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Summer Boating on the Chesapeake Bay

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Beautiful Key Waden

Key Waden - Naples, FL September 10th, 2011

Shark Bait

 There was no boating in the Chesapeake for us this weekend.  We went to Naples, Florida to visit Buddy's mom & to celebrate my birthday weekend.  We have a 21 foot Key Largo we keep down there because it's just so perfect for that kind of boating.  We keep it near the entrance to 10,000 islands so the smaller, faster, more nimble boat is perfect for scooting around the islands and even going out in the gulf. 

Bridge to Marco Island
 We headed out Saturday morning to do a little fishing and catch some Florida rays, since the sun's strength is waning in Baltimore now.  We keep the boat in Goodland, the wayward step-child of Marco Island, in a hurricane rated boatel.  The service is great - you show up and they put your boat right in.  We loaded up with shrimp and ice and off we went.  The water was a little murky around the islands, so we didn't have a lot of luck fishing.  A few hits and lost bait, but not even a cat fish on the line!  So we moved on (which was my ultimate plan anyway) up the Marco River, under the two bridges to Marco Island, through the Pass, across the shoal and over to Key Waden!  I like to call it Hart-Miller South.  It's a barrier island that you can only get to by boat, with beautiful crystal clear waters and a white sandy beach.  The water drops off quickly, so you can bow in your boat and spend the day on the island, swimming in the warm gulf waters, laying on the beach, shelling the millions of differing shells, cooking out or doing nothing at all.  There are dozens of boats there on the weekends, so you have to get there early to get a spot on the beach.  

Key Waden
 We were lucky and got a perfect spot.  The neighbors were playing music.  Buddy threw out his line (he's been lucky there before) and I went for walk. 

BK fishing
  Again, as with earlier summer finds, the beach has changed dramatically since the last time we were there.  A small creek has formed allowing a pond to form on the interior of the island.  The water there was holding fish & minnows captive until the tide comes in again.  But there are still tons of shells to be found.  And it seems that the sea birds have found a home here too.  There were flocks and flocks of noisy pipers on the gulf side of the island.  If something spooked them they all flew at once to the other side in a beautiful, if raucous display.  I spent most of the day lounging at waters edge in the 87 degree waters of the gulf, watching Buddy toss his line and reel it in and toss and reel... a soothing routine like the waves coming in and going out . Such a relaxing day. 

Lounging in the gulf
We headed out around mid-day back toward Goodland to have lunch at one of our favorite places - Mile Marker 8.  It's someone's old house that's been converted to a restaurant.  We were greeted by Pirate the Parrot, who was not-so-patiently waiting in a golf cart for his owner to come out of the bar.  We talked the waitress in to bringing him in where he ate a cracker out of my hand and talked to us non-stop.  Just another typical day in Goodland...
Pirate the Parrot
A few years ago, Marco Island tried to buy up the land in Goodland to no avail, and I'm sure glad they didn't get their way.  Goodland to Marco Island is like Key West is to West Palm Beach.  It's old school, kitschy, politically incorrect, anything goes and I love it just the way it is.  And if you ever get a chance to visit, our favorite festival is the Mullet Festival that happens at Stan's Idle Hour the 3rd weekend in January, where you can learn to Buzzard Lope, watch a mullet tossing contest and enjoy a buzzard cocktail alongside the many cast and characters that make up Stan's.  Whitey Schmidt has even been known to make an appearance.   And don't forget to stop by the Island Woman Boutique for a kooky hat & sunglasses, it's a must!

House on Marco Island

Home in Goodland

1 comment:

  1. Hi Carol,
    My name is Jane and I'm with Dwellable.
    I was looking for blog posts about Key Largo to share on our site and I came across your post...If you're open to it, shoot me an email at jane(at)dwellable(dot)com.
    Hope to hear from you :)