Time has come for us to move on to another adventure and put Salty Lady up for sale, in the hopes that she can give another owner as much pleasure as she has given us for the last 2 years. Although she is not “officially” on the market yet, if you are interested in seeing her before she hits the market, please use the Contact Salty Lady link above to send us a message.
Before heading out, Misha took the opportunity to stretch her legs in Fort Pierce and found some really interesting points of interest.
We will have to come back to Fort Pierce and spend some more time checking it out.
We left early Friday morning for the 8 hour cruise up the beautiful, scenic Indian River. Along the way we spotted lots of Osprey Nests on ICW Navigational Aids.
There was no shortage of dolphins either. It never gets old watching them jump in the wake and turn sideways to look up at us.
After we pulled back into our home slip in Titusville, it was great to see our friends and neighbors at the Friday night cookout at the marina. We are reminded that no matter where we travel, it’s always nice to come “home” and see some friendly faces!
It was a short day today as we continued up the coast for our last leg on the outside. We traveled about 51 NM in about 5 hours to Fort Pierce City Marina. It was another gorgeous day with a light breeze, no waves and very little traffic.
Tomorrow we head 76 NM up the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (AICW) to our home, in Titusville. This is our favorite stretch of the AICW, as it goes through beautiful, rural Central Florida, there is little boat traffic, and there are no bridges that we need opened.
Today was another beautiful, calm day on the outside, as we traveled from Key Biscayne to Lake Worth (West Palm Beach). Wind was 5 to 10 knots and the only waves were wakes from other boats. We traveled 76 Nautical Miles in about 7 hours making for a shorter day than yesterday.
As we approached Everglades Inlet (Fort Lauderdale) we were hailed by a US Navy Vessel and asked to detour around an area where we later discovered a submarine was performing maneuvers.
Shortly after that, we passed closely by the SpaceX Dragon Capsule Revovery Vehicle, Megan. Now, what makes these two incidents remarkable, is that our eldest daughter, Lisa, works for the US Navy, and our youngest, Hannah, works for SpaceX! So cool to see vessels from each in such close proximity.
After anchoring in Lake Worth, we took the dinghy over to Peanut Island. Wow! This place is pretty nice and we wish we had allocated more time to visit. Maybe next year on our way to the Bahamas we can spend a little more time here.
Tomorrow we continue to take advantage of good weather and head outside to Fort Pierce. It will be a short trip, only about 51 Nautical Miles.
It was a beautiful, calm day as we said goodbye bye to Faro Blanco Marina and our friends in Marathon, to head 97 nautical miles to Key Biscyane. There was a gentle, 5 knot breeze and calm seas the whole way, with very little boat traffic.
We did have several dolphin encounters along the way! It never gets old watching them play in our wake and turn to look at us. I believe they are as excited to see us as we are, to see them.
We had one bit of excitement along the way… We came upon a police boat and what appeared to be a civilian boat. Suddenly, the civilian boat took off and the police boat started chasing them. The civilian boat was doing “S” turns to try to get away, it appeared. After several minutes, both boats stopped, there appeared to be a short conversation, then both boats went their separate ways. We assume this was some sort of training exercise?
It was a long day, but after about 10 hours, the familiar Miami skyline came into view and we were able to anchor in the exact same spot we did on the way down, back in February.
Tomorrow we will head outside, North to Lake Worth (West Palm Beach), about 73 Nautical Miles from here.
On Mother’s Day, we left Salty Lady parked in Marathon and took a ferry from Key West to the Dry Tortuga. The Dry Torguas are located about 70 miles West of Key West. It’s called “dry” because there is no fresh water and it’s called Tortugas (turtles) because Ponce DeLeon made a note on his map there regarding the turtles (probably as a source for much needed fresh food). This National Park is also home to Fort Jefferson (named after the 3rd US President) which is a very impressive fort, made from ~16 million bricks.
We travelled to the island on the Yankee Freedom III, a passenger Ferry out of Key West that has daily trips to the Dry Tortugas. We had to book the trip several weeks in advance, not knowing if the weather would be good or not; and it turned out to be a beautiful day, with virtually no waves and a gentle breeze. We were so lucky: the day prior, they had 5 foot seas and half the boat got sick!
After about 2 hours of a very relaxing ride, Fort Jefferson on Garden Key came into view. The island is pretty small and the fort takes up most of it. The fort was used as a defense structure to help control the very important shipping routes for our young country in the early 1800s. It was later used as a prison, housing the famous Dr. Samuel Mudd (convicted co-conspirator of John Wilkes Booth; for setting his broken leg after he assasinated President Licoln; he was later pardoned).
The fort was quite impressive with a light house, housing, and three levels of brick fortification covering 360 degrees.
Although the fort never engaged in combat with her guns, during the early days of the US Civil War, union troops occupied the fort just one day before confederate troops arrived. The guns were still in Key West but the union commander successfully bluffed the confederate commander by threatening to blow his ship to smithereens if they didn’t leave.
In more recent times, the island has become a destination for many migrants seeking a better life in the US. This “chug boat” had recently made it’s way from Cuba to the Dry Tortugas and is in much better condition than many of the boats. It is powered by a small diesel engine.
In addition to the ferry, you can also take a seaplane from Key West to the island.
We spent the latter pary of the day snorkeling in the crystal clear waters around the island.
We found this very large school of fish and a very, very large Great Baracuda!
Today, we took Salty Lady out to Sombrero Reef, about 8 miles offshore from Marathon, for some snorkelling and Hookah diving.
We left early and had our pick of mooring balls at the reef. It didn’t take long for the area to fill up with boats and we got the Hookah system ready to dive/snorkel.
It was a perfect day: there were no winds, no waves, plenty of sun and crystal clear water.
We saw lots of fish, immediately after we tied up, including yellow tail, parrot fish, and baracuda and many more.
We left Rodriguez Key this morning and had another calm day cruising Hawk Channel toward our final destination: Marathon. The only annoyance along the way were the thousands of fish trap buoys that we constantly had to navigate through, like a minefield. Eventually we reached the famous 7 mile bridge and headed over to the Gulf side of the Keys.
Faro Blanco Marina is absolutely stunning. Thanks to our friends Rob and Antoinette on Hidden Gem for recommending it. The marina is co-located with the Faro Blanco Resort and Marriot Courtyard and we have access to all the amenities at both of those as well.
Our friends Kelly and Julie from GoGo Yacht arrived shortly after us and we all were introduced to several of our new neighbors for “docktails” at 5pm (apparently they do this every evening!).
We plan to spend the next 3 months here, with a few short trips to Key West and the Dry Tortugas with friends and family who come to visit us. In early June we will make the 300 nautical mile trip back to our home and all of our friends in Titusville.
We spent today at anchor exploring the water around Rodriguez Key. First we took the dinghy toward the small island only to discover that no motors are allowed (the water is very shallow and lots of marine wildlife). Also the island is completely surrounded with mangroves, which are beautiful, but means we can’t actually get on shore.
So we returned to the boat and got the paddle boards instead. It was a short trip back to the Island and with no wind, we were able to easily navigate the shallow waters. We saw lots of fish, birds and even a stingray.
It was so warm that we swam around the boat for a bit and I took the opportunity to dive down and check the anchor.
We capped off another beautiful day with a gorgeous sunset and cocktails. Tomorrow we head to Marathon to complete this leg of our trip!
Last night, we enjoyed an amazing sunset at our anchorage in Key Biscayne. After the weekend party-goers finally left, it was a calm, peaceful night.
This morning, we said goodbye to Miami’s beautiful skyline and headed down Hawk Channel to the Keys. Almost immediately the water was crystal clear. Crusing in 15 to 20 feet of water we swore it looked only 5 feet deep.
We pulled into our anchorage at Rodriguez Key, next to Key Largo, and found a nice spot. We immediately went for a swim and took advantage of the clear water to check out the underside of our boat. Everything checked out ok (just wanted to make sure we didn’t accidently catch a fish trap line or anything wrapped around the shafts).
We will spend 2 nights here before heading to Marathon, which will be our “home away from home” for the next 3 months.