Monday, February 21, 2011

A Marathon Race to the Bahamas!

February 14th, 2011
Happy Valentine’s Day!
We have continued our journey through the Keys. We stayed 2 nights at the Marquesas and enjoyed it! Saw some sea turtles, dolphins and incredible water as we sailed and motored our way to the first night’s stop. An amazing way to spend a 29th birthday! Almost 18 hours of sailing! Beautiful, but long! We spent the 2nd night near the inlet to the middle of the Marquesas. We motored in with the dinghy and saw another power boat in there. A pelican came RIGHT up to us...begging for scraps. We only took pictures of the horribly habituated bird.
We made it back to Key West and enjoyed a few more nights. Jay took us out (with another couple) to Sand Key to snorkel and fish. Really cool stuff! Sharks, lots of Parrotfish and tons of other ones I don’t know. Stayed for a couple more nights and then left out on the 8th to Bahia Honda State Park. Amazing place with perfect views, water and beach! We spent a day getting to know the park, especially the beach. 
On the 9th we packed up and went out to Looe Reef to go snorkeling. We ended up lobstering more than viewing. HUGE Baracudas, the size of my calve. Shark and lots of schools of fish. Beautiful, protected place. We took 2 lobsters from near by and motored up to Marathon. We came in at sunset and stole a mooring ball. Not supposed to, but I think it was fine. We grilled 2 lobsters and had it with angel hair and alfredo sauce! An amazing moment. We’ve been here now for 5 days (Marathon, FL). The winds came and went. 20-30 mph winds were forecasted and we barely rocked. We did swing a bit, but it was a GREAT anchorage and harbor. Everything at the marina was set up for cruisers and boaters. The water spouts on the seawall so you don’t have to lift your water cans. A library, TV rooms, internet, showers and bathroom included with your dinghy fee, laundry and even a goody bag! Every morning they had a radio channel devoted to cruisers, the cruisers net. They welcomed new folks, let people ask for help, had stuff for sale, and even a daily trivia question or two ! All great stuff. Laid back town, relatively small, but very friendly, LOTS of boaters.
We spent today renting a car and traveling to Key West. We had to get a “fast title.” Their office is the only one that does it in the Keys. So we got a VW Jetta with a sunroof and drove down in the nick of time. Got a new title and our boat registered. What a relief. We lost our first title in the Montana mail!? We had Willi, the previous owner get another copy and sent it to us. That is our ticket into the Bahamas. We’re looking at traveling up towards Long Key or Islamorada. Then to Key Largo. We’re hoping to jump out to the Bimini Islands and then around the Bahamas a bit. Here we come!!!! Passports ready!

Great Blue Heron in the mudflats at Marquesa Keys

Crazy Habituated Brown Pelican

Mangroves Sprouting anew

Horseshoe Crab, long gone from it's shell

Nice beach flower, not sure the species yet

Relaxing at Marquesa Keys as the sun goes down

Dub fishing off of Jay's boat, headed for Sand Key Reef

Sand Key Reef Light, Awesome snorkel!

Sunset at Bahia Honda State Park

Sunrise at Bahia Honda State Park

Our boat, Jay's boat, and Bahia Honda State Park (US 1 and our boat to the left)

Amazing beach! 

Looe Reef

Hand caught lobster dinner at Marathon

Ah, delight!

Our backyard at Marathon

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