We spent a total of two weeks in BKH (Boot Key Harbor). While there, a go-fast boat poker run paraded by.
We got to see a manatee even if the video evidence is quite brief.
One of the best things about being a cruiser in BKH is the “BKH Cruiser’s Net” that is broadcast every 9AM on VHF channel 68. This communications link (along with their FB page) ties the live-aboard boater community together in a way I wish landlubbers did. Communicating with your boating neighbors everyday in just the two weeks connected us with more neighbors than our 13 years in our previous land-based home.
There is a format to “the net” that starts by allowing new cruisers to introduce themselves and departing cruisers to say goodbye. They then do announcements about rules of the harbor, weather, meet-ups, Charity work, etc. They allow boaters to ask questions of the group (ex. Can anyone help me program my Raymarine autopilot?) The amount of boating knowledge in the community is impressive. They hold a buy/sell/trade/give-away/ask-for different items cruisers want/don’t want. They do a trivia section and end with different boaters contacting each other on other channels to discuss business of sorts.
Through the Net, I learned of a cruiser, Capt. David of S/V Expectations who was offering to share his knowledge of the NW Caribbean.
David shared a book and his notes about sailing in the NE Caribbean. A popular route from Key West is to sail along Cuba’s coast to Cozumel, MX then down to Costa Rica, Guatemala, Roatán and Honduras. I and many other captains jumped at the opportunity to talk with this life-long boater to pick his brain about navigating these areas as well as his fishing tips. Below are two lures David was suggesting as well a pneumatic spear gun in lieu of a gaff.
David spent many years in Rio Dulce, Guatemala where it cost him $125/month for a slip. Not a bad deal to live in paradise.
Living on a boat we often spend time staring at the night sky. When you look around boat the sailboat anchor lights sway to and fro like dancing stars.
On one particular night I was staring up at the stars when I saw a meteorite or possibly a piece of “space junk” come flaming down to Earth. It only lasted about 2-3 seconds but it was an amazing sight to see. I was moved enough that I submitted an online “Fireball Report” at amsmeteors.org
While we were in the harbor there was a salvage operation going on that included an old sport-fisher with a bar and block on it’s bow being used to raise up a sunken vessel (possible Hurricane Irma victim).
Yes, that is an outboard mounted to the back of that sport fisher. You’ll see all kinds of things like this moment where boaters just dropped a full-size fridge on the bow of their runabout to deliver to a larger boat in the harbor. The community here donates items to fellow boaters in need. Many of the boaters here live life on a shoestring budget and donations are used when the budget is dry.
While listening to the net you’ll hear requests like the one from a family of 4 living aboard a 28’ sailboat bound for Guatemala that were looking for play dates for their children as well as home-school lesson plan swapping. I look up to these cruisers for their self-sufficient life style.
Each night we join in blowing our conch horn to announce that the sun has set.
We enjoyed dinking around the harbor with the dogs
We motored through Sister’s Creek and found many great sights of birds, boats and one spectacular tree.
But best of all were the sunsets in BKH