Leaving Sunset Harbour marina wearing our stylish Muddy Waters T-shirts, our Christmas present from Jaleh, Jeff, Chris and Wendi.  Michael’s says Captain; Jennifer’s, First Mate; Keenan’s, Chief Engineer; and Daria’s, Cruise Director.  Thank you for the thoughtful gift, it fits us just right!

After final preparations, a few more visitors, acquisition of two lightly used folding bikes and a second stand-up paddle board, we went through our check-list, started the engines and left the docks at 3:45 pm (or 1545 for those on military time) to begin our journey.  With help from cousin Eric Miska on the dock, Jennifer and Keenan expertly handled the lines and helped us maneuver our way through and around what we’d guess was tens, maybe hundreds, of millions of dollars worth of fiberglass in the marina.  We didn’t bump into anything or lose anything.  We don’t think.  Not yet anyway.

And so the journey begins.  Maybe you could see the whites of our teeth from the breadth of our smiles.  The East Venetian Bridge, which we’ve traversed for fifteen years on foot, bike, skateboard, and car, opened for us to pass through from north to south.  We thought of raised arms or a welcome hug.  Lots of dreaming and planning, and now we’re here.  Just where we want to be.

We’re anchored in a familiar spot, not far from home.  It feels familiar in some ways and new in others.  It seemed like a nice place to start, especially for the kids.  Daria joined us on the flybridge as we motored around the islands.  With ESE (coming from between east and southeast) winds at 10 – 15 knots, we tucked-in between San Marino and Dilido Islands and dropped the hook (anchor) and settled in.  We watched a spectacular Miami city silhouette through the sunset.  Dinner.  Board games.  Smiles.  A beautiful start.  It seems real in most ways and dream-like in others.

Thanks to all our family and friends for helping us get here and supporting us with well wishes and good advice.  We’ve learned lots just getting ready for the adventure, and we approach it all with lots of humility and remembering safety’s always first (and that’s so often all about the weather).  The kids have been stars – helpful, industrious, funny, and willing – especially considering their separation from friends, family, our fifteen year old doggie Ginger, and so many familiar places.  None of us is sure exactly what to expect.   The allure of adventure.

For now, we’re hopping south.  Tomorrow, it’s Key Biscayne as we ready for an offshore journey to the Middle Keys.  Signing off and planning to gently rock to sleep on Muddy Waters.

Jennifer & Michael