Headed to Shark River? Or Maybe not…

The morning sun cast it’s glow over our boat as we sipped our first cup of coffee. But we didn’t spend to much time on the bow because we knew we wanted to get to Shark Bay in the Everglades before dusk.  What a wonderful morning.  While Bryce prepared the boat on the deck such as putting the kayaks away.  I battened down the inside.  Just a short time later we were on our way. As we were leaving the Park I looked over to the Island that had the point of the sandbar on it and saw moment. I asked Bryce if he could tell what it was.  But he could not either. I grabbed my camera and took a photo. As I zoomed in I started laughing.  They were raccoons. Boy they are a good size too.

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We said goodbye to our new friends.. As we passed them by.

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The wind on the way to Shark River was on Beauty’s nose.  Not good to sail in so we motored on our way.  According to the weather map, for the next 4 days it was going to be sunny, light winds, no waves and perfect no matter where we go. As we sat there on the bow basking in the sun Bryce said, “You know.. we could change our course to Dry Tortugas.  It’s only 120 miles.  We will probably never see weather this good to head that way again. He continued, “We waited for over a month two years ago and never made it due to the high winds.”  I agreed right a way.  We changed course by 90 degrees and headed out into the middle of the Gulf to the Dry Tortugas.

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Bryce calculated our time of arrival to be around 9 am the following morning if we slowed down. Our sails went up and stayed up all night. It was a good night to be out under the stars.  It was so warm we had to pull out my pool and cool down. Bryce said before we get out of cell power maybe we should just let everyone know we changed directions and say where we are headed. We had just enough time to post on FB and to text boss.  Bryce took a vacation day.

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We had a few visitors on our way.  Notice how incredibly smooth the Gulf is!!

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Crab pots all around us.. even in deep waters.  They followed out to 60 feet of water.  We didn’t think we would see them once we were off shore a ways.

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Jelly fish were floating past us.

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Around sunset Bryce went to sleep and I took over the helm till around 1 am. We were surrounded by commercial fishing boats most of the night. Another thing that surprised me was the fishing boats are out all night long.  Not only that, they seem to clustered together about 70 miles off shore. I wonder; can there be that many fish in one spot?

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Dry TortugasThis is a long distance view the following morning as we approached the Dry Tortugas. The Dry Tortugas National Parks are a group of islands off the Gulf of Mexico. The islands were first discovered by Juan Ponce de Leon a  Spanish explore in 1513. The Dry Tortugas are 67 miles West of the Key West. and 37miles West of Marquesas island.

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We see this way to much on the waters.  Must be the fish drinking soda!!

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This is Loggerhead Key.  We didn’t visit Loggerhead Key; but you can visit it by kayaks, Canoe, dinghy, small boats. It is 3 miles west from Garden Key.  We never made it because our dingy died.  And we cannot use our Jet-ski in a national park.

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The Dry Tortugas from the water side of our arrival. There are no restaurants or food sold on the island so you must bring your own food. If you go by ferry they provide meals to its passengers only.  We have been told they will let boaters on for meal. But we didn’t try.

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As we found a place to anchor we noticed our neighbors Alex and friends had company (a Pelican). LOL

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It wasn’t long before we had an unwelcome guest join us. LOL I was worried it would fall through a port hole.  Bryce had to chase this guy off the boat.  He really did not want to go!!

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Sure doesn’t look too upset getting booted off deck.

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This water plane appears to come very close to our neighbors boat.

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You can fly in by plane or by ferry.

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I was trying to get a picture of a shark swimming around the boat. But he wasn’t interested in me. That is a good thing. Smile

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Bryce put a small hole in the dinghy and tried it patch it with one of my inflatable patches.  As we started to motor to the fort we also started to sink. So we went back and took the kayaks in. LOL

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The airplanes park right near the sandy shore.

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This is the a shell of what is left of Fort Jefferson. The halls whisper of history.

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I think of a drawbridge here. Maybe there is a hidden princess locked in some tower.

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With the drawbridge up it would be hard for the enemy to approach the fort. Or to rescue the princess.  LOL

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Poor George he wasn’t able to prowl the court yard..Cat face

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This is the court yard of Fort Jefferson

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I was trying to stay in the shade. It was very hot in the sun.

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This is as always sad to see the declining walls of history fade away. Really there is nothing but a shell of history left. The fort is the island.  The whole area is rich history of the Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon and those that followed.

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The following two photos really go together. Bryce said as the Civil War soldiers looked through this gun port

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This is the of the battle field the soldiers saw…LOL

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This break wall is now used as a walking view area for quest.  You can see ours and Alex’s sailboat in the background.

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What a fantastic view!!  Water colors are similar to Bahamas.

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This this what we believe is the ammo hut.

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I had to laugh…Bryce Kayaked back to get our snorkel gear.  Boy it was taking him a long time. I walked over to the anchorage and noticed Beauty was coming into the harbor!!  It was a long kayak ride to get back on the boat.  After kayaking back to get the gear, Bryce knew I would be much happier if Beauty was closer to the fort. What a guy!

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Marquesas Island.The following morning we headed back up towards Key West. Nothing but 67 miles of 18 mile an hour winds and open waters ahead of us. It was a great sail with winds and waves on the beam.  We zipped along at 8-10 mph.  We we decided to anchor at The Marquesas Islands for the night.


Light… always helpsSmile  As the sun rises we had to set sail. We knew it was going to be a busy day.

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Looking behind us we noticed a few other sailors leaving too. The one behind us is Steve and Janine. They are headed also to Marquesas Island for the night.  They are in a 26 Seaward.

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Steve is putting up his sails.

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Pool is up. Now lets have fun… Bryce wasn’t out enjoying recess with me. He must pay!!!  Water fight!!!  LOL

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Beauty resting at Marquesas Island.  Bryce took the Jet-ski out exploring the islands.  I put my feet in the warm water.

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The furthest west point was the Dry Tortugas.  Go to https://trackmytour.com/35L17 to see our map.

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As always thank you for following us!Red rose

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