Boot Key Harbor to Manatee Pocket
We returned from Key West on Friday, April 9th, and spent the next two days on the boat in Boot Key Harbor, recovering! On Saturday Todd got in the water and cleaned the side of the boat at the waterline. That afternoon Linda (from “Where’s Linda”), laid back and looking very relaxed, stopped by on her way to get dingy fuel.
Sunday evening we went over to “September Song” and then to Dockside for a few drinks. We also spent Monday and Tuesday on the boat, during which time Todd put a new cable and hook on the dinghy davit.
A beautiful morning shot looking back toward the Sombrero Dockside marina .
Tuesday evening we joined several of the Dockside crew for drinks and dinner at the Sunset Grill. We all met at “September Song” and then eleven of us piled into two cars. Fortunately, the car Bob & Stephanie rented was large enough for two people to tuck themselves into the hatch and Todd and Stephanie volunteered for the honor!
A fun evening at the Sunset Grille.
The Admiral and Joe cut a rug.
Bob and Todd dropped me off at Winn-Dixie Wednesday morning while they went to run other errands. We were back by noon and spent the remainder of the day on the boat enduring 30-40 mph winds. Thankfully, Boot Key Harbor is very well protected so the water was relatively calm.
Todd dinghied over to do laundry Thursday morning and then the girls went shopping that afternoon. Seven of us piled in to Bob & Stephanie’s rental and we all took turns riding in the back hatch. By the time our stops were complete, it was all we could do to fit seven bodies and numerous bags into the vehicle! We had a good time, though, and I think everyone really enjoyed Daffy Doug’s Discount Dollar Store where there is something for everyone and the price is right!
That evening we again met at “September Song” before going to Dockside for rib night (the ribs were really good!). Since we were leaving Marathon the next morning, a number of our boat friends stopped in to say goodbye.
We left Boot Key Harbor Friday about 9:00 a.m. Even though it was still windy, the trip to Islamorada via Florida Bay wasn’t too bad. We arrived at Don & Alina’s dock about 3:30 and had drinks and dinner with them that evening. Alina even gave me a bag of candied pecans that I will horde and treasure!
Saturday morning we left for breakfast at Lorelei’s at 8:00 a.m. and then pulled away from the dock about 11:30 to continue our journey to the east coast.
After another 45 miles we anchored off Elliott Key on Biscayne Bay on a cloudy, breezy day but at least we didn’t have to deal with any rain. We did, however, have rain overnight and into Sunday morning. We left our anchorage at 10:30 a.m. and had two hours of rolly water after leaving the lee of Elliott Key, then rain the last hour. Of course the rain was the heaviest when we were trying to dock at Tommy & Coral’s house on Palm Island and I was soaked within a few minutes of leaving the flybridge!
Life’s2Short comes in to Miami on a drizzly Sunday morning.
That evening Coral fixed us a great seafood stir fry using herbs and spices from her home garden. It turned windy and chilly about 8:00 p.m. so we called it a night and went back to “Life’s2Short.”
Monday we had more drizzle all morning so I defrosted the refrigerator and cleaned the shower and cabin floors. That afternoon Todd helped Tommy with some dock lines and did a weather stripping project on the flybridge while I worked in the kitchen.
“Life’s2Short” at Tommy & Coral’s dock on Palm Island.
Monday evening we were picked up by Arturo and his lovely wife Lourdes who took us to dinner at a very expensive, upscale Italian restaurant in Miami Beach called Prime Italian. Arturo was Todd’s first boss when he was 15 or 16 in Boulder, Colorado, and they hadn’t seen each other in something like 35 years. We had a wonderful evening catching up and the wine was flowing like a fountain. In fact, the next morning Tommy accused us of being hit by a wine truck! Nonetheless, we had a truly wonderful time and are so very grateful to Arturo and Lourdes for treating us to such an incredible dining experience. We felt like celebrities!
Tuesday we said goodbye to Tommy & Coral and took off at 8:30 a.m. As usual, Tommy shows us his good side!
These photos were taken as we were leaving Tommy’s dock.
One of many beautiful homes along Florida’s Intracoastal Waterway.
This ship at Port Everglades was loading boats for ocean transport.
One of many mega yachts we saw in the Ft. Lauderdale area. What a beauty!
We traveled 45 miles to north Boca where we tied to a very nice, protected dock offered to us by a fellow cruiser.
Ed and his adorable little dog Charley were there to meet us and then Ed took me to Publix in his new LSV (a.k.a. low speed vehicle, a.k.a. golf cart). Light rain set in around 7:00 a.m. so we had dinner and called it an early night after the wine truck collision of the previous evening.
We were underway Wednesday by 8:00 a.m. and had traveled two hours before being held up at the Lantana bridge due to a vehicular accident earlier that morning that knocked out the power to the lift-bridge. We were told that it would be at least four hours before the bridge would open, so we dropped anchor and prepared to wait. After about 45 minutes the bridge tender came on the radio and said they were going to do a test opening at 11:00 and to be ready to go through. So we hauled anchor and were able to get through and continue north.
Ouch, not a good way to start your day!
We made it to Manatee Pocket (near Stuart, FL), 57 miles from Ed’s dock, about 4:30 p.m., were anchored by 5:00 and spent a quiet evening on the boat.
Today is Thursday, April 22nd, and we are preparing to leave the anchorage for points north. Aside from the rain, the temperatures have been nice for traveling and it is supposed to be in the upper 80’s by the weekend, which should find us in New Smyrna Beach where we hope to spend some time on the beach.