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sailing away with R & B
Hello again Keys!
Beverly/sunny and warm
04/14/2014, No Name Harbor, Florida

We survived all the ICW bridges to Miami, along with Saturday craziness from some of our fellow boaters (especially at Bakers Haulover Inlet), and anchored off South Beach for a couple of days. Today we moved to Key Biscayne and tomorrow we'll head out Hawk Channel to Marathon, stopping to anchor somewhere along the way tomorrow night. We're so glad to be warm!

04/15/2014 | Marshall K Portman
I (Carol) have caught a cold, but Keith will be able to meet up with you. You can contact him on 68 after the Net, come by J2 (I will stay inside so you won't catch my cold) or come by the workroom where he is sewing some cushions for the Sue. So sorry I won't be able to meet you personally! P.S. Keith's already been through this cold and is feeling fine now.
04/16/2014 | Dot and John
Cold in St. Augustine. Dropped to 49 this am. Glad you are warm.
More Cold Fronts?!?
Beverly/mostly sunny and breezy
04/09/2014, North Lake Worth, Florida

We arrived here on Saturday after enduring lots of power boat traffic on the ICW since it was the weekend, plus dealing with 7 bridges to be opened (twice missing the scheduled opening time by 5 minutes - which meant we had to idle around and wait 25 minutes). We anchored, hoping to continue south on Sunday. Then we looked at the weather forecast and due to projected winds and possible thunderstorms, decided to stay here and wait them out. It was a good decision and our anchor performed well even in gale force gusts. We did see a couple of boats dragging anchor during the strongest winds, but even they were able to re-anchor successfully. Still, it was a nerve-wracking couple of days. Today is much nicer, although still somewhat breezy and gusty. The weather is supposed to be settled over the next few days so we plan to head south to Ft. Lauderdale and the Miami area tomorrow.

04/10/2014 | Marshall K Portman
If you are coming through Boot Key, we are on J2....would love to meet you.
04/10/2014 | Dot and John
Glad things are going well. Are you sorry you left the tranquil Bahamas? The Keys should be nice. Enjoy
04/14/2014 | Ralph
Marshall,

We are heading your way. Currently anchored at No Name. Heading to Rodriguez Key in the morning. We'll look you up when we get to Boot Key.
Southbound again
Beverly/sunny and warm
04/04/2014, Jensen Beach, Florida

We left Ft. Pierce this morning and motored about 3 hours south to our anchorage just north of Jensen Beach Causeway. We chose to motor because the wind and waves were on the nose, meaning they were from exactly the direction we needed to travel. We passed quite a few sailboats heading north, enjoying the wind in their sails...sigh.

We decided that we didn't want to head north up the east coast, partly because we hate to be cold and temperatures decrease that direction but also because that's what we did last year. So we're headed south to enjoy the Keys and the west coast of Florida for a few months before hurricane season. Let's hope the weather cooperates!

Long Crossing
Beverly/sunny and cool
04/03/2014, Fort Pierce, Florida

Goodbye again Bahamas! (This is the entrance/exit to White Sound in Green Turtle Cay.)

As you can see, we are back in Florida. We left Green Turtle Club marina at 9 am, traveled west across the Little Bahama Bank (past Great Sale Cay), crossed into the Atlantic and the Gulf Stream, and arrived in Fort Pierce at 7 pm the next evening. It was a long (about 165 miles), but thankfully uneventful 34 hours. We did mostly 2 hour shifts, although towards the end when we were really tired they got shorter. The weather was as predicted, which meant seas were fairly settled (following seas on the banks and just long swells in the ocean). The wind helped us quite a bit at the beginning but nearly died out later, which slowed us down. Of course, that meant we didn't arrive at Fort Pierce inlet at slack tide, so the trip in through the jetties was a little tense (wind and waves on the beam). Still, our boat performed well and we arrived safely at Harbortown Marina, where we were able to rest, rent a car, and check in. We also ran errands so we're now in good shape to continue our trip.

04/01/2014

Ralph's attire to clean the prop during our stay in White Sound - designed to keep creepy crawlies off! (Yes, that is a Survivor buff, but it's a collector's edition purchased from the Survivor website. He did apply, but was never chosen as a contestant.)

04/06/2014 | dbrog
My dad's the coolest!!! Lookin good man!
Green Turtle Tales
Beverly/too many cold fronts
04/01/2014, Green Turtle Cay, Abacos

Coco Bay anchorage, Green Turtle Cay

We spent a week and a half here, longer than we anticipated, waiting for a weather window back to the US. During that time we had 2 cold fronts blast through ... not fun! For the first one we were anchored in White Sound, which was very crowded with anchored and moored boats. At about midnight, our (very reliable Manson Supreme) anchor broke loose in a 30+ knot gust. No moon, really dark - we had to use a spotlight to see where other boats were. We drove around for almost 3 hours, unsuccessfully trying to re-anchor in continuous high winds, working our way around the other boats. Finally, we tied up safely to a private dock and went below to sleep until daylight. As it turns out, that dock (and the house there) are for sale, which is why it was empty. The caretaker came by and was very nice and told us he was just glad we were able to find a safe place during the night. I learned way more than I ever wanted to know about driving in strong gusts!

The next day the weather was nice again and we moved out of the sound to a beautiful anchorage in Coco Bay. We enjoyed being out for a couple of days, but then the next front was due so we moved back inside the protected sound, into a slip at Green Turtle Club marina. We spent a few days relaxing and getting ready for our crossing, which will be my next post.

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