Sea Fever Gulf 32

Sea Fever Gulf 32

Friday, April 26, 2013

Additional pix from Thursday's Key West run on 4.25.13

The Wreckers monument: dedicated to early locals who would go out to vessels wrecked on the reefs and salvage contents, or save lives, for the ship owners.

Michael McCloud at Schooner Wharf Bar- he has, apparently, been a regular here for over 20 years.  His CDs are popular amongst the cruisers here.

Ah... the "other" kind of 'cruiser' also comes to Key West.

one on the many free-range roosters that populate Key west.

After lunch we took the Harbor Walk...a long boardwalk that runs all along the harbor front.  Boats and dinghy docks on one side and a vast variety of waterfront bars and restaurants on the other.

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Had to hit Mallory Square...right?

Got to Key west just after noon and had a nice lunch in the outside patio of Red Fish Blue Fish restaurant. Then checked out the street vendors in. Mallory Square. 

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Boot Key Sunrise before heading to Key West 4.25.13

Thursday we planned to head to Key West for a day of exploring.
The Key West-Marathon bus stops just outside the marina grounds and costs just $1.50 for seniors (over 60) and just $4 full price. It takes about 2 hours to run the 50 miles with all the stops on the way, but it well worth the time.

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Boot Key Harbor Sunset 4.24.13

Just missed the shot with the catamaran sailing in front of the setting sun.

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Brief update from Boot Key Harbor

I guess I've been at the mooring field in Boot key harbor, Marathon.  We arrived here Saturday late afternoon after a long day transiting from Islamorada, and picked up mooring balls at the city marina.  We will be here for 3-4 weeks and I will update the blog with pix and information as we make our way on land, or for short day trips by boat.

Friday, April 19, 2013

A lone palm tree on the Atlantic-side beach; at the end of "Beach Ave", of course!

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Sea Fever at anchor off Islamorada 4.19.13

Today was our last day at Islamorada on this leg of the trip. I did a bit of maintenance on Sea Fever  before heading ashore for lunch and a walk to the beach with Tom and Sara.

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Thursday's sunset from the beach at Lor'e Lei's Cabana Bar

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Thursday evening's entertainment at Lor e Lei's Cabana Bar

Spent Thursday afternoon walking around Islamorada...actually  north and south on US 1.. the main drag for all the Keys. We are at about mile marker 82 which is how you locate yourself here; MM 0 being Key West.
After lunch at the Islamorada Fish Company we headed back to Sea Fever and Compass Rose for dinner and back to listen to the duo play great music until after dark.

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Florida Bay Sunset from Islamorada anchorage

Sea Fever and Compass Rose will stay here another day or so then make the final leg Boot Key Harbor on Marathon.  This afternoon  at happy hour  we met 2 couples who had ridden the Keys bus up from Boot Key for the day.  They are on sailboats in the mooring field we are heading to and had taken advantage of the inexpensive bus system to "try something different" for the day.  There are 2  us from Marathon to Miami and the other between Marathon and Key West... The Sea Fever and Compass Rose crews plan to try out the Key West route once we get to Boot Key!

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Well...the good news is...

Sea Fever and Compass Rose made it safely to anchor off Islamorada in time for happy hour at Lorelei's.  .but... it was not without incident.
As planned Compass Rose lead the way calling out depths whenever they got below 6', and we made it past the area of real concern with depths of o er 6'.  However, right after that the ICW markers merged with a set of private channel markers and before either boat realized it we were in  VERY skinny water. We both did quick 180s but, unfortunately Sea Fever did not get back on the track she went in on fast enough...hard aground!!! So..what to do... out goes the genny with enough breeze to heel her over..engage engine..throttle go...hmmm. now what...even with  rising tide I'd only get inches...Compass Rose to the rescue...tossed a bow line..but no use..then Sara sees a 25' powerboat with half a dozen 20 something guys aboard and waves them down..once they realized what was up they came right over grabbed my bow line and in a minute their twin 90 HP Yamahas had me in 5'2" ...plenty deep!  Thanks guys!!

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Sunrise at Tarpon Basin, Key Largo

Today is Sea Fever's tricky day. Last year between here and Islamorada she "kissed" the bottom a number of times and I decided to take the offshore Hawks channel on the return trip. The difference is that at that time last year there had been days of very heavy northerly winds which blow the water out of Florida Bay. Winds lately have been light and mostly from the SE to E.
I am hoping to make this 20+ mile run today "without incident" as Compass Rose leads the way and calls out the depths... wish me luck!

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and...Genny was up a few minutes later...

This was the first day of the trip where we were able to sail the entire day...with the engines OFF!!! Sea Fever's engine did come on a few times as we entered tight or shallow areas but.. What a GREAT day of sailing we had all the way to Tarpon Basin!

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Elliot key sunrise..Tuesday 4.16

We weighed anchor off Elliot key about 8:30 Tues morning headed for Tarpon Basin on Key Largo...with about 8 mph Easterly winds...Mainsail was up about as the anchor was. 

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Monday, April 15, 2013

A peaceful Elliot Key sunset

We got some rain but the severe storms ended before reaching us. We may get more rain overnight but for now a  very peaceful evening.  We also have the clear keys water now.. 8-10 feet and I can see the anchor chain and other things on the bottom.

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No sooner had we dropped anchor when "BEEP BEEP BEEP" again.

We have settled in just off Billy's Point at the south end of Elliot Key. While I was putting the snubber on the anchor chain my VHF weather alert went off again...hopefully this one will stay north of us lime the o e this morning did!

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Compass Rose got the main up!

About 3 miles from the Featherbed Bank channel we were finally lined up with a favoring wind. I got lazy figuring we only had a short run, so didn't put up my main, but Compass Rose did and was able to maintain the required heading all the way to the anchorage...I had guessed we would have lost it at the channel...wrong. Will have to be ready next time.

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A threatening start to the day

After taking turns at the Coconut Grove dock, Sea Fever and Compass Rose left the Miami area for the Keys. We had barely entered the Dinner Key Channel headed to Biscayne Bay when...BEEP..BEEP  BEEP....checked the engine the chartplotter autopilot..depth sounder... everything seemed ok..but beep on... alert..."South Miami is in the path of severe thunderstorms with 58 mph winds and nickel size hail. If you are in the area head to ground floor..tornados are indicated." is headed east we are headed south...go for it. 
However, the SE winds we were promised turned out to be from the south so we motored awhile then were able get the gennys out until we couldn't head any closer to the wind and were going far off track for the channel at featherbed bank.
motor time...

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and....One last Coconut Grove sunrise

Onward to Elliot Key!

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Sunday, April 14, 2013

Last Coconut Grove sunset...for this leg, at least

Fairly calm weather here today and predicted for overnight and tomorrow...but... extreme weather and tornado warnings about 30 miles north.
We plan to drop moorings, get a pumpout and refill water tanks starting about 9 in the morning. Then we will make the 20-25 mile run to Elliot Key
...hopefully with full sails if the winds continue out of the SE!
I plan to have my sail cover off the main  and the halyard attached before leaving the mooring...I'll let you all know how that turns out!

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Coconut Grove Sailing Club monthly club race

This was the only 1 of 2 boats I could get a picture of..a Flying Scot..but today is the club's monthly all-class race. We were told "everything from Sunfish to 60' yachts"! with reverse handicap starts. This month there were apparently 5 cruising boats and a variety of "sail-only" boats participating.
Sea Fever and Compass Rose were asked to participate but opted to prep for tomorrow's departure for Elliot Key.

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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Stormy afternoon at Coconut Grove

This weekend is the annual "Great taste of the Grove" here in Coconut Grove, with all the festivities- food concerts and all- right across the entryway from the Sailing Club. We were sitting in our cockpits listening to the great concerts and deciding if we should join in the fun when a heavy storm came through...heavy rains and VERY close lightening! The optimus and laser class sailors from the club had just made it in from Saturday practice races before it all let loose! Forecast was for a quick passing storm m
but the rain has continued over an hour already and more thunder is starting to roll  by.

Once the storms pass we will probably head ashore to check out the festival.

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After a ween away at meetings and an 11 hour return drive...

I am back aboard Sea Fever at the Coconut Grove Sailing Club.
Sea Fever and Compass Rose will stay here another day or so before continuing down the Keys to Boot Key Harbor, Marathon.

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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Land lubbers...

Well, tomorrow I leave home after 4 days of Fishery meetings in Charleston, and head back to Sea Fever in Coconut Grove.  At least I got a chance to see my azaleas and camellias in bloom...missed them all last year!
Also got a few minutes with G3...hopefully he will join me as crew when school  gets out at the end of May!

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Friday, April 5, 2013

Preparations for the trip north

Sea Fever's new cockpit surround/eisenglass has kept me warm and dry so far on this year's cruise; but we are now in the Keys so warmth is definitely no longer an issue.  I have rolled the einsenglass  up rather than remove it completely, so it can easily be dropped when it rains later in the cruise, but while I head north for meetings next week, I will leave them open to reduce windage should storms hit while I am away.

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Not so sunny Friday at Coconut Grove

Seems I missed Thursday's blog, but it was an eventful day.
It started with my head not working at all, continued with Tom spending a couple of unpleasant hours doing the majority of what was needed to get it totally functional again (better than any time since I have had the boat).
The afternoon turned to evening (after lengthy showers), with the Crews of Sea Fever and Compass Rose meeting up with Jack and Linda from S/V Silver Girl for a very enjoyable happy hour and dinner at Sandbars.

Jack and Linda are good friends and Silver Girl is about 2 boats over from Sea Fever here at Coconut Grove sailing Club.

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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Sunrise over Dinner Key Marina, from Coconut Grove mooring field

Looks like another beautiful day here in the "Keys".
Yes, according to Skipper Bob, we have officially passed the demarcation point from south Florida to the Keys!

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Compass Rose approaching downtown Miami - Tuesday 4/2

Tuesday we made our way thru another 4 bridges, past downtown Miami to the Coconut Grove Sailing Club
This is a club with a good sized mooring field for member and transient sailboats,, tucked behind a protective island, alongside,the Miami municipal marina at Dinner Key.
We arrived  about  1 and took the shuttle ashore...  happy hour at the "Sandbar"!

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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Sunrise from the lake across from Bakers haulover inlet

Sea Fever and Compass Rose dropped anchor in this nice lake where we stayed several days last year. We had planned on stopping at 1 or 2 new anchorages on our way to the South Miami area, but yesterday decided to head straight to Coconut Grove Sailing Club and sign up for moorings.
I will be heading home for meetings next wee,k so want the security of a mooring and getting there today will give us time to explore Coconut Grove.

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To the East....

the beginnings of the Miami skyline..highrisers everywhere..

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Then there is the ICW scenery

To the west...the ICW is lined with mangrove forest...

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Compare the megayacht to this classic 50's runabout

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Monday 4.1.13...A day with contrasts

Sea Fever and Compass Rose left Lake Sylvia Monday morning headed to the Lake by Bakers haulover just north of downtown Miami.
Contrasts were evident along the way...
For example: This megeyacht with its own helicopter
compared with the next pix (next post)

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