Storms & Winds in Miami Florida

Coming into Miami was no picnic of course..  As we reached the channel to enter Miami, the skies blackened and winds gusted.  We saw 40 knots on the meter and the rain poured down.  Just prior to the large gusts, poor Bryce was on the bow trying to man handle the main sail, while I was trying to women handle the boat into the wind.  A few minutes later the sun came back and we were in the channel and were very thankful it passed.

We came into an anchorage called Stadium. The  winds keep us pretty much in anchorage for nearly two days, but we had great entertainment. The Miami School hosted a National Rowing event. The poor kids paddled/rowed in 20 plus mile an hour winds.  However; their smiles stayed on their faces for the most part. As they finished across the finished line many of them rowed there boat in front of us and we congratulated them as they crossed our path. 

After making it into the channel I noticed the light house on the island we were passing.

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Wow… Houses built right after the inlet!! We could see lots of damage probably from Erma. There must be least 10 houses out there. 

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We motored in nearly 10 miles to reach our anchorage. As we made one of our turn, the Miami skyline came into view.

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At first, from a far distance this bridge just didn’t look 76 feet tall. I was thinking some body maybe made a mistake in there mathematics. LOL  Seriously, we pass under a part of the bridge that isn’t even the tallest part of the bridge. 

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Wedding day.. on a catamaran! How cool is that.. We passed them going under the bridge.  Of course Bryce had to blare the horn and scared the crap not just out of me but the wedding party too.  They busted up laughing. Congratulations to the lucky couple..

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Just passed the bridge we came into the Marine Stadium basin. Unfortunately, it looks like Erma may have left her mark on the stadium too. If you look closely enough you’ll see missing seats. 

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Okay, What I am about to say comes from my mother!!!  Why do those idiots have to play their music so loud!!!  Not everyone likes the same tunes. 

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Believe me that jet-skier got a screaming from the coaches. You are allowed to anchor but the outer ring is for the Rowing team. No motor vehicles except the coaches. The bay was full of rowing teams practicing for their met on Saturday. It was neat to watch them. 

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Row…Row..  These guys were really zipping along.

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This anchorage is pretty nice and well protective from weather.  Not to mention an awesome view of the Miami skyline.

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Miami at Sunset on Thursday.  What a beautiful night we must of spent half the night sitting on the bow enjoying the view.

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Friday morning.. Good morning Miami. The final prep for the race started Friday Morning.  The organizer expected 500 Participants along with 1500 spectators by land and water.  The  Miami- Dade Police helped control traffic in the area. They put markers in so boats would not come in. It also marked their finish line.  This boat didn’t pay attention. I am thinking perhaps something wrapped around his prop.

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Another dream sank away… what a shame! The main sail and all the rigging is still attached. Hopefully they will get it out of the water. 

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This boat joined the loud music club… No place to run to. I am forced to listen to rap all day and into the early morning Saturday!!! 

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What a nice island.. While the day went on, Bryce took the jet-ski out to explore the island at the entrance of the basin. I wanted to relax with my electronics. 

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Look.. they clean after they are done for the day! Boaters on Gull Island in Lake St. Clair could learn a lesson here!!!

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Beauty with a spectacular view of Miami behind her.

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OM!! a firework show.. Maybe it has something to do with the Miami International Regatta.

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Saturday: Miami International Regatta started before we even made it to the bow with our morning coffee. Let the fun begin..

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Four person team start… It just tickled me to watch them all.

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Family and friends cheered from shore. We could hear them rooting them on as we sat on the bow.

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Talk about speed..  This was an 8 person team with a person on the stern encouraging them to row faster.  They have to keep their boats in certain lanes defined by the red and yellow markers in the water.

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The white one took first place in this race.

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Girls single race… Row… Row…

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After they crossed the finish line they rowed past us. We Congratulated them all for their hard work.

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Our first place winner of the singles is from Israel. She said we have the best seats in the whole place. Yes we do. We congratulated her..

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As always thanks for following us!Red rose

Marathon to Jewfish Hole to Rodriguez Key, FL

After leaving Marathon, we headed north East on the Gulf side about 33 miles and we anchored in Jewfish Hole.  Jewfish hole is a protected anchorage just before the northernmost 65’ bridge between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic ocean.  We are preparing for a jump out into the Atlantic to make our way north from the Keys.

It was a nice sail up to Jewfish Hole.  After we rested a bit we took out the jet-ski and explored Jewfish Hole. After reading on active Capitan that there was an RV park with accommodation for dinghy’s to go in to the restaurant, we wanted to check it out. But I told Bryce we just stocked up on groceries, so no eating out. Smile The ride around the bay was nice.

I’m enjoying a little relaxing time.

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Shortly after we arrived in Jewfish Hole other sailors starting coming in to anchor for the night.

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This blue building is the restaurant. We jet-skied in to check out the area. 

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Look at the water temp 80.2 degrees.  Very nice to swim in..

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This is such a pretty place. We walked up to the little store. It was very nice. They had enough for the little things like bread, wine, beer or milk.

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What a great park if you are an RV’er.  If you are pulling a boat behind your RV, this might be a great place to come to.

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You can see the RVs lined up next to the water

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George is getting his sun tan…

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Early the next morning we cruised under the at 65 foot bridge.  We had no issues.  Bryce always times our crossings through inlets to go with the tidal currents.

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Seems like most of the bridges have nice fishing piers.  This one reminds me of a Roman aqueduct.  We are headed into the Atlantic towards Rodriguez Key for the night.  This island will shield us from the easterly winds and waves from the Atlantic as we rest during the night.  All of our anchorages are planed according to winds and waves to protect us from waves and winds.  This planning is key to comfortable anchorages.

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Rodriguez Key.

It was a great sail in the Atlantic from Jewfish Hole to Rodriguez Key. I relaxed (as usual) on the deck basking in the sun.

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Looking across the Atlantic I watch boats drift south.  The sunshine highlighting the boats.  Here is pretty view of a catamaran headed south in the keys.

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Coming into Rodriguez Bay, only one boat was in the bay.  By the end of the night there were 9 boats anchored here.  With the easterly winds it was a very comfortable night.

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Bryce was playing in the warm water searching for anything interesting.

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Way to much fun!!!

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My turn…

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This boat left around the same time we did.  They followed us north towards Miami.  Somewhere along the way, we lost track of them.

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As always thanks for following our blog!Red rose

Arriving in Marathon Boot Key Harbor

The following morning we pulled up anchor from Johnston Bay and headed to Marathon in Boot Key Harbor. What a fabulous time. I finally was able to share my pool with a friend. It was a very hot day. I believe it reached 84 degrees.

Our group photo Mike, Miranda and us at Johnston Key.  It doesn’t get much better.

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Heading out into the Gulf of Mexico.. Snack time with wine…  Miranda soaking up the sun in the perch seat.  Mike is veg’ing in the shade.

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I finally have a friend to share my pool with…LOL  Miranda and I enjoyed the pool.

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With little wind and 84 degrees, it is girl time with feet in pool…  We motored through the Gulf to our short cut to Marathon.

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If you look towards the center of the photo you’ll see a turtle.  My really smart husband decided to take a short cut across the bay. Without a doubt he took us though shallow waters. Beauty drafts 5’6” feet and we saw 6.5 feet it was a scary moment.  Mike and Miranda and myself were up on the bow looking for areas that might be trouble some.  We saw numerous sea turtles and fish.

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OM…The moon was shining early in the day.

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Mike and Miranda in a Titanic moment.  Bays were very calm due to no wind.

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Finally, we made it through Bryce’s shallowest section of the short cut.

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Just off “Bryce’s Channel”, the birds rested lazy on a tree branch.

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After coming out of the short cut, our keel snagged a crab pot.  Fortunately, it did not get in the prop and we only dragged it a short distance.  No crabs were harmed in this production.  Bryce dove down and removed the line from the keel.  It was a very long line for the depth, probably 50 feet for 10 feet of water.  This long line made it easy to snag on a keel.

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Bryce had a refreshing swim for the day.

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Finally, we are at the 7 Mile Bridge.  Named for its 7 mile length that connects Marathon to the lower Keys.

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We slowly drifted past the 7 Mile Bridge.  We passed from the Gulf Of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean as we came through the bridge.

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Some leftover destruction from ERMA 2017.. Although truth be told, this marina was in poor shape prior to Irma.  It was in disrepair from hurricanes prior to 2016 when we first saw it.  Irma skillfully removed the second story of this building.

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At one time it still looked like a marina that could be rebuilt.  But Irma finished it off.

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This boat is off the channel just before you reach the Sister Creek.  Looks like a 28 Bayliner.  One of the boats yet to be cleaned up.

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Not sure about this one.  Looks like it took a beating.  But it is floating!!

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Fortunately for us, Bootkey Harbor has rebounded remarkably well.  Unless you looked carefully, you would not notice this area was devastated by Irma.  Something like 75% of the boats were lost.  This is a favorite restaurant called Burdines.

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Buildings were being rebuilt.

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This is the mooring field in BootKey Harbor.  We stayed on one of these mooring balls for a week.

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Well, we had to say our goodbyes to Mike and Miranda. This is our dinner the night before they left.  It was a great trip.  BTW.. they have their own sailboat at St Petersburg. Even though they were with us for a week, they didn’t even smell like fish…LOL

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What an amazing job everyone did at putting Boot Key Harbor back together again.   The dingy dock was now totally inside the small marina basin.  The Marina Buildings looked normal as usual.  Bootkey Harbor is back in business!!!

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Other boaters donated topsoil,plants, stones to help but the garden back together… What a traffic job!

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Everything is growing well….

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This is the biggest pineapple I have ever seen!   Just kidding it’s a palm tree. LOL

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I like this big fish & coral sculpture.

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Friday, We made it to the beach. Pat ducked tape her umbrella to her chair then went swimming. Dirk had to sit in it to keep it from flying across the beach.

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Were were joined Raymona and Paul from a 340 Searay.  When we found out it was Pat’s birthday we made dinner plans. 

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Waiting on a table. It was a good night to celebrate Pat’s birthday.  Paul, Pat, Dirk, Romona, Jane and Bryce.

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On Sunday we met up with another great couple Gwyn and Mark. We met these two on our last journey here. They sail on a 40 Leopard. We all wanted to go to Sunset Grill and listen to Ty.

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Ty is the lead singer in front with is guitar. Ty retired from the Boot Key Harbor Marina.

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Pat and Dirk reserved a table for the 6 of us at Sunset Grill.

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Here we are at Sunset Grille with Mark and Gwen.  Bryce bought a “Drink for two” called a Tsunami.. It came with this special “Mug”.  It was the only thing we drank that night!!  I think it was a drink for four based on the amount of alcohol in it!!

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My honey holding me tight on the dance floor.  As usual, we took advantage of the dance floor.

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Okay maybe I enjoyed this drink a bit to much.

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We saw this guy (iguana) leisurely swimming just in front of our boat.  It tried to get up on the catamaran in front of us.  Bryce yelled at the couple (Ronald and Diane) on the boat asking them if they wanted a pet. 

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After failing to get on the boat, he swam away.

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Easter Sunday

We had a few friends over for a delicious get together. Ronald and Diane in the foreground are a couple next door on a catamaran from Quebec Canada.  Raymona came over to enjoy our last night in Marathon with us. 

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We said our good byes to Pat and Dirk. Bryce and I are saying our goodbyes till next year. Dirk and Pat left too to get up to Key Largo where they will sell there boat and start traveling in many other different ways.

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As always thanks for following our blog!Red rose

Key West Florida


The best part of our journey is meeting people along our way. Back in Mobile Alabama we met Miranda and Mike. Then we met up in St. Petersburg Fl. They decided to take a slip there and get jobs for the summer. We told them we were headed to the Keys. They have never been here, so when we got close we contacted them and they joined us in Key West.  It was an amazing 5 days with them as we explored around the island and met up with a few other boater friends too.

 

The funny story is. Bryce put a hole in the dinghy four days ago back in the Everglades; okay, a few weeks ago. LOL The following day we walked up to West Marine in Key West to get a patch kit.  Crap!!!! it takes 24 hours for the glue to dry. I had to call Mike and Miranda and ask them not to arrive till the following morning.  That was very disappointing.  But the good thing is we jet-skied in to join Melanie and Brian for dinner.

Windsor is the pup with Brian and Melanie

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That afternoon, Bryce patched the dingy.  The next morning, Bryce went in to pick up Miranda and Mike.  After a long wait, I heard a noise up in the cockpit; it was Miranda climbing aboard Beauty.   How exciting it was to welcome them aboard. Miranda had said they were very hungry when she called.  She added they had made it to the dinghy dock.  So I put together some lunch while Bryce went in to pick them up. The dinghy held well with its new patch.

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Crap!!! Bryce put another hole in the dinghy…. LOL; good thing we had more patches and glue.  The glue takes 24 hours to dry. So we were stranded on Beauty with no way off.  But the four of us wanted to go in to Key West. Then Miranda remembered she picked up a card for a water taxi. So we called the water taxi.  It was like no other we have ever seen.  It was a pontoon boat.  Talk about highway robbery. This is water robbery… 10 dollars a head; 40 dollars to get to shore.  Now this is for a one way trip. After we arrived in town we met up Melanie and Brian along with Steve and Janine. The eight of us met for drinks and dinner at the brewery. Not wanting to pay for another taxi our dear friends Melanie and Brian gave Bryce and I a ride back on their dinghy.

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So Bryan brought Bryce and I back to the boat after dinner.  The sun was setting and Bryce now needed to go pick up Miranda and Mike from the dock as there was not enough room in Bryan’s dingy to take the 6 of us.  Bryce left in the dingy.  On the way back to the boat after picking up Miranda and Mike, the dingy motor ran out of gas.  So half way across the mooring field and well after dark, Mike started rowing the three of them back to Beauty.  Miranda and Bryce harassed Mike incessantly about his drunken sailor zig-zag path as they slowed crawled across the mooring field.  I could hear them laughing in the dark as they approached the boat.. Too much fun!!

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Well the following day we wanted to head up towards Marathon Florida. We talked Mike and Miranda in to going with us. We let go of the mooring ball and headed back down and then back up the channel past Key West.

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Mike, Miranda and Bryce posed for a photo as we headed out of the harbor.

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This is one of the glass bottom boats you can take out. Wonder what it’s like if you see a shark up close a personal.

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This is one of the Disney ships that arrived into Port Key West.

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We enjoyed the Sunshine as we sailed north east in the Gulf of Mexico toward our next anchorage near Johnston Key.

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We sailed to Johnston Bay and stayed the night there. This was such a pretty area. This panoramic photo was taken by Miranda. What a great shot.

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As morning approached the fisherman were out.

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After relaxing a bit, we made our sail towards Marathon. The winds were perfect again. This day we were able to put the pool up it was awesome!!!  Detailed in the next blog.. 

You can see our current position and more pictures at https://trackmytour.com/35L17

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Thanks for reading our blog!Red rose

Heading Into Key West from the Marquesas Islands

After leaving the Marquesas Islands, we headed towards Key West. Our sails were in full bloom.  It sure was a pretty day to sail. But of course the day didn’t go by without drama.  Bryce decided it was time to start the New Little Engine and with in seconds he turned it off.  I came back to the cockpit to see what was wrong. The expression on his face was enough for me. I thought not the engine again! Bryce said no there is something wrapped around our prop. Thank goodness he didn’t apply too much throttle; that might have bent things.


Well we had really great winds and with that said, we also had the waves and rollers to match.  We needed to anchor so Bryce could unravel the line.  So we needed to sail down the 7 mile Northwest channel we know nothing about and back up the channel past Key West to the anchorage.  And we needed to do this with the tide; preferably in both directions.  We sailed down toward the Atlantic with an outgoing tide and made our turn as the tidal current reversed.


I thank god all the time for our Garmin; she has great maps and tide/current tables on her. We made it into Key West about two hours or so later under sail. After we passed a huge Cruise ship and a lot of boats coming and going we found a place to sail onto the anchor.  We practice as often as possible sailing on and off the anchor.  In the brisk winds this day, the experience was critical.


Fishing boats were coming into the cannel too. Although it looks like there is all kinds of room the channel is a bit tricky do to the sand bars on each side.

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This Island just off Key West is the first land visible in our view as we head into Key West.

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Boy these ships are huge. It’s funny they have this are timed right. When one leaves another is soon to arrive.  Apparently Key West is a favorite stop.

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Bryce handed me the line that was floating off the side of the boat. It was a Polypropylene line that floats on top of the water.  I tied it off so Bryce could follow it under.  Polypropylene lines are not used on crab pots. Probably fell off a boat somewhere and we caught it while we were sailing.  Maybe that is our, “I caught a big one today and it was huge” fishing excursion! LOL 

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In the top photo you and see the Polypropylene like floating. In the bottom photo you can see the big one we caught! LOL

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Okay, after all the commotion was said and done we headed over to the City mooring balls. They told us to just grab a ball then dinghy into the City Marina to pay for it. So we did. It’s funny there are no numbers on the balls to say which one you are on.  Just grab one and tie off. We were really disappointed with the unprotected anchorages around Key West.  Even the mooring balls were poorly protected.

  

While we were heading to the mooring field ,we spotted a house way-out in the bay.  I wonder if it was blown out there by the hurricane like on the Wizard of Oz.   

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This is the mooring field for the City Dock Marina. It was a bit rough and it is also about a mile to the dinghy dock.

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As always thanks for following us!Red rose

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

Saying Goodbye to FMB and Saying Hello to The Everglades

Getting ready to say goodbye to Fort Myers Beach.

Do to the lack of internet I am going to catch up on my blogs while we are here in Key West.

We had an amazing time in Fort Myers Beach. Everything you need is at your fingertips. We took a trolley for .75 cents into Walmart. The Trolley takes you to the beach and many other stops too. They also have a free choo-choo that takes you to many places.  We also dinged into the grocery store. The dock is right behind the store. They really accommodate boaters in FMB.  The grocery is actually a very nice store. We have been in a lot worst. The meat department was very good. The meat was very fresh.  If you ever get the opportunity to vacation here it’s worth it. Isn’t  life wonderful!!! 

 

We jet-skied down the GICW to the next ocean inlet.  There is a great beach here: Lovers Key!!!  What a cool name for this park.  Don’t miss this all you honeymooners.

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My happy husband!!!! Enjoying the water.  Finally here is water that is getting warmer.  Not quite swimmable, but getting there.

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There is a really cool Pontoon (Orange) in the back ground.  This is Lovers Key Beach.  A lot of vacationers and locals out this day.

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Bryce say’s “Only a mother could love that face” LOL

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The Blue Heron. I always see these birds walking up and down beaches. Did you know that the Blue Heron sometimes while in flight will dive into the water to get food? It’s weird some hover over the water and submerge their heads to catch fish while others  swim in deep water to get their meal. The Blue Heron is also known to feed from the beaches near the ground surfaces.

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Steve and Judy joined us for dinner. What a great night. It’s always a great night with these two.

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The following morning we left Fort Myers Beach. This is the point that reaches out to one of the buoys.

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Many of you might now how much fun it is to ride along the shoreline on a bike.  Lots of bikes to rent in Fort Myers Beach.

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I love to smile!!!!  Some parasailers are enjoying the view as they get whisked along by their tow-boat.

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This young guy is getting ready to move to another spot net fishing. Within seconds he zoomed past us and was  at another spot. Sure  hope he had better luck.

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OM… You might ask is that a sailboat? Where is the mast? Look how low he is to the water. I think he took a sailboat and turned it into a fishing boat. I see rods on the bow.  We passed this cruiser coming around Cape Romano.

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Open water. You can see the glow of the sun starting to set. I enjoy some of the open waters but I must say there isn’t much to see. The variety of shoreline cruising the ICW and short ocean hops (less than 200 miles) is the best for me.

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Everglades National Park

The good news is we didn’t get kicked out!!! 

As most of you know; two years ago we were kindly asked to leave Everglades National Park on Christmas Eve because we were towing a jet Ski. Fortunately, this year was a bit different.  We carried our jet-ski on a lift.  Ranger did not even come around.


We came into Everglades City river well after dark.  I think the most scary this was.. okay maybe not scary, but when we come in at dark and I have to be on the bow with the Justin’s light (our spot light) I do get a bit nervous.  Especially, when Bryce says keep an eye on that sand bar on the port side. There was no moon as a flashlight to help guide us. Sad smile   I tried to take photos but it was just too dark and I had to focus on navigation.  


The following morning we sat on the bow enjoying our coffee. I needed a refill so I went down to the galley. With in seconds as I started back up, a breif breeze took my hat. I watched her slide across the bimini and couldn’t grab her. She fell into the water and the current was caring her away.  Bryce brought me this hat when we were in Wilmington NC and it is unreplaceable to me. Bryce told me not to worry and went in and rescued her. He is my hero…  The hat dried out on the gen winch.

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This guy came up and asked if our sailboat was 65 feet.  I chuckled.. and replied back “No, it’s only 40”.  I imagine it looks big compared to a kayak.

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The tour boats really know how to zoom in the shallow water chasing the dolphins .  Sure hope they don’t chop a fin on a dolphin.

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The water was very calm at our anchorage.  We were actually able to kayak around. Relaxing…What a fabulous day of paddling the Everglades.

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Remember the sandbar, I needed to watch for?  Here it is.  However the tide was lower when we came in at night; so much more was above water.

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We paddled about a 1/2 mile to this island. Apparently you can camp on this island with permission from the National Park Services.  However, watch out for the raccoons.  We spotted about 4 of them as we left.

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This is a father and son day. The father is taking his son about to show him the beauty of the Everglades.  His son is visiting from Germany. I took their picture for them.

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Bryce is standing on the sandbar at high tide.

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The beach is sea coral that is mixed with shells.  Some places it is more sandy.

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Okay….My turn for a photo on the sandbar..LOL

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The small bird is asking the big bird: I am hungry too, won’t you please share your fish?  NO Stay away.. It is my fish.

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Gliding through the air without any worries.  Okay maybe a predator or two he would have to worry about.

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As always thank you all for following us!Red rose

A Rainy Day in Fort Myers Beach

Florida has finally received it well deserved rain. But of course Fort Myers Beach had to get it during the shrimp festival. We didn’t care; no rain was going to stop us. We slipped on our rain gear and off we went. The streets were lined with spectators out to see the crafts and eat some healthy shrimp. I can say the coconut shrimp was delicious.

Bryce drove us into the festival

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After landing at the dinghy dock we walked into town. These old outboard engines were pretty cool.

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And the streets echoed with sounds of laughter.

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Stopping to read a few signs was always a chuckle….

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We stopped a spoke with Ed the sandman. He was very pleasant. I checked out his photos on his website very cool. Check them out at: edthesandman 

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The walk a long the beach was still busy even with the rain.

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I’ve been using my cell phone to take photos, not wanting to get my camera wet. I haven’t been happy with the quality of the phone pics so we stopped in this west coast surf shop and picked up a waterproof bag so I can carry my camera.

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The streets started drying up but the rain did come back.

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Thanks for following us!Red rose

Punta Gorda, Florida

Well. It seems like I haven’t spoken to you lately. So I figured I would catch you up to date. We are now in Fort Myers Beach. However, before I tell you about how much we are enjoying it here; I figured, I better back up a few days.  The last time I up dated you, we were in Charlotte Harbor. Well we made it to Punta Gorda for two nights. It wasn’t a bad anchorage but with the North winds it was still a bit bumpy. Bryce took us into town at Punta Gorda the following day and it was very nice. I’m not sure why I was surprised about how nice it was; but I was. Then I remembered I had to renew all my medical degree stuff so I have been doing exams. That’s why I haven’t blogged.

 

We had a Beautiful day to sail across Charlotte Harbor. We sailed at 8 mph with only our head sail up! Very strong south winds on our stern. It was sweet.

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This is the bay we anchored in near Punta Gorda. There were lots of Boats anchored here.  Quite comfortable in the south winds.

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The following day; of course after Bryce was done working; we went into town. It was very nice there. This is the day boat dock; it is very nice.

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Right behind this mural is a boating store; right off the docks.  I like the mural. I found it interesting.

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I think all the birds in the South have been trained to pose for the camera.

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Bryce for some reason got a kick out of this sign.  In case you can’t read it: “I like to talk to myself because there are times I need expert advice”!  LOL  This is something Ron Johnson would say!!

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The local library; what a great mural to enter through.

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If you need any supplies “Ace is the place…Your local hardware Store” Love the color and the Palm trees.

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Isn’t nice to see towns and Cities that do really nice things with there allies; instead of the all dark and gloomy?

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Clarence Darrow, Henry Ford, Daniel Beard, Thomas Edison, Patty Berg, Harvey Firestone, Andrew Mellon. I can understand why they would visit here. We will be back. 

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I want to stay here. I need a day where I can float in a pool all day!

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This is an overview of the Marina. It is very nice and clean.

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Laishley Crab House… Great food. We had a Twisted Hurricane okay maybe two…LOL They were so good. 

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Punta Gorda to Ding Darling

The Following morning we pulled up anchor and sailed back down the harbor to St. James Bay is was a awesome day to sail we had winds to 25 knots on our stern.  Actually, we were directly across from Ding Darling.. I just like the name!!

Waves danced along the inlet as we made our turn back into the GIWW.  Don’t want to be on the gulf today in the 30+ knot winds.

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The winds where coming from the North so we anchored on the St. James side of the Island to have least waves action for the night.  If there had been south winds, we would have anchored across the channel at Ding Darling.

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Ding Darling to Fort Myers Beach

The following morning we headed to Fort Myers Beach.  It is our first visit here. We are taking a mooring ball for a week. We will leave on Friday when the winds are favorable for the trek south on the Gulf.

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This is our first bridge to cross under it is 65 feet.  The last trip, we took it out and headed to Naples. This time we are turning into a river to take us to Fort Myers Beach.

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No worries this bridge is 65 feet. We have enough clearance..

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Look you can see the west mooring field here. We have to go to the East mooring field we are on ball 51.

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My 65 year old stud muffin…LOL  He enjoys getting into a swim suit whenever the weather cooperates.  We were not able to sail, the winds were on our bow.

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When we arrived we ran into Judy and Steve; friends of ours. They have been cruising for 16 years now and never stay in the same spot for too long. We meet new friends Jeanne & Mike; they are from Kentucky.  They are on a very nice Catalina 320. We all had a great dinner on our first night here.

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We are slowly making our way down the western shore of Florida, stopping at places we have not yet visited.  Should be in the keys in less than two weeks.

see our position at https://trackmytour.com/35L17

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As always thanks for following us!Red rose


Charlotte Harbor

Good morning everyone. Wow.. how the weather can change. We were headed to an anchorage in lower Charlotte Harbor but after looking at WindAlert, we headed up Charlotte Bay to Punta Gorda for lighter winds. Last night we saw 20 knots on our wind meter. It really wasn’t bad sleeping just a bit noisy sounding with the howling of the wind.

As the day goes on the winds will lighten up a bit. but for the next few days looks like it will be windy.

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Our second bridge for the day. Tom Adams Bascule Bridge.. It’s cool to see how they separate and lift up.

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Just pass the Tom Adams Bridge is a fishing pier. Look at all the people.

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Boy every where I look, I see at least one center console boat. They are big here in Florida.

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I think this house needs the screen in area.  No doubt those mangroves are full of no-see-ums.

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This poor boat is in the mangroves.  Not sure if he is dragging anchor, but I see an anchor line.  

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I guess even the birds need a resting place.  An old smushed buoy is as good as any.

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Darn we draft to much to go to the Rum Restaurant.

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This is pretty cool.  Two ferries; one on each side.  They are barges with small tows.

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OM.. lots of kayakers

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I just love the palm trees surrounding this house.

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OM!!! I think this boat is over loaded in more than one way. 3 guys on the bridge..

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Boca Grande Swing Bridge. This is a really nice bridge. 2 year’s ago It hardly opened.  Back then, we had  just room enough to squeeze though.

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Look at her now. We went though without any issues.

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Just past the swing bridge is this old train bridge area with a narrow slot pass through. The bridge in now used for fishermen and fisherwomen to fish from. 

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We at this point we made our final decision 0n where we would wait out the heavy winds.  Punta Gorda showed much lighter winds.  We had a beautiful sail up Charlotte Harbor.

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Unfortunately, we are not able to get under the bridge to get on a mooring ball.

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So we anchored off Punta Gorda. We hope to go into town today after the winds lighten up a bit.

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As always thanks for following us!Red rose