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Friday, January 16, 2015

Bucket List II: Boca Grande

^ Listen to Misty Loggins singing my song “Island Blue” (Dani Hoy on background vocals) while you read the blog!^

Bucket List II: Boca Grande

Back in September I wrote a blog on achieving one of the goals on my “Bucket List”. As many who read this blog have English as a second language, I’ll explain what the “Bucket List” is. To begin with, it’s a slang phrase based off of another slang phrase, so the interpretation isn’t obvious. The original phrase comes from England and is hundreds of years old. That slang phrase is “Kick The Bucket”, referring to someone dies. The phrase “Bucket List” means a list of things someone wants to do before they die. In the blog a few months ago, I achieved one of my bucket list goals by going to the Dry Tortugas, which lie 75 miles (122km) west of Key West.

Dry Tortugas Bucket List Blog: 

On my birthday, January 3, 2015 I achieved another item on my “Bucket List” and visited Boca Grande Key, an island in the Mule Keys, nine miles (15km) west of Key West and part of the Florida Keys.

The only way to get there, is by boat. I was very fortunate in that I hired Captain Bob Cadzow’s “Beyond Key West” to take us there. Captain Bob has been on the water all of his life, so it puts you at a state of ease, being on a craft with him. He’s also very knowledgeable of the area and waters. A big plus was that the boat itself, “Beyond”, had two brand new engines on it. Less than twenty hours on them. A comfortable, honest confidence that leaves nothing in the imagination for those whose first thought is “what can go wrong?”. Captain Bob left no room for that with both himself and his boat. Plus, Captain Bob’s personality has the laid back approach one expects to find in the Keys. It goes without saying that Captain Bob is a U.S. Coast Guard licensed 50 GRT Master.

We arrived at the dock in Key West Bight, right off of Turtle Kraals restaurant, armed with sandwiches, beer, and water. We were all set!

We left Key West around 11:30am. Captain Bob told us we’d be an “hour or so” to get there and that we'd run into a bit of choppy seas just off of Key West, but that would only last about a mile. Sure enough, it lasted about a mile and wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. We actually arrived in less than an hour. I like conservative estimates!

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(leaving Key West Bight)

The group I was with included Dani, of course, in addition to our great friends Chris Robinson Kirstin “Butoxi”, and Beth Schreier.

Out on the water here is always fascinating for me. There are so many islands that are completely uninhabited here, that stirs the imagination! You’ll see one in this bow shot looking over Chris and Kirstin’s shoulders.

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I don’t think I mentioned, Boca Grande Key is an uninhabited island and is part of Florida  National Marine Sanctuary. Although the name is in Spanish, meaning “Big Mouth”, it is always referred to in the English pronunciation of “Boca Grand”. Interestingly, the word “Key” is never used in the local vernacular. This can be confusing for visitors, as there is a town on the west coast of Florida named “Boca Grande”.

When we arrived somewhere past noon, there was only one boat there, a sailboat anchored about 100 yards off shore. No one else was there.

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(Arriving at Boca Grande Key)

Boca Grande Key is an atol. This is the inlet to the lagoon

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(Boca Grande inlet)

One thing that amazed me was the amount of Cormorant birds! Usually there are one, two, maybe three seen flying about. Here there were hundreds!

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(Cormorants at Boca Grande wreck)

We pulled up and anchored on the beach. The beach here is absolutely beautiful. As I mentioned, the only other boat here was the sailboat anchored off shore.

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(Captain Bob, Beth Schreier, Dani Hoy)

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(sailboat anchored off of Boca Grande)

The beach itself was stunning and as I say, at this point, the only other boat that was there was the sailboat anchored off shore. It was the most peaceful and serene afternoon.

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After a couple of hours we had some neighbors roll in. They appeared to be a nice family and had the addition of a grill on the back of their boat. Nice touch! , We headed back to Key West about an hour later.

A great day was had by all and another bucket list was conquered! An excursion like this is highly recommended to all visiting Key West!

Our next trip we’ll go with “Beyond Key West” naturally. They’re a proven sure shot for us now. Not sure what we’ll do the next time as they also offer free dive spearfishing, free dive lobstering, paddleboards and kayaks,day, night, and overnight sails, fishing and snorkeling as well. They have two boats, both catamarans. The power boat we were on is a 21’ and for the sails they have a 26 (9m) catamaran sailboat with a 14’ (5m) width.

Maybe we’ll head out to the Marquesas Keys, about 10 miles further west than Boca Grande, or who knows? Maybe Cuba the way things are progressing!

Or phone Captain Bob direct at: 863  835 1427



Thank you everyone!

To obtain my music:



  1. Was the Sailboat Gypsy Wind?
    Great blog entry. It's like being with you.

  2. Thanks for the complements Frank! The sailboat could very well have been Gypsy Wind. I never saw the stern of it!