Sunday, June 26, 2011

The way home

After leaving Fort Lauderdale, we stopped for one night in North Palm Beach and had a fantastic meal at The Ochna.  The next morning we were on our way to Fort Pierce.  Sadly, the trip is about over.  All that's left is to tear down the canvas and antennas and load the boat on the trailer.  The next thing we knew we were with the truckers again.



26 hours later, were were home.  Until next year that is...

Fort Lauderdale

After a few nights in Miami on our way back north, we decided to spend a few nights in Fort Lauderdale.  Coming in the inlet from the ocean, we were taken aback by the size of this Carnival Cruise Ship.

Then we got our perspective on as we spotted one of the worlds largest cruise ships, the Oasis of the Seas (only her sister-ship is as large).

Later that evening, we got to watch her depart while we ate dinner.

Seeing her massive size, we decided to upgrade our boat later that night.  We're waiting for the financing to come through on this one.


Islamorada

We took one break from anchoring and got a slip in Islamorada.  One night of people, beaches, and of course, a Tiki Bar.



Just be real careful coming in the channel.  The water on either side is very, very "skinny".  This is what it looks like on a weekday.


And this is what it looks like on a weekend.  It's quite the party spot.



More Reefs - Conch, Hens & Chickens

I think this was our last day of snorkeling.  There is no lack of marine life in the Florida Keys, and Florida in general for that matter.  I would say there's actually much more than what we've seen in the past in the Bahamas.


There are also spare parts laying around.  Does anybody need an outboard engine lower case?

That was the only man-made item we saw at the reefs other than the moorings.  Thankfully, that's not the part of the outboard that contains any oil or fuel, and life was taking over the thing anyway.

Mooring Balls

As I was saying, each morning we'd haul up the anchor and head off to snorkel more reefs.  For those not familiar with the area, Florida has carefully installed mooring balls at each reef in the park so that anchors do not destroy the coral.  

Simply pull the boat us to a mooring and tie off.


Then you're free to snorkel or dive the reefs.


The rest of the trip - Key Largo still

I apologize for dropping out of society for a few weeks.  But it was vacation after all and I was happy to be spending more time away from the computer instead of in front of it!  We'll pick it back up with us still in the Florida Keys.  We made Key Largo our "base of operations".

We stayed at anchor each night and snorkeled more reefs each day.  The mornings were beautiful. 
As were the evenings and nights.

 Not only was the 6' of water we were anchored in quite inviting for swimming.

But it made locating the anchor and chain each morning very easy.  Here we ended up over our anchor after the chain looped during the night as the boat moved.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Molasses Reef

Again, a long day of swimming so comments will follow.  But here are today's pictures:

















Monday, June 13, 2011

Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary |

This is a revised post.  I was exhausted last night from all the snorkeling.  We are anchoring at night and spending our days at different reefs in the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, which is part of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

Here's one of the areas.  You're looking at the reef 15 feet below the surface:
Ah, the water feels nice!












We were at two reefs yesterday.  Each had it's own security guard.