The weather seems to dictate all of our travel these days. While in Miami the weather forecast changed on a daily basis.
We’re always watching the weather – especially this time of year.
The day we left the weather forecast had changed again but looked good, so we headed out into what turned out to be a quick rain shower, but then it settle down and was a good day sailing down through Biscayne Bay into Card Sound. Our destination on this first day was Pumpkin Key, a small island at the north end of Key Largo and right near a channel that allows us to cut through the Island chain to get out into Hawk Channel, more ocean like sailing than in Biscayne Bay and also a more direct route to Marathon.
Our first sunrise in the Keys. It doesn’t get better than this!
We had a very settled but warm night at Pumpkin Key and then headed out the next morning through Angelfish Creek which is the name of the cut into Hawk Channel. We traveled down Hawk Channel under nearly ideal conditions for short day to Tavernier Key at the southern end of Key Largo. This was our first stop at this anchorage, and it turned out to be a reasonable one with good protection and a very calm evening. That night while we were tying up our dinghy to the back of the boat, we both notice that the dinghy painter, that is the rope that connects the dinghy to the boat when we’re pulling it, was really frayed badly and looking like it needed to be changed sooner rather than later. However no thought was given to it the next morning as we headed out from Tavernier Key with plans to travel down to Marathon. After we had sailed several miles south of Tavernier Key, we got a phone call from the Coast Guard. Turns out that somebody had picked up a yellow dingy that matched our description and it had our registration numbers on it. I assured the Coast Guard caller that our dinghy was securely attached to the back of our boat, and so she asked me to get the registration numbers off the dinghy. I excused myself from the phone and went to the back of the boat to check the registration numbers on the dinghy. At that point I realized there was no dinghy there, and our dinghy was the one that somebody had found. So we turned around and headed back toward where the dinghy had been located. It turned out that a dive boat captain found it and ended up tying it to a mooring ball at a dive site we had passed about a half an hour previous. We were very fortunate that this happened. Otherwise we might not have ever gotten our dinghy back.
The dinghy we almost lost
The retreival was a 2 hour ordeal. We couldn’t tie up to the mooring ball because it was pretty shallow right there. So we had to drop the anchor and put one of our kayaks overboard so I could paddle to the dinghy, attach the two together and then come back to the boat. Then reattach everything and head south once again.
By this time we were emotionally, if not physically, spent so we decided to make it a shorter day of travel turn north through Channel 5 and take advantage of an anchorage we’d used before, dropping the hook for the night. The next morning we began again by going back out through Channel 5, back into Hawk Channel and down to Marathon.
Our first rainbow after arriving
So we have arrived. No more long traveling for a bit. Within a few days we will be renting a car and driving up to Vero Beach to pick up our car and return with it. Beyond that we’ll be getting ourselves organized here for the winter and begin to tackle some boat projects. There are always boat projects to tackle. More on that in upcoming blog posts. Until then…
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