Moving Along…

Casting off the mooring after 3 months in Boot Key Harbor!

We have begun our migration north for 2021. We left Marathon on Tuesday, February 23rd and sailed north into a wicked looking cloud bank. The forecast was for generally favorable weather for the next 2-3 days and we needed 2 days for sure to get to Miami and back into protection. As we got out of Boot Key Harbor we got a spit of rain and a blast of wind for a couple of hours, but then the skies cleared, the wind slacked and we had a wonderful sail up to Tavernier Key.

Should we be heading out into this?

Luna was a ghost hiding under the table the whole way. She never got sick though and was just resigned to being a bilge cat while we were traveling.

Why does it make so much noise!?!

We had an excellent night’s rest tucked behind Tavernier Key. With very little protection, it wouldn’t have seemed like it would have calmed the swell coming in off of the ocean, but it did. There was a fairly significant sand bar that was just submerged that extended quite far from the tiny island. I was able to jump in and swim for awhile and do some bottom cleaning that was needed after getting out of the harbor at Marathon.

Barnacles Be Gone!

In the morning we cast off and were on our way again towards Miami. Our destination was Key Biscayne just south of Miami and a great stopping point for those traveling to and from the keys by way of the misnamed Hawks Channel. We had a swell of 2-3 feet from the southeast and a 1 foot chop of waves from the northeast. All-in-all it was a very nice sailing day as we made our way north.

Cape Florida Lighthouse, Key Biscayne

We got in to Key Biscayne and dropped anchor almost exactly where we had on our way south three months before. And as before, we were protected from east winds with an awesome view of sunset over Coconut Grove and to the south of Biscayne Bay.

Sunset over Biscayne Bay

Not knowing when our weather window to move north would close, we kept moving north in the morning as it looked like possible high winds were being pushed back. Again Luna hid under the table getting used to her little hidey-hole. We felt bad for the girl and coaxed her up to see what was going on in the world at one point, but she wasn’t having it and quickly retreated to her safe space below.

Passing rain and a following rainbow

We sailed north past Miami and southeast Florida and into what’s called Port Everglades Inlet at Fort Lauderdale. We passed a docked cruise ship and were now among the craziness that is the Intercoastal Waterway again. Somehow the entire stretch from Fort Lauderdale to Fort Pierce is just chock-full of the most disrespectful boaters. All I can say is try to avoid it on the weekends if at all possible.

Every house on the water in Fort Lauderdale. Room for 50 people and nobody home.

We found a small, but wide side-channel and stopped for the night amongst the dirty water and floating trash that you wouldn’t normally think of, and just off shore from the ridiculous mansions of the super-rich. Friday morning we were off to Lake Worth. Our intentions were to travel the ICW all the way on the inside as the winds were supposed to pick-up, but again the winds were being pushed off another day. So we ducked outside to the ocean again at Hillsboro Inlet and run the coast instead of dealing with the obnoxious boaters and having to wait and open the 16 bridges in that stretch of ICW. We had another offshore day and were back into the inlet at Palm Beach and into Lake Worth where we’ve anchored before.

How can you not smile!

Coming north around Peanut Island, dodging paddle boarders in the active channel, we spotted this monstrosity. Marge looked it up and found out it is owned by some mafioso “businessman”. “Hey, nice boat you have there. Would be a shame if something were to happen to it!”

On Saturday we finally did just stay in the Intercoastal Waterway and made our way north through the beautiful water and awful-boater confluence that is Jupiter, Florida, and got to Sunset Bay Marina in the St. Lucie River at Stuart, Florida. We had been moving for 5 straight days after sitting almost still for 3 months, and we were kinda tuckered-out. So here we sit and try to catch back up with civilization. We have a mooring ball now and we will be here for 2-4 weeks (same price) and run errands and make plans and get reacquainted with actual services and things that you can’t get in the keys short of an Amazon delivery.

Luna is doing great! Every day when “Mr. Rumbles” (the engine) stops, she comes out and inspects her new world and collects all her missed ear scratches for the day. We think she’s just a sweetheart and are having a great time with her. She’s a great new addition to our family and we’re really glad to have her.

Luna’s daily inspection of our new anchorage

We aren’t really planning on being back in the mid-west until the beginning of May and after the snow is gone. We hope that everyone is getting along well and not letting the Coronavirus induced depression take over. We are looking forward to getting our “Shots” and rejoining all of our family and friends this summer.

Take care!
Dave, Marge & Luna Back