Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Miami video should be:
   With engine problems solved we had a beautiful day through the Upper Keys and into Biscayne Bay to Homestead.  We had some company that day which has not been uncommon on the trip.  Dolphins love to play alongside  slow moving boats

   From Homestead we finally made it across Biscayne Bay and past Miami and its craziness on a beautiful Saturday to Ft Lauderdale


   We had decided to tie up at a marina on the New River, which put us right in the center of Ft Lauderdale downtown in the middle of spring break!

   There is plenty of deep water in the river, but so many BIG, BIG BOATS and bridges to go under that John was pretty stressed by the time we docked.  Of course a huge piling next to the boat breaking off in his arms didn't help.

   We met our first "Loopers" and had docktails that evening.  They recognized us as "Looopers" even though we hadn't put out our AGLCA burgee yet. Another custom is for boats to have calling cards to distribute when they meet so I had to hurry up and make some that evening.

   Sunday, I took off for Louis' wedding in Hong Kong and John settled into marina life with a long list of "to dos" on the boat

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Hawks Cay Resort  on Duck Key is a really high end resort and marina but a good place to get a mechanic and get the engine fixed.  We had planned to go up the inside of the Keys, but after coming all the way down from Flamingo we took the first marina we could get to before dark. Which meant we had to cross over into the Atlantic.  We had our first reactions to our boat name, Colorado Cowboy, as we came in a long canal between the breakwater and houses built right on the edge of the key. It was cocktail hour and we could hear people reading the boat name and laughing as we went by.  We also met some people in the marina who saw the name and wanted to know if the boat had ever been in Rifle, Colorado. 
 Engine repair turned out to be just a small clog in the fuel line but while John worked with the mechanic  I did laundry and hung out by the adults only tranquilty pool
Feeling .much better about the boat we headed out on our way north,  two days later.  The bridge we came under in to the Atlantic was a really white knuckle afair only 49 ft wide and 23 feet verticle clearance.  When we winch down the radar mast we need 15.5 ft.  We opted to stay in the Atlantic for a little further and find a much higher bridge going back to the inside.  But staying in the ocean wasn't  really an option for sea sick prone Sally.

                                              first bridge

   Much better bridge  65ft.

A very long but enjoyable day up the inside of the Florida Keys (70 miles and 10 hours ) found us in Homestead Florida  on Friday night and feeling much better about the possibility of getting Sally to the Miami Airport for her flight Sunday  to Louis wedding in Hong Kong

The winds died down a lot and we headed south on Tuesday March7.  It was really bouncy as we worked our way along the Everglades Park boundary.  But bouncing around and trying to avoid crabpots was bad enough until our left engine died.   It would come back intermittently but we ended up limping into Flamingo Florida.  It is really just a park ranger station at the very south end of the Everglades with very shallow water to get into a marina.  We got hung up in the mud once but managed to get off.(  I'll explain later how we figure out how to miss the shoals and shallow water in another post)  John spent the next morning trying to use Skype to phone mechanics to get the engines fixed.  Verizon doesn't work in the Everglades, but the ranger station had a good wifi signal.  when that failed we decided to take our chances on making it to the Keys and left on high tide.  Another long day of 40 miles of wind, chop, mud flats and crab pots and one and a half engines and we were really happy to get to Duck Key.
Finally left Ft Myers on Thursday March 2 and made it to Goodland, just south of Marco Island about 40 miles.  Unfortunately we were just ahead of a big blow with 25 mph winds and 6 foot waves in the gulf of Mexico.  John says we won't sink but we might wish we had.  Think bathtub boat with 4 year olds playing.  We ended up staying for four days.  Beautiful spot and access to Marco Island by bicycle.  But riding in with the wind was one thing, back to Goodland was something else.  But Uber will pick you up with a bicycle.  
Goodland prides itself with on being the spring break capital for the Social Security set.  A thousand people were at a bar listening to music on Sunday.  Of course for the SS set it all starts about 2 pm.
The end of day 1.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

End of our first day on the Loop

A storm is headed our way so we'll probably be here for a couple of days  so I'll have time to tell you all about it tomorrow.  Now for a shower and a beer.