The Smuggler’s Run – Part 4 – Time to head North

All rested and ready to move on, we left Marlin Bay on the morning of the 23rd. and ran North on the inside route, which means running on the Gulf side of the Keys. The water was shallow usually 6 to 7 feet. We left on a rising tide and I was glad of it on a few of the narrower passes.


At one point a Wave Maker went by me and it looked like he was chewing up the bottom. For a while I had to do was follow the yellow sand road.

That afternoon just after we set the hook in Tarpon Basin in Key Largo, I got a message on Nebo from another Looper anchored close “Are you up for a beer?”. I answered “I am always up for a beer”, a short time later Mike from Wind Shift came over in his dinghy, after a couple of hours of telling stories over a few beers and we had a new Looper friend. As with other Looper friends, they can be a valuable source of information. Mike told us about a place half way up Biscanyne Bay called Boca Chita. It was a nice 30 mile run from Tarpon Basin. That would leave plenty of time to find a plan B if we couldn’t get in or there is no room at the Inn.

It was a narrow but well marked approach. We arrived at close to low tide but the shallowest depth we saw on the wat in was 6′. There turned to be plenty of room even thought there were several groups on big boats that were celebrating March break.

Aside from the Stereo Wars and noisey parties, Boca Chita was an amazing place, with a tragic past.

It must of been something back in the day, the structures and walls were made out of coral blocks. I am sure the environmentalists wouldn’t let that happen today but it has stood the test of time and is still pretty solid after almost a hundred years.
It was a good thing because that night a nasty thunderstorm hit with some nasty winds. It was good to be tied to a solid wall. One of the neighbour boats had the cockpit bimini blow off. We had the generator and bike covers ripped off, but no major damage.

The next morning I made a wish on the Wishing Bridge and we set off for Miami.

Don McCulloch
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