I've been going to Key West nearly every year since 1976, and while many things have changed, there are lots of things that seem to remain the same.
One of the things I noticed last winter was the water quality has slowly, but surely, deteriorated. I remember when I dove the reef at Sand Key and the underwater visibility averaged about 80 to 100 feet most days. Now, a good day is 30 feet at best.
For a protected anchorage, though a long dinghy ride to Key West, Mule Key Basin is great. Depths average about 5 to 7 feet at low tide, it's surrounded by flats, there's an easy to access, marked entrance from the North West Channel and best of all, you usually have the entire place to yourself.
Sure wish I were there right now - especially when I look at the cesspool waters of Chesapeake Bay.
Nice photos young man,
Sure wish I could see you down here this winter. Melissa got her new tub... maybe you can hitch a ride with her?
Not sure why visibility has gone down. I also noticed that over the years, the reefs around Marathon have gotten a bit more bleached. I also noticed a lot of bleaching in the Tortugas the last time I was there... more than I remember over the last ten years.
All this said, I do not want to discourage anyone from Key West. We have actually talked about doing our summer there instead of Marathon and I know we will be heading back soon. I found Key West was full of surprises and the people really are some of the nicest (if not the nicest) in the keys.
A few words of warning though for those with kids (and maybe without):
Got hit by a prostitute not long after dark... in the middle of the street!! Alcohol use is HEAVY and the chicks do hit on the guys as much or more than the other way around. Had a friends cell phone stolen at a bar. Basically, after dark, it gets crazy. Before dark, it is pretty kid friendly.
I think a lot of people go there to get hammered and party all night. THat's fine, but that is not really what it is all about. There is a lot of history and things to do outside of that. There is some really good food and I think it is reasonably priced (for the keys)... and maybe cheaper than Marathon. I did not even mention the museums (Mel Fishers is great) or beaches. There is also a lot of great musicians. I played out on the dock with another fellow and felt like a kid with a Kazoo compared to some of the guys and gals down there.
I bet you could light it up some Gary!!