Monday, March 18, 2013

March 17, 2013

After being moored for 2 days in a quiet cove because of very strong winds and large waves, we are finally on our way again to The Keys. Unfortunately, whilst we were anchored in the cove we did not have use of the internet or the telephone so were out of touch with everyone. I took some sunset photos but they were not as spectacular as ones I have taken in the past.

Several days ago we stayed in Everglade City at a very nice Marina that was next to all the tourists' air boats. Boy, are they noisy things. I do not think I could ride one because of the noise despite being given ear plugs.

 Gary and I decided to bike to the grocery store and hardware store because the map told us it was not too far away. After approximately two miles we took another look at the map and realised it was not to scale. We decided to turn around and head for another store in the town. Because Gary cycles much slower than me I went ahead and had him follow me. After a while I stopped, looked around and no Gary. He was at least 1/4 mile back pushing his bike. I saw a car stop and became very worried something was seriously wrong. I pedalled as fast as I could back to him just as the car pulled off. The driver had offered Gary a ride and he declined. The reason for Gary walking was his bicycle chain had broken (more Johney bad luck). We walked along together a little further when a truck pulled up and offered us a ride. We put the bikes in the back of the truck, got in the cab and were driven back to the Marina by Mitch, a true Floridian. I wonder if I would have done this if I was by myself.

We also met more kindness when we went to sign in with the dock master at the marina. It was quite a walk and we had rubbish to get rid of. This man, Mark was cleaning his boat on the boat ramp and offered us his golf cart to save us having to walk to the office. We accepted and off we went. However, Mark's wife was at the office and saw the golf cart but no husband. So, she rides off to find her husband to see who has got the golf cart. Luckily, Mark was still explaining things to her when we returned the cart. We certainly have met some lovely people.

We are now in the Keys staying at a marina in Marathon. We had a very good crossing from Everglade City despite the wind forecast of 15-20mph. Luckily, the waves were with us most of the way.  We crossed a large body of water which you would think was quite deep. However, in places it was that shallow that the birds could stand on the bottom and preen themselves.

We have a good depth finder and charts to help us navigate these shallow waters, thank goodness.

 Gary has a friend he used to work with (Tom) who has been introducing us to other boaters. He also helped Gary get his bicycle chain back on. Tom invited us to Happy Hour with the boaters last night. They all gather alongside the boats, bring a drink and chatter. It was a lovely way to get to know everyone. Tonight, (St Paddy's Day) we are all meeting at 5pm with snacks and drinks so we should meet some of the same people again and some new ones. I just wish I could remember people's names. Names go in one ear and out the next.

Would you believe it, my microwave/convection oven went on the fritz this morning. Gary is trying to fix it but it has him stumped at the moment. Presently, it is on our dining room table being examined by the engineer. I don't know, if much else goes wrong we will have to sell the boat and house and the only thing we will be able to afford is this:

We had manatees around our boats this morning and I took some pictures of them. They were lighter in colour than the ones we saw at Silver Spring. We asked other boaters if they knew why they were lighter skinned but no-one seemed to know. I took some photos but they are very similar to what you have already seen.

This gives you an idea of the size of the manatee. Our boat is 15 feet wide.

This one had barnacles on him/her.
They enjoy being fed lettuce!
I thought these two were kissing but Gary said he thought one of them was trying to push the other away from the water. I still like the idea that they were kissing. Just look at those kissable lips!!

I also took another photo of a pelican (now my favorite bird, sorry penguins!!). This one was on the pier post next to our boat. He must have sat there frequently
due to the color of the post!! What amazed me was the size of the bird and how he sat only on the back of the post without falling off.
I saw some iguanas this afternoon. Apparently, they swim across the waterway from the mangroves to eat the grass around the marina. There were three of them - Mum, Dad and baby, I think. I took several photos and it was interesting to see them change color due to their surroundings. I had been warned that they would eat my cat and were quite aggressive. I got fairly close to the biggest one in the hope he would flare his dewlap (bright orange) in defense but he never did. He must have trusted me.
Mum and baby.




Dad needs a manicure!!

Mum climbing a tree to get away from me.

Dad also needs a pedicure.

The biggest iguana was about 2.5 feet long including his tail which he uses to whiplash you, so I am told.

Good news, Gary pulled out the microwave, took it to pieces and found out that we had blown a fuse. He rode to Home Depot on his bike, bought 2 new fuses and fixed the oven. Yippee, we do not have to sell the house.

We are off to the Symphony tonight with Tom and Elinor. That should make for a lovely evening.

Gary has come up with a wonderful idea to let you see where we are or where we have been. Click on the highlighted link and follow it to a Google map of the area you have chosen. You can zoom in and out of the map to see a wider perspective. Give us some feed back if you like it or not or if you have any problems.

We stayed at the north end of Pelican Bay just inside the bright white beach line in 5 feet of water.

This is a google map link to Tarpon Bay.
We anchored just north of Tarpon Bay near the area noted as "shallow mouth". We dinghied in but the next day when the winds had changed the tide was so low we would have had to walk the dingy across a sand bar.

We moved on to Russel Pass.
Russel Pass is the large pass just to the right of Russel Bay near Everglades City. We dinghied into Lane Cove to do some bird watching. The area we went into was called the 10,000 islands area and everywhere we went through the mangroves looked like the last place we have been through. We has some doubts about finding our way back to the boat but with Margaret's good sense of direction, we made it back OK!!

The Google link to our location on Little Shark River is a picture of a cloud so it isn't shown..

Google map link to our marina location in marathon fl.

1 comment:

  1. Upset to hear that you're abandoning the penguins. I feel you just need to see them in their natural environment and you'll fall in love with them again. Perhaps driving the boat down to Antarctica next year. The maps links seemed to work well. Miss you both and I'm jealous of how many fun stories you all are having. Hope you can get the microwave fixed. <3 Dave