Feb 25/25, Days 104/105 Crossin’ and Tossin’

Day 104 was a big day for the RioMarLago crew as we travelled about 90 miles from Goodland, Florida to Bahia Honda State Park which is southwest of Marathon en route to Key West. We’d waited an extra day at Marco Island and then staged ourselves at Calusa Marina in the expectation of calming weather (and calming seas) and set out with winds under 10 knots.

Unfortunately, the Gulf is a pretty big body of water and apparently takes some time to settle as we ended up with larger waves than we expected. Not to sound melodramatic, but this was a big leg for us insofar as we were alone (we had our buddy boat on our earlier off shore adventure), were still a bit apprehensive about leaks, water pumps, blah, blah blah….and were on a route that had us 15 to 20 miles off-shore for several hours.

 

 

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The scene from the bridge about 40 minutes in with 3 hours to go!

 

 

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Same scene after about 2 hours. Check out the change in water color! No land in any direction, but only about 25′ deep!

 

But we made it! Two crew members blew chow and it was a welcome relief to bark out “land ho”. The boat performed well although there were times N would have really liked to have the 2,500hp on that boat show boat when dealing with some of the water. Note to self…..you simply cannot have too much horsepower. BTW, we arrived with no water in the bilge!

Not to belabor the experience, but it is really weird to navigate when you have no frame of reference. You can swear you’re going in a straight line and if not watching the course setting get WAY off. I have NO idea how people got around without at least a compass….we need GPS to have a prayer of getting to our destination.

OK, enough of that. We arrived at Bahia Honda State Park where we found we were the BIG DOGS at the marina. That’s right, we’re the biggest boat at this little place so it was easy to relax and not pine away for something bigger….for now!

 

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OMG…. N walked off to check out the area only to return to this scene. The crew was out of control seemingly trying to raise cash by starting a laundry service! So much for being the Big Dogs!

 

 

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OK, it was hot and sunny and we were rocking an Arabian nights motif, but that sheet just is not cool (of course the towels don’t look too ship shape either).

 

This is finally the Florida we’ve been waiting for; warm, crystal clear turquoise waters (really freaky to go 25mph over water where you can easily see bottom…gotta trust the 10’ reading on the depth sounder), white sandy beaches and sunshine. Yeah baby…Tacomans in the Keys!

 

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OK, now this is what we’re talking about!

 

 

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Drawbridge? We don’t need no stinkin’ drawbridge! Actually this is the original railway bridge down to Key West built by Henry Flagler (the guy credited with putting Florida on the map…not literally obviously).

 

 

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Here B tries to get N’s attention as he floats by…..

 

 

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…oh no, not N’s face! Turns out it’s a manatee!

 

 

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B enjoys some beach time… not to mention off the boat time after a long crossing!

 

 

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If you look carefully you can spot our boat.

 

We’re off to Key West and the southernmost point of the continental USA tomorrow!

2 thoughts on “Feb 25/25, Days 104/105 Crossin’ and Tossin’”

  1. GREAT to hear you made it safely! Pictures are beautiful! I know exactly where you are!

    Super picture of manatee! They can be shy! But they respond to positive energy! Like whales and dolphins!

    Get those masks on and snorkel in that shallow water! You may enjoy Flagler museum in Palm Beach, if you have time.

    I am on NC coast! Beautiful too! Take your time. Some pretty little islands, and sunken ships worth snorkeling to see! Turtles, Sharks, and little Dory’s! 🐠🐟🐚🐬🌒

    Like

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