Strange Things Seen on the Water in One Day

Key Biscayne Bay – life preserver ring on the waters bottom (yes the water is that clear). Didn’t do someone much good.
Tire including rim floating on top of water.
Balloon bouncing in tne water obviously tethered to something under the water.
No dead bodies thrown in by Dexter.

Lignun Vitae Key – a barge. Okay not so strange. EXCEPT for the huge tree sitting in the middle of the barge. It was quite amazing. We did get pictures which can be found on flicker. As soon as i figure out the issues with transfering pictures straight to the blog I’ll update here.

Hawks Channel – 3 miles out in the ocean — a loan flipflop

LigmunVitae to Marathon Sleigh Ride

A sleigh ride it was today. We pulled anchors around 10 this morning headed out of the anchorage at lignumVitae; the wind was still cranking 20ish out of the east/northeast and gusting. The waves werent bad but the gusting wind made me want to try the ocean side for the trip to marathon. I should have know what kind of day it was going to b because we passed a barge carying a huge tree. I can’t really explain it, it was just a barge pushed by a tug boat; and on the barge was a huge tree. It must have been planted in the largest flower pot in the world because the tree was (for the third time) HUGE! (pictures will be posted soon). We continued to Channel 5 bridge and passed to the ocean side of the keys. In Hawkes Channel the wind was much more stable and so were the waves. The only issue was the wind was stronger and the waves were bigger. The wind was easily 20+ and the waves were 3-5ft. The boat did great, surfing down the wave fronts and holding a steady speed of 6+ by the gps. We entered Sisters Creek and Marathon right at 3pm. I would classify it as one hell of a ride. What really impresed me was how well the boat handeled the conditions; we never took water over the deck, no extreme or uncontrolled broaching, just a nice (but very bumpy) ride. Remember the boat is only 26 ft long, 8 ft wide. After sliding into Boot key harbor we grabbed one of the thousand mooring setup by the county to keep out the riff-raff and headed to Dockside for dinner. The place is really nice now. And yes, I say that with a certain amount of sadness. Dockside was where the real boat people hung out. No mega rich dudes and their fake girlfriends (notice I didnt say wives); No, Dockside was always a place where sailor jim could get a beer all coated with suntan lotion and smelling of sweat and drink and eat in the company of friends. There were some local boaters belly up to the bar, but the clientel they are catering to is now the yacht club types; all prim and proper. In fairness I have to say, the food was great and Lesa had 3 rum runners and is a BAD GIRL!

It looks like we will be stuck here for a couple of days because the wind is picking up even more (27 at Sombrero Reef) and will be increasing or steady at that for the next few days. This is good though; we need to do laundry, eat at the Cracked Conch Cafe and get Kaelin to the Turtle Hosspital. I will post pictures  and video tomorrow on the Flickr page, so click on the link on the right side to see those. 3bje, 3rrlb.

Rock n’ Roll Hoochie Koo

The anchorage spot we chose for last night turned out to not be the best choice. The wind switched to the north east and it put us once again on a leee shore but this time with a continued high wind. The fetch from across the bay allowed the waves to grow to the 2 foot range and it was steady. We ended up getting rocked pretty well all night; nothing to worry about, but bothersome no the less. Early this morning we headed up Jewfish creek and entered another world. The creek it selfis a cut in the mangrove trees where boats pass through. The birds and wildlife seemed uninterested in our passing becuse they did’nt seen to take any notice of us. Once we passed through the mile long channel we were welcomed to the keys lifestyle with bar and liquor signs, and unfortunatly junk boats galore. My heart sank when we came across not one, but two Chrysler 26’s totally trashed. One had no mast or rigging of any sort and the other was pushed up into the mangroves with its rigging broken and the mast at a 45degree angle leaning in the tree branches.

We continued on to Tarpon Basin about 10 miles farther down and anchored near the Monroe County Governmental complex where there is a dinghy dock and a nearby Publix Supermarket.We took advantage of both and finished or day with a cool wind blowing out of the east (yes, I’m going to sleep with a blanket tonight…..thats COLD!). Tomarrow we plan to head towards Islamorada and possibly Shell or Ligmun Vitae (sp?) Key. I’m torn which gets priority; Shell and Ligmun Vitae Key are State Parks so they are educational, but Islamorada is near Holiday Isle and fantastic Rum Rummers. Oh, What to choose? 4bje,2blb

Where are we?

Humm… Good question. Well, we’re parked (anchored) alongside a road, in water shallow enough to walk to dry land and 15 minutes from that good old american favorite, McDonalds (million and one served). Really we are east of uS1 north of the entrance to Jewfish creek at Key Largo. Right now it is raining lightly, no wind and a comfortable temperature. Even though we’re trapped inside the boat it’s really nice and relaxing.

Out our “back” door. Near Jewfish Creek Bridge, in Barnes Sound, near Key Largo

quik catchup from Dinner Key.

The marina at Dinner Key is really nice but it’s a boat cruisers sucker hole. Its one of those places you go to and it seems to suck the dollars right out of your wallet. We were very glad to leave there yesterday around noon and head for Elliot Key 16 miles south. After an excellent dinner the weather turned for the worse and started to blow in from the south west putting us anchored on a lee shore. In boating terms, thats BAD! On a lee shore the wind and waves come at you from across the open water and have time to build and become nasty. With two anchors set we nervously weathered the first storm only to have a second front come smack us from the opposit direction. The boat a crew did fine and finally got to sleep around midnight. We woke today to a fantastically beautiful day. The temperature was perfect, and the water was crystal clear. I could’nt resist; I jumped in naked as a jaybird. Not to be outdone Lesa jumped in ‘al’natural. The water was perfect temperature and we had very little waves which made for great skinny dippin’.

The bathing festivities end around noon and we sailed from the anchorage south west towards Crad Sound and ultimatly Jewfish Creek. The sail was great,a beam reach all the way with 10-15 kt winds pushing the boat at 6. We ended up anchoring at our current position because years ago the roadstead use to be lined with beaches. Now its all gone; filled in with rocks for the road widening. Such is progress. We’ll stay here tonight then mve on to an anchorage on the north side of Key Largo tomorrow where Lesa and Kaelin can go ashore and streach their legs. many,many  bje, 3blb.

From Rough to Righteous

I had a rough day today due to not sleeping last night. On our first day motoring from Jensen Beach to Boca Raton I forgot to apply sunscreen until too late. It does not make for great sleeping two days later. Fortunately, I have my new dress I made, which covers my back and is very airy. I made sure to wear it today. Lack of sleep can be quite problematic as it makes me grouchy and ten times more sensitive than normal. Jim says this happens on the boat sometimes, change of routine, heat exhaustion, and not enough water to drink. I plan on buying extra water and Gatorade while on shore tomorrow. I’m going to get Kaelin pedialyte too. Poor guy he has heat rash but it doesn’t seem to deter him. He by the way has stayed dry at night each night. Woohoo!
All has not been bad today though. We all took naps today. Mine was in the cockpit with cool breezes and gentle boat rocking. Try that at home my dear friends. Also I realized one of my favorite times on the boat is just right after sunset when the boats are silouhetted against the water and the not quite darkened sky. Where we have been last night and tonight has also offered up beautiful twinkling skylines from all the sky scrapers. It is a sight worthy of a painting. I wish I could take a picture, however my cameras won’t take it correctly at night. You will just have to take me word for it.

Dinner Key at Coconut Grove

Another  tireing day. Starting this morningI transformed the HotDot from a stink potter to a blow boat. Lesa and Kaelin hid inside while I worked and raised the mast. When I started raising the mast alone years ago it was always a very stressfull experience, now it just takes time and patience. The act of sorting out the lines and shrouds; carefully walking the mast back over the stern without dropping it in the water or injuring myself is the most difficult. Once that is done all I have to do is attach the bridle and raise it up in place. Its about 3 hours of work. After a short nap (we’re on vacation remember) I put on the sails and and we were ready to go. And go we did. Lesa sailed us away from the anchorage while I raised the anchors and worked the lines. With a fantastic following sea we sailed to Dinner Key. The boat did great, she hummed along at 6 like a race horse just released from the gates. Unfortunatly we were at our destination in about 30 minutes. Not even enough time to finish a cold refreshing adult beverage. The weather has been hot but beautiful, with a nice easterly 10-15  kt breeze. Its such a diffrent feeling to be traveling under sail; not having that constant noise from the motor. We will probably stay here for 2 nights because we need supplies and to stretch our legs. One other interesting thing happened today, I finally had to take out the charts and do some navigation. 3.5bje 1blb

Key Biscayne

After a beautiful day motoring from Boca Raton we have made it to Key Biscayne.  I have never seen so many big buildings and boats.  It’s like Orlando on steroids!  The boats are beyond huge.  We saw four cruise ships in a row and Jim says that those are small.  The homes we saw were beautiful but as we discussed way too much.  There were homes that would have to have an intercom system just to call one to supper.  Now on the other hand we are in close enough quarters to relive supper hours after eaten.  Quack quack.

Supper, that is another situation that has changed on the boat.  We have purchased a smaller butane stove and it is working great.  I can sit in the cock pit and cook without getting over heated and so far our meals have been pretty good.  I’ve learned a few tricks since last year.  We have eaten Jim’s frozen smoked chicken for a couple of meals and it was delicious.  Tomorrow it is a frozen roast that should be thawed by now.

Drinking is on the uprise, but hey we are on the boat and on vacation.  We have 180 days of work to get over.  I only know I will never get too bad that I can’t enjoy to scenery.  It is truly amazing.  As soon as we figure out how to upload pictures from Jim’s computer we will add them to our posts.  In the meantime check out our Flicker account.

4bje2blb Continue reading Key Biscayne

Chillin’ in Boca Raton

We made it to Boca today. A 57 mile journey through the weekend drunken’ motorboater madness of Jupiter inlet, Singer Island at Lake Worth and Boynten Beach. I am always surprised at the amount of people and their toys in South Florida. The sand bar on the north end of Singer Island at Lake Worth was truly amazing; boats clogged the east route around the island so you have to go west and follow the intercoastal. I did get in trouble there, but it wasent my fault. you see there were two boats side by side, and the names were very suggestive. One boat was called “No Tan Lines” and next to it was “Nail This”; both had attractive ladies on board. Well, you should use your imagination to finish the senario…I did and and now I sleep in the cockpit tonight. Any way, the boat ran great, 57 miles, 9 gallons of gas and 11 1/2 hours. At 6.33 miless per gallon thats better than the gas milage of the U-Haul we rented! To Daniel and Alex; the house with the fish tank is closed up. Bummer. 3bje.2blb.

Jensen Beach in my birthdat suit

Well we made it to Jensen Beach, just north of Stuart, and yes I am in my birthdat (miss spelling intentional) suit. The U-haul towed the boat great and we were able to drop it in the water with no problems. I will definately be using the u-haul to tow the boat again.  The weather is humid, but the temp is very comfortable. My parents were great helpers again with the boat. Sometimes I think my dad must have the patience of Job for putting up with my sailing antics, but he is always a great helper and I must give him credit for the adventursome spirits and world views that I and my kids have. The experiences we have had at 5 mph cannot be matched in any other way. Thanks Dad and happy fathers day (late birthday too!)  Although the rain has drizzled for days in Ocala, it parted and we had a mostly dry ride to the boat ramp here at Jensen Beach Causeway. Once we arrived though  storm front moved in and we got wet, but hey, we’re on a boat, so what! Lesa took some pictures of the truck and boat rig and we will post those on the flickr page (click link on right side). Tomorrow we motor south,  hopping to make it to the Boca Raton area.  3Bje,1blb.

Always An Adventure

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