We’ve been here two weeks, and I’ve fallen under the spell of Marathon/the Keys, which is to say that “tomorrow” is always better than today, to tackle a project of any kind. I’ve worked on the blog. . . well, tomorrow’s good, right?
After our two nights at Harbortown Marina, we anchored at Vero Beach. I’d like to stay there for a week (or more!) to really see the area and the town, but in spite of never having seen anything but the harbor we really like it there. There are many moorings, and the stop is so popular with boaters that often a mooring will have two or three boats rafted together. I guess you either get really friendly with whoever is tied alongside, or you get really good at looking the other way when they’re on deck. This picture is from our anchorage looking toward the mooring field. . .
. . . and this picture is looking toward the ICW, directly opposite the first picture.
The waterway south of Vero Beach gets more populated, and excitement comes from all sorts of things. Jupiter Inlet is an “interesting” spot, as you have everything from beginner paddle boarders, Sunday drivers on all sorts of boats (even when it’s not Sunday), the chaos of the high current and the double dog leg of the course.
Under two bridges, by the way. From there we went to a marina in North Palm Beach, right around the corner from the PGA Golf Course. We ended up staying two nights because of the predicted high winds. Often the winds don’t matter on the ICW, but we were going to go south through Lake Worth, which is pretty open, and call me chicken: I like my passages smooth.
The second half of the day was spent maneuvering through the concrete canyons that are north of Ft. Lauderdale. Between the draw bridges and the slow speed “Manatee Zones,” this stretch always seems to go on forever. We stayed one night only in the Las Olas Marina in Ft. Lauderdale and set off for our final push at first light. Biscayne Bay is south of Miami and can be pretty choppy, but we could see that if we didn’t grab the two day weather window we’d been given, it would have been a week before we could make those last two days of travel. We had showers pretty much all day, with some of them pretty heavy, but that kept the seas down.
We anchored in the very protected Tarpon Basin and had a wonderful pre-sunset sky. . .
. . . and an equally interesting dawn sky the next morning.
It was a perfect day for our passage.
In this next photo, check out the concentric rings in the water, starting at the center of the bottom edge. At the end of it you will see a small vertical “thing.” This is a needle fish, related to the flying fish. He uses his tail to bounce across the top of the water. Very cool, and we saw a lot of them!
We also saw a lot of crab traps. These guys were very cool, and when they saw me photographing them one held up the stone crab he had just hauled in, showing me their catch!
Last year we followed the Keys west on the Florida Bay/Gulf side, but this year conditions were right for us to go out to the Atlantic side of the Keys through the Channel 5 Bridge:
and go the 20 or so miles from there to Sisters Creek for entering Boot Key Harbor. The Sisters Creek entrance is right at Sombrero Beach.
It winds through the mangroves and neighborhoods of Boot Key.
And later that day, “the front” moved in. . .
Wonderful to be here. The JOURNEY is over for now, so it’s time to enjoy the DESTINATION!
More on that to come. . .