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Touring Key West, Florida on foot

We FINALLY got off the boat yesterday despite the strong winds still blustering 20+ mph making whitecaps in the harbour. Rowing to shore wasn’t that bad because the wind was pretty much pushing straight to the boat ramp.

We got to shore and tied off the dinghy in the mangroves (theft is a real problem down here) and we hiked south down A1A. A fellow sailor passed along the Key West Bus Route Schedule and we wandered around Stock Island until it was time to catch the Gold Line downtown. The Buses run pretty much anywhere you’d want to go and parking is at a premium. Most folks that work down here either ride scooters or take public transportation. We transferred to the Orange line and got off right at Duval Street- which is the main touristy street in Key West.

We had a typical touristy quality lunch at Hog’s Breath Inn. I’ve visited the Hog’s Breath Inn in Carmel, California when it was owned by Clint Eastwood and have fond memories. The Key West Hog’s Breath Inn is a great place to get a beer or have a drink I think, don’t expect haute cuisine. Ironically, for the first time in our sailing trip- we had fish!

We walked around Duval street letting Emma stretch her legs and marvel at all the sights and sounds. Despite it being the middle of the week, there were plenty of people out enjoying the Spectacle that is Key West.

We stopped into Sloppy Joe’s Bar, another venerable Key West memorial, and listened to the live music which Emma just loved. Emma had her first ever Virgin Daiquiri at Sloppy Joe’s- I think she liked the whipped cream best. It’s hot but not terribly humid right now- almost perfect weather to have a beer. We really enjoyed the music and I think we will go back again today.

We spent the rest of the day sightseeing and enjoying walking for a change. By 3pm we started to make our way back to the boat. Stock Island is about 8 miles away, but with all the stops, it can reasonable take 45 minutes to get there by bus.

Once we got back to the boat ramp, the wind was still roaring directly against us. Our boat requires over 5’5″ draft for the deep keel which means it’s quite a row to shore in the shallow Florida waters. We stayed close to shore until we were almost perpendicular to the boat and then cut across to minimize the current and wind. It took almost 45 minutes for us row back to the boat. I’m becoming a n outboard convert! We actually priced a small outboard at West Marine- but the $900 price tag makes me cringe.

The wind is ‘predicted’ to drop tomorrow, but NOAA lies! We shall see. But we’re tired of staying on the boat and really enjoyed our time exploring Key West. For the first time this trip we are embracing being a tourist. It took us this long to get down here, so why skimp?

Here’s an aerial view of where we’re anchored by Stock Island near the Boca Chica Bridge.

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3 comments to Touring Key West, Florida on foot

  • Looks like you could use some sunblock, Jerry. Good article. Glad to see you guys get off the boat, and, Emma having her first daquari, you barfly.

  • Jim

    Great blog JC!
    Your story is vey much like mine.
    I am a builder/developer/brokerage owner. I have been selling my junk(planes, muscle cars, ect)in an effort to downsize and simplify life. I only need to get out from under about $50,000,000 more in GA real estate and I’ll be free (and penniless :( )!
    You are living my dream (I saw your boat for sale on the Key West CL), but I have to finish attempting to get my mess straight before I can downshift.
    While you are in KW try Pepe’s on Caroline street for brunch on the weekend. Great juice, bread of the day, eggs ect.
    Good luck and I’ll be checking your blog with envy.


  • big cheese

    Thanks Jim-

    I saw the writing on the wall. In my case, I couldn’t justify working myself to death and STILL go deeper and deeper in debt. In business you plan, forecast, analyze.

    Now I don’t know what we’re going to do tomorrow much less what we’re going to do in a month. After a life time of planning, it feels REALLY good!

    We’ll check out Pepe’s, thanks for the suggestion!

    Keep the Faith!