Champ III: Going Places

The adventure starts here.

Calusa Island Yacht Club, Goodland, FL to Plantation Yacht Harbor, Islamorada, FL — December 23, 2013

Big day today as we hopefully will get to the Keys.  We again will be staying at Plantation Yacht Harbor in Islamorada. We will be there until around March 1, 2014 before we start north on the Atlantic side of Florida.

We had a good time at Calusa Island Yacht Club.  We stayed a couple of extra days because of the winds on Florida Bay.  Most of the time they were blowing out of the southeast at about 20 knots and southeast is the direction we were headed in.  today they are forecast for southeast but 11 to 16 mph. We really need to move today because the weather forecast (winds) are not good for the next week if we don’t make the Keys today.

The sky was clear and the temps were low 70’s at 7:00.  The wind seemed a little strong but not enough to slow us down.  Once we departed we headed out the Big Marco River to Florida Bay.  We went on plane about 2 miles out into the bay once the water depths got to about 8′.  It is still hard to get used to the shallower water down here.  I think Florida Bay averages probably 10′ to 14′ in a lot of areas and we were near the 10,000 Islands on the north portion near Everglades National Park.

The water chop was not too bad and it did get better as we got closer to the west shore of the Florida peninsula.  We followed the Everglades National Park markers down to East Cape where we took the Yacht Channel down to the ICW at the Keys.  We entered the ICW about 20 miles south of Islamorada.

We had lots of crab pot markers today and the worst part was in the early part of the drive because we were almost headed into the sun and it is extremely difficult to see the markers that way.  After we started along the Everglade Park Markers it was a little later and the sun was higher and we were headed a little more south. The markers in the ICW were plentiful but they seemed more manageable this year.  Maybe because we had less boat traffic to deal with also.

The wind was up near the Keys but the water was not bad and we made good time. We were on the water about 6 hours today for the 112 miles we travelled so we did really good. It was good to see the familiar faces at Plantation Yacht Harbor.  There a quite a few of the same boats here that were last winter.  We met some other people on a boat here from St. Clair Shores.

With our down time now I will do a few posts but probably not quite as regular as when we are travelling.

Lenore and I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.