There's nothing on Boot Key except Radio Marti, which is restricted to employees only, and possibly a place that makes crab traps or something. All the mangroves are protected. Nothing can be built here.
So there is one road that cross the Boot Key bridge and goes toward Sister's Creek, with a branch off to Radio Marti, and that's IT. There's virtually NO traffic on this road. (That's why the Boot Key bridge can basically open on demand any time - no need to clear traffic.)
The only way to get to Boot Key is by bike or car or on your own two feet. There are no places to land a boat on the key because the edge is dense mangrove thicket and it is illegal to tie a boat up to the bridge.
There are 5 Boot Key Bridge tenders. You hail them on channel 9, or give one short and one long blast of the horn. They are on duty to open the bridge anytime anyone wants an opening from 6 am to 10 pm. From 10 pm to 6 am, they don't monitor the radio, although I think you can call and get an opening if it is an emergency.There is a bed and a TV...more
The channel to the Boot Key Bridge is a no wake zone. I took this photo because this commercial fisherman is not observing it.Stay in the middle of the channel or if you have to go to one side, go to the green side. Do NOT go outside the channel though as it is quite shallow there.more
I heard a cruiser on the VHF radio asking if anyone had lost a pet iguana. NOT!!! That was a wild iguana that climbed on his boat.These are not tame animals, and they can bite. They also like to lie out on the road in the sun and they can obviously swim. This one is a noted inhabitant of Boot Key.more
Since there are often a hundred or more boats moored or anchored in Boot Key Harbor, and some who don't like the crowds in there and are anchored off the other side of Boot Key or Knights Key, there is often a lot of dinghy traffic. If you are anchored and not in a marina, your dinghy is your car to get to market and get supplies. So you'd best...more
To get into Boot Key Harbor, you have two choices. Boot Key Channel and through Boot Key Bridge, or Sister's Creek. Sister's Creek is only 4 feet deep in places, although I have heard that there is a boat in the harbor that draws 6.5 feet that has used that channel (I guess at high tide). The other option is the going through the Boot Key bascule...more
I didn't take a picture of the radio station from Boot Key because I did not know the significance of it at the time. Since then I've tried to get a picture from a distance with varying amounts of success. This one was taken as we sailed out of Marathon to go home.Radio Marti signed on the air on May 20, 1985 on 1160 kHz with 14 1/2 hours of...more
Since Boot Key is privately owned, you can't go crashing off into the undergrowth (even if that was possible in the mangroves), but you can see more than 16 species of falcons, hawks and other raptors that migrate through the Florida Keys on their way to southern wintering grounds.According to a WIldlife Viewing website:Pull over and bird from the...more
Radio Marti is definitely off the beaten track as the site is padlocked and fenced. You can't get into it.The cruisers who are anchored off Boot Key are about as close to Radio Marti as anyone.An article by Nick Grace C., in 1998 on Radio Marti said in part:The idea for Radio Marti was first broached in 1981 when US President Reagan declared that...more
Those people who are unsuccessful in getting their anchors to hold in Boot Key Harbour have the choice of going to a marina or anchoring somewhere else. And those people who don't like being so close to other people also anchor out here. When the wind shifts, everyone moves to a more protected location. This picture was taken as we left to go...more
Since there's only one basic road on Boot Key and it doesn't go anywhere, it seems like a good place to do your exercise biking. Cruisers don't get a lot of exercise while they are on their boats due to restricted space. So a lot of them have bikes that they ride both for transportation and exercise. If you don't own a bike or you don't have a...more
Favorite thing: One of the reasons that the Boot Key Bridge remains manned 24 hours a day is the Radio Marti broadcasting station (behind barbed wire) that is on Boot Key. The station's antennas can be seen for long distances and provide a landmark for the area.