Dec. 18: Marathon Marina, Florida Keys. You can’t get lazy or bored sailing. Everyday is different. For example, yesterday we crossed from the Marco Island to the Florida Keys. This means either sailing overnight or stopping somewhere without protection from the weather in Florida Bay, an extension of the Gulf of Mexico. We opted for stopping since the winds had died and seas were flat. Dinner was caesar salad, lamb and rice and of course followed by wine in the cockpit. Life is good. A calm night for cooking, eating and sleeping.
This morning we pulled up anchor to finish the trip to Marathon where we planned to refuel before finishing this leg to Miami. Since we have no wind-for now- we have to be prepared to motor all the way. Within 20 minutes Ed realized the engine would not open up full throttle. Normally we don’t run it that fast, but right now we are breaking in a new engine and every half hour we have to run it for 4 minutes wide open. He knew the most likely problem was something caught around the prop. He tried a trick that has worked in the past with seaweed, run the prop in reverse. No luck this time. So dive.
Now Ed is 78 and I’m not real eager for him to do this anymore, and he’s not so eager either. He has to dive with breath-holding and a face mask, working along under the stern of the boat to the propeller. But we had no other option. Sure enough, here is a photo of the line he cut off the prop. Took two dives and even then, he didn’t feel it was all off. The blue hair is from the bottom paint which had to stay until we got showers in Marathon. Once there we hired a diver to check again since our next plan is to run overnight up to Miami in Hawks Channel which is the Florida Straits along the coastline. Sure enough he came up with almost as much as Ed had already removed. Hope we don’t meet up with the fisherman who lost a trap!
So, who knows what tomorrow, or I should say tonight will bring. Nothing serious we hope, just a long night changing watches. We will be in deep water, so that is good, but there still has to be someone to stand watch to look for traffic.
More from Miami,
Jan, Ed and Sable