Monday, December 16, 2013

Yes, we're still alive.......

...and we're still having fun! I know its been a while since our last update, so let me try to remember what's been going on. We left Lake Worth, Palm Beach and headed to Boca Raton. One of Bud's customers was nice enough to let us stay at their dock, even though they weren't home. After a long day on the water and 11 bridge openings we were happy to be secured at the dock.

The next morning we were off again, Miami bound! But the weather didn't cooperate and we were forced to stop in South Lake, right off the ICW, around 2:00. There were just too many bridge openings to maneuver any more in the pouring rain. We had already done 13 bridges in 6 hours! Of course a few hours after we were anchored the sun came out again. We are not ones to sit and waste a sunny afternoon, so we hopped in the dinghy and found a happy hour at the closest waterside restaurant.

We had a short day planned for the next day, just a few hours to Miami to meet up with our buddy boat Links! We arrived in Sunset Lake, anchored and still had plenty of time to explore South Beach.

The next day we sailed through Biscayne Bay and stopped at Boca Chica for a few hours. It was a great little park with the cutest light house ever! We were officially in The Keys!

After exploring the small island for a while we moved on to Sands Key for the night. This is where we enjoyed probably the most stunning sunset of our trip so far.

We made our way down the Keys with stops in Key Largo and Islamorada. In Key Largo we did our first snorkeling and we were also treated to a free dolphin show at the dolphin training center there.
We stayed 2 days at Key Largo and then 2 more at Islamorada. While we were anchored, we decided that since we had passed hundreds of crab pots on our way through Florida, there must be tons of crabs around, so we dropped our crab pot. Well, we didn't catch any crabs.

This is what we caught in out crab trap! A nurse shark....what? Isn't that what everybody catches in their crab trap? We also saw some huge manatees and tarpon.
We left Islamorada and headed to the outside, and came down Hawk Channel. The winds started out strong, but then dropped down to a few knots. It was a bit swelly so we started the engine and motor-sailed most of the way to Marathon.
We arrived in Marathon, our home port for the month. We picked up a mooring ball in Boot Key Harbor, at the City Marina. There are almost 300 mooring balls here, and it is like it's own little community. There are showers and laundry facilities, a boaters lounge with internet, a workshop, mail delivery, and it is within biking distance to any store we might need. I can see why some people came for a few days and are still here several years later.
We ran into some friends that we had met back in the Dismal Swamp. There's just some people that you come across and feel like you've known your whole life. Tim, Jill, Beth and John are those people. Maybe it's the Gemini connection!
So, we are definitely making the most of our trip and enjoying every minute, even when it rains!
It's been a little hard to get into the Christmas spirit for me, being so far away from family, but Bud is trying to make the best of it!
 He was a big hit in the Lighted Boat parade, and even won some gift certificates! So, that's about all that's been going on with us. People ask us exactly what we do all day, and sometimes its hard to say. All I know is that we are happy, relaxing, and enjoying our time until we have to come home and work. At least I think we're still coming home!
Love, Jen & Bud