and I was able to get on without flipping us both. We hung around the boat and practiced paddling together as it was the first time we had tried. As we looked around I watched the boat to make sure we weren't dragging anchor. Everything looked good, so we headed for the mangrove trail.
About 200 feet from where I though the trail was, there was a small opening that you had to duck under to get into. It would be easy to miss so I am glad we found it.
Once inside it was spectacular. The canopy completely covered us, you could hear birds all around us, but it was so dense that you couldn't see anything. The water was deep, but it was absolutely crystal clear, the type of clear where you can't even tell how deep the water is. We watched as big fish swam along next to us, and saw iguanas and a few snakes.
Eventually the trail hits a fork in a bit of a clearing. We weren't really sure which way to go, and went to the right. We found a rope swing that we had heard, but knew that we were supposed to find that on the way out. We headed back and came to the crossing of the intercoastal waterway. This was really a bit intimidating, with blind corners on each side of us, it was a bit nerve wracking to cross the 50 feet to the trail on the other side.
Luckily there were no boats when we crossed, so we made it to the other side just fine. We wound back along the trail deeper into the mangroves and finally found the lake that we were looking for. Really it was more of just a big opening area in the mangrove from the looks of it, but I believe it's a lot deeper than the trail area.
We paddled up to the end of the lake and headed back picking up a side trail that lead us to a different crossing of the waterway. This crossing was not as easy, we had to wait for several boats to pass. This area didn't have the blind corners, so it felt safer to cross.
We paddle further down the mangrove trail and past the rope swing. I kind of wanted to try it, but I am not sure if we fell out of the boat, if we were going to get back in it. The trail comes out south of where we parked the boat, and the paddle to the boat was a little more difficult, because of the wind in the open area.
We arrived back at the boat and slid into the water to cool off a bit. It was not deep, so the water got cloudy pretty quickly from our feet. We climbed back into the boat and hung out while we ate sandwiches and chips for lunch.
After raising anchor and making it back down the waterway we raised the sails and decided to sail out and around Porjoe Key one last time. The wind had picked up, but wasn't nearly as bad as the previous day. I decided to try out just sailing with the headsail while we sailed down wind toward the island. This is the first time I had sailed with only the headsail and I really found it relaxing. I was able to basically set the sail and forget it as we sailed toward the key.
Once we got to the key though, I did need to raise the mainsail to give me a little better control so sail around the back side. We tacked and jibbed up wind and headed back to the cottages with plenty of time to spare. When we got back there was a boat in our slip being worked on, so we were asked to moore in the slip at the end of the pier. This was much easier to get into, so I was happy with that.
Back on land we hung out for a few hours and then headed out to the backyard grill, which ended up being the only place we ate at more than once. It was delicious once again.
We ended the night once again with the other guests watching the sunset with sundowners.