Calypso has 700 square feet of dining and living area, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and a full kitchen all with A/C. She sleeps up to 6. There is a huge rooftop deck (another 500 sq feet) with a covered granite wet bar, sitting/lounging areas and a dining table. She has top end furnishings and is docked on Lake Largo at the Pilot House Marina, actually in downtown Key Largo.
She is moored to a floating dock (no stairs/climbing) on Lake Largo at the Pilot House (PH) Marina–rated the #1 marina in the Keys by Active –the most used nautical web guide. Our dock attaches to the marina's Boardwalk to takes you to the Pilot House Restaurant and Glass Bottom Tiki Bar, which has glass floor panels to watch the fish. Further down the Boardwalk sign up for scuba and snorkling dive tours, take a tour of a coral restoration site or rent a powerboat for the day. Or, charter a fishing boat. Or, walk down the road to swim with the dolphins. Or, drive through the Keys, over the 7-Mile Bridge to Key West's Mallory Square to see the jugglers and street performers while watching the most famous sunset in the US. Kids can bike to the local town water park and tennis courts. Spend a day at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. Why spend more to hang out in a motel?
Calypso sleeps up to 6. Full-size SS appliances include a dish washer. No oven–only a microwave and range ("hob" to you Brits) given the 120v marina power system. The master bedroom has a 6'x6' slider with unobstructed marina views. Side window views are gorgeous, but can depend on whether other boats dock alongside. Her floating concrete dock is 5' wide, it’s just two 5” steps up to the porch at any tide. The docks are lighted and stable–they don't sway, except to rise/fall imperceptibly with the tides. The huge roof top deck has a covered granite wet bar and dining area with a provided electric grill. She is smack dab in the middle of the marina–watch the yachts and fishing boats come in and out, or doze on the roof-top chaisse lounges. Paddle board in the lake. Talk to boaters from around the world. No boredom here!
The PH Marina, Restaurant and Tiki Bar are in the heart of Key Largo, FL–the best diving/fishing waters in the US. Wings, lobster, burgers, fish, shrimp, steak and daily specials are family priced. Several nights per week local musicians perform (some are great, some are more “funky”)–while you can hear it on Calypso, the music ends by 11 PM. Preview the scene at the PH Marina & Restaurant's website for live webcams of the action. Walk to the Key Largo Fisheries outdoor café/market on the other side of Lake Largo to bring home fresh caught fish/lobster/crab, cooked or raw. There are dozens of restaurants, many outdoors on the water, within a 1-15 minute drive. Great inexpensive food by Chef Todd, is just across the street at the American Legion, along with the cheapest drinks in the Keys. Walk to Cuban, & other local eateries. See the link, below, to Calypso's website, for tons of details.
Stroll down the PH Boardwalk for scuba, snorkeling or rent a boat and head to the John Pennekemp Coral Reef State Park. This undersea Park and the adjacent Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary cover 178 nautical square miles of coral reefs, seagrass beds and mangrove swamps. The Park extends 3 miles into the Atlantic and is 25 miles long. It preserves the only living coral reef in the continental US. Drive 3.6 miles to the Park's Visitor Center and see the 30,000 gallon aquarium and use their three sandy swimming beaches one of which has the remnants of a Spanish shipwreck just 100 feet off shore for snorkling fun. Canoe/kayak the Park's inland waters surrounded by mangroves. Walk the trails and picnic.
Visit the undersea Park, 2x a day, right from the PH's Boardwalk aboard one of two dive boats (Scuba-Do and Keys Diver)–bring your own equipment, or rent their's. Sign up for wreck dives in the crystal clear waters of KL and Tavernier. For nondivers, take one of many glass bottom boat tours over the coral reef. Free daytime moorings are provided throughout the Park to dive from your own or a rental boat. Call the PH Dock Master (305-747-4359) to bring your own boat and store it on PH’s racks, on its trailer right at the marina (costs may apply).
Further down the Boardwalk, charter a fishing boat, or visit the Coral Restoration Foundation Educational Center. Take their 1- or 2-day coral preservation course: lectures on coral anatomy and two afternoon dives, one in the coral nursery and one at an outplanting site. Get PADI scuba certified at all PH dive centers.
Eventually, you may want to leave the marina! Walk a few hundred yards down the street to Dolphins Plus, and swim with the dolphins & sea lions. Visit the next harbor and take a dinner cruise aboard the real African Queen–used by Hepburn & Bogart in the 1951 movie. The kids can bike 1/2 mile to the Jacobs Aquatic Center's three pools, or play next door in the town park with free tennis, handball, roller blade/cardio paths and dog walking areas. Drive to park at tiny public beaches along the Overseas Highway on Islamorada. Take a 2-hour road trip to Key West and enjoy the some of the most unusual scenery anywhere in the US.
Leave Boston or NY on a 3 to 2.5 hour daily direct flights to Ft. Lauderdale or Miami in the morning and be in the tropics on Calypso's roof deck by early afternoon. Winter season is most popular with temp's in the high 70's to low 80's for Nov-Mar with almost no rain (1-2 inches per month). But, we like the off-season when its an inexpensive and less busy time to explore the Keys. The Keys have just half the summer rainfall of southern Florida (like Miami). There are sea breezes and temp's stay in the 80's during the 'rainy' season from May through October, and tropical showers occur in the mornings. Floridians summer in the Keys given the great year-round weather. The majority of our renters are from Florida.
The marina is protected on all four sides. Yes–there are gentle waves from passing boats–No, you won't get seasick! You will hear ropes creaking and the chimes and gongs of the rigging on nearby sailboats, which can put you to sleep. Note that high winds and storms do occur. They will cause much back-and-forth movement, bumping and creaking–it is a boat, but the docks remain stable. Fishing boats may leave/return in the early morning hours, but captains are courteous and minimize their wake and engine noise, but their diesels rumble even at idle and they pass right by the houseboat.
Calypso is available for your vacation bareboat charter at the Pilot House. We have a local manager. Calypso stays permanently on the dock, and as safe as you can be on the water. Try a unique boating experience for your next vacation! (updated 11/21/17)
***We so don't want to leave :( - You're right… it's a gem… We watched the Clemson game at Pilot House.. the burrito special was crazy delish and big! (by email received 11/20/17)***
**What a beautiful houseboat to stay on!! We felt like we were in a new condo on the water! It is well maintained and includes new appliances, new bathrooms and upgraded bedrooms. It has warmth in the overall decor and is someplace I would highly recommend to anyone looking for a large multi room place to enjoy in Key Largo. When you finally get a chance to go topside, you'll find a large deck big enough for your family and friends to enjoy as well. The onsite property manager is great and we look forward to staying here again on our next trip to Key Largo. –Seth Rivkin, 2/15
**What a great houseboat. There were 5 of us and we had so much room. The upper deck was fantastic place to watch the sunset. We spent Thanksgiving on the boat and used the electric grill on the upper deck to grill lobster. We had such a wonderful time on this houseboat. The Pilothouse, which is a restaurant at the Marina, is a nice place to have a drink and relax. We dove with Keys Divers, which departs from the Marina, and had a wonderful time diving. I highly recommend this houseboat and we hope to be back in the future. –Susan McGrath