North for South!


Its been a while since I wrote a blog post. Its tough with spotty internet access and life settling in on the boat. Now I have a bunch of stuff to cram into a single post!

When I last updated we were in Key West tied to a free mooring living cheap and watching sunsets so beautiful they hurt (seriously, I’m ruined for Canadian sunsets forever). It was tough to leave as we had access to everything and an actual address to ship items too (you have no idea how hard life is without an address). We fished, swam, relaxed and worked on the boat. Quite frankly it was magical, and I would have loved to stay longer. Unfortunately, the clock is ticking for us an big bad hurricanes will frightening young children soon. Since we have young children aboard, it was prudent to leave.

We should have waited for better weather, but again the clock was ticking and we took the first window that presented. We threw the mooring lines at 7:00am on a day predicted to have 12-15 knot winds (about 15-18mph) on the nose, but clocking to our beam (side of the boat) by 10 o’clock! Stupid me, I thought I could trust the weather man. Unfortunately, the wind change never happened and we ended up motoring the whole way into 5 foot seas on the nose. It was a bouncy, loud, hot day. Mistake #2 was letting Daphnie head down to her berth for hours when the seasickness hit. She slept for about 4 hours but then got up and promptly puked (the first family puke on the boat). We administered some Bonamine and had her wait about 1 hour before putting some food in her. She quickly bounced back and was her normal self after the meal.

In the end, we motored for about 7 hour before entering Boot Key Harbor. If you have 5 minutes, search Boot Key Harbor and Google maps and look at the satellite image. It an insanely protected harbor filled with mooring balls and 100s of boats. I had a ton of fun driving the boat around the field looking for our ball. Rhonda actually had to moor the boat twice as our first ball was only temporary. This is a big thing for you non boater types. She had to catch a 4 inch loop with our boat hook, then run a line through it, then muscle our 18000 pound boat into position by pulling on the line. All the while, I’m trying to hold the boat in position with the motors and not bang into other boats (worth 100s of thousands of dollars).

We spent 2 nights Boot Key harbor (Marathon, Florida). We had access to a Home Depot and decent shopping within a 15 min walk. We had Qiuncy’s birthday celebration on a fantastic dock with picnic tables and Bar-B-Qs. Ken and Mary from Moon River (our Dry Tortugas buddy boat) were also in Boot Key and came for Quincy’s dinner. They also presented Quincy with a fishing rod and a bunch of hooks. Quincy was over the moon and SOO excited to try them. THANK YOU KEN AND MARY FROM MOON RIVER!. We would have loved to spend more time in Marathon as its like an Arizona RV park for cruisers, but tick tock tick tock!

So we threw the mooring lines again and headed back out to open ocean (north). Again we were in company of Moon River as they needed to head north and buddy boating is just so much fun (plus its nice to have someone to drink sundowners with). The ocean wasn’t super rough, but the waves were at a bad angle and causing TONS of boat movement. The good news was the wind was at the right angle for sailing so I threw up the sails and immediately the boat motion was better. The sails help balance the boat and make rough motion much more manageable.

We sailed for about 2.5 hour until we arrived at “Channel 5” bridge. This is a fork point for cruisers. You can go under the bridge and into the ICW (intercostal waterway), or continue up Hawk Channel (essentially the Atlantic ocean). We opted for the ICW as it would put us behind the keys and in much calmer water. However, this was a stressful moment for us as it would be our first bridge crossing and we were pretty sure our air draft (height from the water to the top of the mast) was 64ft. The bridge was 65ft off the water! Pretty sure my sphincter could have cut metal at the moment we passed under. After the ordeal was over, we continued another couple of hours to south Key Largo where we anchored for the night in about 6ft of water.

The next morning we decided to follow Ken and Mary just a short distance to a place called Tarpon Basin. It was a shallow cove surrounded by Mangroves with good Kayaking and clear water. We hoped that Quincy and Jonah would have a chance to play with their new Kayak and we weren’t disappointed. Not only was the water clear and flat, but we hooked a beautiful Grouper on the way in for supper. Unfortunately, after a great day of kayaking and preparing a Grouper supper, things went south. The wind picked up and our anchor dragged. We quickly jumped into action to reset the anchor but found our starboard engine would not start (long story). Since a catamaran gets almost all of its maneuverability from running both engines we were like a 2 wheeled car (just spinning in circles). Everyone behaved admirably, and there was no panic, just action. Multiple plans were formed within seconds and everyone executed while I continued trying to get the engine to start. Luckily, after trying multiple things, I was able to jump the motor from the house bank and it roared to life. We quickly maneuvered the boat out of shallow water (we only had 1-2” of water under the keels at this point) and attempted to set the hook again. NO DICE on 3 tries. Eventually we had to move across the bay to get a good bite on the anchor. Turns out Tarpon bay has some real shitty spots with mud over hard bottom. This was again evidenced by the boat that almost dragged into us at 2:00am… THANK YOU KEN AND MARRY FOR BEING INSOMNIACS. They phoned us in the middle of the night to let us know of said dragging boat.

The morning brought a mixture of sad and happy again. We left the crappy anchorage, but unfortunately we left Ken and Mary again. Our paths would diverge again as they were headed north slowly and we needed to keep moving. We needed to get to Miami by Monday (this was Sunday) as we needed organize the purchase of some battons for our mainsail and try to hit a weather window to Bahamas on Wed-Thurs. Since the battons were in Fort Lauderdale, this was going to be a big feat for someone on a boat without a car! At the moment, we are currently sitting on City of Miami mooring ball doing just that….. but that is a story that will be told in a post by itself.

Enjoy some pictures of the last week or so!

One half of Moon River. Obviously giving me some needed advice (seriously, I have no idea what I'm doing)! We don't have enough pictures of Jonah so this was need. Plus if we ever want to sell him to an asian couple, this picture would be the one we woudl use to advertise him!

Again.. Advertisement for selling to asian couple.  Mary and Ken spoiling our kids again!

We do all kinds of shit for entertainment. My boobs were not big enough to fill this dress out. Believe it or not, no alcohol was involved! Its a good thing Rhonda drinks so much beer.. Its like free toys for the kids!

Text in the pic for the lazy, non-hoverers (not a real word)! I got $20 (AMERICAN) for anyone to kiss one!

  13 comments for “North for South!

  1. Sherri
    April 26, 2016 at 9:08 am

    Do not rob fish guts on that coffee cup!!!

  2. Joanne Wizniuk
    April 26, 2016 at 10:14 am

    Wishing you guys all the best. I keep thinking of when you guys told us you were going to travel around the world on a boat…… and now you are there. Sweet sorrows. Love the comments on the picture. I would of did her coffee mug in TJ… lol. Family time won’t be the same with out you guys. Hope to see you guys in the next year or two. ; )

  3. April 26, 2016 at 11:27 am

    Great post, we will miss sailing with you guys! Fair winds, be safe and good luck.
    Ken & Mary

    • travis
      April 26, 2016 at 6:38 pm

      Miss you guys too. I wish you the best on your upcoming boat projects. Don’t hesitate to ask if you think I might know the answer. I have looked at all the dirty bits on my boat and it might be the same as yours.

      I sure hope we cross paths again.

      Remember… She is a sailboat 😉

  4. Norma Sovka
    April 26, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    Is that the Lizard Fish in the last photo?

    Would you please explain the whole crab pot snorkle mask thing?

    The kids look great! Hope you’re all having the time of your lives!

    Safe travels

    • travis
      April 26, 2016 at 6:32 pm

      Yes to the lizard fish.

      We need a snorkel mask because the crab fisherman put crab pots right in the middle of the channel. They are super hard to see and if we run over them they foul our prop and require a dive to cut them loose. Actually engines have been destroyed by them. This is the reason I want to kick them in the balls. Imagine a trapper putting traps in the middle of a highway and ruining people’s tires.

  5. Georgette Drolet
    April 26, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    Sounds like the boating is quite a challenge, you never know what is going to stop working or the weatherman telling the truth. Sounds like you are enjoying it though, and you are even trying to be Rhonda by wearing her clothes. “lol” Are the kids getting homesick? Well, we miss you guys, stay safe.

    • travis
      April 26, 2016 at 6:27 pm

      We fix something every day(today was the water pump I replaced three weeks ago, yup it died in 3 weeks).

      No one is homesick at all. So far we all enjoy it and are having fun. We miss you guys to. Other cruisers have made us their family and that helps a lot.

  6. April 26, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    Thanks for keeping us uptodate on your travels. You have some challenges but manage them well . Sorry to hear your daughter had moon sickness. safe travels.

    • travis
      April 26, 2016 at 6:23 pm

      No worries.. Everyone gets seasick at some point. She bounced back.

  7. Lawrence
    April 27, 2016 at 7:53 am

    I read your posts last night, wow what an adventure. You guys rock. I have enjoyed your blog and are looking forward to the next one. Enjoy your travels, be safe and Google luck. Cheers

    • travis
      April 27, 2016 at 9:10 am

      Glad you are enjoying it. We are having a blast making it. Bahamas next. Should be kick as!

  8. April 27, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    Safe travels to the Bahamas looks lime you’re yous are having lots of funin your water travels keep safe!

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