Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Rodriguez to Marathon

When we check weather forecasts, we don’t just look at today or tomorrow – we check for 4-5 days out because wherever we go, we will have to anchor which means we need good conditions or good protection from bad conditions.  When we checked the weather for moving south, it was ugly – for at least 7 days (as far as the forecast projected) so we thought we better move now or stay in Biscayne Bay for a long time.  We charted a course to Rodriguez Key and then Marathon Key, knowing that in two days the weather will hit and it would be nice to be on a mooring in Marathon instead of at anchor somewhere else. 

As we sailed south, we turned off the engines to a great beam/broad reach and sailed all the way to Rodriguez Key – weather cooperating just beautifully. Rodriguez Key came into view and we were excited that it was a deserted island and only two boats anchored in its lee – which is where we were headed.  If you have never been somewhere, you never really know how things will be.  You can look at a chart and you can talk to people, but its just not the same as having been there.  So we put the dinghy in the water, strapped on the outboard, hoping to explore and at the worst to find somebody’s dock to bandit and take Kala to shore.  Alas, we got within  ½ mile of shore and there was only 1 foot of water around the entire area – no way we would make it, even in the dinghy.  We went back to the boat with a confused and frustrated dog – poor thing.  We convinced her it was okay to go potty on deck and she understood and complied.  Now we definitely weren’t staying here more than one night. 

We left Rodriguez Key an hour before sunrise knowing forecasted gusts of 30+ knots would arrive in the middle keys by the afternoon.  It was a beautiful day with 10-15 knots but we kept the engine going so we wouldn’t be strapped for time.  It would not be fun trying to triple reef the sails and still have 3 hours left.  We made it to Marathon in 7 hours and as we turned into the bay, the wind registered gusts of 25+.  We were happy to find our mooring and settle in for a couple days.  We had the dinghy ready to go within 10 minutes and Kala was a happy girl on dry land.  After registering at the marina, we walked across the street to Key Fisheries enjoying a nice pale ale and great seafood.  I think we’ll like it here.

Sailing the keys

Blue Skies, winds on the horizon

Boot Key Harbor City Marina mooring field

Belly rubs for a tough doggie.

1 comment:

  1. Haha Awesome!

    We just got to Great Guana Cay, in the Abacos. Its gorgeous here, and we plan on staying in the area for the New Year. When are you planning on hopping over? We went Miami to West End, Grand Bahama. 16 Hour crossing with almost all motoring but worth it being here! Got our little SONY SSB working and have been receiving Chris' forecast daily, its awesome!
    Ted, Maggie and Chessie
    S/V Sunday's Child