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sailing away with R & B
That Girl Loves the Water!
Ralph/Cool and cloudy
03/01/2013, Boot Key Harbor

I don't know about my wife! It was a nice, sunny day. But the water is cold! She just had to go for a dip. Here's proof-


Settling in
Beverly/partly cloudy, 71 *
02/28/2013, Boot Key Harbor moorings

We really feel like cruisers now. We are using our dinghy every day to run errands and/or visit friends (kind of like using your car on land, except for the added benefit of being able to dangle your hands/feet in the water as you go). We signed up for a month because we got a better rate, but may not stay that long. We still plan to head to the Bahamas, but that can't be done with north winds blowing, so will wait for a weather window (again). Meanwhile, we'll just enjoy being in the Keys!

Here is a shot of the harbor taken from our boat at sunrise (there are about 200 other boats moored here).

The Keys at last!
Beverly/calm and warm
02/24/2013, Boot Key Harbor mooring field

We left Little Shark River in light fog and no wind, with flat seas. It was a full day of motoring as conditions stayed the same, although the fog finally burned off around 11:00. Fortunately those foggy miles were spent within the waters of Everglades National Park so there were no crab pots to dodge. Unfortunately once we left the protected area they were everywhere! Ralph did not enjoy his game of winding through the crab pot maze! (I was glad to have had the early shift at the helm because fog is better than crab pots.) The water became clearer as we got closer to the Keys. We could see the sand and sea grass on the bottom even in 10 feet of water. At one point a flying fish skimmed across our bow just above the water. We arrived at about 4:00 and got our mooring ball assignment. Our friend Bob met us in his dinghy and helped us get tied up to the ball (another new skill for us), gave us a lift to check in, and took us out to dinner. We are so happy to be here!

This picture was taken as we and another sailboat were winding our way through the crab pots.

02/26/2013 | Wayne (aka ThirdCoastSailor)
Ralph and Beverly,

Congratulations! You've come along way in three months. You're almost out of the Gulf. Where to next? Can't wait to slip the dock lines myself.

Wayne
Everglades Part 2
Beverly/calm and muggy
02/23/2013, Little Shark River anchorage

We left Russell Pass/Indian Key and headed southeast towards Cape Sable. The day began with light winds and waves of 1-2 feet on the nose. As predicted winds and waves increased during the day, which meant some of the time it was a little uncomfortable. Then as we neared the cape conditions eased back down. Once we entered Little Shark River it was very protected and calm. It's a beautiful place with lots of wildlife - we saw ibis, pelicans, dolphins, and a manatee. Unfortunately we also saw lots of bugs, resulting in lots of bites! This photo was taken at anchor while we enjoyed the afternoon (before the bugs came out to join us).

In the Everglades
Beverly/light winds and warm
02/21/2013, Russell Pass, near Everglades City

I only have limited service here so this will be a short update. We arrived here after about 8 hours of motoring because most of the way we had winds and waves on the nose. We had read about this anchorage in the Waterway Guide and have to say it lives up to its reputation. It's a small area in the Everglades surrounded by mangrove islands. It's very quiet and definitely one of our favorite stops. We haven't seen any alligators but we are sure they're out there!

Marco . . . Polo?
Beverly/calm and warm
02/20/2013, Marco Island, Florida

We are heading south again, towards Marathon in the Keys. We had an easy day from Ft. Myers with small waves and very light winds, which means we motored the whole way. But that's okay because I don't like big waves. We had researched tonight's stop but somehow it didn't look the way we expected. Still, we chose a spot and anchored only to be asked to move by the law enforcement guys. We were too close to the channel. (Which wasn't clear at all.) So Ralph got a double anchor workout tonight because we have no windlass. At least we are now safe and legal. We will continue south to Indian Key in the Ten Thousand Islands area of the Everglades tomorrow if the weather cooperates. Three more travel days til we get to Boot Key! Here is the sunset we enjoyed with adult beverages here at Marco (which always makes me want to say "Polo!")

02/20/2013 | George
Great plan. Keep us posted.
02/21/2013 | Kenny
Hey Guys- (To be fair to Bev, I'll start next one, Hey Girls. LOL)
I read there is a shortage of windows to Bahamas also, and talk of returning to Keys and waiting for Spring. Just passin' it along for whatever it's worth.
Love the blog-
Kenny
02/25/2013 | Jeffrey Orling
That's gorgeous!

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