Trip to Marathon- March 1st to 5th 2015

Diann and I topped off our 60 gallons of water for our Gemini catamaran sailboat and topped off the fuel as well. At 10AM on Monday, the 1st, we exited Dinner Key. For six hours we sailed without having to tack. (I love this coastal sailing.) But we did have to dodge crab pots! For three days of travel, we dodged hundreds of crab pots.

Monday night, we anchored at Pumpkin Key which is at the northern end of Key Largo. We were close enough to the airport to watch planes land.

Plane seen from Pumpkin Key anchorage

Plane seen from Pumpkin Key anchorage

Tuesday we started out at 7:30AM, but due to the amount of narrow channels we motored all day. Somewhere along the way we hit something that was not a crab pot. (After arrival in Marathon I could see that our prop has a bent propeller.)

 

looking back to Jewfish creek entry at Key Largo

looking back to Jewfish creek entry at Key Largo

 

 

 

 

The Bridge at Gilbert's Resort is in the distance

The Bridge at Gilbert’s Resort is in the distance

 

Getting closer to Gilbert's

Getting closer to Gilbert’s

 

Gilbert's has dockage

Gilbert’s has dockage

 

Tiki Bar, Motel rooms, and a beach- at Gilbert's

Tiki Bar, Motel rooms, and a beach- at Gilbert’s

 

Our view included this boat that ran aground and looked to have been abandoned.

Boat lost to shoal

Boat lost to shoal

 

Markers

Markers

 

Channel Markers

Channel Markers

 

water view

water view

 

Multi colors

Multi colors

 

Too tired to go another hour, or so, we decided to anchor in a protected spot at Lower Matecumbe Key. The “cove” is called Matecumbe Bight. It’s close to Channel Five- which is an opening to the Atlantic Ocean’s Hawks Channel.

NICE !

NICE !

The weather forecast changed for Wednesday morning. NOAA advised winds to be in the 22MPH range until noon. Bay waters would be choppy as a result. So, at 7AM we decided to stay at anchor.

How nice. No crab pots to drive me crazy Wednesday. Yacht A Fun gently responded to small wavelets and the wind skirted over the boat due to our being on the leeward side of the Key.

The time was used productively. First off, I stopped drinking my second cup of coffee and went back to bed. What a nap. It lasted until 11AM.

Then I opened the laptop and finalized this weekend’s Hickory Daily Record real estate feature for a client REALTOR. Afterward I followed up with HDR staff and then set about reviewing the MLS data and images for the March 14th feature. While writing I finished that second cup of coffee- at room temperature.

We could have pressed our luck instead of heeding the NOAA “small craft advisory” . We could have put a reef in the sails and banged into choppy water for four hours as the winds reduced back down to 17 MPH from 22. But why? By staying put we are able to both relax, and get some work done.

Diann’s work was to- pay bills online.

Thursday we found the weather to not be encouraging for going offshore into Hawk’s Channel, so we set sail along the bay. We sailed all the way from Channel Five to Marathon. That saved some fuel!

Multiple crab boats pulled the bouys and cages up; emptied; and rebaited he traps

Multiple crab boats pulled the bouys and cages up; emptied; and rebaited he traps

Many larger power boats ignored the crab pot buoy and line hazards and literally cut through  them

Many larger power boats ignored the crab pot buoy and line hazards and literally cut through them

Having called in to the Marathon City Marina, we were able to get our holding tank pumped out in coordination with filling out forms and paying fees for the use of the dingy dock, showers, and a parking spot for our Jeep. Then we motored around Boot Key for TWO HOURS to find a suitable spot to await an assignment to a mooring ball. Our # on the waiting list- 25 !!

By comparison, Vero Beach has a raft up system when their City mooring is overloaded. Marathon needs to do something similar given the density of anchored boats awaiting a mooring.

Friday night was TOGA Night at a friend’s yacht club. Diann and I dressed the part and watched the flag lowering ceremony and our friend, Al Fairaizl, conduct a boat naming ceremony before the “Animal House” event began.

Diann and Alex in home made togas

Diann and Alex in home made togas

0306 flag ceremony

 

Al Fairaizl conducting ceremony for boat being towed

Al Fairaizl conducting ceremony for boat being towed

 

A local Blues Brothers band played. They were good. 0306 Blues Brothers

Diann dances with Elrod.

Diann dances with Elrod.

Saturday the 7th was dedicated to getting parts for the mounting of the new solar panel; doing laundry; getting a propane tank filled; and getting a bit of groceries.

Alex RookerTrip to Marathon- March 1st to 5th 2015

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