We planned to sail the next morning bright and early. The wind wasn’t supposed to be too hard, although a Nor’easter is still blowing through. We tried to reserve a spot in Marathon, but all marinas and mooring fields are booked solid from Marathon north, as everyone waits for a weather window to cross the Gulfstream. We heard that there were over 200 boats waiting to go in Marathon alone! We picked out an anchorage north of Stock Island but south of Marathon, close to Ramrod Key.
We enjoyed our last sunset at Stock Island in Safe Harbor from the dinghy. Before returning to the boat and setting everything in motion. Everything had to be stowed, strapped down, diesel tanks filled, gas can filled, water tanks topped off, and trash discarded. Thinking this could be our last stop with services for a while, we washed up our bedding, towels and clothes and made a final run to Publix (awesome grocery stores in Florida) for final provisioning. Ok, ready.
The next morning we woke up early, finalized our bill with the marina, and eased out of our slip around 8:00 am. We motored only until we left the channel, then raised the sails. Oh glorious day of sailing! At long last! Where have you been?
Mom was relaxed, if a little cool, and Gizmo was chowing down – a sure sign of smooth sailing. He seems to be adjusting to to living in a moving home. He appears to feel a little queasy on the rougher days, but who doesn’t?
After a while the wind died and we had to furl the jib and motor. About 7 miles from our targeted channel, the wind came back and the jib went back out. It is so much quieter sailing, we do it every chance we get. Of course, we had to drop the sails to enter the channel. It was a little tricky to get in with all the shallows, but once we anchored, we loved it. The area is surrounded by islands and very protected. After grilling up some chicken and asparagus, we inflated the new kayak to take it out for a trial run. It was awesome!
We rowed over to a mangrove island, where there was a small sand beach in the middle (pictured at top). The day was late and the sun was low, so we hung out for the sunset. We were rewarded with the illusion of the sun melting into the ocean, absolutely incredible. A great day may make for boring reading for our friends and family, but it sure was a nice reprieve for us! Why can’t every day be like this? Oh, so future plans? Stay in the anchorage two nights, pick up Jeff and Jean from Two Can Sail on Saturday and catch what actually looks like a weather window to cross the Gulfstream on Sunday. I have a feeling it is going to be a very crowded crossing! Come on Bahamas!