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Posted By Robin & Jim

We had a great cruise into our beloved Florida Keys.  We anchored behind Pumpkin Key next to the very exclusive Ocean Reef Club at the north end of Key Largo so we could jump out to the ocean side of the Keys for the rest of the trip to Marathon.  The path to Hawk Channel is through Angelfish Creek which has notoriously shifting shoals at the mouth.  We had to transit it at the top of high tide, and our reward was a beautiful Keys sunrise as we got to the ocean.

angelfish creek sunrise

We had a nice cruise down Hawk Channel, though it's important to keep a sharp watch out for crab pots!  The floats they use here in the Keys are pretty small and they can be hard to see until they are close.  Hawk Channel is fairly shallow - 15-25' on average.  It runs on the inside of the reef so it has better protection from ocean waves; on the outside of the reef the depths drop off dramatically and the Gulf Stream current often comes very close to the edge.

The Keys are about 100 miles long - a chain of islands connected by bridges first built by Henry Flagler for his Overseas Railroad in the early 1900's.  You can see the tractor trailer on this bridge...

long key viaduct

No trip to Marathon would be complete without a storm.  We ALWAYS seem to get a little storm just to make things interesting.  This year it was only a series of smaller rain squalls, but they passed very near us and made it a little exciting.  As we approached Sombrero light we could see the closest dark clouds and rain.

sombrero storm

We dodged the weather and tucked into our usual slip well before sunset.  We have the nicest view of the sun setting into the ocean right from our slip, and sometimes we get lucky enough to see a green flash (if the conditions are right).

Early December is the usual time for the various holiday boat parades, and we enjoyed the small but enthusiastic parade that passed right by our marina.

xmas boat parade
xmas boat parade 2

We got into the spirit of it all and Jim outlined ADVENTURES in lights, and I put up a lot of our little decorations.adventures xmas lights
We've had a bit of excitement around here - some Cuban refugees made landfall by climbing on a neighbor's boat and then scrambling up onto the dock.  A good friend had a bad fall off the dock and broke his leg.  And the marina's general mgr. was arrested for drug smuggling and attempted murder-for-hire.  There's always something interesting going on around here!