Marathon to Rodriguez anchorage and Miami

Leaving Marathon early that morning, it was once again windy at roughly 20 knots. We left very early again, so the wind in the marina was down but once we made the turn into the channel, wham, there it was. Seas were expected to be 4-6 feet, a little bigger than yesterday. The direction, however, was at the beam so the comfort level was not expected to be as easy. We were on the move, though, because we were expecting our daughter Amy and her friend Kathleen to arrive in Maimi tomorrow shortly after our arrival at the marina. It was a relatively short day so we pushed ahead. I know, "boating on an a schedule"....not good..... but we did it anyway.

The view was lovely again. Beautiful water, beautiful islands..... I believe this was Long Key....

The journey, as it turned out, was much the same as the day before, so it was better than we expected. I was feling better that day, so all was going well. 

By early afternoon, we had travelled to where we wanted to anchor for the night - Rodriguez Key.

Once our anchor was set, it was such a lovely place, we decided to have our first off-boat swim. Here is Bruce cooling off.... I was next and it was just lovely!

One little side story is worth telling here. When Bruce was taking his swim, he decided to pull the snorkel equipment out and "check out" the anchor. Great info to know how well your anchor is set, right? Except.... what he saw was that our anchor was stuck in a nice big hole. Really stuck. Lucky us! On the one hand, we knew we would have an absolutely secure night's sleep. On the other hand, how would we get that thing up in the morning? After some thought, here is what we did.

We happened to have this little weenie 15" long fender for our dinghy. So we tied that with some fine-guage line as a "bob" on the anchor. We figured that if we could see quite specifically where the anchor was, we could be more accurate in pulling it out of its hole. And, surely with beginner's luck, it popped right up and hauled in without mishap. It was almost dawn, and we were on our way...... whew!

Interesting learning experience, though. That little anchor marker was actually quite reassuring to see through the evening. We knew exactly where the anchor was and that it was NOT moving anywhere. Of course, this would only work well in shallow anchorages like this one, but we decided it may be an idea worth fine tuning.

This is what it looked like at moonrise with our sailor friends around us.

The next morning, we left unusually early. It was actually still dark, just before first light. In our case, that little white anchor "bob" helped us see things even better. We had heard on the weather radio that some thunderstorms were expected on our path today near Miami late in the afternoon. So, an early start was our best bet. We could be in well before anything developed.

This picture was about 40 minutes after we left the anchorage.

Our cruise today was supposed to be at 3-5ft seas, but so far we experienced more like 1-2 foot. It was very peaceful and calm. The light wind was off our starboard stern quarter, so it was perfect. One thing we did notice here, though. There were much fewer crab pots. From about Key Largo into Miami, we saw only a few. What a relief.

Here is Miami off in the distance.

 

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Once we came in close to Maimi, we entered what is called "Government Cut". Holy Cow! What a thoroughfare of commercial traffic that is. We had to hold off and wait for this container ship with its 3 tugs (there was one on the other side too) to be piloted in in front of us.

See those clouds? That's what we had been warned about..... But, it's South Florida. Sometimes storms happen, and sometimes they don't. You really never know for sure. This time, they never produced an actual storm. At least, where we were.

And, check out that chop! It was like a washing machine in there with waves and wake coming from all directions. Even with our stabilizers, we were rolling like crazy. We've never experienced anything quite like that. 

Here we are coming in to the marina breakwater, which was just down the channel a bit.

Nice little boats, huh?

The little blue building is the marina office.

After we settled in, we cleaned off the salt and were soon texted that Amy and Kathleen had arrived. We greeted them and settled them in for about a week's visit "captive" on the M/V Silver Bay.