25 18.836 N 080 17.795 W
One of the very few East Coast sailing experiences we have not had is to sail from Miami to Marathon by the inside route. For those who do not have a map handy, the Florida Keys are a chain of connected islands extending south and west from the mainland. The south and east side of this chain is called the Ocean Side, the north and west side is called the Bay side (Referring to Florida Bay which is part of the Gulf of Mexico)
Anyhow, we have always had delightful sails in The Hawk Channel which runs on the Ocean Side. However, there is almost nothing of interest to see and do between Miami and Marathon. We usually sail it nonstop. On the Bay Side there are many interesting places to stop, things to see and things to do. But the hindrance is that the Bay Side is shallow. We fear running aground. But our friends Jeff and Wendy did it on their W32. Also this year, the sea level seems higher than average. We have been seeing depths nearly one foot deeper than the charts say. No more excuses.
So that's what we'll be doing the next few days. Expect fresh blogs as we explore places we've never seen before.
Today and tonight gave us an excellent start to the trip. We sailed all the way down Biscayne Bay with a very pleasant fresh breeze on our beam. Tarwathie loved it. Libby loved it. I loved it. Biscayne Bay is a wonderful place for boats, and it is a mystery why there aren't many more boats on the bay. It is sheltered from ocean swells. The water is clean and pretty. Shoals are few. In fact, it is very much like sailing on the Bahamian banks. Imagine a clean salt water lake, about 30 miles long by 8 miles wide, bordering a major metropolis, yet with only 3 dozen or so boats out on a sunshiny day.
Tonight, we were treated to our first Florida Keys sunset for this season. It was a great one, well worthy of Keys sunset fame. As an extra bonus, Venus was nearly skewered on the point of a crescent moon. Lovely.