WE FINALLY LEFT MARATHON! We spent a couple hours wrapping things up on the boat. There are several things that need to be stowed before leaving. I made one last trip to shore to take out the garbage and turn in our cards for the showers and laundry (like hotel room cards). Said a few more good-byes. We took the motor off the dinghy and stored it on the motor mount and put the dinghy on the davits. We will travel faster with it out of the water.
The last thing we do is close all the hatches and through hulls (all water pipes are shut).
We left our mooring ball about 10:45am and stopped at Burdine’s Marina for fuel on the way out of the harbor. As we were untying the boat, I saw a nurse shark under the dock that was about 5 ft long. We left Boot Key Harbor in Marathon at 11:30am.
It was a beautiful day with light winds. The seas were the flattest I have seen them when making a passage. All day, it was that beautiful aqua marine color. There were times when we were in 15-20 feet of water that we could see the ocean floor.
We started 2 hour watches at noon. It’s not really necessary to take watches if you are only sailing during the day. But this way, if you wanted to nap or do something else, you waited for your 2 hour shift rather than having both of you tired at once.
Our autopilot wasn’t working today. That lets us set a course and take our hands off the wheel. Dave ran through the reset tests, but no luck. He said sometimes the drive gets dirty
and will stick, so he reached down into the aft starboard lazarette and thumped it a couple times. Believe it or not, it started working. Then he said “drives and wives, you gotta thump ‘em.” :)
We motored all day, but put up the main sail to gain a little speed. Dave also used a hand line for fishing that he let drag behind the boat. We didn’t get any bites. When he pulled in the line at the end of the day, the hook was bent. We would have liked to have seen the one that got away.
We anchored on the south side of Rodriguez Key which is outside of Key Largo by 6:45pm in 8 or 9 feet of water. It was heading into low tide, which meant it could get 2 feet lower. Our boat draws 5 ft, so we should be fine without hitting bottom. It took us 7 hours to go about 50 miles. So that gives you an idea of how this year is going to go. There was one other sailboat and one power boat anchored here.
I won’t mention any names, but a friend of ours is going to be on the west coast of Mexico. They said “why don’t you sail there and meet us?”. I explained that it would take us about a year with going though the Panama Canal. Puts things into perspective. This is a SLOW life.
Once anchored, we relaxed, made dinner, had showers and called it a night.