Friday, January 24, 2020

Tavernier - We scout the entrance - at a dock

The way in and out is very narrow, but doable in our Beneteau 423

Again, a normal day. Nana and I did some schoolwork. For science class we watched a movie called packing for mars. It was about, well, packing for mars. It talked about how we will get there( Using NASA’s SLS rocket.), how we will live there, and some new systems to help us get there, like a spacesuit developed by the European space agency that can simulate different gravities. Another cool thing, also developed by the people at ESA, is a motion activated rover. Kinda like using the force. That was really all today.

The time spent yesterday paid off in a clean boat!
The warm weather has returned with temps in the 70’s and lows of only in the 60s. I’m all four that! Rowan and I took the dinghy out to the entrance of the channel into Blue Waters Marina to find the deepest path in. The result was to favor the red side of the channel by about 10 feet off the centerline for about 5.3 MLLW. The green side of the channel has about 0.5 to 0.8 ft less water. We got stuck there the last time we left Tavernier a couple of years ago. We sat and waited for high tide. This time I wanted the best path out in advance! 

Not too bad to look at while sipping wine

The weather still looks good for a Sunday run to Marathon followed by either Monday or Tuesday to Key West. The weather apps don’t agree on Monday. Some say it’s a good day to go west and some say it’s not and that Tuesday is the day to go. Our experience has been that as we get closer to the decision date, the apps will converge. 

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Tavernier - at a dock

Here’s the entrance to Travenier

Here’s the entrance to Tavernier

Today was again, a normal day. Wake up, take Hoolie out, have breakfast, stuff like that. After a while, Nana and I went to the tiki hut to chill, read, and relax. It finally got a bit warmer. Right now, we’re chilling in 80 degree weather. 85.6, to be exact. I had s’more math todo. Still in Tavernier and will soon be heading to Marathon. We were going to stay there overnight, but Monday has winds coming in south. So we’ll stay there for a day, 2 nights. Maybe take a day trip to the turtle hospital. That was all today.

In the tropics, there are gorgeous flower plantings

Today was beautification day for Fleetwing. I finally did a wash down which has been needed ever since we returned from New York. Now she’s looking good for coming into Key West. With the good weather, we are also getting out for our daily walks and everyone is feeling better for that. Meanwhile, I’m looking for a replacement for my failing laptop and have settled on a new Lenovo T150 for a fire sale price of $700. They are moving on to newer models but the T150 is fine for me. 

Pardon me, but I like flowers 

I will be using my iPad Pro 12.9 in the meantime which works fine but I do need access to Microsoft Word for my work with Waterway Guide so I do need the Lenovo. We will spend another two days here before moving on to Marathon on Sunday. It’s a pretty good place to spend some time, protected, warm, what’s not to like?

Blue Water Marina in Tavernier - Computer Meltdown

There was no blog last night due to my laptop losing the WiFi adapter, it’s no longer functional. I thought I would just use my iPad but then I discovered that it would not recognize a USB drive with photos, that’s the first and only time that’s ever happened. So I had no photos to share and no internet if I used the laptop. 

On to a backup plan this morning. I took this photo with my laptop so I didn’t have to use a USB drive to post the photo. We took our usual walk this morning with the temperature about 58. Tavernier is still recovering from 20 to 30 kts of north wind bringing down cold, northern air! I had on a sweatshirt and a wind breaker as did Ann. Rowan went outside dressed as you see him in the photo. The kid seems immune to cold weather. He claims he wasn’t cold at all. 

I’ll spend the day finding a solution to writing my blog. I’ll probably resort to using my iPhone for photo taking duties since I can transfer the photos via WiFi to my iPad or use the WiFi transfer function of my Canon camera. I need a new laptop, the old one is at least 8 years old. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Blue Waters Marina in Tavernier - Provisioning and Rowan's Birthday

We are in the tropics!
Today we did a wash and went to a Winn Dixie supermarket. Today there was nothing to do. But, again, I wasn't bored out of my mind. I had s'more (Get it? Smore?) schoolwork todo today. It was kinda cold out today. 57 Degrees. Up north that might be good, but I've got used to 80 and up weather. I think we all thought it was cold out. Today was also my birthday,.

Mother Nature will not be denied!
Rowan seemed to enjoy his 10th birthday. He got a snap-together electronic set so the first thing he made was a noisemaker, of course. He still has school work to do every day since Ann is homeschooling him. After dinner, we had a birthday party and Rowan successfully blew out all the candles. There is school work for him every day now.

We took up the offer of a ride to the nearest supermarket from the owner and restocked for the trip to Key West. We are now all set for the duration. The weather continues to be cool with winds of 20 to 30 kts, not good weather for moving south so we will stay put until things calm down. We are still looking at Sunday for moving on to Marathon and to Key West the next day.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Tavernier - at a dock

It's a very tight slip, but snug.
Today, we went to Blue Waters marina. We'll stay there for a while, to do laundry, take out the trash, and get some groceries. Unlike Miami, we had a place to get ashore( :) ).  It was a school day today. I only had to do spelling, math, and reading. That was all that happened today, but again, I wasn't bored out of my mind. When it was dark, I went with Grandpa to walk Hoolie( I was scared out of my mind because It looked like the Upside Down from Stranger Things.). That was all today. bye.

The farther into the Keys we get, the better the sunsets
We use the Blue Waters Marina at Tavernier when there's a prediction of high winds and we need a place to wait out the weather. It is mainly a liveaboard marina but they occasionally have slips open with their owners away for some reason. That was the case for us. We had been there before so we knew the dockmaster and he made room for us. At $2/ft, it's a very reasonable marina for the keys. You have to watch your approach since the MLLW varies from 4.3 to 5.2 ft depending upon wind direction. With a 2.5 ft tide, you can make it in depending on your keel. Once inside, it 10 to 30 ft deep. It used to be a quarry that was later flooded after it had run its course and now it's surrounded by residences and two marinas.

We have high winds predicted here for the next three days. We hope that the forecast for Sunday holds and if it does, we'll move on to Marathon with Key West on the itinerary the next day. With the cold front roaring through, it's due to dip down into the 40's overnight! Chilly for the keys. One great positive is the internet service. I clocked it at 200 Mbps! It's great to be connected.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Miami - Art day and we leave Monday

Rowan's art assignment: one realistic (as a 9 year old can make it) and one with imagination
Hello everyone! Today was a PANCAKE Sunday instead of donuts. It was a normal day, but without any travel. Tomorrow, we set off to Blue Waters marina. During the trip, we will pass a place called "Stiltsville." It really is what the name suggests. A town, on the water, held up by stilts. It's an abandoned fishing community, which the old residents had no plumbing, water, or electricity. The highlight of today was that I GOT STUNG BY A JELLYFISH!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was swimming in the water when I felt something prick my arm. I thought it was just some pointy seaweed, but then I felt it in multiple places. Then I came to realize that it was NOT seaweed, and then started screaming," FRICK, SOMETHING JUST STUNG ME!!!! GET ME OUT OF THE FRIKIN' WATER!!!!!!!!!" The thing that stung me was a Man O War jellyfish. Right now I am fine. I can still feel the sting, but it's very weak.

Here's a better view of the rocks we take Hoolie to, no problem
Well, Rowan had some excitement today. He was happily swimming away when a Portuguese Man O' War came floating by. It was a very small one but it packed a wallop! If he could walk on water, he would have. We searched the internet on how to best treat the problem and settled on vinegar followed by a hot water bottle press on the area affected. The sting gradually abated but not before a lot of complaining by our third crew member.

Miami is nearby
Rowan had an art assignment today. He was top paint two pictures of a turtle, one to be realistic and one with different colors. He produced the painting at the top of the blog. He was inspired by Susie Poff who paints marine scenes but with color not found in nature. We met her at the Key West art show at the end of February.

Today is our last day at anchor. On Monday we are headed for Blue Waters Marina for a stay to wait out the bad weather. We expect to stay a week and hope for an opening for a run to Key West by the weekend. The weather continues to include high winds and rough seas, not good for an extended run with a 9 year old. Monday is supposed to be calm before the wild weather starts the next day .

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Miami - We plan for Blue Waters Marina

Rowan likes to wear his space helmet for serious work, like doing his blog
Today was sunny ( :) ), finally. No rain at all.Yay!!! Today I only had 2 hours of screen time ( A personal best!). I didn't use my legos as much today. I thought I would use them more. Even though there wasn't much to do today, I wasn't bored out of my mind. It was also clear enough for me to go swimming ( In frigid water.)! Since there are no motorboats permitted on the beach, we have to take Hoolie to a bunch of rocks to do his biz. It can be VERY difficult to take him there at high tide. That's all. 

There is a convenient place for Hoolie nearby
We went through several options today in waiting for the weather to clear out for our trip to Key West. There are just no three-day windows to go east. First, we thought of spending some time at Black Point Marina where we've been before. You can rent a car there from Enterprise and explore the area, including the Everglades park. It's only $1.50/ft. There's a 4.5 ft spot at the entrance that's best taken at high tide, depending upon your draft.

We always like sunsets!
The other choice was the Pilot House Marina but it's $3/ft although it's on the way east at least and has a great restaurant on site. Our third choice was Blue Waters Marina which is very hard to get into, they are usually full and the entrance only carries 4.5 ft at low tide. We were lucky enough to get a slip at Blue Waters. We've been there before and they remembered us and worked to find a place. We will probably be there a week waiting for better weather.

And, Miami at night from the anchorage
Sunday will be another waiting day and we'll move on to Blue Waters Marina on Monday. It's a liveaboard marina which suits us just fine. Our slip will open up on 1/28 and we intend making that date on time.