A Travellerspoint blog

Four Days, Three Nights


We probably could have made it to Key West in three and two, but since we passed the magic climate line that separates cold from warm, what's the hurry?

The morning we left Miami we took pictures. PC280010.jpg If Carol and I look about the same height, it's because Carol is standing in the dirt at the base of the tree and I'm on the sidewalk. She is very smart about some things. She also noted that this was the first time that shorts were appropriate for the day's trip.

The marina was beautiful that calm Monday morning. Sunride_at.._Marina.jpg I love this picture and it is my desktop background for now. An interesting thing: I posted this picture to the website the day that we left Miami. The next day there was a message from a guy in Australia telling me how much he like the colors. Go figure! I guess that's why it's called the world wide web.

Of course, Miami is just across Biscayne Bay.PC280006.jpg.

The Dinner Key Marina was interesting, probably the biggest one in which we've stayed, bigger than even the one in Charleston at least in the number of boats; the boats aren't as big because Biscayne Bay is relatively shallow. At the literal end of dock three, on which we stayed, was the Miami City Hall, an odd place for such a building. Turns out that in its earlier days the building was the seaplane terminal for Pan Am's flights to South America.There were some wonderful, old black and white pictures of planes and a time never to be seen again.

After we left the marina and crossed Biscayne Bay, we headed out the Biscayne Channel. It cuts through an area called Stiltville, where there were once many houses like this, PC280013.jpg, including one owned by Carol's uncle which she visited many times. Now, most appear to be unlivable; no new ones can be built, but the old ones are grandfathered until a hurricane blows them away or they rot and fall.

As we exited Biscayne Channel there is the light house at Crandell Park on Key Biscayne, a place Carol visited a lot in her youth.PC280015.jpg

We had planned to stay Monday night in a place called Caeser Creek, maybe for Julius or Syd. There was a shoal across the creek opening so we backed away and went a few hundred yards away to anchor for the night. If the ADA, not the dentists but the Anchoring Dummies Assoc., has an award for 2008, we may not win but we're going to be contenders. Two different anchors and an untold number of tries and we couldn't get an anchor to set. The sand was very soft and neither of our two types of anchors would set without pulling. Of course, one of the two anchors I sold just before we left Oriental would have been just perfect for that particular bottom.

And to add to the anchoring chaos, there was this. We have started pulling the dingy and have two lines to it. One of the things that you don't want to have happen, when in reverse, which happens a lot during anchoring, is pulling the lines into the propeller. So, I put floats on the lines; then I tested them, then I tried them and then I used them. And, they worked perfectly until they didn't and 30-ft. of very good 3/8-in. nylon line got shredded and turned into a sailor's version of the Gordian Knot. I think that we can take the ADA trophy, hands down.

Tuesday night we anchored near Key Largo at Rodriguez Key. Going into Key Largo would have been a long bouncy boat ride on a windy day and Carol still didn't feel 100%, so we stayed on the boat. You have to know that Carol is not feeling well when she passes up a chance to eat out.

Anchoring was event neutral, but maybe not very effective. Wednesday, the last day of the old year we saw this as we pulled up the anchor.Sunrise_in_Key_Largo.jpg. Carol and I have both noted that we hope that we are never so jaded that we are not in awe of the natural beauty such as this.

The bit of good news is that having cleaned the refrigerator coils, our Ah (amp hour) consumption is down significantly, a good thing. And the solar panels give us about 6 really good hours, on a cloudless day, of battery charging. This gives me hope that we will learn to manage this resource.

We stayed New Year's Eve in Marathon, in Boot Key Harbor, which I thought was really neat. The have a mooring field of +200 mooring balls (a mooring balls is a float with a pendant onto which a boat ties at the bow; the float is attached to a heavy weight). Since the field is laid out in a grid, the masts of about 200 sailboats were stacked like pickets. When the wind shifted all the boats moved as one as if in a nautical danse macabre. Anyway, it looked more interesting than I can describe.

Seeing all those boats, knowing that everyone was an indulgence, it struck me as ironic that every crew had the lights out in a discipline of denial to save battery power.

On New Year's day we left Boot Key Harbor at first light and headed for Key West. At about 8:30 a.m. we passed Ohio Key, where Sue and Jay are staying. So, we gave them a call; they got into their truck and drove to a bridge to see us go by. We were easy to pick out; we're about the only boat moving today.

This afternoon we'll moor in Key West.

Posted by sailziveli 11:19

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Yea! What a net thing...of course I do not "get" all the boating or sailing stuff but all sounds good! Hope you are in Key West reading this. Guess we will not see you there! Going to NC later this week to take Taylor back to Raeford...should be gone about 10 days. Love, Jean (PS got message about package but now am not sure what I am supposed to do!)

by jtbell112

Yea! What a neat thing...of course I do not "get" all the boating or sailing stuff but all sounds good! Hope you are in Key West reading this. Guess we will not see you there! Going to NC later this week to take Taylor back to Raeford...should be gone about 10 days. Love, Jean (PS got message about package but now am not sure what I am supposed to do!)

by jtbell112

Nice pics, Russ. Happy New Year to you and Carol.

Fair winds,

by r22driver

Hey Russ

Great Blog, keep up the good work!
I hope nature is always kind to you! And gives you, Full Sails, and Calm Waters!
Be safe and take care of you, and my, Big Sis, Carol!!!
Much Love!!


Check with Carol for the sake of correct names, I think it was called ,Stiltsville as if built on stilts!
And I also think the Park, was called Crandon Park!
I will always look forward to your next entry!

Good Sailing

by wk2

Great pics and wonderful commentary. Always appreciate your ability to find just the right words in multiple languages. I'm afraid I may have guessed the celebrity boat you saw based on the recent news from the Bahamas. Sad deal all around.
Good wind and calm seas.

by dfry0

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