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

Sarasota, FL to Lemon Bay

What a delightful day cruising the GIWW.  Some of Sailors don’t like to do the GIWW, but it’s my piece of heaven.  I enjoy watching the other boaters go by and wave, dauphins swim by and most of all the view is specular to me.   There are many towns and cities to see.  And if weather is good, stop at beaches.

It a bit after we get to Fort Myers we will travel the Gulf to the Keys with a few stops a long the way. That will be specular too. But I get bored only seeing water. This way I get the best of both worlds. After leaving Sarasota Marina Jack, We cruised several miles with several Bridges. It was a pretty day.

Our first Bridge Siesta Key. This is a Bascule bridge. As we waited for the bridge to open we were passed by this power boater. He didn’t want to follow us. LOL We go too slow.

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Good Bless great Friends. Last night I received a comment on Facebook from a friends of ours.  Steve and Judy sent us a list of all the bridges that we would be waiting on to open. Thanks our friends see you in a few days.  For those that don’t know, the bridges are shown in Active Captain and listed in the Water way guide.  They are timed quite well so there is rarely a wait.  We contact the bridges on VHF 9 about 1 mile before the bridge to verify the opening time.  Then we base our speed on the GPS time to get to the bridge when they open.

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This is Stickney Point Bridge.

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After we passed under the Bridge our view was cool. Look at all these in and out boats. They are not covered. I wonder if they get bird poop on them. Well at least the barnacles don’t grow on them.

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I am not sure but I think I have the same photo of this house from two years ago. I must like it. LOL

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This gal is trying to catch the breeze.

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This little guy must be going to help put a seawall in or something.  It is a small barge with a crane.

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This is a park That I saw as we passed by.  Looks like a nice area to watch the boats go by.

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I must say the young lady that runs Blackburn Point swing bridge is very proud of her bridge. We talked as we went by. She was funny. Nothing like putting a smile on to brighten up someone’s day.

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On the other side of Blackburn point this happy guy was fishing.

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We passes several people kayaking

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I was sitting on the bow when this boat passed us. The kids really wanted my attention they were yelling hello to me. 

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Resting so peaceful in his boat; baiting his hook in hopes of catching that big one.  I hope he does.

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OM…If a big power boat comes by with a wake this guy might roll off his boat.  This was a quite unique “tuna tower”.

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Look at this huge screened in area. I love it. I wonder if there is a pool in there.

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Okay…What do you think is in this bag?

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Bryce is making a face at me. Boy, does he resemble his brother Brad in this photo.

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Well, we anchored in Lemon Bay. I have to laugh. Both of us knew or should I say we thought we remembered this area. I pulled up our old map from two years ago and found we anchored in the same spot. LOL Our nightly anchorage. https://trackmytour.com/35L17

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These flowers are now over two weeks old. They still smell and look great. Thank you honey.

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As always thank you all for following us!Red rose

Sarasota, Florida

Sarasota Bay

We pulled up anchored and started to prepare to leave Manatee River. I must say it was a nice anchorage especially with the North winds. As we head out to the GCWW we have two draw bridges to pass under. The first one will be Anna Maria Island Bridge. She opens on signal except 6:00 a.m to 7:00 p.m. Then opens the hour and every 20 min there after But now it is said after January 15 to May 15 the silly bridge opens 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. opens on the hour and half- hour. Didn’t you find that interesting?  Every bridge we come to has its own time. We couldn’t make it to the first opening in time so we had to wait 30 minutes.

This is the Anna Maria Bridge she has a clearance of 19.5 feet

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Bryce really likes my new hair doo. It is so nice that we can now be in swimsuits.

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A little while later; like 20 minutes or so, we came upon the Cortez Bridge.  Now the Water Way Guide shows these bridges at different water depth. They say it’s 22 feet clearance but the picture shows it 17 feet.  Make sure you look at the water depth gages at the bridge before you pass under.  For us, no issue.. it has to open!!

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As we moseyed along our way in the Sarasota Bay the view was so picturesque.

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This is the new pass (SR 789) bridge to the Gulf from the GIWW. Now you are able to enter the gulf. We are not sure on the depth of the cut.   Looks questionable for us.

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OM.. At first we thought this was a cat healing. It is a Trimaran They sure were having fun.

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This is a local trawler. Maybe they are thinking of cruising some day.  

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All of these tiny sailboats are headed out to a mark toward this bigger one. They are learning to race.

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One more bridge to pass under; she is 65 feet tall. Then we make a sharp turn to port into Marina Jack. This is where we have a mooring ball reserved.

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Some times it sure does look like we are going to hit, but there is 5 feet clearance.

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Exploring Sarasota

Happy Monday everyone. We spent the weekend in Sarasota Fl. What a great stop it was. We took a mooring ball for Saturday and Sunday. I know a few of you want to know the cost for the mooring field. It is 27 dollars a night. There is a nice dinghy dock and a huge number of restaurants.  Take a walk down Main to get out and stretch your legs.

This is a bigger city.  I am always a bit leery of my surroundings. I stopped and talked to a few locals and they suggested places to go. One guy said stay away from the 301 Highway area and all is good. I was a bit nervous at first because I was comparing it to St. Petersburg. Where everything was at your door steps once you got off your boat. As we walked and came along a street crossing signal, a young girl stood next to me. I asked her where all the fun was.. She suggested Main Street. The streets run from the marina into town.  So unless you know where to go, you might miss the best part of Sarasota.   Definitely the place to go is Main Street.

Bryce is setting the lines. It’s funny we were on ball 3 in St. Petersburg too.

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Okay.. I was embarrassed! I am with the best dress sailor right? LOL

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Join The Navy.. Look how huge… they are.

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Later that night; after sunset, we headed back into town. We took a stroll down Main Street to look for ice cream.  We had a very fancy ice cream diner.  Mine was raspberry sherbet.. it was great.  Bryce had vanilla Gelato.  He prefers normal vanilla. 

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These bikes are bikes of art here in Sarasota. I think they are cute.

New Phototastic Collage

We arrived back to Beauty and noticed the sailors flashlight was shinning nice and bright.

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Sunday we went back into town to have pizza. It was a bit cooler; most restaurants had little warmers out. We walked down Main Street. It’s so neat to see all the inviting places to eat.  Very upscale.

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Silly Bryce; better be careful he almost caught his hair on fire.

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This is Dave he was out waiter at City Grill. Thanks Dave for helping make our pizza night amazing.

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After we left City Grill we walked over to the local food court. I think this fruit painting on the ground is neat.

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Thanks for following us!Red rose

Saying goodbye to St Petersburg, Florida

OM.. Well after Bryce came back home from Michigan, he took me to Naples to get my hair done. This time around it was only 155 miles from St Petersburg. With Hurricane Erma last year the Naples municipal marina is finally open for local businesses.  They are waiting on the approval to reopen for transients.  The cost will be $2.50 a foot. Today is Wednesday.

We are headed to Green Cove Springs to park the truck.  And tomorrow we are leaving here (St Petersburg). We moved out of the marina yesterday and to a mooring ball. During the night, we had 18 knot winds blow and the waves bounced off the seawalls so it was a bit sloppy in here. The powerboats were having a really bad night. Beauty handled it very well. It felt like we were sleeping a a marshmallow. I slept very well.

This is my restaurant.. Okay by name only..Smile We have eaten here and the food is very good.

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I had a 11 a.m. appointment with my girl Nadia at Gloss Salon.

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Bryce loves taking my picture…He has never seen me in folds.

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The final product.. Bryce says I need new eye glasses with this hair style I agree. Smile

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As we walked the boardwalk in Naples this guy was putting fish up to be cleaned. I believe the middle is a dauphin fish.

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He was throwing pieces into the water for the pelicans. They loved it! 

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Well we are going to head out to Green Cove Springs Now. I’ll write more tomorrow. Talk to you soon.

Leaving St Petersburg

I am Back! Okay it has been two days. We left St. Petersburg. Last night we anchored in Manatee River. The winds were screaming through the shrouds at a whopping 20+ knots again. We couldn’t sail when we left St. Petersburg; the winds were on our bow. We motored to Manatee River about 22 miles and anchored on the South Side to protect  us from the SSW winds. Today we will head to Sarasota Bay. We re planning on taking a mooring Ball for the weekend at Marina Jack.

Goodbye St. Petersburg. Till we meet againMartini glass

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U.S. Coast Guard putting in buoys.

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We motored under this beautiful Sunshine Skyway Bridge.  A few days ago, we drove on top of it!

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Look you can see the shallow water when the sunshine is on it. Bryce and I took a jet-ski ride from the mooring balls in St. Petersburg and I could not believe how shallow the bay is. 

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This is what looks like a small marina coming into Manatee River.

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This boat is what they call derelict boat and then this poor sail boat on on its side looks like it was caught in a storm.

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Boat watching from the shore.   They were at Desoto Memorial.

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We anchored In Manatee River next to Desoto National Memorial.

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Three more boats came in to anchor for the night after I took this photo.

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This is our map that shows where we are every night. It’s our little trail. https://trackmytour.com/35L17

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As always thank you for following us! Red rose