At the ramp - Gotta have current stickers!
I got a bit long winded, but hope you enjoy some of the pics and the read…
So it’s no Bobthebuilder trip, but it was our first trip across the Gulf, and our first time to the Florida Keys. 5 of us made the trip last week in my Formula 303 from Wiggins Pass in Naples to the Galleon in Key West.
A very close friend of mine flew into Columbus from Topeka, Kansas on Thursday night. I picked him up at the airport around 22:00 in the rig and we headed south. 17 hours later we were on the side of I-75 at Martin Luther King Blvd. in Ft. Myers with an exploded trailer tire, 12 miles from the boat ramp. After a trip to the tire store we arrived at Cocohatchee River Park in North Naples.
It was a gorgeous evening so we decided to drop the boat in and head out to the gulf for a quick sunset cruise. We met the local SeaTow captain, Scott, and he was very helpful providing us with local knowledge on the pass and some other good tips on places to go and things to do.
We spent Saturday cruising around Naples Bay and giving my grandmother, who lives in Naples, a boat ride. Getting her in and out was a challenge, but she really enjoyed the ride so it was well worth the effort. My wife flew into RSW that evening and we began planning our adventure south. (Funny I end up hauling the crap all over the country and she hops a plane )
Monday morning we loaded the boat with gear and headed south to the Keys. The weather was great and we followed the coast down to Marco, then set a 180* course as land disappeared over our port stern quarter. Until this point the gulf had been smooth as glass and we were clipping along nicely. About 20 miles south of Marco, the wind picked up out of the south and we were heading straight into 15kt winds and some decent rollers. We slowed up a bit and continued making progress toward the Northwest Channel entrance. A few hours later land was in sight and we cruised the crystal blue waters to the Galleon Marina downtown Key West.
Thanks to some very generous friends we had an excellent slip with great views of the harbor and sunsets. We rented some scooters and terrorized the island, and of course had cold beverages at as many Duval street establishments as we could manage. We tried to do some snorkeling on the reef south of the island, but the water was brutal, so we headed to Cottrell Key instead. It turned out to be a great decision, water was flat and the visibility was great.
One day when we were walking in town, one of the tour boat sales guys asked me if I would like to “Ride in a real speed boat” of course I was immediately intrigued and he told me we would get to go over 80 MPH and see more than any other boat. I quietly took the brochure and walked away… That evening I chased down the HydroThunder in the channel, and let’s just say it won’t do 80… (see video)
I would highly recommend the trip to anyone who has the opportunity. I think we raised some eyebrows at the Galleon, as all 5 of us stayed on the boat! We were certainly a little out of place next to all the big boys. We met some great people there and some true boaters. It’s way cool to run into owner-captains of super nice hardware (65 Fairlanes, 60+ Hatts, etc) instead of the elitist A-hole owners who don’t even know what kind of boat they own you run into at some marinas.
Hope you enjoy the pics and videos.
Parked at work ready to head south:
At the ramp - Gotta have current stickers!
Last edited by RT930turbo; 05-02-2011 at 06:51 PM.
Sunset over Wiggins pass
Obligatory Sonny Crocket picture...
Ft. Myers Beach
15 kts straight in the face
Key West at last
Ann & Artie (us)
Cory & Beth (Brother)
A shot from our slip
Great pics Artie and thanks for posting. Looks like you had a great time at one of my all time favorite destinations - Key West.
Let's see pics of the 930 turbo
Sounds like a great trip, and not to many problems. From the time you left Naples to key west, how much time did it take miles, fuel.
Last edited by masi242; 05-02-2011 at 08:11 PM.
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