Saturday, December 20, 2008


Islamorada, Fl

Today was another one of those so many days we have had. Great weather, great exploring, and [a little surprise here.] It will have to wait, Stephanie wants to blog about that. We decided to stay here for a few days and enjoy exploring Islamorada. Today Stephanie encouraged me to install a GPS on Half Note because we need to know where we are going. Lots of shallow water and you can get lost out here in the dozens of little Keys. The GPS is kind of like the one for cars, only for water. After installing the GPS we put Half Note in the water and headed for Islamorada. Cassie was going nuts watching the hundreds of huge fish we passed over. (remember, she loves to fish) We had lunch at Islamorada Fish Company where you can bring your pets. Cassie and Godiva thought that was cool. They even got their own bowl of water. After lunch we bought 2 lbs. of fresh stone crab claws for later. Stone crab and lobster season is open and the traps are everywhere. After lunch and a little exploring (a visit to the local bakery) we headed back to the boat. I tried my hand at fishing again, but you will have to read Stephanie's blog about that. The Day ended with cocktails, smoked fish spread, and a beautiful sunset on the front deck. Life is good! :-)

September Song (the big fisherman) out

The view of Shell Key at sunset

Our neighbors in the anchorage

The end to a great day in the tropics
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A little Island music during lunch

Strange to see things in bloom

Islamorada is the Sport Fishing Capital of the World
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Sunrise over Shell Key

Lunch in Islamorada

No need for windows and doors in the Keys

Things are a little different in the Keys. Your dogs can join you at the table
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Friday, December 19, 2008

No fish for dinner tonight

Aquamarine waters of the Atlantic

Here fishy fishy fishy

Coming into Shell Key from the Atlantic
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Today we wound our way through the mangrove islands on Angelfish Creek from the Bay side of the Keys to the beautiful aquamarine waters of the Atlantic. I tried my hand at trolling today while the Admiral was at the helm. Well, to make a long story short, the big one got away. OK, OK, the big one didn't even bite. You just wait, one day you will see a picture of the big one. This was just a practice run.
Tomorrow we may go further South and look for an anchorage with a beach for the girls to play on.

September Song (skunked) out

Winding our way through the mangrove islands to the Atlantic side of the Keys

Winding, winding, winding

How would you like this house on Key Largo?
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Does Santa come to boats too?

September Song is all dressed up for Christmas. Cassie is sleeping next to our Charlie Brown Christmas tree dreaming of what Santa might bring.

Cassie has been a good girl Santa. Yes, Godiva too

Wreath around the ships bell
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Thursday, December 18, 2008

What's a Hooka Max

A Hooka Max is an underwater breathing device that replaces scuba tanks. It is run off a deep cycle 12 volt battery, so it is portable and can be put on Half Note when diving the reefs. Now you know what a hooka is.
Today was a combination work and play day. I dove under the boat and cleaned the props, rudders, and struts. While I was cleaning dozens of fish were feeding on the stuff I was cleaning off. They would also nibble on the critters on my dive suit. (neat) After cleaning and playing with the fish we went to the beach for some playtime and exercise for the girls.
Tomorrow we are going to weigh the anchor early and travel about 50 miles South to a new anchorage at Indian Key.

September Song (headed South) out

What a cutie! (by Stephanie)

Sunset over the anchorage

I forgot this one earlier this week. Miami sky line from the anchorage at night
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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What is a looky bucket?

A looky bucket is a multi-purpose Homer paint bucket I purchased at Home Depot, cut the bottom out and glued a piece of Plexiglas to the bottom, and installed holding ropes. This isn't my idea, it has been used in the Bahamas, Keys and who knows where for who knows how long. It is great for checking on the anchor, looking at the fish and reefs as you float over them, and what ever else you want to look at under the water. Now you know what a looky bucket is. Aren't you impressed?
Today was another beautiful (there's that word again) day with temps in the 80's and lots of sunshine. We hit the beach and did some exploring around the mangrove islands. Tomorrow I think I will get out the Hooka Max. What is a Hooka Max you say? Don't cheat and look back at previous blogs. You will see it tomorrow.
September Song (looky looking) out

This is a looky bucket

Looking at Cassie through the bottom of the looky bucket
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View of the bottom

My big feet under water

If you keep throwing it, I will keep brining it back

Exploring the mangrove islands
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A day to celebrate

Yesterday was our wedding anniversary. It is so great to be married to my best bestest friend, partner, soul mate, lover, and admiral of our ship. Stephanie is the most wonderful woman in the whole world. Sorry ladies, but she is tops.
We decided to move to an anchorage 17 miles south yesterday where there are more beaches for the girls to play on. (us too) As we traveled there was some kind of exercise going on with paratroopers jumping out of a perfectly good transport and landing in the water. Cool. We passed Stiltsville which is an area in Biscayne Bay that people have built small homes on stilts in the shallow flats. What a great getaway and what a great view. The water here is so clear that you can see the bottom in 15 foot of water. It is a little unnerving at first because the bottom looks so close as you travel, but then you look at the depth sounders and you know you are in at least 15 foot of water. This anchorage is a great place so I think we will stay a few days. today, when we go out on Half Note exploring I will take my looky bucket and take some pictures. What is a looky bucket you say? well you will have to wait for my next post. :-)
We finished the day grilling out on the fly bridge and enjoying a wonderful warm evening in the keys.

September Song (celebrating every day) out

Half Note following the mother ship as we travel

They call this Stiltsville in Biscayne Bay

If you look past the dolphins playing in the bow wake you can see the bottom 15 ft. down

Just hanging out
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My love walking the beach

Gin clear water

Cassie says "I can really see the fish in this water"
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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Why would they jump out of a perfectly good plane

Down they come

In the water they go
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