Dry Tortugas – Day 8

The wind dies during the night and the boat fills up with no-see-ums. Fran gets up and closes the hatches and windows, but it is too late.

We get up at 5:30, make coffee, and add oil to the engine. We start the generator for the refrigerator. The food inside is still cold.

Originally we talked about anchoring in Newfound Harbor, but since we went further yesterday, we decide to anchor in Bahia Honda tonight. We’ve always wanted to anchor there and we might even dinghy in to the concession store and get ice cream.

Questeria Leaving Boca Grande
Questeria Leaving Boca Grande

We put out our trolling rods and catch a barracuda. We can’t get the hook out so we end up cutting the line and losing our lure. No more fishing today. George and Nancy decide to go out to the reef and fish for yellow tail. We want to get to the anchorage and let the boat cool off and check on the refrigerator.

We get to the Bahia Honda anchorage at 3:00pm. We are the only boat in the anchorage. When we go to drop the anchor, the windlass remote does not work. We have to use the control switches in the cockpit. It is easier with our EarTec headsets. We anchor in 9 feet of water. We have heard that there is a strong current here so we put out 7:1 scope. Adding 6, the height of our anchor shoot, to 9, the depth, and multiplying by 7 comes out to 105 feet.

This is the first time we have anchored here, but we are familiar with the Bahia Honda state park because we stayed here in our RV in January. See RV Adventures, Sault Ste. Marie to Marathon, Bahia Honda.

The refrigerator has run on the generator all day. We turn off the generator and the refrigerator runs on 12 volts.

This a noisy anchorage. There is road noise from the Bahia Honda Bridge and there is a lot of boat traffic from the state park and boats going between Hawk Channel and the bay-side. Worst of all is the people on the beach blasting their music.

Steel Lady comes in at 5:00 and anchors 100 yards west of us. Another sailboat comes in behind them. A woman in a thong is out on deck with a boat hook. First they try to moor to a crab pot buoy, then they go to the mooring ball that is for official use only. When they see that they can’t use a mooring ball they decide to anchor right on top of our anchor. We call them on the VHF radio and tell them they are over our anchor. He comes back and asks how much rode we have out. We tell them over 100 feet and they move. We thank them.

We watch the sunset and blow the conch shell. The park closes at sunset (except for the campgrounds) and the loud music from the beach stops. At 9:00 we run the A/C to cool the boat. The refrigerator is still running on 12 volts. The road noise and boat traffic subsides.

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