Keys!!!

So far so good. Shake down cruise 2.0 is going well but not with out a few wrinkles. We are now on day eleven of a nineteen day cruise, currently in Marathon Key, Florida. We left The Bluffs Marina in Jupiter, Florida heading for Ft. Lauderdale with our good friends Mary and Brant. A bit of deja vu, as our auto pilot failed just as it had done on our way to the Bahamas. After eight hours of seven foot swells we arrived in Ft. Lauderdale, at least we had the wind at our stern and following seas. We lost the sunny weather the next day but were compensated with the addition of Blake and Brittany to the Independence crew. We took advantage of our extra time in port to cruise the Intracoastal Waterway on a friends 86 foot boat ‘Tortuga’, hit the gym and scootered around town to check out the local watering holes and restaurants. Sadly, Mary and Brant left us at this time to return to Lake Tahoe, California and we continued on south to Miami. We anchored in Biscayne Bay that night with amazing views of the Miami skyline in front of us. The next day we stopped at Rodriquez Key where we anchored out again and even put the tender in to check out a local bar. We scrapped our dive the next day due to poor conditions and headed south to Marathon Key, where we are now. Blake and Brittany disembarked yesterday to continue their travels in Nashville, Tennessee and now we are two again. Kappy and Mark are due in on Monday and until then we are busy with scrubbing the hull, replacing zincs, re-provisioning, updating the log, and hopefully checking out a couple of good watering holes!

Larry at the helm entering the busy channel in Ft. Lauderdale

Larry at the helm entering the busy channel in Ft. Lauderdale

Crew shirts were given out today!

Crew shirts were given out today!

Brittany, Blake, Brant and Mary…shake down 2.0 crew re-hydrating at a Ft. Lauderdale pub

Brittany, Blake, Brant and Mary…shake down 2.0 crew re-hydrating at a Ft. Lauderdale pub

Thank you Suzanne for a great cruise along the Ft. Lauderdale Intracoastal on The Tortuga

Thank you Suzanne for a great cruise along the Ft. Lauderdale Intracoastal on The Tortuga

Ft. Lauderdale scooter rental

Ft. Lauderdale scooter rental

Seven foot swells look good on this guy…at least we had the auto-pilot that day on our way to Miami

Seven foot swells look good on this guy…at least we had the auto-pilot that day on our way to Miami

Miami city front

Miami city front

Dolphins welcomed us into the Miami harbor

Dolphins welcomed us into the Miami harbor

Miami sky line in the distance as we enter Biscayne Bay

Miami sky line in the distance as we enter Biscayne Bay

Biscayne Bay crew, Blake, Brittany and Larry

Biscayne Bay crew, Blake, Brittany and Larry

Almost sunset at our anchorage in Biscayne Bay

Almost sunset at our anchorage in Biscayne Bay

The Independence at anchor at Rodriguez Key

The Independence at anchor at Rodriguez Key

Sunset aboard the Independence with Blake and Brittany in Marathon Key

Sunset aboard the Independence with Blake and Brittany in Marathon Key

Channel markers for the entrance to Marathon Key

Channel markers for the entrance to Marathon Key