On a passage from Key Biscayne to  the Middle Keys, we had three personal escorts leading us on our journey.  What an experience!

Hello to all our family and friends.  It’s been a few days since we updated the blog… Still trying to figure out all the WiFi connections with our boat.  Do we really miss having a connection 24/7?  Well, that can be answered two ways:  the kids will tell you “yes” we miss it!, while Michael and I don’t seem too cut off…just yet!  Of course we want to have you all updated on our whereabouts, but it sure is nice not to feel that gravitational pull towards the computer each morning!  We still check our emails on the iPhone; that is the saving grace, but the computer?… we just haven’t gotten around to figuring out that rhythm yet.

What have we done so far?  Well, we traveled from Miami to Key Biscayne in two hours and spent the evening at anchor with a view of the Miami skyline.  The kids had a blast jumping off the upper deck in the afternoon into the freezing cold (for us) water of Biscayne Bay.

The next morning we were underway towards the Channel 5 bridge in the Florida Middle Keys.  What we thought would take only until the afternoon actually took us until sunset to get there!  Wow what a run.  The weather was overcast, but the ocean flat, so we motored along quite peacefully.  The big surprise was our own personal escort of three dolphins that joined us at the bow, having fun riding our bow wave for around 5 minutes.  We have some video of it posted on a separate page if you want to check it out.

A sunset arrival to the Keys is a beautiful thing; the colors, the water, the silhouettes of the palm trees against the sky, it’s no wonder people arrive and never leave.  The only difficulty would be negotiating the lobster and crab pots.  There are what seems like an endless sea of floating soccer balls on the water as we try and find a decent anchorage.  Of course our boat could just go right over them, but fishing out the rope from the propeller late in the evening is no one’s idea of fun.  And, most importantly, we know a lot of hard-working fishermen make their living with these traps so we don’t want to spoil anyone’s catch.

So with one person on the bow looking for buoys and the other driving, we successfully anchored and tucked-in for the evening.  Daria enjoyed flashlight fishing – shine the brightest light into the water and see what you can pick up with your hand and a cup.  Needless to say, these Keys fish are smarter than we think and successfully evade Daria’s efforts.  Oh well, that’s all for the evening’s entertainment.

The next morning (and we have lost track of time, so don’t expect that I will give you the right day) we headed out bright and early towards Marathon (Vaca Key) arriving three hours later.  Still recovering from sticker-shock at the prices of docking at a marina ($145 per night) we opted for a mooring ball in beautiful Boot Key Harbor with a great view of the sunrise each morning and sunset each evening. The price was right (much better to have a whole week at $105), our neighbors friendly, and we have easy access to the public dinghy dock about a 1/4 mile away.

We kind of like the mooring balls or being at anchor because it gives us some privacy while allowing the kids some more time practicing their driving skills in the dinghy, Mudcat.  Sooo… just heading into shore so we can post this blog today.  We promise more soon.