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Posted By Robin & Jim

We spent a lovely Thanksgiving weekend with our friend Bill, puppy Abbey, Sunny, and her husband Jim in Cocoa Beach.  My Jim got to spend time in one of his favorite hardware stores, and we enjoyed a chance to catch up and relax with our friends.
After the triptophan haze wore off we started pushing to get down to Marathon in the Keys.  The trip through South Florida is always interesting, and this year the winds were howling and the ocean was nasty - so we had to travel "on the inside" - in the ICW.  Between Palm Beach and Miami we have to open 24 bridges, and most are on a schedule. 

bridge opening

This is normally pretty tiring, but we had an absolutely beautiful 80 degree day with very light boat traffic (it was a Monday).  Jim set up the chart plotter so I would have a "time to go" between each bridge, which made it easy for me to adjust the speed of the boat to arrive at the next bridge a minute or two before it was scheduled to open.  It's an interesting ride through miles of concrete canyon.

icw and condos

The homes in this section of the ICW are just amazing - mansions, a few little ratty houses in unexpected places, endless ultra-fancy condos, and marinas chock full of mega-yachts. 

mansion


mansion and yacht

We passed one yacht club with a DeFever 49, and she looked like a toy compared to all the other boats around her.  Another marina had a 70' DeFever and she also looked like a toy boat compared to the big fancy yachts.  It just boggles the mind.

megayacht row

We had to wait a bit for our last bridge to open in downtown Miami, but it gave us the chance to see several huge cruise ships head right to the waterfront on the other side of the bridge and slowly lumber 180 degrees in the turning basin so they could head out to sea. 

We anchored next to Key Biscayne just after dark and enjoyed a nice day of rest while we waited for a weather front to move through.  We would have only one day in between fronts to get to Marathon - 94 nautical miles.  During the night at anchor we could hear dolphins all around the boat for hours - in the daylight we could see that they were hunting in small groups.

miami skyline

The Miami skyline was neat to see, though it was nice to have some distance from the bustling city.  We enjoyed watching the city light up as it got dark, and were amazed at the lights still shining when we departed at 0500, heading for Marathon.

 
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