May 10th

Such a nice day, shame it turned into a real bear. The day was scheduled to go through some real shallow cuts in the sound and I wasn't really quite sure on how to deal with it. I stayed in the ICW channel most of the way but when I saw the first of the 4 foot soundings on my chart in the channel itself, I hopped off into deeper water marked to the left. Sure enough it wasn't deeper, and I found bottom. Shit! OK so I get myself off and bounce my way back into the channel. OK I'm never doing that again. So a few miles further down there's a funny dog leg in the channel, OK skipper stick between the buoys, remember last time. Damn! I have to plow through shallows again and this was kind of painful. At least I got out. So not 5 miles later there's a 4 sounding in the channel again but deepwater to the left and really shallow to the right. I opt for the deep water to the left of the channel … and get stuck hard. I mean HARD. Managed to wiggle my off backwards and find a way back out into the channel which turned out to be just fine (?!?!?!). I was stuck there for well over 20 minutes.

While I was grounded one helpful soul pointedly stopped his runnabout, marked my position and then obviously summoned the coast guard. Its quite a heavy fine for disturbing the sea-grass in Florida ($10, 000). Someone obviously thought I should pay his taxes for him. Anyway I was back in the channel just minutes before the coast guard showed up. Whew!

And … just heading out along the ICW later on (no way am I leaving the channel now) the channel shallowed and I was treated to a very bumpy ride as waves lifted me up and and then bumped me down hard onto the sand, this went on for about 100 yards, me just running at idle. And it happened again later. My poor boat! Well at least it probably cleared off some of that rust from the bottom of the keel. Come on Florida, run those dredgers.

After all that I just ran for an anchorage off of Islamorada.