Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

As 2008 comes to an end, I give thanks for a fabulous year on September Song and the wonderful time Me, Stephanie, Godiva, Cassie and of course Pica (RIP, we miss him)have had. We have so many wonderful memories of all the time we have spent on the water, the quiet times at anchor, the places we have traveled to and explored, and the people we have met along the way. It has been a year that dreams are made of.
We look forward to 2009 with excitement and anticipation. We have so many places yet to explore.
I hope you enjoy sharing our travels as much as we enjoy sharing them with you.

September Song (looking forward to 2009) out
Happy New Year
Bob, Stephanie, Cassie, and Godiva

Pretty fish

Everyone ready to blow their shell horns as the sun sets for the last time in 2008

My love waiting for sunset

The sun says goodbye to 2008
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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A day for us kids

Today Mom and Dad promised to take us to a beach. We finally left after waiting and waiting. The trip was neat and we were so excited we almost fell in. The wait was worth it. The beach was great and there were some nice people that didn't mind us splashing. One guy had a hot dog but wouldn't share no matter how cute we looked. Dad and mom did share some of their snack. It was great playing in the water and riding in Half Note. When we got back we were so tired we had to take a nap. Then we got an ice cream sandwich. Thanks, Dad! It was so much fun, can we do it again tomorrow, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE. Dad was getting his fishing stuff ready when we got up from our nap, so I think he wants to go fishing tomorrow. Maybe he will take us with, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, we promise to be quiet and not scare the fish. Cassie promises not to chase them, PLEASE Dad.

September Song (PLEEEASE, PLEEEASE Dad) out
Godiva and Cassie

Are we there yet Dad? Hurry up!

Where are those little guys

Totally tropical Mom

We watched the sunset with Mom And Dad. It was cool. A bunch of people made funny sounds with shells after it set
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Monday, December 29, 2008

Yes! Snapper for dinner

Today we went to the fishing hole. I think the fish were hungry. We went through 16 dozen shrimp! We caught three kinds of snapper, grouper, jack, eel, pig fish, yellow fin, and some other fish we couldn't identify. On a scale of 1 to 10 it was about a 12. Tonight Stephanie sauteed snapper in butter and wine sauce. Nothing quite as good as fresh caught snapper, especially the way Stephanie prepares it. After I cleaned the fish we relaxed on the aft deck with a cool drink. Pinch me, I think I'm dreaming.
We finished the day with cocktails on the front deck and were treated to another beautiful sunset, shell horns and the GREEN FLASH. This is something you only see a few times in your life. For those of you who don't know what a green flash is, it's a flash of bright green just as the last part of the sun disappears on the horizon. It only lasts for about a second, but it is something to see. What a day!

September Song (If this is a dream, DO NOT DISTURB) out

The happy fisherman

This is what happens to the fish you are reeling in when a bigger fish tries to eat it. That was a 13 inch Snapper. how big do you think the other fish was?

We ate this one for supper
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Bryan with a big one

Me reeling in a hog grouper

We had this one for dinner also

Larry, Bryan, and Ted on Bryan's boat
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Four foot eel with big teeth

I got the big one

Is this Paradise or what?

Another perfect end to another perfect day
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Sunday, December 28, 2008

What you do at sunset in the Keys

In the Keys it is a tradition to blow your shell horn at the exact time the sun disappears into the water. Well, it doesn't really, but it looks that way. Everyone gathers on the decks of their boats, and at the exact moment, the horns all sound off. It's pretty cool, but I guess you would have to be here to appreciate it.
Today we went to the Dockside Bar and Grill for their once a month pig roast with two other couples from the Marina. The pig was good and the company was great. After the pig roast we put Half Note in the water and checked out the harbor.
Tomorrow a few of us are going fishing. One of the guys came back with a bunch of snapper and promised to show us the hot spot tomorrow. Fish for dinner tomorrow night. (I hope)

September Song (off to the fishing hole tomorrow) out

A visitor to our slip

We pigged out on the pig roast

That will be me tomorrow
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Some dress for the occasion

Our next door neighbor with an unusual shell horn

September Songs official conch horn blower

The end of another perfect day
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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Good morning from Vaca Key, City of Marathon

Good news! The camera started working again. Must have dried out after its night on Half Note.
We arrived at Vaca Key, City of Marathon yesterday afternoon which will be our base for the next month. Great marina, well protected, and close to everything. West Marine, Home Depot, Publix, and 40 some restaurants all within bike distance. The bus to Key West runs every hour and it is only a buck one way. I am sure we will be taking advantage of that a few times. At 09:00 each day they have what is called Cruisers Net on channel 68 on the VHF radio. He asks for new arrivals, (we gave them our names and boat name) events scheduled for the day and up and coming events, People looking for buddy boats for those headed for the Bahamas, weather report, buy sell trade and free to a good home, etc, etc, etc.
Today's weather is going to be in the low 80's and beautiful, so I think it is time to get out Bee and Bop (the fold up bikes) and check out the area.
I talked with my sister- in-law Rena this week (Ron was rolly bowly bowling, a Belgian game) and she told me about some of the family that were going to be in Florida, including them, over the next couple of months. I hope we can connect, it would be great to see them.
Time to get the bikes out. Don't want to waste a beautiful day.

September Song(peddling my ### around town) out

This was our sunset in our anchorage Christmas evening

September Song in her slip at Marathon Marina

Our view from the front deck of Seven Mile Bridge
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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Exploring on Christmas day

The camera is taking pictures but I can't use the view finder. I just point in the general direction and shoot.
We took Half Note out to the Mangrove Islands and tunnels. It was a good thing we have the new GPS or we would still be out there looking for a way out. The mangrove tunnels are way cool. In some of the areas they go on for a quarter mile or so with the mangroves covering the narrow but deep channel completely. We saw (and Cassie our fisherdog saw) tons of mullet, a small shark, perch, sea trout, and several other species I don't know the name of. After exploring we took the girls to a beach off one of the island to play in the water. Cassie was going nuts, she just knew some of the fish she saw in the channels between the islands were there waiting for her to catch them.
What a way to spend Christmas day! Sun shining, temps in the low 80's, light breezes, lots of places to explore on the water, play time on the beach, and Stephanie is on the back deck trying her hand at fishing. I guess I should go back and show her how, the great white fisherman I am. HA HA
OOPS, Stephanie just called me. She has one on. Gotta run!

September Song (loving life) out

Mangrove tunnels

Mangrove Island

Winding our way through the Mangrove Islands

Lots of wild life on these islands
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The new GPS on half Note. without it we would get lost exploring

Cassie and Godiva playing on Christmas day

As usual, Cassies favorite past time, hunting fish

September Song at anchor
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Christmas morning on September Song

It is a quiet morning in our anchorage. What a wonderful place to spend Christmas. It is a time for us on September Song to remember all those we love and what there morning brings. Rising early, checking to see what Santa has left under the tree, opening packages, Christmas breakfast, celebrating all those traditions we have formed over the years and creating new ones, and enjoying the day they have been looking forward to for weeks. We miss you all this day, but just know we are thinking of you.

September Song (Merry Christmas to all) out
merry christmas everyone!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve on the water

First of all I have to apologize for only one picture. My camera is not working. I changed out the batteries, but no luck. You will have to wait till we get to Marathon Friday and have it checked out or get a new one. (I hate that when that happens)
Today we moved to a new anchorage that has a beach for the girls to play on. (OK, us too) Tonight we are going to celebrate Christmas Eve with a soft shell crab dinner. (YUM) Cassie and Godiva wanted to know if Santa will be able to find us? I assured them that I will leave the anchor light on so he can see us.
The anchorage we are at is just off shore of Lignumvitae (lignumvity) Key. Lignumvitae is Latin for Tree of Life. The Lignumvitae tree is a hard wood tree that was used for ship building many years ago. It is protected now, and this is one of only a few Keys it is found. Christmas day we are going exploring around some of the small uninhabited Keys and grill steaks for dinner on the fly bridge.

From the four of us to all of you, Merry Christmas,
September Song (Christmas afloat) out
Bob and Stephanie
Godiva and Cassie

Are paws OK Dad?
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Monday, December 22, 2008

Someone (?) left the camera on Half Note last night.  So no pictures today. Hope it doesn't blow away...

Cold front

Today the cold front that has had a grip on most of the US hit us here in the Keys. The high today was only 77 degrees. Tuesday and Wednesday's highs will be in the mid 70's with temps returning to the low 80's for Christmas. It isn't all good. We are on a mooring ball off Shell Key with winds 15 to 20 with gusts to 25. Because of the wind we didn't take any trips or do any exploring today. We decided it was time, and a good time, to clean September Song. She is so happy when she gets a good cleaning. (inside only) Poor Half Note is bouncing around like a cork in the waves behind the mother ship. September Song weighs 47 tons so the waves don't affect her as much as our poor little tender that weighs in at around 600 pounds. We will stay here through Christmas and leave Friday for Marathon.

September Song (hoping for calmer winds) out

Saturday, December 20, 2008