Whisper Sailing

Bill and Judy's adventures continue..........

25 February 2018 | Exumas, Bahamas
21 November 2017 | George Town, Exuma
24 April 2017 | Bahamas
03 April 2017 | Thompson Bay
31 March 2017 | Great Exuma
28 February 2017 | Palm Cay Marina
17 February 2017 | Palm Cay Marina, Nassau, Bahamas
27 January 2017 | Little Farmers Cay, Exemas
14 January 2017 | Exuma Bahamas
26 December 2016 | Spanish Wells, Bahamas
19 December 2016 | Devils Cay, Berry Islands
19 December 2016 | Addison NASA Bridge
19 December 2016 | Cave Cay to Spence Rock
04 December 2016 | Abacos Bahamas
12 November 2016 | Jacksonville Beach FL
05 May 2016 | Darien, GA
23 April 2016 | Gulf Stream
22 April 2016 | Northern Abaco
10 April 2016 | Abaco
31 March 2016 | Exuma, Eleuthra, Abaco

Hiding Out in the Mangroves

23 January 2016 | John Pennykamp State Park
Since the wind gods have not been favoring us with a southerly direction for crossing to the Bahamas, we decided to head south for a bit to the Keys to wait it out. So here we are in John Pennykamp State Park marina in Key Largo, docked behind a stand of mangroves to protect us from the 30 knot gusts from the west. Today was sunny and cool (yeah, I know you northern friends think I'm a wuss remarking about 60 degree temps) with clear sky to display a spectacular full moon tonight. Tomorrow morning prediction is for 40 degrees so we may have to turn the heater on.

Backtracking a bit, we finally got our bimini and solar panels installed at Ft Lauderdale last weekend, just in time for the arrival of our favorite crewmate, Sue Beres. After stocking the boat, we said goodbye to Brian and Maria in midafternoon and headed down the ICW for fuel and a night's anchorage before heading out the channel. With high winds in the forecast, and a full anchorage at Lake Sylvia, we opted for a mooring ball at the Las Olas bridge. That proved to be a good choice as it blew all night long.... and we ended up staying two nights waiting for a chance to head out into the ocean.

As we left Port Everglades on Monday morning we heard a broadcast warning of Navy maneuvers just off the coast. We stayed three miles offshore, but were pleasantly surprised to see a submarine just off our starboard side in the restricted area, a nice start to a beautiful sail down the coast. We arrived in Miami in early afternoon. As we passed under the Rickenbacher bridge we saw fleets of sailboats racing in the distance. Turns out, the Olympic trials were going on for small cats and the 49ers. The mainsails of the 49ers displayed the colorful flags of the participating countries. We followed the fleet in to Dinner Key Marina, where we again snagged a mooring ball. It was a pretty bouncy night as there isn't much wind protection in the large mooring field and we were pretty far out from the marina shore.

Tuesday again presented brisk north winds to sail down Biscayne Bay. By midafternoon we were entering Angelfish Creek, where we found a perfect place to anchor among the mangrove covered islands. Only one other boat joined us there. It was a perfectly calm night even though the wind was still blowing on the Bay and out on the ocean.

We needed an early start the next morning to get out the Creek into the channel at high tide... the charts indicated there was only 4-5 feet at low tide. We had the third day in a row of great sailing in Hawk's Channel, which kept us inside the reefs that go down the coast. High tide at Angelfish Creek, however, meant we arrived at Pennykamp at low tide. We did a soft grounding when the depth read 4 feet at the last marker into the marina bay. After a short delay while the tour boats made their way out that same narrow channel, and reported to us that there was actually 5 feet of water if we stayed in the exact middle of the route, we made our way to the marina docks. We were the only transient boat there so we had our choice of the 6 slips. Bill guided Whisper in, stern first, between posts set just 12 feet apart (our beam is 11 feet). Once tied off with bow, stern and spring lines, we were perfectly set for our stay.

And we've been here ever since. The little bay is perfectly calm no matter how hard the wind blows from whatever direction. Yesterday it rained buckets all day long but we were comfortable and dry...except for the excursion to West Marine and the grocery. Mat and Jodie Koblenzer lent us a car for errands...thank you so much! There were surprised to see us as we usually see them when we come down here with the camper.

The park is a huge dive site because of the coral reefs just offshore. There are tour boats, snorkle and dive tours, SCUBA lessons and equipment rentals available, as well as kayaks and SUPs for rent. We toured in the dinghy through the mangrove canals but it was too rough on the ocean to go out to the reef that way. And the water was really too cold for snorkling without a wet suit (according to our new toy, the Hawkeye depth and temp meter).

We'll hang here another day or so... it looks like we may have a chance to cross midweek. If not, we may go further south to explore some more Keys. We have the time and the choices....
Vessel Name: Whisper
Vessel Make/Model: Tartan 34-2
Hailing Port: Milwaukee WI
Crew: Bill and Judy
Whisper's Photos - Main
Every shade of blue-green-purple greets our eyes on a continuing basis
15 Photos
Created 24 April 2017
Our first island anchorages were in the Berries. Sugar sand beaches, clear blue water, conch and starfish, everyday a new wonderful experience.
10 Photos
Created 16 April 2016
We are spending over a week in Bimini waiting for weather to cross to the Berry Islands (a 75 mile crossing that will require two good days). So we walk, drive, and dinghy our way around North Bimini to learn about the land and the people.
20 Photos
Created 6 February 2016
There were many projects we did to upgrade Whisper to a more efficient, comfortable, safe and enjoyable boat.
7 Photos
Created 10 January 2016
The many contrasting scenes on the Intercoastal Waterway
36 Photos
Created 25 December 2015
Our favorite anchorage on the eastern shore. The cove featured St Martin Point house and grounds, a 19th century home with accommodations for eighteen people, currently available as vacation rental. Dan, the caretaker invited us to explore the house and grounds.
14 Photos
Created 28 October 2015
6 Photos
Created 27 October 2015
Workboat Festival
8 Photos
Created 26 October 2015
Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum
7 Photos
Created 25 October 2015
Boat show
6 Photos
Created 11 October 2015
Highlights of our stay in the Big Apple
14 Photos
Created 2 October 2015
Fixed bridges, lift bridges, railroad bridges, road bridges, bridges to nowhere.
8 Photos
Created 13 September 2015
"I stayed too long at the fair"
12 Photos
Created 11 September 2015
5 Photos
Created 1 September 2015
I walked from the yacht club to the downtown area to purchase a nautical chart at the general store. Charming homes from the mid-1800s with fenced in yards and patios. Main square at City Hall has umbrella tables and chairs to enjoy the fresh air. Lots of interesting shops and restaurants, wished we could stay longer.
7 Photos
Created 27 August 2015
Transiting the 243 miles of the Trent Severn Waterway system
5 Photos
Created 25 August 2015
Into the Georgian Bay
7 Photos
Created 6 August 2015
We took Whisper on a loop through the French River Small Craft Route with Russ and Lisa onboard. Uproar can't do the route because of depth...and maybe width!
8 Photos
Created 3 August 2015
We spent the past week attempting to show Sue all of our favorite places... we got in quite a few!!!
7 Photos
Created 23 July 2015
First anchorage in Canada
4 Photos
Created 14 July 2015
Scenes from one of our favorite places on Lake Michigan
5 Photos
Created 10 July 2015
Preparation for our extended cruise from Milwaukee, WI to the Bahamas and ????
3 Photos
Created 17 June 2015