Week 51 – March 31-April 6, 2019,  39 Nautical miles this week, 4,435 Nautical miles to date

 Sunday: Tracy picks the local Church for us to attend and we walk the half a mile for the 11:00 service. We get there a bit early and walk in on the Bible study. There are about 8 adults participating on the discussion, they all introduce themselves and we talk a bit about our adventure and we learn that one of the men is a dock hand at our marina. What a great guy!   -tc   The church service is quaint with about 20 total people attending and after some singing and some sermon, the service ends after about 1 hour and 20 minutes. We get offered at least 3 rides back to the marina so we don’t have to walk back. 

Once we’re back, dinghies are down and we’re going snorkeling with Barry & Carol of Wild Goose and Kim & Tamara of Cocoa Beach. We dinghy over to the south side of the island towards Sister’s Island in about 6-8 feet of warm water. Kim is catching lobsters and the rest of us are snorkeling for fun. We get to try out our new dinghy access ladder and after a few adjustments, it works pretty nicely. 

Wild Goose has some engine issues on the return trip to the marina so we take it slowly so we can follow them and make sure they get back safely. We all have a great time in the warm waters of the keys.

Monday: Wild Goose will leave today to head for Key West to meet up with Barry’s sister and husband and Kim and Tamara leave along with them for some anchoring fun on Boca Grande. 

So we have the marina pretty much to ourselves for a while as we enjoy the pool, the weather and the fishing. Tracy has found a great spot for bites near the bridge over to Palm Island and she catches nearly 2 fish for every 3 casts so we frequent this spot for most of the week. 

Tuesday: As mentioned yesterday, the spot near the Palm Island bridge will get visited today by Tracy so after I spend the afternoon at the pool sunning and reading, We load up the dinghy and head over. Tonight, Tracy catches what she feels is a Tarpon, but it spits out the hook and she doesn’t get a chance to land it. So after all the live shrimp are used up, we head back to our slip to tie up the dinghy. As we’re tying up the dinghy, I stand up in the boat to tie the line to Kailani’s deck cleat and I lose my balance and fall backwards into the drink. Along with me goes my wallet, glasses and iPhone. Good news is they all stay in my pockets so I don’t lose anything, but the iPhone will have to spend a few days in rice to have a chance to work again. 

Wednesday: More beautiful weather so today is another pool day. We start with Frankie getting his regular morning walk, some chores aboard Kailani, pool in the afternoon, then fishing towards dusk. Tonight, Tracy goes over past the marina fuel dock rather than chance me falling overboard again. I spend the time visiting with Barry and Carol who have just returned with Barry’s sister, Mary and her husband, Scott.

Today, I also take a walk across the street to the West Marine to buy new co2 cartridges to replace the one that opened my PFD when I fell overboard. So I replace the spent cartridge and buy a few spares so we’ll have them in the future.   LOL.  He set one cartridge off while trying to install it.  Phooooofff!  -tc   

Thursday: Today is judgement day and when the iPhone comes out of the rice, it acts dead, so I’ll have to get to the local Verizon store and deal with a replacement phone. We also need some supplies at the local Walgreens and they’re literally across the street from each other, so we take a 2.5 mile bike ride to the Verizon store and I get a new iPhone XR, then we cross the busy A1A Overland Highway to the Walgreens for milk and a few other items, then we ride back to the marina knowing that tonight we are making preparations for a cruise tomorrow to Stock Island Marina in Key West.   Very nice that this marina has free ice that they deliver to the boat!!   -tc  

Tracy & I put the dinghy back up on the roof and secure the tie down straps, then prepare our maps and charts for the 38 mile cruise tomorrow. The winds and waves were a bit over the top today as we found out when Wild Goose returned to Faro Blanco after spending some time in Key West. But the wind and waves are all out of the east and are forecasted to remain the same tomorrow, so while they got beat up on their bows today, our trip should have the waves and wind hitting our stern tomorrow, so it should be a bit more comfortable for us.

Friday: The gulf right outside our marina looks good this morning, so we’re a go for departing today. I go to the marina office and clear our bill, then stop at Wild Goose to say goodbye to Barry and Carol along with Scott and Mary, their family visitors. 

At ten minutes after ten we’re pulling away from our slip with LuAnn from Zoey’s Adventure helping us with our docklines. The gulf is calm this morning, but once we cross under Seven Mile Bridge and are into the Atlantic waters, the waves are a bit higher than predicted and pounding us on the port stern quarter, so holding a heading is not easy today.

Seven Mile Bridge- Florida Keys

Soon we’re turning course to nearly due west and the wave orientation changes just enough to ease some of the rocking, but overall, the entire cruise today is a bit of rocking and rolling. But mother nature’s waves are nothing compared to the sport fisher that passed us a full speed and their wake rocked us from side to side enough to send lots of stuff sliding across our decks. As we cruise along Hawk Channel towards Key West we hit a point that is the farthest south we will go on the entire loop (so we thought). Eventually, we are turning into the inlet for Stock Island Marina and at 3:15pm we’re safely tied up after 39 nautical miles of rock-n-roll. We’ll get all checked in, relax the rest of today, then start getting ready for Vic and Stephanie to show up Sunday with Blaine, Tara and Charlee for the following week. We’re really looking forward to this upcoming time to spend with them here in Key West.

Kailani in her slip-Stock Island Marina Village

Saturday: We meet two great guys on an adjacent boat today. Charlie and Don aboard Candide from Newfoundland, Canada. Charlie owns the 46 foot Jefferson and Don had just flown in yesterday to help Charlie cruise to the Turks and Caicos. Charlie has been around boats his whole life captaining a couple of charter vessels in Newfoundland, a sailing vessel and a motor cruiser. But he purchased the Jefferson specifically for this cruise which will include America’s Great Loop. We compare some notes on weather apps and navigation apps and have a nice day with them as we prepare for Vic and Stephanie’s arrival on Sunday afternoon. 

We find out that Vic is in the Houston Texas area working on a Team Rubicon mission and will fly to Miami tomorrow and Stephanie will meet him at the airport with Blaine, Tara and Charlee, then they’ll finish the drive down to Key West to spend the week with us. Dinner is an early one out by the pool as Tom the waiter brings us our food poolside while we enjoy the beautiful Florida weather. Tomorrow we’ll get laundry done and clean up Kailani while we wait for the family to arrive.  Laundry….pfffft.  -tc