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Easing north
03/18/2012, Miami, FL

Well... none of the movies around looked interesting to us, but we did pretty well with shore food. Friday night we ate at a small Italian restaurant, where everybody was speaking Italian, or at least Spantalian, and the food was wonderful. (The Captain was wearing an Alfa t-shirt under his collared shirt, and thought of flashing it, but chilled.) Saturday night we ate at a small French restaurant, where everybody was speaking French, or at least Spanrench, and the food was again wonderful. (It occured to the Captain that he really should get a Simca t-shirt.) So the Admiral is in culinary delight, and the Captain is burping.

Today we are going to head up Biscayne Bay a bit and anchor in a bay where the old Marine Stadium is located. This is close to the Miami inlet, and we hope to sail up the coast tomorrow - first to Fort Lauderdale, and then, if all goes well, to St. Lucie Inlet on Tuesday.

Mail call
03/16/2012, Coconut Grove, FL

Approaching Coconut Grove from Biscayne Bay.

We arrived in late morning, after a short sail across the Bay, stopped at a fuel dock, and then tied up at Dinner Key Marina (right next to Miami City Hall). The clouds in the photo thickened and darkened, and we had off-and-on rain the rest of the day. We wanted to see the movie The Artist playing nearby, but the rain kept us in, and now it might be gone. Dinner at the local dive was a disappointment.

We got a mail delivery this morning, so we have been paying bills and trying to work on taxes. Still missing tax stuff, so a deadline extension is in our future... almost surely.

The Captain has some maintenance stuff to do: check fluids, belt tensions, and drain any water from the fuel filter bowl. The Admiral has some reprovisioning to do. Current plan is to leave the marina Sunday and, depending on the forecast, anchor near the inlet at Miami for an outside run to Fort Lauderdale Monday morning, or anchor along the ICW in north Miami for an inside run through the bridges. In either case, the pointy end will be facing north for the first time in a long while...

Back to No Name
03/14/2012, Key Biscayne, FL

Cape Florida Lighthouse.

The wind moderated for the last couple of days, and we were able to pleasantly motor, and sometimes sail, up through the various sounds and canals/passes on the inland side of the Keys. Yesterday we spent considerable time with 12 - 15 inches between our keel and the bottom - thin water down here.

We came back to No Name Harbor, scene of the raucous President's Day party on the way down. Much quieter and more civilized this time. The harbor is part of a state park, and the Admiral went for an extended walk on nature trails down to the lighthouse in the picture.

Tomorrow we plan to sail across Biscayne Bay to Dinner Key Marina at Coconut Grove, where we also stayed earlier. Time for a movie or two, some shore food, mail collection, etc.

Windblown
03/12/2012, Shell Key, FL

After two days of moderating east winds reported in our last post, we went right back to strong east winds. From Marathon we backtracked a couple of miles to go through the Seven Mile Bridge to the inside of the Keys where the wave action is much reduced. Yesterday, motoring into a stiff wind we anchored near Jewfish Hole at the west side of the Channel Five Bridge. The wind blew all night, with several periods of rain... the roughest night we have had in a long time.

This morning it was the same, and we continued for 10 miles and then decided to take a mooring in the lee of Shell Key. Most of this area is a park, and in some places they have put out some moorings for public use. Saves the trouble of anchoring, which can be tricky since the anchor needs to land in a sandy/muddy spot, not a grassy spot, to hold well.

We will continue to work our way east as energy and weather permit.

Good to be back on the anchor
03/09/2012, Ramrod Key, FL

Sunset over fabulous Key Lois.

The strong east wind moderated today, and we left Stock Island after 9 days at a marina. Nice send off last night with Major Scott's LIT's - 1.5 of which, by his measure, rendered the Captain barely ambulatory.

We had a pleasant, 5-hour motor sail to the anchorage near Ramrod Key pictured in our 2/29 posting. Beautiful day, and the Captain went swimming to clean and check arrow's bottom.

Tomorrow should be similar, and then the wind is supposed to return, so we will have to select an appropriate anchorage or marina for shelter. We are thinking of crossing over to the inland side of the Keys at the 7-mile bridge near Marathon.

Tied up in Key West
03/07/2012, Stock Island, FL

Where's the party?

For four days now it has been blowing 20 25 kn from the east, and sometimes more (with gale warnings). Since we need to head east, back though the Keys, we have remained at Stock Island. Looks like this will continue for another few days, at least.

Not that this is hard duty. We have rented a car, and we are going about with our cousins. (Another cousin arrived last night - Jenelle, with her friend Mike.)

Downtown Key West is losing some of its appeal as the "spring breakers" arrive. They were pouring into Willie T's yesterday afternoon. Recognizing the blank looks after decades at the front of a classroom, the Captain had a strong urge to hand out some F's. Also, the entertainer playing there began lowering his material to suit the audience level, so then we left after 1.5 frozen Margueritas, each. Example: the singer claimed he could fit any song's lyrics to Cash's Folsom Prison Blues and asked the audience to give him songs. The Captain immediately suggested Ave Maria, and of course this was completely ignored.

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