Sunday, October 17, 2010


Well, we're back in Marathon...and we finally got to sail across Florida Bay!

We've now made 5 trips across the Bay and each time either there was no wind or we broke something on the sailing rig and couldn't sail. But this time it was different. We started out from Little Shark River at first light on Monday morning. The wind was a light NNE so we motor-sailed for a while. After we pased Cape Sable the wind picked up and it started to get difficult to handle the boat with the motor running. So we shut off the motor and sailed the rest of the way, dodging crab pot floats about every two boat lengths. It was a grueling 10 hour game of "dodge pot" but other than that it was a pleasant sail. The boat handled well in the 10 to 15 knot NNE wind and we made it to the 7 Mile Bridge without incident.
Once we arrived in Boot Key Harbor we discovered that the draw bridge was being worked on and we couldn't pass through until the following morning. It was nearly sundown and we were tired from two back to back 45 mile days, so we chose to motor around to Sisters' Creek and enter the harbor. As we left the creek and entered the harbor we spot the bridge in the open position! Dang it, the workers had just gone home and left the bridge open after all.
The marina office was closed so we just chose our own mooring and checked in the next morning.
Tuesday it rained nearly all day, over 8 inches total! We had to bail the dinghy twice.
On our trip down, we had a hitchhiker, a little Florida Scrub Lizard we called "Gary." We didn't mind having him along as they eat bugs!
We also finally made it ashore at Cayo Costa and spent a few hours on the beach. We've anchored in the little bay (Pelican Bay) a few times before but never went ashore.
At one of our anchorages (Lemon Bay) we anchored a few hundred yards farther south and were treated to a bald eagle sighting. The eagle just sat on the sand bar for nearly an hour, just watching the water.
We finally made a visit to Queequeg on Friday and found that there was water inside again, but not nearly as bad as before. I guess the first task will be to get the bilge pumps operational, and then track down all the leaks so this doesn't happen again.
We also made some new friends on board a really pretty old Chris Craft sailboat, Yellowbird. I didn't know Chris Craft ever made sailboats and apparently theirs in number 78 out of only 80 boats built. They've done a fine job restoring it. We had them over for dinner on Friday evening and they had us over for drinks and a tour of the boat on Saturday. Terry makes jewelry and presented Bev with an anklet.

Our hitchhiker

Sunset at York Island

Anklet by Terry

Bald Eagle

The Beach at Cayo Costa
Next week we will start the process of getting Queequeg ready for launch. Given that we got back to Marathon a bit later than we had planned, it looks like the launch won't be until some time in November. Be sure to watch the Queequeg Blog for updates.

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