There are three main dinghy docks in Boot Key Harbor. The one pictured is the Dockside Lounge dinghy dock is which $3/day with no contract.
Another main dinghy dock is at the City Marina which charges a $50 a month long term fee tand requires that you signa three-page contract to use the dinghy dock!
The other dinghy dock is at Marathon Boat Yard, and the inset is the rules that are posted at that dock.. The sign says that dockage is for shopping at West Marine only - no pets or fuel jerry jugs allowed. Anyone failing to observe the rules can have their dinghy impounded and $50 a day storage charged.
Out in the harbor, the Florida Marina Patrol or the Coast Guard will want you to have appropriate equipment in your dinghy with you. PFDs, lights for night operation and such things. Sometimes they will want you to have flares.
They will also want you to observe the no wake zone even in a dinghy and to operate the dinghy in a safe manner - no drunken dinghying and no speeding.
Please, be careful at Marathon Beach (better if you do not visit it). Last year, I lost my young son-in-law in a bizarre boat "accident" caused by a drunken boat operator using an old defective boat. My now widow daughter is 28 years old, and my two now father-orphan grandchildren are 5 and 7. They were there when my son-in-law was killed. Omar (my son-in-law) was over 6' and 260 pds, and was snorkeling around 4:00 pm near their anchored two boats with diver’s flags along with 10 or 12 other snorklers. Everyone one could see him, except the drunk boater who ignored flags and danger warnings from everyone there, who passed near the flagged boats speeding hitting my son-in-law in the head with the propeller, and killing him instantly. My daughter was helpless when the Fish and Wildlife Department took the case at the scene from the Coast Guard. They mishandled the case and left the drunk boat operator leave the scene without performing an alcohol test (everyone there demanded to them to do it) Now we have problems trying to get this case properly solved and the criminal prosecuted. Please UNDERSTAND that when you enter Marathon Beach, you are ON YOUR OWN in a place infested of irresponsible and drunk/drugged boaters and vehicle operators, besides other hotel and bars problems, without and efficient law enforcement. If something happens, you are alone trapped in a one road place with only one small hospital, and about 6 hours from a civiled city (Miami), if you can drive back normally.
Those bites you're getting are called no-see-ums! They love to bite on you mostly at dusk and dawn. Stay out of the mangroves! The best way to keep from getting ate up is to put suntan oil on you (or baby oil). They seem to die as soon as they try to bite with the oil on.
The Banana Bay resort in Marathon used to have the cutest little tiki bar at the end of the property on the water. It was my absolute favorite spot in Marathon and maybe in all of the keys. Sadly, it did not survive the Hurricane. I called and asked the clerk if they planned on putting it up again and she said no. I have a trip planned in March and can't believe I won't be spending an evening or two with my feet on the sand floor watching Robert (seems to be the town cross-dresser) sing karoke and enjoying a cocktail. The place was so darling, it will be very missed.
Traffic is very bad in the Keys. An accident will tie up traffic for hours. The other day, a motorcycle came out onto the highway from Knight Key which is just at the east end of Seven Mile Bridge, and ended up under a propane truck. The motorcyclest woke up in the hospital and didn't remember what happened.
But traffic was at a standstill for four hours because there was a worry about the propane truck exploding or something.
And there are also draw bridges.
My SIL brought his boat down from Miami and it only took him 4 hours. If there is an accident on the road, it will be quicker by boat. (Although not by our boat which took 2.5 days). In some cases it might even be faster by bike (second picture)
So drive carefully, pay attention to what is going on and don't rush or tailgate.
Florida's sales tax rate is 6 percent. Each retail sale, admission charge, storage, use, or rental is taxable, along with some services. Some items are specifically exempt. Some counties impose a discretionary sales surtax in addition to the 6 percent state tax. The county tax rates range from .5 to 1.5 percent, and are levied on the first $5,000 of the purchase price. Consumers pay sales tax and any county-imposed taxes to the seller at the time of purchase. In Monroe County (where Marathon is) there is 1.5% added for a total of 7.5% tax.
However the state tax rate on motor fuel is 13.1 cents per gallon and on diesel fuel is 25.1 cents per gallon statewide.
Farmers, commercial fisherman, local governments, transit systems and school districts are eligible for full refunds of the tax minus a $2.00 fee. So marine fuel docks have the option of added the tax to the posted price per gallon rate for recreational users.
Marathon Marina and Boatyard's posted rate is WITHOUT the tax. This will add a CONSIDERABLE amount to your bill and may come as a VERY unpleasant surprise. The picture shows the fuel dock and fuel sign as you come in the channel.
When they are cleaning their catch, fishermen often feed pelicans the parts of the fish that they don't want - like fish heads. This is bad for the pelicans. They can't resist a free meal, but the big fish with big bones clog up their digestive tract. Pelicans are meant to eat little fish with flexible bones.
So don't make a pelican have to be rescued and nursed back to health.
Plus pelican poop is really hard to get off a boat.
Sign says: Mosquit-O-Meter
1 You're in the Florida Keys
2 Don't let a couple of little bugs scare ya!
3 OK, OK..We know! But it still beats shoveling snow and 40 deg below
4 Yikes!! Use lots of repellant and run as fast as you can!
Duck when you hear the mosquito plane!
The lower signs have questions on them like "Why does a film of oil on water kill mosquito larvae?"
Really the no-seeums, which live in the mangroves, are more of a bother in the winter.
Wear long trousers and a shirt with sleeves at night.
Restaurants that look attractive may or may not still be in business when you go to eat there. This one (Dead Head George's Mexicali Grill mm 50.5) has apparently gone out of business since the 2003 Marathon Guide was published.
Kelsey's at Faro Blanco Bayside, Crocodiles on the Water (Faro Blanco Oceanside), the restaurant at our marina (which has been reincarnated as Cabot's), Panchos (which still has a building on the highway but is for sale), and the Caribbean Queen (dinner cruise boat from our marina which is listed on the Marathon map) have also apparently disappeared..
Traffic - on the road and on the water is one of the principle hazards in Marathon. And then there are the no-seeums!!