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April 30, 2010

We have added several more photos to this month to acount for the days that we missed, hope that you like them.

The past few days we've been having issues with ATT our internet provider. We received a message that we had exceeded our monthly usage and should not use our air card. This was at the end of the first day of this cycle. I think we have it straightened out, but will be monitoring our usage closely, which may reduce the frequency of our entries until we're sure it is resolved.

We first saw this boat at Boca Chita; they were leaving as we pulled in. Today we both left North Lake Worth together. We followed them through bridge after bridge until we parted ways in Indian River. An unusual steel schooner named Melodeon from Halifax, Canada.

While walking along the beach on the Atlantic side of the ICW; we found this crab who had a nasty habit.

April 29, 2010

On the sail from Ft. Lauderdale to Lake Worth, we kept sailing through schools of flying fish.

They would use their tails get enough speed to be able to leap from the water into the air and then glide up to 50 feet away.

Here's one in mid flight. The picture that we missed was of a bird that swooped down just as the flying fish burst from the water and it snatched one up in mid air! The poor fish aren't safe in the water or out of the water.

April 28, 2010

It was a beautiful day so Rich and I decided to dinghy around looking at boats. We're starting a Picasa album for boat pictures.

This sail boat caught my eye. What a fabulous schoo

Gloria's back end is as preaty as as can be.

These pictures just can't do justice to the quality of the workmanship that this yacht displays.

April 25, 2010

Sailing by Miami... notic the wave? There were 4 to 6 footers out in the ocean that day.

We passed several container ships heading for Miami.

More of the Miami coast line. An endless parade of big buildings and condos.

We passed through group of Portoguese Man of War and I was able to snap this picture.

The wind and the waves picked up throughout the day but we had the wind from behind and the sailing was fast although just a bit rolly.

Cruise ships as we approach Ft. Lauderdale

April 24, 2010

This morning we headed over to South Beach to stock up on groceries and run a few errands.

The high rises along the waterfront were colorful.

Some of the boats along the Miami river were interesting too.

This is something new, a floating gas station!

This sailboat was just fabulous. There must be 10 gal. of varnish on her!

Talk about old versus new...what a difference in these two buildings.

Prime real-estate for a newspaper building.

April 23, 2010

This three-masted schooner was leaving No Name Harbor as we were entering the harbor.

We walked along the path to the Cape Florida Lighthouse. It was built in 1825. It has been restored and is lovely to look at. We were unable to see the inside, perhaps another trip.

The door on the lighthouse dates from 1855 as shown.

An interesting bit of history.

The lighthouse keeper's home

You guessed it - the outhouse.

Storage shed????

A survey marker recovered from the bay.

Information regarding the marker.

See the two little beggars, eventually one of the women gave the squirrel a whole French fry and he scurried away.

Edie wasn't fond of her new perch.

On the way to No Name Harbor; we went by Stiltsville. At one time there was a thriving community of 27 houses built on stilts in the flats off of Biscayne Key. If you are curious about the history of Stiltsville, you can read about it's origins at

Currently there are only seven houses left in the community; prior to 1993 and Hurricane Andrew there were 20 houses still on the flats. Stiltsville has been part of the history of Miami and Biscayne Bay since the 1920s.

Another view of the pink house.

Many of these houses started as fishing shacks for fisherman who came out from Miami.

Another view of the house.

Stiltsville is part of the Biscayne National Park and there are is an organization that is working to preserve the seven remaining houses. You can read more about the preservation effort at or at

April 22, 2010

We sailed to Boca Chita this afternoon. A beautiful sunset to end a lovely day. More pictures to follow on Picasa.

April 21, 2010

We decided to visit Elliot Key which is part of Biscayne National Park which includes several keys and the surrounding waters including parts of Biscayne Bay.

We visited the Elliot Key Ranger Station, but it was not open, so we walked the short trail and waded in the water in the swimming area.

I love dragonflies. There were a lot of these dragonflies flitting around.

These shells were attached to the trunk of a tree on the Hawks Channel side of the Elliot Key. At first we thought they were dead, because when touched they dropped of the trunk and the insides looked all dried up, but within a few minutes the creature inside began to move around. So, I placed them in the water.

This collection of shells was on the path quite a ways from the water. Looking closer we noticed they all contained hermit crabs. We're not sure how the crabs ended up on the path, perhaps someone was collecting them until they noticed the crabs and dropped them there. 

A closer view of one the shells; you can see the crabs legs.

They were several informational boards along the path, but we were unable to read them. The mosquitoes and noseeums were quite active, so we kept walking quickly.

April 20, 2010

Along with Larry and Gail from Tropical Gale Winds, we took our dinghy for a ride through the mangroves around Tarpon Basin. There is a small pool near the center of the mangroves; where we encountered a manatee family. There were at least four manatees swimming in the mangroves; three adults and a juvenile. The juvenile was very curious and came up to our dinghy after we turned the motor off.

The juvenile manatee allowed Rich to touch and pet him/her. The rest of our pictures from manatee encounter are on Picasa. 

April 19, 2010

Once we anchored in Tarpon Basin, Rich started fishing.

He caught this pinfish, but we threw it back because we didn't think it was large enough to keep. It was the only fish he caught!

April 18, 2010

Another Wharram. This one is at a little marina on Lower Matecumbe Key in Islamorada. Next month there is going to a meeting of Wharram in Islamorada.

A view of the side.

This one doesn't have the rudder tied on as others we've seen; it is fastened on with bolts.

The aft view of the boat.

Our other photos from our visit to Islamorada are on Picasa.

April 17, 2010

Several boats left Boot Key Harbor this morning; many heading north up the west coast of Florida and others, like us, heading east toward Miami.

Tecumseh, beat us out of the harbor as they headed out to go east up the Hawk's Channel. We were still getting ready. Because of their boat's depth, they had to go out the west channel of the harbor while we will go out the south channel, Sister Creek, (the short cut to the ocean).

20 miles of BAD wind & waves later, (it was really rough!) we cut back to the Bay side of the Keys by going under the channel 5 bridge. The tall uprights are the "new" bridge and the roman arches are the old train bridge built in the 1910's. It was converted to a car bridge in the 1930's.

Going under the channel 5 bridge.

A great view of old and new. As a young adult, I drove to Key West in the early 1970's and I remember driving on some of the "old" bridges. They were known as the "bridges of mirrors" because the lanes were so narrow that every day people's car mirrors would hit!

Were anchored with friends of ours on "Tropical Gale Winds" at our new anchorage just off from Loralei's restaurant in Islamorada.

Later we joined Larry and Gail for snacks and 'sundowners' on Tropical Gale Winds.

April 14, 2010

Our friends Ed and Sally from Great Old Broad invited us to join them for a drink at Sunset Grille on the beach by Seven Mile Bridge.  The heated pool looked inviting, but alas we did not have our swimsuits.

Sally and I both enjoyed our brandies; mine was blackberry. Can you tell the wind has been blowing hard?

The singer's name is Tommy and he was good.

Ed and Rich deep in conversation as the night falls around us.

Tommy playing "Dueling Banjos" with the guitar up side down and behind his head. He didn't miss a chord. We had a good time, even though we didn't win a door prize and the coffee was great.

Disc jockey from the local radio station giving away hats, but his helper didn't draw our number. I really wanted the fishing reel they gave away.

April 10, 2010

Sombrero Reef Light

Back out to Sombrero Reef this afternoon for another round of snorkeling. Again the water was fairly calm and the visibility almost as good as yesterday. We swam closer to the tower today, but the inner reefs were not as good as the outer circles. Again there were numerous fish large and small; schools of yellowtail grouper were every where. We saw two sting rays swimming close to the bottom near our boat.

Getting ready to jump in. The water was nice and refreshing. 

April 9, 2010

We followed this boat out of the Key West anchorage, both of us headed east.

We passed Bob Harris and Brian on Blue Max. They're heading to Key West  and hopefully the Dry Tortugas. We know Bob from the Muskegon Conservation Club, where we kept our boat.

The brilliant blue sea.

The water was brilliantly blue today as we motor sailed to Marathon. We had a great time in Key West, but it is time to head north, so off we go.

Sombrero Reef Light

We made it to Sombrero Reef around 3:30, so we were able to snorkel for a while in fairly calm water with good visibility. It was beautiful. There were lots of colorful fish and I loved the purple sea fans. We also saw a small shark. After I had climbed on Snow Goose, the girls from the next hollered out they say a sea turtle; Rich swam over and was able to see the turtle swimming in the water. Wish we had an underwater camera.

April 8, 2010

Our last day in paradise, the wind is changing so we leaving tomorrow morning heading back to Marathon and beyond.

Ernest Hemingway house.

I'd been wanting to see the Ernest Hemingway house, so today we walked down to the house and took the tour. Our guide was very informative and the tour was interesting. Neither Rich nor I have ever read Hemingway's books, but he is on the list and now we both feel motivated.

The master bedroom.

This is the master bedroom with two of the forty some cats that live on the premises. Each cat is named; the gray cat is Frances and the tabby is Archie. Many of the cats living on the property are six-toed and all are descendents of Hemingway's cat Snowball. The house was purchased by the uncle of Hemingway's second wife Pauline. When they divorced she kept the house; then left it to him when she died in 1951.

The study where Hemingway wrote when he lived in the house.

The study where Hemingway wrote when he lived in the house.

View of the anchorage from the top of the mast.

Rich took this picture from the top of the mast while he was chasing the main halyard. It got away from us when we were trying to bring the dinghy on board to prepare for leaving tomorrow morning.  Farewell to paradise!

 April 6, 2010

Anna and Manny the coconut man.

Yesterday, while looking for the community swimming pool, we ran across Manny the Coconut man. We stopped to watch him work and I had a refreshing drink of coconut water, which I really like.

Manny and his machete.

Manny and his machete.

Cutting through the husk.

Manny trimming a coconut.

Manny taking the husk off the coconut.

Peeling the husk.

Peeling the husk from the coconut

The face on the coconut.

Manny and the coconut with the face exposed. We will be posting pictures of the behind the scene Key West on Picasa.

April 4, 2010

Happy Easter to all of our family and friends.

Beautiful day.

It is a beautiful day here at Key West. Sunny, warm and cool breeze.  We're expecting Annie and Scott from SV Carpe Diem to visit and have Easter dinner with us.

April 3, 2010

Another beautiful sunset.

Another beautiful sunset.

Striped clam shell

I spent the afternoon cleaning and sorting shells.

April 2, 2010

Armed Coast Guard boat.

This armed Coast Guard ship crossed in front of us on our way into the dinghy dock.  Look at the guns on deck.

Closer view of guns on deck of the Coast Guard ship.

April 1, 2010

Dinghy dock in Key West

When we arrived at Key West, we motored in; the dinghy dock was quite full.

Chicken sleeping in front of the Post Office.

There are chickens all over Key West; this one was sleeping in front of the post office.

Cute little motorcycle.

This motorcycle keeps crossing our path. We first saw it in Marathon at the grocery store, then on the side of the road for sale, and then at the marina being worked on. It has a cool side car. I wonder if it would fit on the Goose.....

Rich standing in front of the Kapok tree.

This tree is interesting and huge!!

Sign about the Kapok tree.

Information on the Kapok tree.

Sunrise at Boca Grande

Sunrise at Boca Grande; it took a couple of minutes for the sun to peek over the clouds. We're heading back to Key West this morning, motoring into a east wind.








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