Jan 20
What an awesome day!  We are in Marathon but Debra was headed back to Key West to work for a couple of days! Winds and waves were high today so, we decided to go with Debra instead of moving the boat further up the Keys. She works for Jimmy Buffett’s “Crazy Sista Lulu”! So we headed down to Jimmy Buffett's house in Key West for Inauguration Day. No matter what your political affiliation is, today We Have A New President!  Let’s all get behind him and hope & pray that our country will be making all the right decisions! That’s what Lucy’s party was all about today in Key West and there were many notables present!  The food was fabulous!  When in Gulf Shores, AL, be sure to visit Lulu’s-a great restaurant! For boaters, dock at Homeport and eat at Lulu’s, and no matter where you are, Buy or order on-line  “Crazy Sista Cooking-Cuisine & Conversation” by Lucy Anne Buffet! It’s a wonderful cookbook and so much more! Tom Corcoran the noted novelist & co-writer with Jimmy on "Fins", "Cuban Crime of Passion" and more, a past Mayor of Key West, the proprietor of the Key West restaurant “Ricky's Blue Heaven” and many others all enjoyed a nice day with Lucy!! So many neat and interesting people we can’t even begin to name. A lot of them have been in Key West for decades and have many fascinating stories to tell.  Thanks for a great day in Key West Lucy! 

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Jan 21
Weather still yukky today! Clear but cool & windy. Took advantage of having rental car to start provisioning for the Bahamas. Hope to cross over first week of Feb. Debra still in Key West with Lucy and Kevin cruising with us! Tomorrow we cut through Channel Five to pick up the ICW on the bayside once again and move up to Key Largo. Kevin and Debra fly out of Miami on Saturday! Can't believe the week is moving so fast! Guess time flies when your having rum!
Jan 22
As predicted, the water got skinny when we cut through to the bay. We had to move slowly & stay alert. When we pulled into the marina we only had 1.7 ft under our hull. There is little or no tidal effect at this marina so we know it will be difficult when we leave. Will call Tow Boats US before leaving to decide if we should continue on ICW or go back a few miles to a bascule bridge where the locals say we could go back outside. Tow Boats US provides info because they don't want to have to come pull us off a sandy shoal! We don't want them to have to do that either. Still, a very pleasant and warm day! We found an authentic Cuban Restaurant tonight and the 3 of us had a wonderful meal!

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Jan 23

We got the “go ahead” from Towboats US who said we were through the worst of the skinny water and we should stay on the bay side taking special caution in one more area, Tarpon Basin.  We passed a sailboat that had strayed far from the channel (or either anchored out the night before)& was aground. There are wrecking and salvage laws on the books in Florida. A grounded vessel falls under some of those laws and can be claimed in some instances. The sailboat Captain hailed us on the VHF radio and asked us to try to tow him off. It wasn’t something we could even try because we have a 4 foot draft. But when we answered him and said we were “Salvage Crew” a note of panic came in his voice and he said “No, no, no, I don’t want that!!!” Because of our name, he thought we were interested in taking over his boat! We laughed for several nautical miles! Overnighted @ Gilbert’s on Key Largo.

 

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Jan 24

Kevin & Debra left us today to travel back to the frigid North, Fairhope, AL. Hope that they will be able to join us again for another portion of our trip! We had a great time in the Keys! Brad and I traveled up the Intra-coastal to Miami today and are tucked in at Miamarina (sounds like a good name for a rock opera, doesn’t it?)! We can see the Inter-Continental Hotel and the Hard Rock Café from the aft-deck and guess what Toto---, we for sure are not in Kansas anymore! LOTS of boat traffic! They are coming at you from every direction and English is a second language on the radio! I guess we will go with the “fast pace” flow here! We can always relax when we get back to “Island Time” in the Bahamas! There has been a wonderful contrast on this trip, from Tennessee River, the Tenn-Tom, Mobile Bay, the panhandle of Florida, to the “Forgotten Coast” ,to the Keys, and then Miami! It has all been amazing! I will try to give you a good pictorial of Miami, but to get the real picture, you need audio in Miami! WOW! It is all around you and you can hear it as much as you can see and feel it.

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Jan 25

Woke up at 6:30 AM this morning to the sound of helicopters hovering overhead. Curious, it was awhile before we realized that the Miami Marathon was today and they were taping the start just in front of Bayside from the air! We decided to do the Miami Tour by Land and Sea today! We visited Downtown Miami, Coconut Grove, Coral Gables, West & South Miami, Little Havana & South Beach. Then we boarded a boat and did the water tour of Fisher Island and Star Island! Yes, we indeed saw many homes of the rich & famous! There are no roads to these islands. Perhaps we will visit some of our favorite stars on the “Salvage Crew”! Only one star sighting, Shaquille O’Neal! He was walking out on his patio with a couple of guys (he was the tall one) and he actually waved at us! Unfortunately I had already made a picture of his house and missed the shot of him! Anyway, enjoy the pictures that I did get today!!!!

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It's Better In the Bahamas! It's also more expensive in the Bahamas! A case of Miller Lite is $45. So today we rented a car and made another $400 haul from the Publix! Turned our bow stateroom into a pantry for the time being! Also made a run up the beach to pick up a spare water pump that we think we might need in the near future. Diesel Don helped us locate and purchase one! Thanks Don!
Spent some time in South Beach this evening before shoving off in the morning headed for Ft. Lauderdale! Will meet another Looper Boat, "Good News" there and try to cross on Wednesday or Thursday. We are looking for a day that has winds with absolutely NO North component at less than 15mph and seas no higher than 3 foot! Looks like there might be one this week!
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