-E.B. White

Sunday, March 28, 2010

LOOKS LIKE IT'S "OR BUST" FOR THE BAHAMAS - we gave it our best shot, but after waiting three weeks for a decent weather window we are "giving up the ghost" so to speak.  Today, in another blow, we made a decision to slowly head up the coast of Florida and start making plans for heading back to Minnesota.  With temps in the 60's and 70's at home and the lure of the grandkids, it is time to wrap up this winter season 2010.  Plans are to hang in Florida for 3 weeks or so and then store Broulee on the hard in LaBelle (on the Okeechobee Waterway) for the hurricane season.    

The National Park at Boca Chita Key.  Unfortunately no pets are allowed so we just came for a quick look see.  On the 27th we anchored outside the harbour and enjoyed a perfect 10 suntanning day and clear clear water - tempting to jump in but, water temps are still only 73 degrees.
Inside the harbour there is room for about 25-30 small craft and on the weekends becomes party central.

Once again, it is necessary for the Captain to dive under the boat to cut a nasty rope off the stabilizer fin.  With his trusty leathermen and longjohn wetsuit - he's just the man for the job.

Wait for me, wait for me!

Ahhh, yes - success!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

BYE, BYE USA - Hope to be back soon (careful what you wish for).

8:30 AM Departure for the Bahamas  - passing by Cape Florida Lighthouse on our port.

10:30 AM Arrival back in Biscayne Bay  - passing Cape Florida Lighthouse on our starboard.

Well we gave it a good effort - seas where pretty good until we hit the gulf stream and then it got ugly.  The forecast for 1-3 was 4-6 and on the horizon we could see "elephant trunks (10 foot seas).  With sagging spirits we brought our little ship around and headed back to No Name Harbour.

The day before in preparation for our depature we had tied up at the wall, got our bikes down and biked to the Winn-Dixie about a mile and a half away to re-provision for the trip.  The park that surrounds the harbour is beautiful - it has more than a mile of ocean beach with lots of hiking and biking trails.  We decided to tour some of the trails and hiked to Cape Florida Lighthouse a 95 foot structure that was originally built in 1825.  You may anchor overnight in the harbour for a $20.00 fee which allows you to use all of the trails and  facilities including a pump out station, showers, laundry and trash disposal.  From 8 AM to 11PM you may tie up on the wall for a $2.00 fee which also allows use of all the facilities.  We enjoyed the park and are now back on the wall regrouping, and trying to decide what our next plan is.

Well at least Izzy is happy.

Hiking and Biking Trails

Pretty views

Cape Florida Lighthouse

Boats anchored in No Name Harbour

Our anchorage the night before our impending crossing - looking at downtown Miami.

Sunset over Miami

I said to Izzy "are you ready to go to the Bahamas" and she is like "WHAT?????"

Saturday, March 20, 2010

TRYING TO BE PAITIENT WAITING FOR WEATHER WINDOW - but loosing steam (and running out of wine).  We've been just bobbing around the upper keys - 1st on the ocean side and now today crossing back over at Channel 5 to the bayside.  Weather has been beautiful and have discovered more Florida State Parks then we probably would like to, but most of them allow pets and it has been a way for Izzy to release some energy.  Rick describes the trip to land anchored outside of Sand Key:  "Took Izzy for a shore run today at Sand Key.  There she and I headed in through the shallows and paddled the dinghy for another 100 yards and then, keeping her inside the dinghy ( a challenge) while I dragged it the last 100 feet across bottom.  She couldn't wait any longer and bolted out running pell- mell - left and right in 6" of water, then up on the beach through tidal mud, grabbing sponges washed ashore and throwing them in the air only to grab another and chase with it back into the water - back and forth, back and forth."  Needless to say, they both arrived back at the boat covered with salt water and tidal mud.

The happy group heading for land.

Mom, look what I found on the beach.

Can I keep it, Can I keep it?


Without the head it's hard to tell - Aunt Jemima maybe?  Well mean mom put a stop to all the fun and - there will be no further loss of limbs.

We visited a state park at Caesar Creek, again for Izzy's benefit and learned about the Legend of Black Casear.

In our spare time, we have been following an interesting blog from the 16 year old girl (youngest ever) attempting to circumnavigate the world single handed on a 40ft sailboat.  Check Abby's site out at  http://www.soloround.blogspot.com/

Friday, March 19, 2010

OK - PROMISED TO GET BACK TO YOU on time spent at the wrinkle ranch in Arizona with Mom and Dad the first week in March.  One of the highlights and lowlights of the week was the much acclaimed theater production of The Pearls of Paulene.  Mom is the Stage Manager and her friend Jan is the Writer/Director/Producer.

Paulene and her mother - just two hard working girls trying to make enough money to pay the mortgage.

Of course, this dastardly villain holds the mortgage and has to keep his floozie girlfriend happy - you know the story.

The Pawn Shop where Paulene goes to sell her grandmother's pearls to help pay the mortgage.

The Pearls of Wisdom fortune teller (reading Fortunes for Dummies) where Paulene goes to find out who bought her Grandmother's pearls after suffering remorse over selling them.

In search for the pearls she stumbles across Mother of Pearl Oyster Bar where Pearl Jam was performing.

No, sorry - it's Pearl Jelly

The Fastest Dancers in the West were also performing and then it happend  ( I still have not been able to get this song out of my head)

"I plopped down in my easy chair and turned on channel 2.  A bad gunslinger names Salty Sam was chasin poor Sweet Sue.  He trapped her in the old sawmill and said with an evil laugh, If you don't give me the deed to your ranch I'll saw you all in half.
and then he grabbed her
he tied her up
he turned on the bandsaw"

"And then along came Jones
Tall thin Jones
Slow-walkin Jones
Slow-talkin Jones
Along came, long lean, lanky Jones"

Minnie Pearl was there of, course

She asked if there was anyone in the audience who had any special talent they would like to perform -

This guy shows up - straight off the Lettermen show, who catches eggs in his mouth thrown from the audience. Now that's talent (I guess he really was on Lettermen's stupid people tricks).

Anyway, Paulene found her Grandmother's box of pearls - turned out to be her pearly white teeth, the White Knight proposed marriage to save her home from the villain (BOO!) and we all lived happily ever after.  


Good Job Mom and Jan! - Can't wait for next year.

Dad - thanks for being my date to the theater.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Dance as if no one were watching.
Sing as if no one were listening.
Live each day as if it were your last!

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Monday, March 15, 2010

TOTO - WE ARE NOT IN KANSAS ANYMORE - I'm not sure we are still in the US.  Dinner Key Marina in Biscayne Bay proved to be an interesting experience - thought maybe we fell asleep and woke up in Cuba.  We were able to get Izzy's health certificate and some more provisions (wine) and then moved across the bay to No Name Harbour in preparation for crossing to the Bahamas.  No Name Harbour is located at the southern end of Key Biscayne and is part of the Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park.  There are bike and hiking trails in a beautiful tropical setting.  We arrived Sunday morning into what appeared to be a quiet picturesque anchorage.  By noon we knew we were in trouble - boats started arriving in droves and our quiet anchorage with 6 boats turned into 60 - of course, each with their own choice of music blaring like it was a competition of sorts.  We sat on the flybridge - cocktail in hand enjoying the chaos and watching them fight for their foot of space - luckily they left en masse around 5:30 and we had our quiet spot back.  There is also a restaurant here specializing in Cuban cuisine - polish up your spanish  - Spanish is the 1st language spoken by 70% of the population here.

Downtown Miami from Biscayne Bay

Spring break Miami Style

Sunday Morning Anchorage - ohhh soooo peaceful.

Let's get this party started!

Now the Chaos begins - each boat had their own music blaring.

O Good - here comes Lightning and then we knew it would happen it was......

you guessed it - beyond insanity!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

STILL ON THIS SIDE OF THE POND - and patiently waiting for a weather window for our crossing to Bimini.  To get everyone caught up on activities since last blog  - we are presently anchored in a pretty little bay (however, today in another strong blow) across from Bakers Haulover Inlet just before North Miami.  There is a park here for Izzy to run off some energy so we have taken the opportunity to get the dinghy down (first for this season) and reintroduce her to proper etiquette when riding in the dinghy.  We've made several runs and so far so good - although her sharp nails make us a little nervous on our inflatable raft and her impatience "just let me swim the rest of the way" attitude when approaching shore needs some work. 

Now I remember how this works -  you climb in and it takes you to land.

Come on Mom - HURRY UP!

Our original plan for anchoring was the anchorage in downtown Miami , but you just never know what kind of delays you may encounter when traveling the intracoastal.  Just our luck - when approaching the Golden Beaches Causeway we were informed by the Coast Guard that "sir there is a situation on the bridge and we have no idea how long it will take" all traffic on the bridge and under the bridge was shut down for about four hours.  We never did find out what happened with the situation on the bridge, but turned out to be a blessing in disguise for us - the anchorage is very pleasant with a park, swimming beach (with clear water) kayaks you can rent to paddle thru the many mangrove covered rivers and quiet solitude. 

Situation on the Bridge?

Plan to pull into Dinner Key Marina tomorrow and get Izzy's Vet health certificate (required for importation into the Bahamas) and then see what the weather brings.  The delay in crossing has given us some time to get boat, dinghy, watermaker (found a leak and having part shipped in to marina) checked out prior to pulling up anchor and heading to the land where costly shipping charges make breakdowns even more painfull.    

Monday, March 1, 2010

ONCE AGAIN WE ARE ON THE HARD -  hauling out at Playboy Marine for bottom work, re-alignment of the shaft and whatever boat maintenance can get done in a week.

Approaching Port Everglades is always nerve wracking.  There were 6 cruise ships in port and weekends are always heavy boat traffic days  - lets hope everyone remembers the rules of the road.

  Originally the plan was to rent a car because it seemed impossible to get Izzy on and off the boat at her present 68 lbs and we came up with the idea she could sleep in the rental car.  Well needless to say she was having no part of it and quickly learned how to climb the ladder up to the swim platform and then Rick got his daily workout bringing her back down.  She cooperated beautifully - actually wrapping her front leg around his neck and not a wiggle out of her until she hit the ground.   

Broulee hauling out.

Izzy paitently waiting at the top of the ladder.

Holding on for dear life - both of them.

Whew - safe on the ground.

Deb took this opportunity to fly out to Phoenix to visit her parents for a week at the wrinkle ranch.  More on that later.

A few of the improvements to Broulee:

New bottom paint.

Newly galvanized prop.

Back in again - including all the dust, grime and dirt that is inescapable in a place like this.