web analytics
Safe Harbor Before The Start Of The Keys

Safe Harbor Before the Start of the Keys

Boca Chita Key, an Island Paradise! Kismet is on the wall at Boca Chita Key. Twelve miles south of Key Biscayne sits this beautiful bahamian type island. It is part of Biscayne National Park and consists of 32 acres of land, beach and harbor. It includes a beautiful 65-ft. ornamental lighthouse which sports an observation deck overlooking the beautiful harbor, nearby islands, Key Biscayne Bay, ocean, Miami and Key Biscayne Island. Down below the lighthouse sits an old canon salvaged off a nearby shipwreck. There is a nice hiking trail and picnic facilities with several grills. There is a little campground, an open-air pavilion and saltwater restroom facilities. This island always makes us think we are in the Bahamas. We left Key Biscayne Key and Miami in our wake as we headed south to one of our favorite Florida islands, just north of Elliot Key and the start of the Florida Keys. Over the years we have learned to time our arrival to Boca Chita Key to fall during a weekday. Since boaters from Miami…

Read More
Hooking Our Way To Fort Lauderdale

Hooking Our Way to Fort Lauderdale

Exploring New Inlets While "Hooking" Our Way to Fort Lauderdale! It's very rewarding experience for us when we have an opportunity to explore new inlets, coves and potential anchorages while cruising AND we end up throwing the hook for the night. The previous times we’ve cruised north or south between Stuart and Fort Lauderdale we’ve always traveled past Peck Lake, Lake Worth, Lake Boca Raton and Lake Sylvia without ever stopping let alone anchoring. We’ve either been in too much of a hurry to get somewhere else or didn’t have the time, all that is different this trip south on the East Coast ICW. Peck Lake is not so much a lake than it is a very large indentation off of the ICW south of Jensen Beach/Stuart area, it is separated from the ocean by Jupiter Island. We spent a windy night on the hook there with eight to ten other boats, with the crashing sound of ocean waves shifting their way over the sand dunes that…

Read More
New Friends, Laughter, And A Cozy Bed To Boot – Palm City, FL

New Friends, Laughter, and a Cozy Bed to Boot – Palm City, FL

One of the reasons we love to boat is that we are more prone to make new friends while we're cruising, Visiting friends in Palm City, Florida, was no exception. We had briefly met Alyn & Diane in our hometown, Traverse City, they also live there part of the year, we share a passion for boating. One day they stopped by to look at our Ranger Tug, which Jim often works on while it is parked in our driveway. It's as simple as that and before we knew it (well, actually a few months later) we were visiting them at their home in Palm City, Florida. They found us a dock nearby to tie up to for the night and insisted we join them for an overnight at their home. We had a nice tour of Palm City, shared happy hour and pizza with a them and another couple and slept in a very cozy king-size bed. It was fun, we shared boating…

Read More
Crazy Hat Beach Party And Low Country Boil

Crazy Hat Beach Party and Low Country Boil

As you can see there were a lot of fun and creative hat constructions during the Crazy Hat Beach Party and Low Country Boil event on Wednesday night during the MTOA 2012 Southern Rendezvous. We'll let the photos speak for themselves – it sure was a lot of fun. We think Robert, here with his wife Kaye, on C-Life,  should have won first prize for his hat creation – we know he had a lot of fun making it. Frank Erwin (above), recent, past President of MTOA, is ready with his hat, a big smile and a good display of turtle pins and attire. George Kay, here with his wife Mary (above-left), is the Awards Director for MTOA – this basically means he hands out the turtle pins to members when they volunteer for jobs and events or bring in new members to the club. Barry and Barbara Kipnis (above), co-chairs of the rendezvous, worked hard to make the MTOA 2012…

Read More
MTOA 2012 Southern Rendezvous

MTOA 2012 Southern Rendezvous

Since pirates played a major role in the settlement of Amelia Island the local gang helped kick off the start of the MTOA 2012 Southern Rendezvous, in Fernandina Beach, at the first morning meeting. MTOA is only one of a couple of the boat clubs we belong to. The club is non-profit and member operated – the yearly events are lots of fun. Every time you volunteer to contribute to the club or an event, you gain a turtle pin. It's not hard to see who the hard workers are as the turtle pins are proudly displayed during the rendezvous. The goals of MTOA and its members include the following:         Maintenance and repair problem solving.         Training and education for our captains and first mates.         Ownership and resale of our member vessels.         Activities and social events for our members and guests.        …

Read More
Our “First Ever” Shrimp Boil

Our “First Ever” Shrimp Boil

First, our friend Ellen and her husband, Roy, on Our Turn, came up with the idea to have a simple, but festive, evening on the dock tonight and procured shrimp from these fishermen (above and below). This was only the first 150 lbs she bought, it was such a popular topic on the docks, people wanted to buy more the next day, so Ellen ended up purchasing the rest of the catch these guys had to sell, another 150 lbs. This all transpired the day before the rendezvous started, people were still arriving and getting settled in. We were all pleasantly surprised that Ellen and Roy put this thing together so that we would have a fun, carefree evening partying on the docks. Here we are on the dock with our stash to clean (above - shrimp with heads on). We took some of it to the shrimp boil that night and the rest we froze so that we could…

Read More
Around And About Fernandina Beach, Florida

Around and About Fernandina Beach, Florida

All snuggled in at Fernadina Beach Marina for the MTOA 2012 Southern Rendezvous. We were happy to meet up again with the crew on Mosey (above), we last saw them in Marathon in February. Also in attendance at the rendezvous was the crew of Active Captain (below). We had left the marina for a little cruise and to get a pump out. The paper mill (see the smoke behind the boats) was an interesting sight. On the way out of the marina for our pump out, we got some good photos of Roy, Ellen and Lucy, on Our Turn (above). One of the best things about attending this rendezvous was being able to meet up with our good friends, Diane and Louis, on Bella Luna. Here we are enjoying a late night, after dinner, treat downtown.

Read More
Fernandina Beach, Florida – Here We Come

Fernandina Beach, Florida – Here We Come

Our last stop in Florida this year is Fernadina Beach to attend the MTOA 2012 Souhern Rendezvous. We've never had the pleasure of visiting Amelia Island when going up or down this coast, but we've only heard good things about this friendly little resort town. We were surprised that, since we got there late in the day, we were able to park and stay on the boat in the marina parking lot overnight without being hassled. We think Fernadina is making a few exceptions during the rendezvous because it is a big event for this town and they'd like MTOA to come back for future events. We met a group of hospitable town folk while hanging out on the boat, we were even invited to visit their homes, within walking distance from the marina. The next morning, we trailored the boat over to the boat ramp, just up the ICW from Fernandina, and were very impressed – a boat ramp on…

Read More
Idling Up New River – Dinghy Ride – Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Idling Up New River – Dinghy Ride – Fort Lauderdale, Florida

We ventured out on a long dinghy ride today – up the New River and into a few side channels. We were just a short distance away from the marina and it was hard to tell we were so close to such a big city as Fort Lauderdale. We must have been gone several hours as there is a lot of waterway to cover on the river with a few little offshoots to explore. As an extra bonus we got to see all different kinds of boats – old, new, big, small and some very unusual ones. Jim said that to venture further up the river we had to go under this old bridge. I was a little nervous as to what might be lurking under there but we just had to go for it to see what was on the other side. This took the prize for the most unusual, and classy, boat sighting on the river today. I…

Read More
Keeping A Promise In Fort Lauderdale

Keeping a Promise in Fort Lauderdale

Lisa made me promise we'd stop in Fort Lauderdale for a week, so after staying in Homestead for two nights to catch up on work and other chores, here we are putting the boat in the water right at Cooley's Landing Marina (below), on the New River at the beginning of the downtown Riverwalk area. Cooley's is one of our favorite marinas in Florida. Nice facilities and location. We can walk to shop in Las Olas, eat out at a choice of restaurants, grocery shop, or get plenty of exercise walking right along the river. Lisa always raves about Cooley's laundry facilities which is more like a laundromat, lots of room to sort, wash and fold. The two times we crossed over to the Abaco Islands, in 2006 and 2009, we stayed at Cooley's, provisioning and cleaning all our clothes and linens because it would be expensive to buy food and wash laundry while staying in the islands. Part of…

Read More
Rendezvouing With Sea Gator In Marathon

Rendezvouing with Sea Gator in Marathon

  When I was in the planning stages of putting together our book, Women On Board Cruising, an acquaintance introduced me via email to Pat Erhman, a long-distance cruiser, along with her husband Rick on their boat, Sea Gator. I was so happy for the introduction because Pat and I corresponded quite a bit over the course of creating the book and I hoped some day our paths would cross on the water. Today it finally came to be. A friend, another contributor to the book, Ellen, ran into Pat in Marathon earlier in the season and told her we were also in the Keys and maybe heading back to Marathon on our way back home. So, after several emails back and forth we determined that the stars were aligning and the crew of Kismet would finally get to meet the crew of Sea Gator. Lots of interesting boats in Boot Key Harbor, mostly sailboats. This is how we get…

Read More
2012 MTOA Gathering In Marathon

2012 MTOA Gathering in Marathon

Another fun party in Marathon. Ken Chumley, on Mosey, organized the 2012 MTOA Gathering on the docks of Sombrero Dockside Marina (same spot as our Tuesday night pot luck a few days ago). It was a good time with lots of food and conversation. Lorenzo (Little David), Lisa, Ellen and Roy (Our Turn) (below) are trying to hide from the sun under that sad little palm tree at 1 Palm Tree Ct. It was a hot one but we don't look to be suffering too much. We also got to meet Pete Donnelly (above - member 0001 - First member of MTOA). Pete shared some of the founding ideas and early events of MTOA! He was pretty excited to be at the event and we enjoyed his recollections about the club's beginnings. MTOA members are big turtle fans. This is a volunteer run organization and the more you contribute the more "turtle" pins you earn. The member (below-left) found an…

Read More
Leaving Goodland Early A.M.

Leaving Goodland Early A.M.

We arrived back at Goodland yesterday afternoon and anchored in the basin next to the marina and hauled the boat out early this morning and tried to clean the bottom up a little. We're hoping to get to Marathon early enough to relaunch and get settled at the marina.

Read More
Going Back In Time At Everglade City’s Rod And Gun Club

Going Back in Time at Everglade City’s Rod and Gun Club

Our mission today was to leave our anchorage in Russell Pass somewhat early in the morning and head over to Everglades City (located along the Barron River on the boundary of Everglades National Park), about a seven mile run. We've been hearing about the Rod and Gun Club since our first Great Loop boat trip in 2005. We never quite made it there during our other two trips through the Everglades due to an unalterable schedule. One of the nice things about having a trailerable trawler is you can get to places quickly with a lot of flexibility. The club has ample docking all along the front of the club. We tied up just as the restaurant was opening for lunch. Lots of room for more boaters on this long dock. Of course we had to check out the boat ramp while we were there (above-left) As we were leaving Rich and Cheryll, on another Ranger Tug called Roam (above), passed…

Read More
On Our Way To Everglade City

On Our Way to Everglade City

We've been through the Everglades twice in the past six years but we've never made it to Everglade City. Today that will change as we are headed there to have lunch at the infamous Rod and Gun Club. A beautiful day to cruise in the Everglades, calm water and clouds that look like jumbo, puffy, cotton balls.

Read More
Thanks To All The “Ted’s” Out There

Thanks to all the “Ted’s” Out There

Recently we made a post about meeting Ted, on Manatee (below - left), a very friendly boater whom we spent only about an hour of total time with. We first met Ted while we were both traveling south on the GICW (we slowed down for a short conversation about where we were headed), we finally met up with each other in Goodland, Florida where we anchored near the Calusa Island Marina where Manatee was docked. In an hours length of total time I don't think you could say we were good friends but good enough for us to know Ted is a good natured guy, willing to help out another boater if the need arises. Not long after we left Goodland for Marathon, another Ranger Tug boater, and friend, called us from his anchorage in Russell Pass (in the Everglades) to discuss his engine starting problems, he was literally dead in the water. This was Rich's first time in the Everglades,…

Read More