|Tarpon Basin Anchorage. Dock just left of center.|
The anchorage we are at is rather convenient for a variety of things on Key Largo thanks to the free dock at the park behind the Monroe County building. The two wooden docks are a bit rickety (loose boards and some splinters but not unusable by any means), however the sea wall has steps at a couple locations that make tying off there and bypassing the wood docks a nice alternative. There is space for a number of dinghys and crime doesn't seem to be much of a problem with the sheriffs department located right inside the building. The park adjacent to the dock is a great place to let the dogs stretch their legs. The county building also has nice restrooms and public WiFi.
|A sunset at the anchorage.|
Unfortunately, there does seem to be some drama between the county and a group of "boaters" here. I put that in quotes because, while they live on boats, these folks don't seem to ever move them. Instead of cruising, this is more the case of low cost floating housing and the county feels these folks are taking advantage of the situation. To that end, the county doesn't allow the people they are having a dispute with into the building (and the exterior bathroom doors are now kept locked). The access to water has also been turned off. I do hope these two groups can come to a mutual understanding because it would be a shame to lose this resource for boaters visiting the area.
While things are reasonably convenient to walk to from this location, our bikes make it much more accessible. For instance, the grocery store is now 5 minutes by bike instead of 15 or 20 by foot. John Pennekamp State Park, West Marine, Divers Outlet, Napa, a dozen restaurants, and ICE CREAM are all easy trips now with the bike. We even rode the 4+ miles to the Visitors Center in the middle of the day. Being able to throw the foldable bikes into the dinghy and take them to shore is nice.
|Wife in the big chair at the visitors center.|
We visited Pennekamp today and did some kayaking. Would like to go out and see the reef, maybe do some scuba or snorkeling, but those aforementioned winds I think are probably making trips out to the reef (in 5 foot waves) "fun" and I doubt visibility is very good. If things improve before we leave, we may still check it out. Meanwhile, we had to settle for a paddle through the mangroves.
|Kayaking through mangroves in Pennekamp Park.|
The ice cream deserves special mention. On a warm day of biking around the island it is a special treat. Add in that our boat refrigerator won't get cold enough to keep ice cream for long and it becomes a rare treat. We found a place called Mr C's that has truly hand-made ice cream. You can tell this isn't the usual stuff, and it is worth a stop if you happen to be in the area. The only catch is that the hours they are open seem to be a bit random, but if you find them open you will like the ice cream.
Well, that is what we've been up to the last few days. Living on the hook and exploring Key Largo. What will we do tomorrow...who knows (Ok, there is one thing on the schedule, but we won't worry about that right now). Cheers!