On day 2 we caught a fish.
One single mackerel. Not to be confused with multiple fish. 😉
We also caught a crab pot. With our boat.
Yup, those darn land mines got us. And, I was the lucky one behind the wheel when it happened.
And the dreaded crab-pot-hitting experience was not such a fun one seeing as it got tangled around our prop, but somehow managed to cut itself off. Jereme had to jump in the water in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico to inspect our propellor and make sure we didn’t have any of the plastic crab pot rope left on the prop. Thank goodness it was such a calm day and we didn’t have to worry about him jumping overboard to check. At first glance, nothing was stuck on the prop, so we went ahead and restarted the engine. It started okay, but didn’t really move the boat much at low RPM’s. However, once we got it up to cruising speed, we were moving just fine. We are also still able to shift gears, but it’s not exactly how it used to be so we are hoping it’s not a transmission issue. At the end of the day, we were definitely left with something not totally right with either the prop shaft or transmission or cutlass bearing, perhaps.
We’re not exactly sure just yet, but are using our time in Marathon to get to the bottom of it. And thus far, we’ve gotten advice from others…diver recommendations, etc. for the problem.
Back to the rest of Day 2 which was more of the same… motorsailing due to the total lack of wind all together and one crazy calm day on the water. I have never in my life seen the Gulf so calm. Eery calm. It does however make for some gorgeous photos and a very easy, relaxed motorsail.
On our second day, Jereme managed to catch one lone mackerel during the sail. We filleted the fish, and saved him in the fridge with hopes of catching a few more and cooking them up later.
The three of us were too tired to worry about cooking dinner, so we ended up at Castaway’s on Saturday night instead.
Once you get close to the Florida Keys, it’s amazing how the water changes and becomes clear (and shallow) enough to see to the bottom. With it being SUCH a calm day, we were able to see lots of big sea turtles, and few nurse sharks, and tons of fish swimming by the boat.
By 2:30 or 3PM, we were crossing under the seven mile bridge almost to Boot Key Harbor in Marathon.
Earlier in the day, we had decided to try and pick up a mooring ball at Boot Key Harbor City Marina if any where available, so we hailed them on the VHF after we made it past the old (removed) Boot Key Harbor bridge. We easily made our way to D-8 in the mooring field and checked in at the marina office. The nightly rate here is $22, and the weekly rate is $110 so we opted to go with the week upfront since a cold front is headed this way with northerly winds thereafter, plus not to mention, we still need to figure out our crab-pot-hitting issue.
Since arriving on Saturday, we’ve been settling in quite nicely. We may have enjoyed a few too many margs on the boat on Saturday night. 😉
Our buddy Chris unfortunately had to leave us on Sunday morning to head home, and Jereme and I spent the day catching up on some much-needed sleep. We got up the energy to hit the shower facilities on Sunday afternoon and then dinghied over to Dockside Tropical Cafe for drinks with more cruising friends…s/v Blue Highway and s/v Serengeti (sp?). …On Day 1, we attempted to sail down with s/v Blue Highway, but our weak VHF radio prohibited us from staying in contact with them and they smoked us anyway on the sail down. 😉 We were happy to meet back up with them at Boot Key Harbor.
I can definitely see how everyone can get used to this awesome cruising life! We had a few beers at Dockside, but decided to save a few bucks and dinghied back to the boat for some homemade chicken tacos.
Right now, we’ve got a short to-do list to tackle while we’re here in Marathon and will start looking at weather in the next day or two in order to make the crossing over to Bimini.
We’re taking our time and not rushing this experience at all.
>>Thanks for visiting LAHOWIND sailing blog! We’d love for you to get to know us and follow our story as we attempt to navigate a whole new world of sailing, as we cruise the Bahamas + Caribbean. …Learn more about us and our sailing + cruising adventures.