Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas in Boot Key Harbor

Merry Christmas to all!

For Christmas we were moored up with hundreds of boats in Boot Key Harbor, Marathon, Florida. Found some boating friends from Bock's Marina and had a jolly ol' Christmas. Skyped the family in Beaufort and got to see granddaughter Clara open her Santa gift. It was a two wheeled push bike just right for a two-year-old. It had no pedals--she just pushes with her feet to go, picks them up to cruise, and puts them down to stop--pretty cool.

It was great to check in with the Beaufort gathering--Jean (my Mom), Aunt Nancy, Uncle Tom, Finley, Karen, Drew, and Clara. Then we checked with the TN folks--Wilma (John's Mom), Dianna, and Kel. And, before the end of Christmas Day, we had a phone visit with Gladys in Sanford, NC. Love to all.

The eve of Christmas Eve

There were lots of wide open spaces as we traveled to Key Largo along the ICW.

John stands at the helm. In front are our wonderful solar cells. With the electricity from those cells and the wind generator, we never need to hook up to shore power.

Just as they do at home, the cormorants hang out on the ICW markers planning their next dive for fish.

John remembered a really great bar and grill off the waterway that he visited 13 or 14 years ago when he was sailing his first boat. We anchored in the shallows just off the ICW, but there was no bar and grill in sight when we stopped around noon to have lunch. We locked up the Caribbean Soul and took off down a little alleyway of water--still could not see any thing except some fishermen on the shore. But in a few minutes, the quaint little seafood place appeared--Alabama Jacks! It was built out over the water and I was amazed it was still standing. Here I am enjoying an Alabama Jacks topical drink--ahhhhhh!

Here's the inside of Alabama Jacks.

And you can get there via the highway too! Let us know if you need directions.

Another view of inside.

John enjoying and remembering this old classic water side bar.

A wonderful rain shower happened while we were having lunch, so the dinghy and the big boat got all their crusty salt deposits washed off--nice! After lunch we got back to Caribbean Soul, pulled up the anchor and headed to Key Largo.

Ya know you're in the keys when the water starts looking like this.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Leaving Ft. Lauderdale heading to Miami

A week before Christmas, we left the glitz and glamour of downtown Fort Lauderdale to head down the waterway to Miami. here Capt. John is working with the GPS and Skymate hoping to get more accurate position updates for those of you following us. Sadly, he was not able to hook them together--that will have to be one of those things we work on farther south.

Heading out of Fort Lauderdale we passed some mighty nice cruise ships.

Here Penny is steering down the canal in Fort Lauderdale.

While still in the city, it's strange motoring between the tall buildings.

And even if you are viewing this blog to see and read about sailing, we're adding these pictures of the beautiful buildings and . . .

And the oh-so-tall buildings.

Finally the canal opened up and we motored on to Miami.

Here's a Miami building.

The MetLife Blimp hovered for what we don't know.

We anchored across the bay from downtown Miami just off the Rickenbacker Causeway in the Marine Stadium near Miami's SeaWorld. It was a quiet place except for the occasional seaplane taking off beside the boat.

Also, we had this fantastic view of the Miami skyline

Another seaplane takes off just about the time we took off for the Keys.

Ahhh--Christmas in the Florida Keys. Do I hear Jimmy Buffet playing holiday tunes in the background?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Seabreeze Parade of Cars

On Sunday, we watched a grand parade of people, pets and cars. Here are some of the interesting things we saw along Fort Lauderdale's Seabreeze Avenue:

This was my personal favorite--a tricycle stroller.

This Viper was among John's favorites.

The lovely sidewalk restaurant was a great place from which to view the parade.

Here's a nice yellow Ferrari.

Two shots of a Mercedes here.

The Goodyear Blimp made another appearance.

A couple shots of a Maserati.

A nice Mustang.

A Rolls Royce.

An old Cadillac.

An Olds 442.

A Citroen perhaps?

A Corvette Stingray.

A Maserati.

There is a Cobra out in front of the BMW.

A Ducati motorcycle.

And at the end of the day, we went back to our little boat on the mooring and sang some Christmas songs with the radio.

Peace on earth!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Ft. Lauderdale

Here's the beach at Fort Lauderdale, FL along Seabreeze Blvd.

Cargo ships "parked" outside the inlet waiting to come in. You can see them along the horizon.

Giant size cruise ship steaming out to some exotic, tropical place.

Penny at Da Big Kahuna's restaurant overlooking the beach.

John at Da Big Kahuna's. We split a yummy pizza there and later watched UNC-CH win another basketball game.

Street scene of Ft. Lauderdale.
And this was the 100th anniversary of something Ft. Lauderdalish--its incorporation? Who knows! But it was a pretty sign right on the beach.

Back on the boat for the night, we got to see the Goodyear Blimp pass overhead. The whole side of the blimp was like a jumbo-tron showing football pictures and advertising things. This picture doesn't look like much, but it was impressive first hand.Also, there is a party boat decked out in Christmas lights passing by our boat. Wow. What a light show!