29 April 2015 | Home, Punta Gorda
24 April 2015 | Boot Key Harbor
19 April 2015 | Key West Harbor
11 June 2014 | Home, Punta Gorda
09 June 2014 | Cayo Costa State Park
31 May 2014 | West Palm Beach, Florida
24 May 2014 | Little Harbour
17 May 2014 | Marsh Harbour
06 May 2014 | West End, Grand Bahama
04 May 2014 | Lake Sylvia, Ft Lauderdale
01 May 2014 | Pennekamp State Park (Key Largo)
25 April 2014 | Key West Harbor
22 April 2014 | Key West Harbor
19 April 2014 | Marco River
14 April 2014 | Punta Gorda
01 June 2011 | Punta Gorda
30 May 2011 | Little Sarasota Bay
28 May 2011 | St. Petersburg
22 May 2011 | Steinhatchee, FL
29 April 2015 | Home, Punta Gorda
Safe at home after a quick trip up from Marathon.
We thought about going farther up the keys but thought it might be better if I was home on Thursday to get my bi-weekly shots.
So we got moving Saturday morning and picked up 40 gallons of diesel before leaving Marathon. Out under the 7 mile bridge at Moser Channel and north at 8 knots. The wind was blowing so we were rocking and rolling but not too badly. Again the fish traps were terrible.
Nothing like 6-inch buoys stretched out about 150 feet apart in a line a mile long. Then toss another line about 500 feet apart from the first. Then another and another and another. Then nothing for a bit and then more lines of them. All you have to do is hit one buoy and wrap it around the propeller and it would be all over. Between the two of us pointing them out, we made it. It was easier to see them from sitting up in the Goose than it was from down in the cockpit of Serenity. However, they come on faster at 8 knots and Serenity's keel actually pushed the lines away from the propeller a little bit. So I feel lucky we made it.
We got to Little Shark River about 2:30 and took a tour a few miles up the river but didn't see anything interesting. But just after anchoring, a big green sea turtle swam around the Goose.
We got up Sunday morning to itching and scratching. During the night, we were invaded by tiny bugs like no-see-ums. Their bite was not as bad as the normal little devils but there was no going back to bed once they started on you. We took off and tried to blow them away and suck em up in a car vacuum. We ended up having to close up the cabin and spray everything down with bug spray.
During the day we dodged fish traps but the seas were calmer and it was easier to see the buoys. Once we were back in cell range, we checked the weather and found that the forecast for Wednesday was bad with high winds and thunderstorms. So we acted like power boaters and cranked up the throttle and headed for Sanibel instead of Naples.
We anchored off Ding Darling and enjoyed the final night with a big salad and wine. It rained during the night and we hit rains coming up the intercoastal. Stopping at Burnt Store Marina to get fuel and a pump out, we were at 400 miles for the trip and a total of 153 gallons of diesel. A bit different fuel use than with Serenity where I would use 120 gallons on a 1,200 mile trip. But then we used the most fuel in the 95 mile "dash" from Shark River to Sanibel.
Two hours later and we were home and unloading between rain showers. The bad weather never got too bad. The Goose cockpit is very dry and the windshield wipers make "driving" in the rain easy and comfortable.
It was a good trip and the Goose ran perfectly. Karen learned a lot about the Goose and really seems to enjoy taking the helm on something more akin to a car. She learned about the GPS and autopilot, especially when having to dodge the fish traps. Think she will be ready for more frequent short trips. Sounds good to me too.
Upa da Keys
24 April 2015 | Boot Key Harbor
We slept in the 24th and didn't get underway until 9:30. Karen at the helm we did the 15 miles to Marathon's Boot Key Harbor in two hours. We took a mooring ball and went ashore to sign in. They screwed up and assigned us to the wrong mooring. So back out to the boat and move 100 feet to another mooring.
Dummy captain stubbed his toe which he had whooped on a month earlier at work. So now the nail is loose and causing pain. The walk a mile to Publix for food stuffs was no fun until the toe decided it could bend a bit.
Back on the boat we just chilled out. Not much planned for tomorrow. Just need to get fuel before we head home.
We got great news from Charlene. They have a buyer for their house in DC so they can move to the condo on the water in Virginia with no problems of two houses. Blessings that all goes well.
Boot Key Harbor is almost all city moorings and very well organized. Even better it is not overpriced so liveaboards can have a safe mooring and enjoy dinghy docking and bath privileges for a semi-reasonable fee. There is large room with a library, three TVs, mailboxes, and then work areas for folks who need to work on projects. Then there is a bath house with showers, bathrooms and laundry. They also have a good recycle program for normal stuff and oil and other marine hazards. Too bad hey don't have loaner bikes like they have in Punta Gorda. Sure could have used one today. Had a great lunch at Big Mouth Eatery. Need to Yelp them with 5 stars
We had a very nice Saturday in Marathon. After breakfast, we lounged around until about 10:30 before going ashore. We headed toward West Marine but stopped first at the Turtle Hospital. What a treat.
We took a tour of the hospital, which was a 1950's motel that had a salt-water pool. In the 1980's it the pool was turned into an aquarium for the motel. Later kids asked why there were no turtles. After looking into it, the owner found that turtles were endangered and the only way to have them was to rehabilitate them. That was the start.
After Hurricane Wilma flooded the motel the owner decided the turtles were more important and rebuilt the turtle pool before fixing the rooms. The rooms now are only occupied by the hospital interns.
They had 58 turtles in the hospital pools while we were there. Most were younger green turtles that had a virus that caused growths on them. The majority of the rest were ones that had collided with boats and had "bubble butt" which is a deformed shell that makes them not be able to dive. These are then permanent residents. Most other turtles can be rehabilitated and released. It was very interesting to see the different species and their problems.
After a no purchase visit to West Marine we had some pizza and back to the boat. We had steak and salmon for dinner which isn't too shabby. Tomorrow we will start back home. Next stop Little Shark River in the Everglades. No contact there. Then on to Naples and maybe home.
Key West Wondering
22 April 2015 | Key West
Just because we bought a more expensive boat doesn't mean we aren't frugal (cheap). We walked two miles from the marina to the main gate of the base to catch the bus to Key West. Once there we spent all afternoon on Duval Street.
Duval is T-shirts, trinkets, local artists, bars, and more T-shirts with dirty sayings. But it also has the oldest house in Key West, a good assortment of art galleries, good restaurants, and enough other things to keep a person occupied. After a good lunch and more walking we took the bus back to the base and walked to the marina.
The 22nd we planned to go see Michael McCloud, the laid-back singer I enjoy at the Schooner Wharf. However, the dockmaster at the marina called to say he was sick and wouldn't be playing today. The dockmaster's husband plays steel drums and was asked to fill in for Michael. Small world. We'll still take the hike and bus to hear him and also tour the museums and stuff at Mallory Pier.
Well we did as planned, hike to the gate, bus to town. Went to the Court House Museum which had many good exhibits. A small Hemmingway exhibit which focused on his time in Key West. Then a great exhibit of Guy Harvey's early pencil drawings that told the story of "The Old Man and the Sea." Wow, to think his earliest works were fantastic pencil sketches.
After two hours at the museum, we walked over to the Schooner Wharf Bar to hear Dave Herzog and Chuck Fox as the Island Time Band. They play guitar and steel drums and do a lot of 70s music and island music. Very little Jimmy Buffet. They were good and we ran into Ross and Jean Goodrich from Redding, CA. They are the couple that I listened to Michael McCloud with last year for 3 days. This was there second day on Key West and they wondered if I was going to be there.
Karen and I walked up to the band stand and I said I didn't want to sit in the first row of tables and started to look around and Ross looked up and said we should join them again this year. Really good to see them again even if we didn't get to listen to Michael.
We need to get up on the 23rd to pump up the dinghy, fill the water tank, empty the "other" water tank and do laundry before leaving the marina before noon. The real test will be if Michael will be playing tomorrow. We will see.