The sunlight from the first sunrise of Summer illuminates a bunch of Monte’s pretty zinnies.
We picked up anchor at 6:15am Friday in a thick fog.
We left before sunrise because we had a long goal of making 68 nautical miles (nm), and a backup plan to go about 45 nm instead. The challenge is being able to gain more speed than the 5 to 5.5 knots (nm per hour) of the engine. Fog can hurt. Current can hurt or help. Wind can help.
We can’t just anchor anywhere along the way because there are long stretches of the ICW that are land cuts; very narrow, and the channel takes up the whole width of the cut. And you can’t anchor in the channel.
The fog eventually cleared and we had a little boost from the wind, so we made the farther anchorage after 11 hours.
As we exited the 20-mile Alligator River – Pungo River Cut the sun was setting. We went a few miles farther, anchoring right in front of the land on the far horizon in the picture above.
The sunset was beautiful.
I enjoyed my Saturday to the fullest. I got up early to go birding for a few hours at one of my favorite spots – Commons Ford Ranch Metropolitan Park. I watched the sun rise above the prairie.
I headed down the path to the river, as the mist lifted. Everything was very dewy.
It was nice to be out looking for the birdies.
After returning home, I cleaned up and we headed to the lake. Monte and I enjoyed a long sail in mild-ish winds. As soon as we got into the slip the winds really picked up (of course). So, when Kurt and Kevin stopped by a little bit later, we all went back out, in more sporting wind. It was another great sail, though with 4 people in the cockpit, we wore masks.
We were tied back up in the slip in time to watch the sun set on a very nice day.
This is one of my favorite sunrise pictures from last year. It is from the trip up the Keys; I took it as we pulled up anchor at Rodriquez Key, just off Key Largo. It is a beautiful, colorful image of the sun’s glow on the horizon at dawn. It’s a good image to have in mind at the start of this brand new decade. I’m not sure what the next ten years will bring, but I’m ready.
With less than 18 hours preparation, Monte and I packed a bag and grabbed a flight to Naples, Florida, to meet up with Lori and Mike to crew for Trident’s crossing to Key West, and their trek up the Hawk Channel to the southeast coast of Florida.
Sunrise at Naples City Dock as I left for an early morning provisioning run with Uber…
Our spreaders were full of rose-ringed parakeets…
The overnight crossing was uneventful, except for an endless procession of crab pot floats to be avoided on a moonless light. The Southern Cross is visible from down here, and I’ve seen it low on the horizon nearly every night. What a treat.
We spent 4 nights on a mooring ball in Garrison Bight on the northwest side of Key West. It was a 15-20 minute dinghy ride to shore. So we got pretty wet most rides, but the showers and laundry ashore were well kept. There is a free shuttle about a mile from the dinghy dock that loops through the historic and tourist attractions, which we took every day we were there. Lori and I got tattoos! Well, temporary tatts – they’ll last two weeks or so.
Chickens everywhere in Key West…
Trident on her mooring ball at Key West…
We took a day trip to nearby Sand Key to snorkel which was surprisingly nice. Florida’s marine sanctuary system is great – all well marked reefs with free mooring balls…
After leaving Key West, we enjoyed a lovey long day sail with all sails up and engine off. We were treated to a personal air show from four U.S. Navy pilots off Boca Chica – circling the boat and one even buzzed over us upside down about 200 feet above the boat. Pretty cool. We anchored off Bahia Honda overnight.
The next day we headed to Marathon for our first marina stay in a week. We stopped at Sombrero Reef Light for another nice afternoon snorkel. The Marathon Marina is nice. We stayed for two days and nights, full of boat work and provisioning. We did treat ourselves to a pub crawl the last night by dinghy to a couple places and were treated to yet another beautiful sunset.
After Marathon, we anchored off Long Key. And the next day headed to the south end of Key Largo. We stopped along the way at another snorkel spot, Hen and Chickens Reef. We saw a nurse shark, turtle, many barracuda, and reef fish. We anchored at Rodriguez Key for the night.
My shark buddy… can’t believe I’m saying that…
We had to decide whether to stay a couple more nights anchored off Key Largo, or make a longer-than-usual run up to Biscayne Bay to anchor and find shelter for the big cold front headed our way. We decided to head for Miami. We wanted to anchor in the tiny but well-protected No Name Harbor at Cape Florida, but it was pretty packed. So we anchored outside and weathered the big blow overnight and the following day or two.
Sunrise glow in the horizon leaving Key Largo…
Cape Florida Light on Biscayne Bay…
The view from the Boater’s Grill at No Name Harbor – good eats but no vacancy…
I’ve just returned from a week of sailing down the Texas Gulf coast from Galveston to Port Aransas and back. Monte and I joined Mike to crew for Lori on a shakedown cruise on Trident as she prepares for her cruising life later this year. The week flew by, with the drive to the coast, 2 days of boat projects in Kemah, then anchoring overnight off Galveston Island’s Moody Gardens before sailing in the Gulf of Mexico for 450-ish nautical miles roundtrip, including an overnight watch while sailing each way, and a two night stay at Port Aransas Municipal Marina, and back again. It was a fun trip – lots of laughs, sun and wind. The weather was very different from February when we sailed across the Gulf – much calmer seas and weather this time, and MUCH hotter.
We spent Saturday & Sunday nights on the lake this past weekend with Marty & Sue. As I looked back over the photos I took, I was captivated by the different colors in the sky from shot to shot. These are several from a 24 hour period, Saturday evening to Sunday evening.
Crescent moon and Venus in Saturday’s twilight:
Sunrise on Sunday:
Thunder-boomer building Sunday night:
And the crescent moon again, Sunday night:
Life is good.
I spent this weekend on the lake with some girlfriends on Nirvana. In the cove that we anchored in, there is a lovely view of both the sunset and the sunrise.
Saturday’s sunset from the stern:
And Sunday morning’s sunrise glow from the v-berth hatch.
Not as pretty as a sunrise, but I love watching the sun light up the windows in the morning. Enjoy the day.
I’m very thrilled to see the weather forecast for the next few days. FINALLY some not-rainy days!
I’m looking forward to spending some time outside! This morning I got an early start… went for a long hike in the woods. This shot shows the just risen sun peeking through the tree trunks at the horizon.
And in the middle of my hike I came upon this tranquil view. Very pretty.
I woke up this morning extra early – given the time change yesterday. This was the glorious sunrise sky that lay right out side the front door. I was prompted to go out and take a look when i noticed that the light coming in through the windows was making the entire inside of the house glow pink.
And, what is that sparkle on the horizon? Could it be something new coming my way….?