My Apologies to Marathon

Don’t you hate it when you find out you were just plain wrong about something?! I have to confess, I was completely wrong about Marathon, and Boot Key Harbor specifically. Here’s the deal:

It was May, 2012. We had just been stuck in Little Shark River for 7 days. We fought ferocious mosquitoes. We ran low on supplies. Our friends called the Coast Guard, who located us with a C-130 flown out of Key West. We rode out storm after storm until on day 7, the storms cleared. It was windy still though, and we had a rough passage to Boot Key Harbor.
We stupidly picked up a mooring ball without calling ahead and having one assigned to us. The dockmaster was quite stern in correcting our error. This started us off on the wrong foot. We spent a few days being very busy, reprovisioning, doing laundry, tending to boat chores. We never slowed down to explore the area, make new friends, or simply enjoy ourselves. We left with a bad impression.
In my first book, Leap of Faith; Quit Your Job and Live on a Boat, I spoke poorly of Marathon. I feel that I must try to make amends. I was uninformed, and made a judgement without full knowledge of what I was talking about.

Skip forward to present day. We have returned to Boot Key Harbor with no pressing need to travel on. We have no schedule this time. We’ve been here just over a week. We called ahead for a mooring ball assignment and the staff was very helpful and friendly. We found some fellow liveaboards that we know from other ports. The City Marina is very well equipped to handle the hundreds of vessels in the harbor. Your every need can be taken care of here or very close by. It’s a bit of a walk to the grocery store, but for 5 bucks a cab will take you anywhere on the island.
There are several restaurants on the water that are accessible by dinghy. There’s a nice beach here as well.


Info on the mooring field can be found here:

Every morning at 9:00 you can listen to The Cruisers Net on VHF channel 68. Find out what’s happening in the harbor and in the town. Buy/Sell/Trade. Find other boats going to the Bahamas or elsewhere. Get a diver, a ride to the store, help fixing something. It’s a great resource that makes you feel like part of the community.


I won’t go into a ton of detail on all the things there are to do here. There have been plenty of articles and blog posts on that topic. Here are a few:

I did want to publicly apologize for bad-mouthing Marathon in Leap of Faith. In my latest book, Trawler Trash, I made this harbor central to the story, and spoke nicely about it, especially The Dockside.

Kim and I are enjoying our stay. The people here are very nice, and we feel welcomed by the community. Can’t ask for more than that from a well-protected harbor. (for all my books)

5 thoughts on “My Apologies to Marathon

  1. Chris R

    you know you’re dealing with someone with integrity when they admit a mistake they made. We all make mistakes, some just don’t have the fortitude to admit it. Good job Ed!

  2. Michael Scott

    Shark river could have been worse, I was there when the Earwigs were swarming. Did you know they fly when they swarm. There were millions! They got into everything and they are still there!

  3. Miami

    Hey Ed.

    Read Poop, Booze and Bikinis. Good job.

    We live on a 41 Irwin ketch, and are headed back to Marathon from spending Sept to Dec 1 in DC.

    There are a lot worse places to hang out for a few months in the winter. My 16 yo son and I have a last playing softball with the old folks!

    Hope to run into you some day.

    No winds, (not fair winds for you)



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