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Posted By Robin & Jim

We enjoyed our last Marathon sunset over the Seven Mile Bridge and started making our way up the SW coast of Florida, heading to the DeFever Rendezvous in Sarasota.

last marathon sunset

Here's a map to show some of the area we covered.  We anchored near Everglades City in the upper corner of the Everglades National Park, in the area known as the Ten Thousand Islands (there are actually about 40,000).  From there we headed up past Marco Island, Naples, and Ft. Myers to Sanibel Island and Cayo Costa State Park.

SW florida map

Out in the Gulf our friend Terry from Marathon buzzed us in his beautiful classic float plane - a real thrill!

terry flyover 1

Before we left the Keys we did a photo shoot for him while he flew across the setting sun.  He has a small collection of classic planes, and he flew this one down from Illinois for the winter.

terry flyover 2

We anchored in the NW corner of Everglades National Park, among the rabbit's warren of mangrove and wooded islands near Everglades City - it felt very remote and wild.  We took the dinghy a few miles to the tiny town ("city" is a misnomer) to have lunch at the famous Rod & Gun Club. 

rod and gun club 1

It's an interesting old place but it seems a bit past it's prime. 

rod and gun trophies

The setting on the porch was lovely for lunch, but the food was marginal but ridiculously expensive and the wait staff barely spoke to us. 

rod and gun porch

The little museum in town was great though, and we only wished we had more time to explore the endless natural beauty in the wild areas... but the weather was changing and we had to go while we had a good weather window. 

We just got our anchor down near Sanibel  Island when this storm hit - we only had 30 knots of wind but the Keys saw 55+ knots!  The winds were predicted to kick up a bit so we moved up to nearby Cayo Costa State Park - there's a great protected anchorage in there that's tricky to enter, but worth the trouble. 

storm


 
Posted By Robin & Jim

I've had the Blog going for just a few years and it's humbling to see that we've had over 50K hits so far.  I apologize for not blogging more often this winter but we've been focused on our projects and haven't had much free time.  We're about to cast off the lines and start moving again, so there will be much more to Blog about.

end of the line

Yes, the end of the line... end of our time here in Marathon.  This is the signpost down in Key West for the end of Route 1, down where everything is the "southermost".  We went down to KW with friends for a little exploring, and we paused to see some of the well-established crazies on Mallory Pier for the daily sunset party.  Here's the Southernmost Bagpiper.  Only in the Keys...

southernmost bagpiper

About 10 days ago I headed down to Big Pine Key for the monthly Sunset-Moonrise Kayak trip to benefit the National Wildlife Refuge volunteers.  It was an absolutely perfect evening to be out on the water - watching the birds and looking out for Key Deer while we waited for the sun to set.  We enjoy sunsets every evening, but this one was capped by the rise of the full moon over No Name Key.  Fabulous.

moonrise over no name key

The next day we headed up to Miami for a day at the Miami Boat Show.  We volunteered in the Seven Seas Cruising Association booth for a bit, then met our friends the Berrys and the Russells to see the miles of booths in the Convention Center and talk to the vendors.

A few days later Jim celebrated his birthday.  I don't think he cares a lot about birthdays, but he's always happy to have dessert!

birthday jim

Chocolate-raspberry cake, chocolate chip ice cream, and friends - what could be better?  Happy Birthday Sweetie!

birthday revelers

We went out with Richard & Carol to do some diving out by Sombrero Light but the conditions were not very good - rough waves, bad visibility, and a lot of portuguese man-of-war.  It was a great day anyway.

sombrero light

I continue to kayak as much as I can, looking for underwater critters and birds.  This is a young ibis - they turn white when they become adults.

young ibis

It has been a delightful winter season, with DeFever get-togethers and friends on the dock.  We're always sad to leave, but excited for new adventures.