So it has been a long time since last we made a blog post. We are now set up with our ipad and can put up posts from the boat. I will start with the final state of the ICW- Florida. The ICW continued to be full of challenges including lots of opening bridges, shallows and moving shoals, canal like areas as well as beautiful natural rivers and swamps. the sunrises and sunsets continue to amaze us with their beauty.
We have found new friends that call Maraki their home as well. (although we did eventually have to kick this one out as it “fowled” the dinghy.
We were able to find suitable anchorages along the way including the big cities of Fort Worth, Fort Lauderdale and Miami. There have been numerous times when we have found the bottom but none of these groundings have been hard on us or the boat. It just is a shallow area.
Our short-term goal since leaving Michigan had been to make it to Miami so that the boys would have a place to spend Christmas vacation with us on Maraki. So we continued to push southward and arrived in Miami with a week to spare. That meant we had time to clear bunks of our extra stuff so that they would have a place to sleep.
This is where Chris and Mike slept when they lived onboard as kids. The bunks seem much smaller for them now but everyone managed just fine.
Jim was not able to join us for Christmas as he is working at a resort in Puerto Rico and can not take any time off. We missed him a lot but his bunk was not cleared of the extra belongings we still carry. We will be ready for Jim when he can join us-this spring we hope.
We picked the boys up in Miami Beach-South Beach and spent a day or so there getting prepared for Christmas. Then headed to No Name Harbor which is in Bill Boggs State Park on Key Biscayne. Here we had a potluck dinner with other yachties we had been sailing with. It was a perfect way to spend the day. We were alongside a dock in the harbor so we could come and go. windsurfing, bike riding and rollerblading as well as game playing and looking at our new gifts.
We even continued the tradition of Bloody Marys on Christmas morn.
We sailed down the Hawk Channel with a pleasant breeze from the north to east making it for good sailing. We did not have great anchorages because of Maraki’s depth and lack of good places to hide from the wind. However we lost little sleep and continued on for our goal of arriving in Key West in time to celebrate our oldest son Chris’s 28th birthday. We were also hoping to spend New Years Eve wandering Old Town Key West. Here you have the choice of watching a wench drop from the top of a tall ships mast, a conch shell drop from a post or a drag queen descend. CNN was there to document “Sushi”‘s descent. Just like the ball in Time Square. We elected to see the wench and the boys went to the drag queen. Sorry but i have no pictures of any of these!
Soon it was time for the boys to return to their homes and back to work. they are not quite over the fact that we have retired but they must work!
The day they left the weather turned giving us a strong north gale. Here is the front as it approaches.
Our anchorage off of Key West was secure with 2 anchors out. It blew 30-40 knots for a day and now we are still waiting for the winds to die down so we can go ashore. But all is well here on the Maraki.
Our plan is to try to sail to the Dry Tortugas in the next settled period. Then we plan to sail up to Fort Myers Beach and spend some time with John’s parents and family who will be visiting there. The Bahamas should follow that.
We think of all our family and friends who are in the cold north and hoping that they are warm, healthy and happy. We wish you all a wonderful 2014 and maybe we will even see some of you in the coming year. Cheers to all. John and Lucy