Friday, November 26, 2010

Florida Keys here we come

Tuesday, mid day, we motored out to the anchorage behind No Name Harbour (that's it's name, No Name)from our home for the last two days at Coconut Grove, so we could get a before dawn start into the Keys to an anchorage behind Shell Key where we will spend Thanksgiving and Black Friday. (no shopping crowds here!)
It was a beautiful start on a calm pre-dawn morning and we were treated to our first of many beautiful sunrises in the Keys. It was so great to be out in the crystal clear blue waters of the Atlantic again. We arrived at Shell Key late that afternoon after going through a very shallow Indian Key Channel (we never saw less than six inches under us. Hey, we never touched!) and then were treated to our first of many Keys sunsets. (time to blow the conch horns)

September Song (YIPPEE! In the Keys again) out

While we were sitting in the pilot house Tuesday morning, we notice this guy paddling (no motor on the boat) into the harbour. This is his home (galley, salon, and state room under the gray tarp) and I'm sure everything he owns is on that boat he lives on.

Sunrise over the Atlantic

Back in the crystal clear blue waters of the Atlantic again

Our first Keys sunset at anchor behind Shell Key
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Thanksgiving on the water

Thanksgiving on the water is a great way to spend the day. We are so thankful for each other and we are so lucky to be able to do what we both love.
The morning was spent in our pj's watching the parade (yes, we have TV when at anchor) and Stephanie doing some pre-Thanksgiving prep work. Later in the morning, and after Cassie and Godiva watched the National Dog Show, (they were rooting for the wolf hound) we put Half Note in the water and went out to explore the amazing mangrove tunnels.
What a great day to be out exploring. The girls were so excited to get out on Half Note again, and they loved exploring the tunnels.
After returning to September Song it was time for the turkey to go on the rotisserie and Stephanie to finish preparing a FABULOUS Thanksgiving dinner. She is such a great cook. After finishing dinner and a bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau (the new wine) it was time to kick back and reflect on the day and all the things we are thankful for. We have our health, great cruising friends and family, doing what we love, cruising, and we have each other, the most important thing of all. (and of course the puppies) Yes, they also got a little turkey.

September Song (happy Thanksgiving to all) out
Bob and Stephanie

Wildlife on our way to the Mangrove tunnels

Entering the tunnel area

Mangroves are an amazing tree, or are they a plant? They are home to many species of fish and birds. They serve as a nursery and stand strong against storms and protect the coast.

"Are you sure we can make it through?" "No problem!"
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Godiva keeping watch

Cassie watching for fish

Out of the tunnels and into the open mangrove creeks

September Song waiting for her family to return to celebrate Thanksgiving
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Stephanie hard at work in the galley preparing a fabulous Thanksgiving dinner.

The turkey is cooking on the rotisserie

Things coming out of the oven

Voila! A great thanksgiving dinner prepared by the Admiral, Chef, and my love. Thanks honey for making our Thanksgiving so special.
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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Beauty and the Beasts

The Seas were predicted to be 5 to 7 feet for the next several days, so we decided to take the inside route. (ICW) The ICW is a great way to travel up and down the East Coast when it is to rough to go out into the ocean, and the stretch between Palm Beach and Miami is one of the more interesting sections with all the HUGE beautiful homes, HUGE yachts, (hundreds of them) cruise ships in port, and great cities you pass right through the center of (the beauty), but the bridges (the beasts) are a pain in the butt. We could pass under a few of them with the antennas down, but we needed to have 19 open for us. Having a bridge open isn't a big thing when they are on demand, but the bridges in this stretch are on a schedule. Some open on the hour, some on the half hour, some on the quarter hour, and others open on the three quarter hour. If you get there too early you have to hold your position in a narrow channel with other boats and wait. We try to time them, but you have no wake zones, slow minimum wake zones, manatee zones, and you don't know where they are until you get to them. We do know how far the next bridge is, so we can do speed and distance planning if it weren't for the different speed zones. Well, you get the picture. Speaking of pictures, I have a ton for you that we took through this stretch of the ICW. Now you know what I meant by the beauty and the beasts

September Song (a love hate stretch) out

The first of 19 bridges we had to have raised between Palm Beach and Miami. It takes us two full days to go 70 nautical miles.

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No, that's not a multi-family, it's a single family home.

It's warm down here

Believe it!
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You never know what you are going to see on the ICW

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Busy day on the water.
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No, that's not a hotel, it's the side of the ship
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