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Old 11-20-2014, 09:41 PM   #21
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Looks like a good day tomorrow to cross St. Andrews Sound. Winds 10mph out of NE. Much higher than that and it can get pretty dicey through there. Be careful and enjoy the ride.
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Old 11-20-2014, 09:48 PM   #22
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Well, we're finally casting off tomorrow.

Took on 450 gals diesel yesterday.

The Keys and then Bahamas. Seven months.

First stop, Minim Creek.

29 degrees tonight.
Time to go. KJ
You must be flying. You cruised right on by there. What is your cruising speed?
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Old 11-21-2014, 12:41 AM   #23
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"HopCar - I will hold you personally responsible if it isn’t 80 degrees in Miami when we get there."


Will you settle for nice comfortable mid seventies?
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Old 11-21-2014, 12:26 PM   #24
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On to Cumberland Island tomorrow – will anchor there for 3-4 days
We loved Cumberland Island. Be sure to go ashore and see the wild horses on the island and on the beach. We had a manatee (our first sighting) follow us from the park dock to the boat.

We also saw a submarine heading for the ocean from Kings Bay
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Old 11-21-2014, 01:03 PM   #25
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Ron, If you run into another friendly manatee, turn a hose on and let fresh water run into the water near him. They will often drink fresh water from the hose. There was one over at the Tween Waters Inn on Captiva that would hold the end of the hose with his flippers while he drank.
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Old 11-21-2014, 01:40 PM   #26
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Ron, If you run into another friendly manatee, turn a hose on and let fresh water run into the water near him. They will often drink fresh water from the hose. There was one over at the Tween Waters Inn on Captiva that would hold the end of the hose with his flippers while he drank.
That would be neat to see. On the return trip from FL, we stopped at Fenandina Beach marina. On the day we were leaving three manatees were in the marina eating growth off the docks. My wife insisted we stay and watch for an hour or so. She reached down and touched one.
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Old 11-21-2014, 03:39 PM   #27
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Be aware that offering a fresh water hose to a manatee may be considered harassment under the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act of 1978 by the FWC (Florida Fish & Wildlife officers.) Best to just observe these gentle critters.


If you really want to see and experience manatees up close, take a trip to the Plantation Inn at Crystal River, Florida . They offer amazing manatee experience tours - or better yet, rent a pontoon boat, snorkel gear, and a wet suit from them and go experience the manatees for yourself. If you pick a really cold week, there will be literally hundreds of manatees in Kings Bay and in the crystal clear spring run at Three Sisters Spring.

Took these pics about three years ago at Three Sisters Springs...
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Old 11-21-2014, 03:42 PM   #28
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yes CR is by the best place in the US to visit with the manatees

I think first time best on one of the smaller tours

then the next time on a rental

it is amazing but bring a wet suit
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Old 11-21-2014, 03:58 PM   #29
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Be aware that offering a fresh water hose to a manatee may be considered harassment under the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act of 1978 by the FWC (Florida Fish & Wildlife officers.) Best to just observe these gentle critters.


If you really want to see and experience manatees up close, take a trip to the Plantation Inn at Crystal River, Florida . They offer amazing manatee experience tours - or better yet, rent a pontoon boat, snorkel gear, and a wet suit from them and go experience the manatees for yourself. If you pick a really cold week, there will be literally hundreds of manatees in Kings Bay and in the crystal clear spring run at Three Sisters Spring.

Took these pics about three years ago at Three Sisters Springs...
Florida springs are typically 72 degrees all year long. When the air gets cold and river water surface temps start cooling, manatees will seek out the warmer water in the springs or other locations such as power plant water exhausts. Springs along the St. Johns river are normally full of manatees in the winter. Blue Springs near Deltona is a very popular site for manatee viewing.
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Old 11-21-2014, 09:37 PM   #30
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We really haven’t been flying at all. In fact, we’ve only been averaging about 7kts, but we’ve had relatively calm waters, favorable tides/currents and 9 hour days, which is not a big deal since Otto does most of the driving on the sounds. Even St. Andrew’s was easy-peasy today.

Got into Cumberland Is. and dropped the hook around 1330 off Sea Camp dock. Finally somewhat warm. Lots of sailboats came in this afternoon and one other trawler.
I really enjoyed the “wild” horses last time here. Pretty little filly and mom. Very cool place.

Saw a sub coming in to King’s Bay last time here also.

Supposed to get stormy again this weekend. My crew person bought a bottle of Macallan while in Beaufort.
Time to get introspective. KJ

ps HopCar—78 would be fine.







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Old 11-27-2014, 07:18 PM   #31
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Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Well, we spent a couple of days on the hook relaxing at Cumberland Is. Nat’l Seashore. We saw the usual suspects, “wild” horses, deer, eagles, and of course, Mr. Armadillo. It is a very special place.

Spent a couple of days waiting out a storm at Beach Marina in Jacksonville Beach.

We are currently hanging out in St. Augustine. We had a late departure yesterday from Jax Beach due to some work I was having done on the FB tachs.
By the time we got in at St. Augustine it was late afternoon and there was a boat already hooked up to the mooring ball (can) that had been assigned to us. I had called the marina several times to confirm that we would be getting in late and not to give up our space which was the last one. After some awkward minutes the marina guy asked the other boat to unhook and come over to the fuel dock so they could work something out. Apparently he had no reservations and just came in and took the last open ball. I think they got him a slip for a couple of nights.

We had T-Day dinner at the Columbia and had a nice walk around town.

We’ll probably stay here until Saturday and then continue on south.

We’ll probably anchor at Marine Stadium in Virginia Key before heading down Hawk Channel to Boot Key Harbor. Will most likely anchor at Rodriguez Key on our way down.
We should be in Marathon by Dec. 6-7.

We keep hoping it will get warmer as we get further south.
Right now I’m so glad we have a heater on the boat. KJ



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Old 11-28-2014, 09:30 PM   #32
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It looks like the sub. pictured in post 30 is comming right at you, kinda spooky, how did that go?
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Old 11-29-2014, 12:20 AM   #33
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I can remember years ago we were about 10-15 miles off Charleston, turning to head in to the harbor and all of a sudden the water about 150 yards off our port side was kind of bubbling and frothy-a 550 foot Trident surfaced about 150 yards from us. Scared the sh#t out of me. The Captain come on the radio and apologized saying they had not picked us up before they surfaced.
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Old 11-29-2014, 03:01 AM   #34
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The Captain come on the radio and apologized saying they had not picked us up before they surfaced.
Well that's mildly terrifying... Looks like it's time to pick up a sonar reflector.
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Old 11-29-2014, 06:25 PM   #35
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It looks like the sub. pictured in post 30 is comming right at you, kinda spooky, how did that go?


I thought I was pretty clear of the “security zone”, until a Navy RIB came over to us and politely asked us to move further out of the channel.
Let’s see now, the guy on the bow is hanging on to a .50 cal and the guy in the stern is tapping on a M60. Yes sir, I will be glad to move further into shoal water.

The bow wake from the sub was much bigger than I expected.

It was however, quite a spectacular sight. KJ

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Old 11-29-2014, 10:37 PM   #36
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I can remember years ago we were about 10-15 miles off Charleston, turning to head in to the harbor and all of a sudden the water about 150 yards off our port side was kind of bubbling and frothy-a 550 foot Trident surfaced about 150 yards from us. Scared the sh#t out of me. The Captain come on the radio and apologized saying they had not picked us up before they surfaced.
Shades of the Ehime Maru and the US Sub in Hawaii in 2001!
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Old 11-30-2014, 10:04 AM   #37
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"We’ll probably anchor at Marine Stadium in Virginia Key before heading down Hawk Channel to Boot Key Harbor. Will most likely anchor at Rodriguez Key on our way down.
We should be in Marathon by Dec. 6-7."

It is definitely warmer here in Boot Key. You will enjoy it.
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Old 12-13-2014, 09:24 PM   #38
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Well, we finally made it to Marathon. We stayed at a couple of places a little longer than planned.

The ride down the Florida ICW was pretty uneventful except for the crazy lady in Vero Beach, banging on my hull at 2am yelling that I needed to call the cops because she was going to commit suicide. How fast can you dial 911!

Driving the boat through Ft. Lauderdale is like going through Venice with high-rises.
Spent a couple of days hanging out at Marine Stadium with the Miami cityscape as a backdrop. Very easy place to anchor and relax.

The ride down Hawk Channel was easy-peasy on Monday. Spent the night on the hook at Rodriguez Key and the next day had a “blustery” ride down to Marathon with 25+ kt winds, fortunately, from the NW.

We’ve been hanging on the ball in Boot Key for a few days now cleaning the boat up and getting ready to leave her for a couple of weeks. Spent yesterday going over the bilge pumps.

Had the lighted boat parade tonight, very nice.

Heading up to NJ for Christmas. Brrrr! KJ





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Old 12-13-2014, 11:15 PM   #39
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For what its worth we just spent a month in key West, ok actually next to Key West. For 1/3 the price of downtown Stock island Marina is a good place to tie off with all new facilities, a diesel repair shop just off property and VERY good price for fuel. I'd recommend it. if you were planning on heading that way.

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Old 12-14-2014, 06:51 AM   #40
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KJ, welcome to Boot Key. We are on A13. You will enjoy it here.
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