Saturday, March 7, 2015

Made it to Marathon

We left Palm Island in Placida, FL on February 10th and made passage to Marathon via Sanibel Island, Naples, Goodland, Russel Pass, Everglades City, Little Shark River and then Marathon. 
We had to change our schedule somewhat because of various cold fronts that passed. Usually when a cold front passes you get strong northerly winds, which make cruising very lumpy, especially on the west coast where Florida bay is shallow and open. Our stay in Everglades City went from two days to four and we has to skip an anticipated anchorage in Lake Ingram located in the Everglades. Even with that we arrived a day late in Marathon. Marathon will be a long layover since it is a great spot and it will allow us to provision for our anticipated crossing to the Bahamas. 
Below are some pictures of this leg 

Stopping in Sanibel is always nice, especially when fellow tug owners, Laurie and Steve, let us use their dock! Below is the Sanibel Island lighthouse.

At the dock in Naples along side our boating buddies Cheryll & Rich on Roam

Our stop in Goodland always includes a Sunday afternoon party at Stan's. The best burgers ever!

Osprey always find great spots to perch when looking for prey 

Entering Everglades City is like going back in time. I used to fish from here over 30 years ago before GPS was available. My guide was "Snapper" Butler, the mayor of Everglades City at the time. He told me that once we left the dock only he and the devil knew where I was. The place looks the same, but Snapper is no longer around. Perhaps the devil knows where he is!

We decided to take our dingy into the mangrove route the airboats take. We thought was after hours. I guess not! A bit scary for a moment.

A trip to Florida isn't complete without a visit from Mr. Manatee.

A visit to Chocoloskee, a small island town south of Everglades City brought us to this old trading post started by Ted Smallwood. There is abundant history here. For more information go on line. It was just amazing to see how early settlers lived and survived living in the Everglades. Many of the items here are original inventory. It was an interesting visit. 

This is cruising at the ultimate! Sunset in Marathon couldn't get better!

What would a visit to Marathon be without going to the pig Races.

Our Friend Dave makes mean fish cakes. Another evening watching the sun set, drinks and food. Work, what's that??

Going to Key West for the day is easy. For $2.00 you can grab a bus or if you have a fellow boater that needs their truck delivered, it is a good thing to offer to help out! Mile Marker Zero is always a good place for a picture. For those who are unfamiliar with the Keys, the mile markers start from the beginning of the Overseas Highway in Key Largo and count down to Key West. And by the way, Key West is the southernmost point in the US.

So there you have it. Stay tuned because we are planning a trip to the Bahamas if the right weather window pops up. Crossing the Gulf Steam will be an interesting ride. 

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