Saturday, November 8, 2008

November 4, 2008 - Tuesday

We left Key Largo around 9:00 am and arrived to Coco Plum Beach in Marathon around 3:30 pm. The boat ride to Marathon was in very shallow water on the bay side of the keys so we cut across to the ocean side to a waterpath called Hawk's Channel for the last fifteen miles of our trip. The weather was in the 80's and the breezes off the water felt good. This is the last leg of our trip. Marathon is our final destination. We are renting a boat slip there from Scott Kaczynski, a fireman, with the City of Wilmington.
We got into our assigned slip (#22) at Coco Plum Beach Marina very easily. Norman, the dockmaster, was a great help. Noel, is our neighbor on the port side of our boat and the sailboat on the starboard side, well, no one is at home.
Our afternoon was filled with tying off ropes and hanging fenders to protect the sides of the boat. The marina is small and everyone has Tiki Huts set up on the small sections of land beside the boat walks. I think we're going to like it here!
I will post a blog on a weekly basis due to making land-ho!
Happy Boating.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

November 3, 2008 - Monday

Left Haulover Marina in North Miami at 8:30 and arrived in Key Largo, at Gilberts Resort and Marina at 2:00 pm. The wind was perfect and we traveled 10-11 knots across the Biscayne Bay. We were going with the wind and the current. Did not burn hardly any fuel. The trip was far better than we expected.
Gilbert Resort and Marina is a hideaway for anyone who wants to get lost and the interesting thing about this place, is that all walks of life live in harmony and embrace one another. I think that is probably what heaven is going to be like. The atmosphere is very rustic and I love the big bulb Christmas lights hanging across the poles at the docks.
Docking was easy with the long t-slip beside the hotel. Pablo was the dockmaster who took our reservations by phone and Taschi was the Assistant everything according to him. Toschi was hilarious and reminded me of my cousin Frank.
We ate sandwiches and drank beer at the Tiki hut beside the dock around 2:30. It looked like it had been there for years. Amy was our sweet red headed waitress from New Jersey and Ed was the conversationalist at the end of the bar. He was quite interesting. He reigns from Krautland and loves America. We met another couple who docked that evening behind us. They have a beautiful boat called a german name that I can't pronounce or remember how to spell. The Captain gave Joey good advice on our route and warned us of the landmines we would fine this time of year in the water. They're Lobster traps and there are everywhere. This couple has traveled The Great Loop twice and has lived on their boat since 2002. They were on their way to Islamorada for a stay of seven months. They stop at Gilbert's resort for the German Restaurant and they highly recommended the Schnitzel. We took their advice and had dinner there. The schnitzel was delicious as well as everything else that accompanied it. William, our waiter, was a delight and so friendly. He walked us to the door as we talked with him so long, we were the last patrons of the restaurant. William is a young man who has bought his first boat that recently sank. He and Joey struck up a conversation of what possibilities sank his boat and how to format the course of fixing it. Good luck William with your boat! You're young and have plenty of time to make repairs.


Fort Lauderdale Boat Show 10/31/08

Leaving Pompano Beach and going through Fort Lauderdale, Joey and I found
The other boats are dynamic as well. Imagine seeing hundreds of these sized of boats packed into the marinas like sardines for the Boat Show.

Our motto was
So many boats, so little money, so let's get out of here.

October 31, 2008 -November 2nd- Fri, Sat & Sun

Left Pompano Beach this morning around 9:00 and arrived at Haulover State Park around 1:30.
I told Joey this morning, over coffee, that I was extremely nervous about backing out of this slip. It was sheer hell getting into it, so from my common sense approach to docking - my intellect told me it was going to be sheer hell backing out. The thing about water IS - "It's like a box of chocolates -You never know what you're going to get." As soon as we unloosened the ropes, the current, you know that underwater fan that creates utter turmoil for the novice boaters, began its spell. Well at least we were leaving and the bridge was up and oh yeah we didn't hit anybody or anything and we didn't have to pay for anything, but I am remorseful about the chunk we took out of the last piling. I smile as Joey looked at me so opptomistic and said, "Oh no, we'll back this thing out like it's on a rail." I think he's the opptomistic one in this relationship, at least for this time.
After that hit and miss - things did get better.
We had a nice trip down the ICW canal and found a wonderful marina to dock at for the next couple of nights. Haulover State Park and Marina in North Miami is a great place to visit. It is right outside of the big city so to speak. The marina is one long t-slip, which is refreshing and easy to dock up. Chris, the park manager, came out and greeted us upon our arrival. There are Charter fishing boats, big and small there. Four feet long Tarpon hang out at the dock for fish parts as the fisherman clean their catch. The water is so clear it is easy to see them swimming around.
We had three days at this marina. We had to wait for the winds to blow northward and die down as well, so we could cross Biscayne Bay. We both agreed that this was the time of our trip to be certain about the weather and readiness of the boat before we crossed such a large body of water.
Saturday morning we got up and cleaned the boat then got our bikes out and took a long ride around the park. The park is a total of 160 acres of beach, land and marina, so it makes for a great ride. We didn't realize that a portion of the State Park beach was set aside for nude sunbathing. Joey and I were shocked and no we did not participate. We kept our suits on and moved on down the beach where people were not so liberal and kept their clothes on. The beach was full of sea sponges and coral that washes up in droves. I collected a bag full and will mail it to the children at HKDC for their water table.
There is a Kite salesman in the heart of the park and the large kites he sells are beautiful. Lots of families picnicked and flew kites with their children. The cuban children are beautiful with their dark brown curly locks and brown skin. Everyone is friendly and nice.
We collected two coconuts, cracked them and made a pie. It was chewy as Joey and I could'nt decide if we liked it or not. I think not.
Sunday we called a cab and went to the local Wal Mart for supplies. We'll leave on Monday morning for the Biscayne Bay trip. The weather is reporting calm seas and north winds so that's our cue.