Our 42ft Catamaran was featured in Women’s Health Magazine

youcan_4days_sailing.jpg Saturday – Call me captain
We arrive early at the dock to help our captain, Dave Griner, load the boat for our overnight trip. Despite his resemblance to the Skipper from Gilligan’s Island, Dave is no jolly fat man. But his gruff ex-stockbroker’s attitude is quickly forgotten when Jenn confesses she hates the water. What?! I know the open sea can be intimidating, but I’m so excited to set sail that I will drag her onboard. Luckily, she finds comfort in the 42-foot catamaran-essentially a floating condo, complete with two bathrooms, four bedrooms, and a kitchen.

By 11 a.m., we motor out of the windless harbor before Dave instructs us to “hoist the main,” or raise the sail up the mast. Alex and I yank on the ropes — I mean, lines (sailor speak) — and we’re off at a breezy 7 knots, or about 9 miles per hour.

As Alex and Jenn lounge on deck, Dave attempts to make a captain out of me. After I learn how to operate the boat’s navigation system, I map an hour-long course to Western Dry Rocks, a reef about 9 miles off Key West. Next up: knot training. Once he signs off on my knots, I jump in the hammock strung between the pontoon hulls and relax above the teal-blue ocean.

Suddenly, Dave yells, “Pool’s open!” (Translation: We can dive overboard). I snatch my mask and snorkel and hop over the edge into the cool, briny water. Just feet from the boat, I spot foot-long parrot fish with rainbow highlights munching on the reef. Then I see Dave swimming with aspear gun?! Jenn, Alex, and I instantly climb back on board while he hunts for dinner. He soon throws a bloody hogfish on deck, but it wiggles off the boat and back into the ocean. After a few more attempts, he gives up. So Jenn and I bait hooks with Cheetos and, within an hour, reel in enough large yellowtail (those smaller than 12 inches must be thrown back, by law) for a delicious sunset dinner.

Sunday – (Really) hitting the beach
A loud thud reverberates through the hull, and I’m jolted awake. I throw open the door to find Jenn in the hallway gripping her laptop. I’m sure we’ve hit something. Alex and I rush on deck. During the night we floated off our anchor and brushed up against a sandbar near Boca Grande, an island inhabited solely by sea birds.

I wake Dave, who slept through the crash, and he yells, “Shit!” all the way up the stairs. He fires up the engine and maneuvers the boat out of the shallows as Alex and I haul up the anchor. Soon after, we’re back on track at 7 knots per hour to the Marquesa Keys, one of the only atolls (a coral island surrounding a lagoon) in the northern hemisphere, about 8 miles away. Midday, we anchor and explore the reef in a dinghy that attracts turtles the size of coffee tables.

Around 4 p.m., while we’re hoisting the sails to turn back toward Key West, I make Alex promise to appoint me his first mate next summer. Then Jenn makes us promise to leave her on shore. Done and done.

Essential Key West

Ambrosia House ambrosiakeywest.com; rooms start at $169 per night in the fall, including a buffet breakfast served in the poolside gazebo

Eat & Drink
Café Sole cafesole.com Order this Hogfish snapper, a local fish typically caught by spear gun
Coffee Plantation coffeeplantationkeywest.com Order this A creamy caf Cubano, an espresso shot of Cuban coffee with steamed milk
Key Lime Pie Factory blondgiraffe.com Order this The best key lime pie in the Sunshine State
Nine One Five 915duval.com Order this Devils on Horseback (bacon-wrapped dates). Aprés dinner, head upstairs to Point 5 for a nightcap.

Hemingway’s House hemingwayhome.com Tip Go between 9 and 11 a.m. to miss the crowds.
Key West Sailing Adventures keywestsailingadventure.com; rates start at $295 per night for two people Tip You can trust the funny yet professional Captain Albert, a smooth sailor with 30-plus years’ experience at sea.
Lloyd’s Tropical Bike Tour lloydstropicalbiketour.com; $35 for a 2-hour tour, including bike rental Tip Stop at Nancy Forrester’s Secret Garden, a secluded, acre-size rainforest.
Paradise Scooters & Bikes paradisescooterrentals.com; price per day for a bike starts at $12 (helmet included) Tip Ask to borrow a bike lock.
Spa Terre oceankey.com; treatments start at $70 Tip Skip the body polish if you have sunburn.

To Read the whole article in Women’s Health Magazine  click the link below



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