Saturday, January 31, 2015

Key West - A noisy night and Sarah meets the artists

Sarah's personal expert on sculptures
Sarah's Blog

Today we had breakfast and then went on a walk down Duval  street with all of the shops. We went to the shell warehouse first and there was a wall of necklaces and stands full of shells. Then we went to a jewelry store and there was all kinds of cool stuff. There was a lot of sea necklaces with gold, sliver, and diamonds on them too. The person there took out the necklace and let us touch it and see it up close. Then we went to a store where there is glass sculptures with all different colors in them. There was waves and a horse one too. The guy let me touch them just don't lift them. There were also tapes and it showed how hard it was to make them. He gave me a calendar and a piece of  glass that says David Wight making waves 20 years it looks so cool. Then we went in to more stores and Nana got me a shirt and a dolphin necklace. Also we looked at some art too. Then we headed back to the boat and I drew. Then we went on a walk and went pass stores and saw big tarpon about 8 in all. Also pelicans and a person feeding fish to it too. We're going to have tuna for dinner with sesame seeds yum! Well bye off to go do some more drawing bye. oiHbb

Shops galore - how to choose?
I had to return the rental car this morning so I took Ann and Sarah downtown for shopping before taking the car back. Put a grandmother and a granddaughter together for shopping and that's a recipe for some serious looking (and buying), especially is shirtsleeve weather. In one place Sarah learned about amber and its uses for jewelry. When the clerk learned that Sarah was a homeschooler, she got a complete history lesson on amber along with a tour of the store's collection. In another store where fine paintings and sculptures were on display, the same thing happened. The proprietor went to great lengths to explain how the sculptures were made and Sarah had permission to run her fingers over the sculptures to feel the prism like finish that gave the piece a sparkle in the light. Normally they don't want you to touch anything but Sarah was the exception. She received a calendar with paintings for each month and a medallion that one of the artists used to embed into his sculptures as his signature. After that it was off to affordable jewelry on a walk down Duval street.  

The ever present panhandlers - got food?
Every day here is seems to get a little warmer, getting close to the high 70's in a few days. Last night there was a party on the 72 ft powerboat in front of us that went on through the wee hours. I found out the next morning that the marina here has a policy of quiet after 10:00 pm and the dockmaster said he would talk to the owner and I now have a number to call in case the same thing happens tonight, we'll see. 

Yet to come is the Herculean task of cleaning out the aft cabin and finding somewhere on the boat to put all that stuff. When we left New York we thought we needed every item but from the perspective of Key West and visitors, we're not so sure anymore. By the time we return north we'll probably forget the problem and still keep everything (like we've done every year so far). Perhaps we'll have new resolve and actually do with less  but I wouldn't hold my breath. 

Friday, January 30, 2015

Key West - We rent a car and provision

Sarah tried her hand at playing a steel drum - the notes were marked on the drum lid
Sarah's  Blog

Today I had Nana's famous scrambled egg and it was really good. Then I started reading some more of Charlotte Doyle it is going great already on page 45. Then I did some more work and we went to go do are big shopping trip. Nana has a list then Grandpa has a list too. I go with Nana and we got some shorts and one shirt. We also saw manatees today, Nana named it lucky because we saw scars on it and had a little split in the tail. It was a cute little guy too. Then we went to go on a car drive down Duval street with a bunch of stores. There are so many I can't count! Also so many people it was crazy. It was fun to here all the live music with different bands and music every where. There was also a place that it had a bunch of money on it and there was probably about 5,000 dollars in there. We also drove by the ocean which was so beautiful. We just had sushi that was so yummy and were having chicken tonight. Well bye going to look for lucky bye.

Key West is warming up with gentle breezes and temps in the 70's, not bad at all. I rented a car from Enterprise this morning and we went to nearest Publix to provision for the upcoming visits from up north. We saw this morning that the low for our home town, Lagrangeville, NY, was going to be -10 F on Tuesday!! Now that is getting cold. 

The Party Cat goes out several times a day, they seem to all have a good time
We took a drive around Key West sightseeing. One thing you notice right away is how well kept everything is. The buildings have all been freshly painted, nothing looks out of repair and this year there are crowds more so than in the last four years. Usually, I'm told by the locals, there's a lull after New Year's Day until March but this year it's been busy without a let up. Regardless, on the dock we have our own slip and we can chill out just watching the action in the harbor and still have our privacy. 

Barry Cuda is still holding forth at BO's Fishwagon on Fridays!
We walked around tonight and saw Barry Cuda in BO's Fishwagon as usual on a Friday night. The place was packed as it always is when he plays there. Schooner Wharf was hopping too. Even with all the events and crowds, it's quiet at night on the dock, no noise at all and calm, nice. 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Key West - Getting ready for visitors: laundry, boat cleaning, cable TV

All tucked in - very well protected from weather
Sarah's Blog

Today I started off with a walk with Nana and Hoolie. We saw all kinds of different shops that had pretty jewelry. Then we had breakfast and I started my home work I did it still lunch and then I wrote a little bit. I had a egg sandwich for lunch and then played on my tablet. I started Charlotte Doyle very interesting, it is a great boat story. Then we went on a walk and saw a lot of shops, Nana and I went window shopping and look at prices. It was fun to try on the silly sun glasses at one shop. I read about amber and I went into a store with amber and I got to touch it and saw insects on it too. I thought that was really cool! It was a jewelry store and there was a lot of it too. Were going to have tacos for dinner and there chicken too. I love tacos with chicken in it. I also practiced the piano today and I think am getting pretty good too. Also there is this boat called the Party Cat and has been there for a couple years and it plays music and is fun to see. Well bye going to look for the Party Cat bye. 

Hoolie and I took a walk down Duval St - Here we looked in at Sloppy Joe's, the joint was hopping
We have Carrie and Mike coming next week with their family followed by Philip and Monique and family so we have a full two weeks ahead. So to get ready we had laundry and boat work. Moving stuff out of the aft cabin (it seems to accumulate things) is a major effort which we'll tackle later but before everyone arrives. We now have cable for our stay in Key West, all the comforts of home except cold weather and snow! 

One of many Irish Bars along Duval St - all with live music
We are still amazed at the crowds in Key West. The marina is full, that's a first in the last five years. It's never been full before this time of the year. There's not an empty slip in sight, good thing we had reservations. On top of that, it's still rather cold for Key West but it's predicted to warm up next week to the high 70's, more normal for this time of year. I can't get my $10/day car rental weekend rate here, they don't honor that special so we'll rent a car for one day to get groceries and explore a bit. We're running low on a few key items like ice cream, etc. 

Sarah is still doing he school work and trying to get ahead so she'll have free time when her cousins are here from Pennsylvania. Ann and I are just enjoying the serenity, no moving for awhile. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Key West - we made it! At E14 dock for the foreseeable future

A long ride today - Sarah snuggled up!
Sarah's Blog

Today were had English muffins with eggs and I turned it into a egg sandwich a. Then we were off to Key West and we put both sails up and motored too, so we went really fast. First you can see the seven mile bridge and we went pass that and down though the keys. I did some of my work before we left then a little when we started so I didn't have to worry about that at all because it was a good ride but still rough at some points. Then we made it to Key West and settled in a little bit. Also me and Nana took a walk with Hoolie and went around and looked at stuff. I saw cool stuff I want to get and the crazy sun glass wall and the sponge monster. Also the I remember the big wall that is painted on Key West that we saw. It felt really good to get into Key West too! We went to a restaurant yesterday and I have some left over chicken wings for dinner tonight and we might go out for ice cream too. Were going to watch the rest of the movie tonight and then tomorrow we will have TV too. Well bye going to watch the party cat go out bye. oiHbb

There was a little more wind than we expected! The direction was fine, out of the north so we had the wind abeam but it was very gusty. it averaged between 15 to 20 knots with one peak gust clocked at 31 knots! But the sun was out so the cockpit was warm even with the temps in the high 60's, not very warm for the Keys.

The source of our traditional arrival meal - the Cuban Coffee Queen
As soon as we arrived I went over to order our traditional arrival meal, Cuban Sandwiches from the Cuban Coffee Queen, the best around. So now I have the boarding platform installed, the step, the anchor line to keep the anchor from swinging (the anchor was lowered to make room for the boarding platform), electric, cable (we get that on Thursday) and a bunch of lines to keep us in place. We are now all set for our extended stay. It's time to relax. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Marathon - at anchor, last day

The beach at Marathon - and it's free
Sarah doesn't have a blog tonight. She spent all morning doing her school work and then had time at the beach followed by dinner Key Fisheries, a full day but no time for a blog. She'll restart her part of the blog on Wednesday night after we reach Key West.

Kids always seem to find kids
We watched our home cams several times today to keep track of the snowfall. It looks like we got 6 to 8 inches in all back in New York so to celebrate the snowstorm, we all went to the beach. There's sometime about the ocean and sand that seems to fully occupy kids. Sarah found two friends and they played for hours. On the way to the beach we passed 7 more boats anchored. I our previous eight times here, we've never seen so many boats in Marathon and only two or three in the passage to the beach. Perhaps boating is coming back?

Wednesday is our big day. The winds are to be favorable, out of the north which is perfect for our trip west and also off land so there shouldn't be much wave build up. Hopefully we can sail the whole way.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Marathon - at anchor day 2

On a boat in Florida - but still has to do homework!
Sarah's Blog

Multiplication of fractions
So today I woke up and we decided go on walk and then we went into the dingy dock and we went. When we enter  there was a cool sign with a bunch of arrows and colors on it. We walked on the side walk then in this big park with a tennis court, basketball court, baseball court, and etc. There was also a play ground so I went down the slide. There are a bunch of play ground stuff along the way. There was a chin ups bar and a pole too. Then we went back and had a bagel and a half and me, Nana, and Grandpa shared the last of the grapefruit. Then I did all my school work, I did math, poetry, history, vocabulary, reading, and water work too. Then I drew some more and then I read Calvin & Hobbes. Then I read some more Anne Frank, am on page 224 so am getting close to the end. 

A few word problems, I'm sure you know the answers already
It is very windy today too, you can hear it whistling and see it blowing every where. Also when we came back from are walk and went in the dink and the cold water went every where plus the wind blowing it was cold. Then we went and changed and warmed up with the bright sun, but I think it is going to be cold tonight to. Well were having pork tender line and cheesy  broccoli. Cheesy broccoli is cheese melted on it yum! Also tonight we're finishing the Pirates of the Caribbean. Well bye am going to go back to reading more Anne Frank bye. oiHbb

It is not all fun and games for Sarah since she still has school work to do everyday as part of her home schooling studies. Ann works with her every morning on the work Sarah has to complete each day. Sometime I help out with the math but Sarah does most of it all by herself. She gets Saturday and Sunday off but she gets no snow days! Look at some of the examples of 7th grade math, remember this from your school days?

The place to eat in Marathon - fresh fish of all types
The wind is still blowing with the only difference being the direction, more westerly. We have another day to wait out the weather to get a north wind for sailing to Key West, hopefully on Wednesday. The anchorage is still packed but so far everyone is holding, even in 20 kt winds although the guy right in front of us did drag some today (or course, only the one directly ahead of us...) So far he's now holding. 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Marathon - at anchor

Sarah's iguana
Sarah's Blog

Today I left Caesar's creek at 7:10 and we went off to Marathon and we had some bagels. Then I sat around and started drawing I drew a iguana that turned out pretty good. I colored it in with pastels and then made Hobbes  from Calvin & Hobbes that turned out really good, then I just slept. We  had both sails and the diesel running at the same time. I also amused myself by looking for lobster pots too. 

Then we arrived at Marathon and found a spot to anchor and we did. Then we found out we were to close to a near by sail boat so then we went farther back. Now were settled in and the sun set is so cool! Picture a bunch of clouds then bright orange every where like the sun just exploded, thats what it look like. There are a bunch of sail boat here that is why we had to move and it was hard to find a good spot. I am going to do some more drawing and were having scrambled eggs with sausage and biscuits too. Well bye going to do some more drawings bye.oiHbb

Hoolie's always eager for shore duty
Due to high winds and seas we were only able to make Caesar's Creek on Saturday which left us with a 75 mile day on Today, Sunday. We were blessed with 20 kt winds out of the north, directly aft of us so we had a push all the way to Marathon. We couldn't leave early since we had to make it over the bar on the ocean side. Still, we make the distance in 9 hrs 15 min, that's an average speed of 8.1 kts (9.3 mph). 

Love those Florida Keys sunsets! It was actually more brilliant than this
It was a very long day  but we're super happy to get to Marathon. Now we are only one day away from Key West, a hop we plan on making Wednesday, the 28th, our scheduled day to start our month's stay. We found that Marathon is full up. There are no mooring available and there's even a waiting list! That's with over 226 moorings! Fortunately, they still have an anchorage area which is where we are though it's crowded. We plan on just staying on our anchor and not try to get a mooring and save our $22/day fee. 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Caesar's Creek - at anchor by the Ranger station

Sarah found herself a coconut
Sarah's Blog

This morning we had yummy pancakes with bacon too. Then we took off to Caesar's Creek and started about 10:30 and went. There were huge waves which I thought were super fun to go up and down on. I played with my Lego's and read some Calvin and Hobbes. I didn't have to work today because my mom said I could get a day off which was great. Then we came in and the current was strong but we were able to anchor. Then we went in to the dink and when we clipped off we started drifting away then the motor started and we went to a tiny dock. Then we went into the this little park you can only get to by boat and it was cool. We followed a path and it was a nice big area with trees. Some were palm trees and I checked for coconuts we found one but it wasn't good. Then I found a big old palm tree branch and pitted it up. It was very heavy too, then I ran to palm trees to see if they had coconuts. then I found my coconut! It had milk in it too, and we brought it back to the boat. Then we went back to the boat and shake my coconut to make sure it still had its milk in it. We're going to have sweet and sour chicken tonight for dinner. Well bye going to shake my coconut some more bye.

Looking at the radar this morning I saw displayed a rather dangerous storm approaching with lightning and lots of red, not good. However, as we continued to watch the radar (every few minutes...) the storm gradually dissipated, to my surprise. With that we hauled anchor at 10:00 and started out. We had to time our approach to Caesar's Creek so we hit the entrance at exactly high tide. It's very shallow so we needed all the help we could get. With a 1.6 ft high tide we saw 5.8 ft over the bar, enough for our 4' 9" draft. 

There's a ranger station with a dock that's great for taking Hoolie ashore - and they have exhibits all around
Caesar's Creek is very well protected from the high winds (we saw 36 kts peak gust today) but we kept to Biscayne Bay and didn't have a problem. In the creek, the current is very strong with a peak of 2.2 kts! The boat is looking like it's making good headway while at anchor. With three of us in the dinghy, I had to go full throttle to make progress to the Ranger Station boat dock against the current. 

Sunday will be a 70 mile day, about 10 hours to make the trip to Marathon. It's predicted to be a good run with winds on the aft quarter (as long as they don't change the forecast!) and we should get in around 6:00 pm. We'll sit there for a couple of days due to more foul weather but we see a window approaching on Wednesday which we'll use to make our 1/28 arrival date. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Marine Stadium at Miami - Last day

Just a beautiful area for walking along the water's edge at Marine Stadium
Sarah's Blog

Today I started my day for a walk and when we came up to the dock and we saw a dog that is a stray and has no collar on. We went on our walk and then the stray just sat there waiting. Then had a yummy breakfast and I started in on my work then had lunch. Then I played in the dink some more with Hoolie. It is very windy today is one of the reasons we didn't go today but we are on Saturday. We went on a walk again and the dog was still there in the same spot. I thought that it was so sad  he came up to us but we just kept on walking. We have tried all we can though, any way I practiced my piano for a good 30 minutes and now going to play some more. I don't want to name the dog because I would get sad about it and he may have one. We are having chicken tonight and rice yum. Oh and don't worry we give the dog a little dog food and water. Well bye going to play in the dink bye!oiHbb

It looks like Saturday will be a very windy day with gusts to 20 to 30 kts but off land. with that we'll start out down Biscayne Bay which is mostly protected, especially from west winds and make the transit through Caesar's Creek at high tide which we need, it's very shallow. Then we have to decide whether to anchor in Caesar's Creek for the night or continue onward to Rodriguez Key which is wide open to the east and south. If the weather barons are correct, we're to get a northwest wind over night which would be directly off land for the anchorage - which is good - but it's at 15 to 20 kts. So we have to balance out the shorter distance to Marathon by continuing on to Rodriguez Key and suffering perhaps through the night or a much longer day on Sunday to reach Marathon. We won't make the final decision until we actually pass through Caesar's Creek and take or not take the anchorage there. We're due in Key West on Wednesday. 

We enjoy the view of Miami every night, stunning in person
Meanwhile we explored the adjacent land in Marine Stadium. There's an excellent running and walking path right along the water's edge. We made two trips to enjoy the scenery and found a stray dog with a sad look that had no collar and looked for all the world like he was left behind by somebody. He was friendly but lonesome. We left some dog food and water and called the local animal control office but they didn't seem too interested, but we tried. 

We'll leave around 10:00 am on Saturday to time our arrival at Caesar's Creek at high tide. We need every bit of that tide to make it through. Hopefully the wind wizards will grant us a good passage to Rodriguez Key and the anchorage there. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Marine Stadium at Miami - Waiting for weather

Sarah spotted the iguana first, otherwise we would have missed it
Sarah's Blog

Today I had breakfast and then started on my home work and finished by lunch then me and Hoolie went to go play in the dink and went around the boat instead of just pushing off. Then we went out looking for iguana. I spotted first one and the second Nana named one Iggy and I named the other one Spike then we went a way and Nana spotted number three. He was the biggest one and on a tree branch I named him Hugo. We also saw this tiny sail boat and it really flies in the air only a foot and then goes down. Then I went into the dink and tied it to the side of the boat and then read Anne Frank for a while and sat in the shade. Then I made some of my famous lemonade and we drink the lemonade that felt refreshing because its really hot but I really can't complain am in Florida in winter what's better then that!  For dinner tonight we are having cheese burgers yum, with beans too, and full of sesame seed buns I can't wait. Well bye going to play in the dink and watch the beautiful city lights of Miami bye! oiHbb

The hydrofoil sailor always amazes me
We are devouring weather reports. Mainly we rely on grib forecasts. They seem to be ahead of and more reliable than the coastal forecasts. So now the outlook is to sail down Biscayne Bay on Saturday in 15 to 20 kt winds and overnight at Caesar's Creek before continuing on to Marathon on Sunday. The run to Marathon will be about a 10 hour day but the wind is due to  be on our aft quarter so we ought  to be able to sail some, we hope. The only way we can get into Caesar's Creek is on an absolute high tide with our 4' 9" draft but the tide gods are with us so it ought to be possible. 

We counted sailboats from five countries practicing today
Today we took a tour of the harbor and saw iguanas, an osprey and a great heron. Some idiot was doing wheelies all day long in a jet ski! This was in an area where they were training for the Olympics with multiple sailing skiffs and shells out. What an idiot1 We could barely hear ourselves think not to mention the rocking of the boat. It's quiet now, the idiots go to bed early I guess. 

Typical Florida sunset
So Friday is another layover day before taking off on Saturday for Caesar's Creek. Hopefully the forecast holds, no guarantees. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Marine Stadium at Miami - at anchor

Government Cut was crazy with boats coming and going! This guy was right ahead of us. 
Sarah's Blog

Today we left Ft Lauderdale and set out at 8:10 and I mostly slept most of the way and now we're here at Marine Stadium. First thing we got here I had an egg sandwich as you can see I love because I have had it for a long time every day. Then I put on my swim suit and went swimming on the back of the boat. First I did was a canon ball then tried on my snorkel gear and they worked great then I notice that they were more dolphins in the water if they were just headed my way I could of swim with then but they didn't come to close. I named then Swift and Peace they both mean swiftly and peacefully there just so calming to watch.  Then me and Hoolie both played in the dink again and we got to watch them closer it was awesome. Just close your eyes and picture a sunny afternoon with the sun all most down and then dolphins going gracefully in the water up and down up and down isn't it calming that's what I felt like watching them. Now I did my work a little late and did it when we were getting diesel and then we came back and going to wait for better weather we might leave on Saturday that's fine with me as long as we get to Key West. Well bye going to play in the dink and looking for Swift and Peace bye!oiHbb

Training for the Olympics
We left Ft Lauderdale and had a bridge to make at 8:30 which we barely did and made our way out into the Atlantic. It was a calm day, the reason we chose that day for going south, and upon reaching Government Cut in Miami we briefly played with the idea of continuing on to Rodriguez Key which we would not have reached until 6:00 pm. We hemmed and hawed and eventually decided to just anchor in Marine Stadium instead. Now we have to wait for weather since Thursday is a good day but the rest of the week has strong winds out of the west, not the usual direction and not good for going west! 

We're starting to see more sunsets as we head south
So here we are in Marine Stadium waiting for weather. The next window doesn't appear to be coming until Sunday or Monday of this week. We're due in Key West on Wednesday which is three days away from here! Needless to say, we'll be watching the weather closely: grib and marine weather mostly. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Ft Lauderdale - Last day

Sarah and Hoolie had great fun just messing around in the dinghy
Sarah's Blog

I started off today with a walk we saw a lot of coconuts in the water today. Also this morning we saw iguana in the water, it was a dead baby and nana said that the moms are really big! When we got back I did some work and read more Anne Frank am really driving though it am on page 156. Then I made a egg sandwich with egg, cheese, and a bun covered in sesame seeds yum. Then I made some peanut butter cookies today yum1 they turned out great and Nana let me have a sample one too. Today I was bored and I didn't want to do any more work so I played in the dingy. I would tie the rope to a pole and the set it out so I would go out. It was fun when Hoolie came in though he wasn't going too far. Finally when we came in the dingy we went to shore. Took a nice walk around the marine and the came back to find even more coconuts! Am going coconuts for coconuts but Nana said that we will get one some where. Now am going to play in the dink more oh and we are trying a recipe tonight that I found on a box. Its Mac n cheese with sweet red and green peppers and sausage too, well bye going to play in the dink with Hoolie bye.oiHbb

We started the day with our morning walking and running which is much easier to do in 70 degree weather! Some people think we're on vacation all the time but actually our home just moves around a lot. We don't shovel snow off our driveway nor wear heavy clothing going out but we still have to maintain our "house", Fleetwing. So today it was cleaning the inside of the boat to ensure mildew doesn't get established and ridding the boat of dog hair, an on-going project along with doing laundry. 

We've seen these groups all up and down the ICW - you rent a Segway and ride around with a guide - looks like fun
Sarah had her school work to do, a daily project and she's trying to get ahead so when Aunt Carrie visits in February, she won't have to spend time away from her cousins. So far she's only one day ahead, not enough. 

On Wednesday we head south to Marina Stadium and it looks like a perfect day for going outside with little wind and not much wave action, good for Sarah. Hopefully, Government Cut won't be closed (like it is sometimes when big ships come in). We never know until we actually arrive outside Miami. '

Monday, January 19, 2015

Ft Lauderdale - at a mooring

The beach
Sarah's Blog:

Today we started off early because we had to go under 15 whole bridges that open. We had donuts this morning because we couldn't get then on Sunday they were glazed raspberry filled yum! As a donut lawyer I loved them and take my very work seriously. See it's hard to go through 15 whole bridge because you have to contact them on the radio and see when they open, it could be an hour or 20 minutes you never know. 

Sarah found her spot on the boat!
Then I took a nap because I went to sleep at 11:00 a clock because I didn't feel to good but now I do. we finally got to Ft Lauderdale, and took a walk. I saw the famous beach it was hard to fully take it in because they was so many people more than ocean city boardwalk! My favorite part was going under the bridge, see I loved the waves when they were really big we would go up and down up and down it was so much fun! We also saw a bunch of coconuts in the water, I guess they just fall in there which I thought was pretty cool. Now we're back at the boat and going to have a really yummy dinner too.  Well bye off to look for more coconuts in the water.

A bit of a sunset behind the boat
Oh the  bridges! We managed to make every bridge without waiting except one. We missed that bridge by 5 minutes. We didn't want to come down on a Sunday since you never want to do the trip on a weekend but then we forgot that Monday was MLK day! The ICW was alive with all the crazies. They turn left, right, stop - all without looking back. I had to do a quick stop of the boat twice to avoid a collision. 

Right behind the boat - they like to wrap all the palm trees in lights at Ft Lauderdale
When we reached Ft Lauderdale we found the mooring field almost empty. I guess the $45/day rate scares a few people away. Since we only come by twice a year, we'll put up with it for the convenience of easy laundry and a protected dinghy tie up. We took a walk through town and it was crowded as usual, including the beach with the temps in the high 70's. On Tuesday we'll do laundry, the last we'll do until Key West and the next day head south again to Marine Stadium

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Loggerhead Marina - Provisioning and Joe's for dinner

Just a fabulous day!
Sarah's Blog

Today I woke up then we had some yummy pancakes and sausage with fresh maple syrup. Then we got ready to go shopping and then went to Captain Joe's place and I went to the pool there! I got to try my new waterproof camera which works great. I got to take some pictures of me under water. I swam in the pool for two hours I didn't know how long! It was a nice pool and there were only me and a lot of seniors. They were nice and got to meet one from Ireland I thought was cool and he spoke like he was from Ireland too. Then we came back and had dinner with one of Joe's friend and had yummy brownies for dessert. Off to go for a journey so bye.oiHbb

Today was provisioning day for the rest of the trip to Key West. There's no convenient stop before then except possibly at Marathon but even there it's a mile walk to the nearest supermarket. Joe was good enough to pick us up again and cart us around to Winn Dixie and Sam's Club. It's true that Sam's Club has the best prices but they have such large sizes that it's difficult shopping there for us. Ann wanted to buy a rotisserie chicken and two side dishes of salads. The 3 lb chicken was fine but the smallest potato salad and coleslaw sizes were 5 lbs each!  So we do most of our shopping at either Walmart or a local supermarket. 

Monday is our challenge of 14 bridges in about 30 miles. Hopefully we can get in sync and make them all. When we miss it's usually due to an adverse current, sometimes up to 1 to 1.5 knots! We're aiming for the mooring field at Ft Lauderdale as the most convenient for us even though the price went up to $45/night. They have good laundry facilities and we'll need that by Tuesday. So far Wednesday looks good for the outside run down the coast to Miami and Marine Stadium.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Loggerhead Marina near Hypoluxo

We were buzzed at Jupiter Island, home of millionaires
Sarah's Blog:

Today I had breakfast then we hit the road early because we had to go through 12 bridges that have to open! So we have to wait and see when they open it and wait for it. I worked on some poetry and then read a bunch of my book called Anne Frank, very interesting. Then captain Joe picked us up  and we went to a pizza party. We met two of his friends and they were nice and we had my favorite pizza Papa Johns. I had three pieces of pizza and some ice tea. Then we left and went back to the boat and were settling in for bed soon bye off to more fun.oiHbb

One of 12, some slow to open, some quick - this one was very slow
We are finally entering a period of warm weather with temperatures in the high 70's, at last. Today was the first of two days of bridges with 12 today and 15 on Monday. For the most part they are spaced so they can be made without waiting but not today. You will occasionally meet the bridge operator who will demand that you be exactly at the bridge exactly at the appointed time. Nevermind that it always takes three minutes to run through the opening sequence (lower gates, sound alarm, raise the bridge). We ran into one such operator today, what a pain. However, we made the rest of the bridges on time but had to run at 8 kts for one stretch to barely make it. 

Nice place here at Loggerhead Marina - Condos are part of the layout
We had intend staying at Palm Beach Yacht Center but found that they were full when we called so we bounced off to Loggerhead Marina, a few miles north. We called Joe Mastri and he picked us up for a pizza party at his condo and catching up on things PYC and local news. We'll be here for another day to provision with Joe's help and then head to Ft Lauderdale on Monday.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Hobe Sound - at anchor

Nice anchorage
Sarah's blog,

Today I went on a walk with Nana and brought my camera so I took some pictures of the garden and I got some great picture. Then we had breakfast and said  bye to Stuart! I worked on some more work and then we arrived to where we anchored. I try out for a part I really wanted in the East Hampton sound of Music, I tried out on video and heard back to day that I can't be in it because I was a home schooler and it was a high school play and they wanted the children part for children so its only East Hampton schoolers. I was sad because I had a really good chance at getting it and I love the movie. At least I know I want to try for bigger parts and not in the back up. At least it will be cool to see the play with people I know too. After that I watched  The Missing Lynx it was a great movie. Were going to have tacos tonight that I love so bye out for another cool day.

It was a sad day for Sarah. She tried out for the school play via iPad videos I uploaded to her mother but was told a couple of days later that she wasn't eligible because she was a home schooler. I find it hard to justify that logic since her parents continue to pay full school taxes, they get no discount for not using school facilities for one of their children! Besides, what does it matter!? She's gone to school every year until this year, she's been in plays in the past and she was invited to apply by the head of the drama class. 

Sort of okay, a first sunset for awhile
After that upsetment, we shoved off from Stuart late morning and dropped anchor around 1:00 pm, a short day. It's blowing 15 to 20 kts  but we're snug and our 70 lb anchor is holding fast (as it always does). On Saturday we have 12 bridges to pass through that have to open for us.  Based on past experience, if we maintain 7 kts, we'll make them all without having to wait. The bridge opening times are staggered for that speed, like properly timed traffic lights. If you can't hold 7 kts, then you're going to miss a few of them and wait between opening times, typically 1/2 hour. It's due to be 10 degrees warmer tomorrow, cool today!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Stuart - We do Bridge and Dinner with Bill and Sharman Fitchett

Sarah, hard a work - no snow days down here!
Sarah was not able to do her nightly blog tonight. We were over at Bill and Sharman Fitchett's condo all afternoon playing bridge followed by eating out. We didn't get back to the boat until 9:00, too late for Sarah's blog. She'll resume her blog Friday night. However, she didn't miss a beat in her studies. She has very good habits in applying herself to her school work.

62 F may sound warm to northerners - but with a 15 kt wind, it can be cool
As I mentioned, we had our once per year bridge tournament with the Fitchetts. We rotate bridge partners, a practice that keeps harmony between spouses. It was great fun and we need to keep our annual tournament going. It has turned quite cold here with a 15 to 20 kt wind with a 62 F temp. Unfortunately, the restaurant we ate at only had outside seating available for our use and with the wind blowing, we all wore coats for dinner. The food was excellent (ahi tuna, rare) but windy. 

It was all great fun but now it's time to move on. We'll head south again Friday and aim for the Hobe Sound anchorage that night before continuing on to Mastri's area on Saturday. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Loggerhead Marina at Stuart

Sarah has a long walk  back to the boat with Hoolie
Sarah's Blog:

I started off this morning with some yummy French toast and bacon. Then we started heading out to Stuart Florida, I did some work. Then I sat and looked at all the bridges we went under and the big house. I also saw more pelicans drying their wings in the sun. I tried to look for any more dolphins but I didn't find any more. It was also fun to wave to the passing boats and rock with the waves of the fast speed boats too. 

When we arrived the marina was really close to this big bridge and a train track too. Me and Grandpa went to the office also with Hoolie. It started by walking on the docks and then under the bridge after that we followed a path with all kinds of tropical plants I think is really cool, then pass the swimming pool pass the condos then follow a little path to the office. It was a long walk but on the way back a train passed by with 15 cars I counted, there were probably more I just started counting at the end. I also see a lot a people bike on to the docks which always makes me so nervous if they will fall right into the water. The plants I saw one was it looked like in the movies when they fan their king with a kind of palm tree leaf but not. Then picture a brush with all the fall colors on it, cool right! Then when we came back to the boat I saw a jelly fish with stingers, its the first one I saw with stingers. For dinner we're having salmon yum bye off to more excitement! 

The bridge here is like a sculpture  
It was supposed to be a calm day but the wind picked up out of the north which was fine since we were headed south! We clocked winds over 20 kts and we even sailed for awhile. There's no trace of antifreeze in the bilge so it must have been associated with letting the hot water tank cool off when we were up north for two months and something let go during the cool down cycle. There's been no repeat since. I had to clean the paddle wheel on the knotmeter but that's regular occurrence every couple of weeks. Lots of marine, small animals like the paddle wheel for some reason. 

The pleasant surprise today was the bill for taking on diesel, it was only $2.67 a gallon! That compares to my last fill up in October at $4.09 a gallon. Love that fracking oil! The marina here no longer accepts liveaboard due to local ordinances. There's no problem with us staying only two days but it's a shame to lose the facility for long term boaters. You can still leave your boat, you just can't live on it. 

On Thursday we're looking forward to a visit with Bill and Sharman Fitchett. They have a condo down here and I'm sure we'll play some bridge too. On Friday we'll head south again and overnight at the Hobe Sound anchorage before continuing on to see Joe Mastri on Saturday. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Vero Beach Marina

A very protected mooring field at Vero Beach
Sarah's Blog for today:

Today I woke up to the boat going we went to Vero beach bright and early. For breakfast we had bagels  and then I worked all morning and a little after lunch. Then we arrived at Vero beach, but before that I saw  three dolphins I named them Alice, Blu, and Mia. Then we went on the dinghy docks and went for a walk and I got to feel Spanish moss. Then I got to guide the dinghy for half the ride back I think I did pretty good since summer. Now were going to settle in and were going to head out in the morning. Bye got to go look for manatees.

We had a 65 mile day so I got up before sunrise and took Hoolie ashore and prepared the boat for departure. We had  been tied up for over two months so there were a lot lines to untie. To avoid one of those "why are we stopping?" moments, we spell each other on counting lines attached to mother earth. Sure enough I was ready to go when Ann saw one more line attached to the bow. That would have stopped us! So after taking care of that line, we finally got off at 7:30. One also has to beware of fenders hanging overboard. They can get wedged between a piling and the boat when backing out (not that we've ever done that...) and it acts as an excellent brake on the boat, not good. 

There's a winter population here of boaters - a very well known marina among snowbirds
Getting underway, the day could not have been better for heading south with warm winds pushing us and we even had a following current. Arriving at the Vero Beach City Marina we even found an empty mooring, a rare thing during the high season of January. The marina has a policy of doubling up on moorings but there was one empty one and we immediately took it. 

The marina here advertises itself as "Vero Beach, where the tropics start" so we're officially in warm weather territory (hopefully). On Wednesday it's off to Stuart and a visit to the Fitchetts.