As we crossed the gulf from Marco Island to Key West, we followed along behind a boat called Hallelujah. We dodged many crabpots, even out 30 miles off the coast in 50 foot deep waters. The captain of Hallelujah would use the VHF radio to let us know where the crabpots were so that we would be better prepared to dodge them. The prevalence of crabpots required that we travel at slower speeds than desired, 12 mph. The ride was rocky with 2-3 foot rollers during the entire ride. We were able to speed up for part of the ride, 25mph, and that took some of the rockiness out of the ride. The best mate didn't get sick, but she wasn't feeling too good. Both of us were glad to arrive at the marine 9 hours later. We arrived just in time, as the winds were picking up and would remaining gusts and swells for the next 2 days.

We spent the month of February in Key West, celebrating our arrival at the southern most point of our loop! It didn't take us long to find great seafood, sunny days, and really nice people. We created a list of lots of fun things that we would see and do over the next few weeks! One of the highlights of our time in Key West was meeting friends from home here - John Boyd and Robyn, Jeff and Lisa Homan, Karen's sister Kathy and her husband Danny, and a surprise visit from friends from Marietta Jill and Mark Ruff. Together we explored live music and food and drinks at the Chart Room at Pier 1 and the Smokin' Tuna, the Boat House happy hour. We all got a stamp with Danny at the Dry Tortugas National Park, nearly completing his book and his collection of stamps. We all rooted hard for a Bengals Super Bowl win. We explored fresh markets along the water's edge, as well as sunsets at Mallory Square. We enjoyed Blue Heaven for a late breakfast on morning with new friends Bobbianne and Lee from Siena Sun. We enjoyed spending time with other loopers in Marathon and here in Key West - Bob and Amanda from Sniper's Hide in Bahia Honda; Darryl and Claudia from Wine Down.