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White Sand Beaches!
10/30/2008, Panther Key, Everglades National Park

We left Indian Key around 10:30am and sailed for a couple of hours to Panther Key. This area of the Everglades is called the "10,000 Islands" and there are literally 10,000 islands. Some as small as one single tree. A 'key' is a small, low-elevation, sandy island. In this area most of them are covered in mangroves and inaccessible, but towards the Gulf, sand is able to build up around the edges. We were lucky in that it was chilly by Florida standards. Plenty warm for us, but the mosquitos stayed in hiding.

Panther Key and the surrounding area had tons of small beaches. We were so excited we forgot the put fuel in the outboard and ran out of gas after arriving at our first beach. We got to row back to the boat against wind and the outgoing tide. But the beach was great. This area also has some of the best shelling in the US.

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The Everglades
10/29/2008, Off Indian Key, Everglades National Park

We left Marco River Marina at 10:00am and headed south in search of white sand beaches. We had read that a place called Indian Key in the Everglades had just that. We arrived there around sunset and found the suggested anchorage to be less than stellar with only a very small beach. We went farther up into the channel towards Everglades City and found a nice sheltered spot among the mangroves. This was our first time using the anchor winlass and I found that if I tried to let out the chain the top of the winlass started to spin off. I had to use a lot of finesse to let out the anchor chain but we managed.

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Batteries attempt TWO
10/28/2008, Marco River Marina

We had been promised the arrival of Mike from Yachting Vacations at 9:00-9:30am. He arrived at 10:30am. He started on fixing the battery issue right away but it took him until nearly 6:00pm. We walked to the market to buy a few fresh items, have some lunch and then took the dinghy out to do some exploring. This area is covered in mangroves which drop their leaves into the water making the water anything but clear. But the mangroves are really amazing by growing in salt water and prurging excess salt through their leaves.

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Port: Marina Del Rey, CA
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