27 February 2016
Marathon was such a pleasant place, we sometimes almost forgot we were being held hostage. When we finally escaped, we have often wondered why we were so anxious to go. The first day found us in rather rough seas which meant we did not get as far as we thought we might. We stopped at Indian Key and picked up one of the two mooring balls. Gust-O took the other one. By 10:00 that night we were thinking we had made a mistake. The waves were hitting us abeam which caused us to roll and slam. Sleeping was not easy. Oh how we missed the quite anchorage at Marathon.
But wait. Day two was encouraging. We sailed right along with a shortened sail and dropped anchor at Rodriguez Key in time for lunch and a much needed nap. Gust-O invited us over for brunch the next day. After preparing the dinghy, which is no easy project, we stopped at our anchor to remove the fishing line which had securely wrapped itself around and around our anchor rode and then disappeared under our hull. We were unable to unwrap the line from the rode and unable to break free the line going under us. Did it think it had caught a giant red snapper? As we did not want to be late for brunch we abandoned that project and headed up wind to Gust-O. Within a minute, we knew we had a problem. Our little trolling motor jammed up. Yup, you guessed it. That fishing line was now wrapped around our prop. I grabbed the oars and with Herculean effort rowed UPWIND to Gust-O. Not only did I have to row an inflatable dinghy upwind, but Reggie was attempting to free the prop from the fishing line. In order to do that he was required to place his buttocks in the way of my left oar. We did arrive at Gust-O in time for brunch, but my knuckles were bloody and Reggie’s right buttock will soon resemble a blueberry cobbler. Once the prop was free, Reggie pulled in about 300 feet of line. After enjoying our repast we were ready to engage the fishing line in a final battle. I am happy to report we won and Submit was free to leave that night for the Bahamas!
But wait. The weather forecast changed. We could still go of course. However, even if we survived the wind and seas, we figured we would never want to sail again. So, we spent a second night at anchor at Rodriguez Key. Next day we had a fantastic sail to Angelfish Creek which is an anchorage with good protection from the north wind which was soon to arrive. We eased our anchor back to Gust-O and rafted up for snacks and libations. As you can see we are loving the cruising life today.
But wait. There is a strong current here and power boats come flying by. We did not want to risk swinging into their super highway, so decided to deploy stern anchors also. The nightmare begins. Some how we managed to snag Gust-O’s anchor with our keel and drifted down on them broad side. I can’t possibly tell you all the shenanigans which were done to separate the two boats, but it wasn’t pretty. On the plus side, I have to congratulate all of us for keeping our cool (well, mostly). I can still hear Ray saying, “This isn’t good.” I’m sorry to say “Oh, sh—“ escaped from my mouth more than once. Also on the plus side, there were no physical injuries. Gust-O has a scrape on her nose and needs a new snubber. We tied a fender and a throwable to our stern anchor and set her free for the night. Lessons learned.
There has been a strong north wind all day and we are glad to be tucked in here. Our retrieved stern anchor is doing its job and we are thankful for a day with no misadventures, other than having to rescue our dinghy oar which starting to float away. Thanks Anita for seeing it before it got too far.
Stay tuned. You never know what tomorrow will bring. Neither do we.
Tomorrow came and went without us posting this. We spent another night in Angelfish and then exited the shallow side with at least a foot of water under the keel. Off then to Dinner Key Marina in Coconut Grove, Florida. We are told they have 580 slips. We are not in one. We are on mooring 154 out of probably 200. The charge is $25 per night and you get access to the facility for showers, wifi in the marina building, garbage disposal, and a water taxi which can be ordered for picking you up at your boat or dropping you off between 8AM and 5PM daily, weather permitting.
We took advantage of the water taxi to head in for registering and paying for the mooring. Afterwards a walk to see some of the local sights was followed by a lunch out and discussions about staying or going, and if going, to where. We walked about a half mile to do some re-provisioning and then headed back to the boats and naps.
There is a possible weather window to allow us to cross from here to Bimini tomorrow. We would leave late afternoon and probably end up motoring the whole way, arriving mid morning ahead of deteriorating weather. We’ll review any weather resources available to us to make a final decision midday tomorrow. Meanwhile, first thing in the morning, we’ll catch the water taxi in to get departure showers! Wish us luck. With the crossing, not the showers.