We finally left Key West after spending two weeks there and way too much money.
|Finally leaving Key West!|
From Key West we sailed (but mostly were forced to motor-sail since the wind continued to not cooperate) to Newfound Bay off Big Pine Key. The stars were brilliant at this anchorage!! Skies so clear you could see the Milky Way. ^_^
The next day we traveled up to Bahia Honda State Park and anchored right off the beach.
We immediately went to shore to explore and walk the dogs.
The park was beautiful! We walked through their butterfly garden and saw some indigenous plants and wildflowers (ironically no butterflies though).
There is a trail up to the old bridge where you can walk out on the maintained portion and get a gorgeous view of the park on the Atlantic side and the bay side. You can also look down the old Bahia Honda Bridge and imagine what it was like to see trains run on the lower portion (before the roadway was constructed above), and cars drive on the upper level (after the train track was decommissioned).
|Old Bahia Honda bridge trail|
|View of Bahia Honda State Park from the old bridge. See if you can spot Vitte ^_^|
|The old bridge, note the paved road for cars above and the railroad trestles below.|
|The old bridge|
|Rainstorm on the horizon|
|Gorgeous sunset between the old and new bridges|
That night we enjoyed more spectacular stars in the sky and a light show in the water. It was like being on some alien world!!! I first noticed a glowing neon green dot floating on the surface of the water and immediately thought I was seeing things, so I called Ransom over to confirm and there was a continuous flow of them passing the boat! We identified them as jellyfish, but don’t ask me what kind, I could not tell you (maybe a bit of research…). When one would get close to the boat at the surface the green dot would “smear,” creating a wispy trail of neon green. So amazing!!! Unfortunately we were unable to photograph this phenomenon. It’s nearly impossible to capture the true essence of phosphorescence, experiencing it firsthand, however, is incredible! It truly makes you feel as if you are on another planet.
|Leaving Bahia Honda|
From Bahia Honda we traveled to Marathon via the Atlantic, and seas were rough. Once again we were forced to motor-sail (the combined effect of which had us going 5.5-6 knots).
We’re pretty sure we hit some 7 footers out there. The dogs were not happy.
|Seven mile bridge|
|Finally calmed after the rough seas|
In Marathon we met up with our friends, Laurence, John, Jimmy, and Rankin, who were playing a gig at the Sunset Grille and Raw Bar.
After the show John and Laurence came out to Vitte and spent the night aboard. It was awesome to have friends from the Carolinas out on the boat! It was a pure stroke of luck that we happened to be in Marathon the night they played.
|Anchored in Marathon (photo by Laurence)|
|Jah Creation (L to R: Jimmy Jam on keys and trumpet, "King" Laurence on drums, John Picard on bass, and Rankin on congos)|
|Poolside at Sunset Grille, not a bad place to chill and listen to some good reggae music.|