Adventures in Marineland: May/June 2018

Happy Day!

I have two posts to close out our spring trip to St. Augustine and Marineland. The first one will focus on the weeks we were finally able to relax from what seemed to us non-stop busyness since Irma hit last fall.

Marineland is one of those spots for us to relax and unwind. The simple life of walking the beach and kayaking filled our time, and this year…a few extra naps…due to all the rainy weather.

We were blessed with time to visit friends who were passing through, by car (Debbie and Gary), and by boat (Georgette and Gary). Other friends (Pam and Dan) came for a long weekend stay in the marina and we had a great time boating, fishing and tourist-ing the Dolphin Encounter.

Pictures speak louder than words…some sights while walking near the marina.

April Showers bring May flowers

The field was on ablaze with the wildflowers and water was still standing all around from so much rain.

Florida wild flowers

Stop and smell the…weeds, I mean flowers.

Rain, rain, go away. And you can skip another day!

I found these parrots with a little guidance from Brandon, and they sure were noisy.

Make a joyful noise

Good mornings have a beach.

Another storm on its way.

It’s sea turtle nesting season from March to October. This mama had a false crawl, which always makes me a little sad because all those eggs will be dropped out in the ocean.

False crawl.Getting some practice in with the new 600mm lens with a 2x teleconverter.

Getting some practice in with the new 600mm lens with a 2x teleconverter.

Love the birds doing their bird thing along the surf.

Somehow the last time we were here we didn’t go to the Marineland Dolphin Adventure. But we made up for it this time with three trips. This June they were celebrating their 80th anniversary. We had free entrance passes and for ten dollars we turned them into behind the scenes passes, and had a great tour time with our friends Pam and Dan, and Gracie too!

Russ, Dan and Pam from Beufort, SC.

Gracie.

Behind the Scenes Tour:

Marineland Dolphin Adventure. The G is for Georgia Aquarium, who runs the facility.

Behind the scenes, Lion Fish.

You can’t see me.

I’m not an enemy.

Chill.

The underwater viewing area in the behind the scene tour.

The underwater viewing area in the behind the scene tour.

What’s the last thing you hear a redneck say?

Watch this!

More from the top-side.

Oh yeah! Here comes lunch!

 

Me! Me! Pick Me!

How many fish do you have in that there bucket?

Will work for food.

Game on.

Take that!

Hi.

I got this.

I need this for my sailboat.

I just need a little time out.

Bottoms up.

Come cool off with me.

We got a weather window to take a kayaking trip to Princess Place Preserve. These historic grounds are technically in Palm Coast, but just a few creeks away from Marineland by water. We went to the west side of the park and followed creeks keeping to the left and we ended up at this eagles nest. We were not aware it was there ahead of time (here’s more information) Mama and papa were visiting the nest just as we noticed them and then they left, so I didn’t get any pics. But here is juvenile brother. A little research revealed he was not a very nice guy…took out the sibling not too long ago. But that’s the way of the wild.

Juvenile Eagle in nest, Princess Place Preserve.

And a short fly over.

More pics from the kayaking trip.

Nice kayak bud.

You’re interruptin lunch here.

View of the ICW.

We are usually blessed with many beautiful sunsets on our cruising trips, but the weather had a different idea this time. I did manage to catch one or two.

Sun setting on Marineland Marina office and docks.

When there’s no rain, the sunsets are magnificent at Marineland.

Next up will be our trip back to Jensen Beach. Hope you can join us. Thanks for sharing our adventure with us.

Captain Ike, Sailing, and Good Men

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Captain Ike on Vela, May 2014

Our friend Captain Ike passed last night. He won his battle with cancer, he is now home with Jesus and free of pain. We saw him only three weeks ago, as he was heading out with a few sailing buddies for an afternoon on the North Fork.

I looked for Vela (his sailboat) as we drove home across the Roosevelt Bridge. I knew her sails would be up as soon as she exited the harbor. But I wasn’t able to see her from that side of the bridge. I was disappointed.

This how we feel right now, we would like just one more glimpse, but it’s not to be.

He has sailed away to his next port.

We’ve lost others to that port. So have you. We go on, knowing we will be reunited with them again, but the ache in our heart is real.

For many reasons, we will miss Ike.

Russ bought his first car from Ike, a 1969 Chevelle for $300. Ike and Russ’ dad were life-long friends and business partners for many years. Russ has known Ike all his life.

He loved our pups, and never missed an opportunity to come and get some doggy kisses. He had a regular weekly stint with the shelter dogs at the Humane Society.

His love of sailing was contagious. He had a career, he was a barber, and before that a merchant marine. We never heard barber stories though, he loved to share the stories of his sailing travels when he was younger. He loved to hear about where we were going and where we had been on our sailboat – and what we were planning next. He encouraged us to go.  He went sailing any and every afternoon he could, even if it was only for an hour. He daydreamed sailing.

He was a mentor. He tried (unsuccessfully, but not his fault) to teach me (Jennifer) a few knots. I would learn them, and then for lack of use, I’d be back to a fumbled mess of line. He shared insight, ideas and taught us much. He was always available to help us in any way he could.

He made time. Whether we were working on our sailboat, loading, or unloading, he always stopped whatever he was doing to come sit on the dock and talk a spell. He regularly invited us to go out sailing with him, on a better boat.

Vela was immaculate and shined. Ike was meticulous.

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Vela, Biscayne Bay, 2014

A few years ago in 2014, he followed us to Key Biscayne. We had planned a trip to the Bahamas, but the weather that year wasn’t cooperating. We still had jobs and just a few weeks for a trip. A few days into the trip he got sick, it was Memorial Day weekend and we hunkered down in the Marine Stadium in Miami, before making our final jaunt to Elliot Key. I can see him on our port side, sailing through Biscayne Bay, because as soon as he felt just a little better, he wanted to be on the way. Happy all over his face, he enjoyed the trip, but he really wanted to go to the Bahamas one more time. He was almost 80.

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Captain Ike on Vela, Biscayne Bay, 2014

Two years later, while we were cruising in the Bahamas, Ike got his Bahamas trip. His friend John accompanied him for a two week trip. They met us in Green Turtle, he enjoyed cracked conch and conch salad with us one night. Enjoyed walking around the old town and reminiscing about the time he had spent there. As we moved around the islands, we saw them in Marsh Harbor and again in Man-0-War, in between their visit to Hope Town. He still had happy all over his face. He turned 82 that October.

When he returned home after the Bahamas, he received the cancer diagnosis. The doctors really thought it wouldn’t be too long, but Ike was stronger than they thought. He started chemo. He had good days and bad days, and in spite of the chemo, he got out to sail locally. He fought back the cancer for almost two years.

He was a strong man. He was a wise man. He was a kind man.

Last summer, while he was working on a project in his backyard, he told me he didn’t know how long, but he knew he was in Jesus’ hands and that was all he needed to know.

He was a good man. Our hearts are sad, but glad we knew him.

Sail on our friend.

Captain Ike, we love and miss you already.

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Captain Ike, tough as a pirate. February 2017

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Aargh matie, Captain Ike, on Vela, February 2017

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Vela, coming into White Sound, 2016

Spring Forward: St. Augustine 2018.05.01

We arrived in St. Augustine. Six days wasn’t overly ambitious of us, we would have taken longer, but when there’s favorable winds you do what sailors do…sail!

Here are a few pics from the trip, enjoy.

Home is where the eggs are.

 

Salty getting his sea legs.

 

Obedient Pelican.

 

No Ka Oi in the Mosquito Lagoon.

 

Sunset Mosquito Lagoon.

 

Sunrise Mosquito Lagoon

 

Ponce Light, New Smyrna Beach.

 

I’m sure I’ll fit, right here!

 

We have seen many old bridges go and new high rises replace them, but we never saw one torn down before the new one was built. Memorial Bridge, Daytona Beach.

 

Nice Ride! Daytona Beach.

 

Good dog/Bad Dog?

 

Marineland Beach.

 

Marineland Beach.

 

Marineland Beach.

 

ICW sights.

 

Sunrise, St. Augustine Marina Mooring Fields.

 

Our favorite bagel shoppe!

 

Bagel bites for Salty Dog.

It’s going to be a laid back week for us. Thanks for stopping by and sharing our adventure with us!

Spring Forward to Our Next Adventure

Ruger sets sail

I’m not even going to try and fill in the blanks from the last time I posted…last August…from Key West!

That was before a three week trip to North Georgia.

Before we left No Ka Oi tied to a seawall in Marathon, Florida.

Before Hurricane Irma.

When we couldn’t get back to get her out.

When it took forever for us to get back in.

Before we cried our way south through piles of debris and sadness left in the wake of Irma.

We were spared and consider ourselves fortunate. Irma tried to chafe a hole in her belly, but she’s a strong old girl.

We were able to get a patch in place and take her home in early October.

Others were not so fortunate.

Many still deal with the aftermath and will continue for sometime. We are sad and heartbroken for all the loss.

No Ka Oi has had her repairs, a little lipstick and a new coat of paint.

While that was happening, we got busy with the things of life, hurricane clean-up and repairs, sick parents, grandchildren visits, and things we can’t even remember.

The sidetracks are part of the adventure, but not all that exciting for a blog.

But now that we are back out adventuring, No Ka Oi is a happy girl. With the wind in her sail, she is pointed north.

We are St. Augustine bound or maybe waylaid at some place we couldn’t pass up. Hoping for some sunshine and crew restoration.

This is our first adventure with Ruger the pup. He came to his forever home last October via Martin County Humane Society. He ain’t right…but that’s probably good, cause those running his forever home ain’t all there either.

Pepe Le Pew is glad to be back at it, as are Russ and I (and Ruger isn’t sure yet). We sure hope everyone will join us in our newest adventure, and as always we hope you might come out and join us along the way!

Here’s a few pics from today.

High tide. Check.

Roosevelt Bridge

Roosevelt Bridge and railroad bridge up. Check.

Pepe Le Pew. Check.

Ruger. Check.

Ruger working out his chill skills. Check.

Sail up, check.

Always a nicer view from this side of the gate.

All systems checked and ready to go!

We did our first Facebook live video this morning! I’ll figure out how to make them play here. Technology issues at are real at our house. But there is time to figure it all out.

Sunset from Vero Beach City Marina

Welcome Committee

Thanks for sharing our adventure with us!

‘Hamas: The Adventure’s End, 2016_07_28

1 IMG_0977 Sunrise leaving Grand Cay

“All good things must come to an end”, is not one of my favorite quotes, because I don’t like ending, I’d rather keep going. I did however, Google it, because I didn’t know who actually said this. I found it attributed to Geoffrey Chaucer in his poem Troilus and Criseyde completed in mid-1380s, here. However, I much prefer this source by ireland, “your parents when you turn 18,” which I found here. At least I partially added to my knowledge base today!

No sad tears for the end of our Bahamas 2016 adventure, only memories to treasure for the rest of our lives. We both agree this was one of the best trips we have made to date. Cruising with Captain Jack and Cheryl from Zig Zag was as close to perfect as it gets. We learned so much from their experience and knowledge. We shared exploring many beautiful places in the Abacos, and enjoyed our evening beer-thirty get togethers, where we let the pups run around and made a plan for the next day. We were down right challenged to keep up with them somedays, these two have some energy! They kept us moving when we may have opted for out-right lazy. We are already missing them and can’t wait for another opportunity to adventure with them.

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Our Bahamas cruising partners, Cheryl, Jack and Eureka, from Zig Zag

I really thought that spending three and a half months in the same area, including back-tracking, would get boring. But we found having less time restraints allowed us to get past the rush of getting to the next place or missing opportunities when we couldn’t wait out weather. More time would not have been an issue, in fact, we even have a list of things we did not get to do for the next time we visit!

Here are a few pics of our last days and our crossing back to Stuart.

The night before we left Grand Cays, we had our final emergency repair of the trip. The hose to the head sink decided it was time to blow when we turned on the pressure water. Fortunately, we have a well stocked spare parts locker and resourceful Captain, emergency repair work completed with no off-hours repair bill.

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Old boats come with old problems

We left Grand Cays early for West End.

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We will miss the beautiful sunrises

We had a great sail from Grand Cays to West End.

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Wind, free energy

Isn’t Zig Zag beautiful with all her sails up.

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Zig Zag

An early afternoon arrival at West End allowed time for fuel top-off and our last beer-thirty of the trip.

6 IMG_0999 West End final night

West End, 2016_07_27

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Our last beer-thirty for this trip

Eureka and Nyah enjoying their last night in the Bahamas. Nyah is going to miss this place, she absolutely loves fishing!

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Eureka stretching her legs in preparation for a long day tommorw

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Perfecting cruising skills…The Captain relaxing, Nyah fishing

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Maybe next trip she will actually catch one

We left West End at O’dark-thirty in particularly good conditions, not a dog, cat, or first-mate got sick on this crossing! Of course calm conditions mean sailing isn’t the best, but we made good time none-the-less.

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Farewell Bahmas for 2016

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One of the many boats we passed…maybe we are heading in the wrong direction!

Hello St. Lucie Inlet, it’s good to see you and to be home!

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St. Lucie Inlet 2016_07_28

It would not be a real passage home if we didn’t get stuck by the Roosavelt railroad bridge. Well, I guess we shall slow down and wait. But, several months in the Bahamas is evedent in the Captain’s reaction, mere calm about the hold-up…WOW!

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Railroad bridge down

Almost sunset over the Roosevelt high rise bridge.

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Long day, nice to be home

No Ka Oi patiently waits our return, she knows where our hearts are, and knows we will be back!

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No Ka Oi, all secure

It has been such a blessing for us to hear from so many of you. Yes, we are having a great time, but it is so wonderful to know each of you are enjoying our adventure with us. And, as always, we hope our blog will inspire you to stretch out and go do your dream! Stay tuned, this adventure we call life is about to take a slight detour, but this is why we are No Ka Oi, Simply the Best. We can’t wait to share our detour with you.

‘Hamas: Lynyard Cay 2016_06_12

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Hanging out in the blue hole

From Hope Town we headed to Lynyard Cay on a somewhat stormy afternoon. We had mild rain, and fortunately, we missed the most intense storms, which stayed just West of us. We anchored up safely on the Southern tip of the Cay.

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Storm to the west as we headed South to Lynyard Cay

Cool boats along the way.

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Several sightings of this cool ship were reported to us, we were glad to get a gander.

Once we were anchored at Lynyard, we found the party people had arrived ahead of us. They invited us to the beach party. This has been one of the best things about living aboard, friendly people, impromptu get-togethers and making friends from all over the world. We had a great time with Phillip and Teresa (South Africa/North Carolina) from s/v Sea Ya, John and Shirley, (South Africa and Canada) Andrew and Carol (Bermuda) and of course Jack and Cheryl from Zig Zag. Also pictured bottom center is Darcy and Ted from Florida, who came in the following night.

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Phillip and Teresa from s/v Sea Ya invited us to the beach party. Boche ball, gals against the guys…not sure who won! Captain cutting up coconuts to grill on the fire, and share with everyone’s pot luck meal. Captain and Jack in yet another intense discussion, well, as intense as can be had over beer and beer-thirty.

Captain’s finger has finally healed enough to get back in the water.  It’s not only fun when he gets conch, I like dragging him around too! He found five, I found one. We had a fabulous conch salad and tossed a few in the freezer for cracked conch soon!

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Conching! Here conchy, conchy, here conchy! Dragging the Captain. Someone has to clean ’em. A spotted ray came to clean up the scraps.

Here is my second favorite part of cruising, exploring. This is not a very large cay, but it was really fun exploring and we only explored the South end, we will have to come back another time to explore the North end. High flat areas and rocky shore-lines, made for several interesting hikes.

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Flat top trail across the cay and down the dune to one of the beaches. Artists among us, paintings on an old hut.

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West side of cay was rocky, but there were a few little swimming coves. Nyah on the dune getting a better look. Captain on the rocks. Cove on East side of Cay (bottom right)

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Stuff you find!

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Can we take this home? It would make a cool coffee table!

 

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No more rocks!

We made our way in dinghies over to the Bite of Old Robinson with this map we found on-line, in search of the blue holes we knew were there. The last time we came this far the weather was not conducive for searching them out. The first hole we found, and the largest as far as we know, is marked with this memorial for three divers that didn’t make it. We didn’t have dive tanks with us, we were only snorkeling, but it is a deep hole, and apparently has caves going out from the center.

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Map of blue hole locations in Bite of Old Robinson.

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Blue hole from the surface, near memorial for three divers who drowned.

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Arch, Jennifer snorkeling near arch, crab, turtle.

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Lobsters to the left, lobsters to the right, shrimp to the lower right.

The sandy beach was home to a couple of star fish waiting on the tide to return. and to a little hermit crab leaving a trail.

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Hermit crab leaving his trail, star fish one with a missing an arm and both waiting for the tide to come back in.

Help! I can’t find the name of this bird and have looked through a dozen web sites. Next trip I will need a book, actually two books, one for bird and one for fish identification. Mama is very protective of her chick, she carries on and squawks as she is limping or flying away to distract your attention. There is no nest, baby is nestled into the warm rocks.

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clockwise from top left: Calm mama, angry mama, camouflaged chick, very angry mama!

Beer-thirty with Jack and Cheryl. Nyah and Eureka aren’t to far away. This is how we “walk” doggies and have a wind-down to the day.

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Beer-thirty high on the bluff at Lynyard Cay.

Sunset, must be time to break out the conch horn, Captain.

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Captain blowin the conch horn, sunset on the rocks and No Ka Oi, watching the moon and stars on the beach.

Just another day in paradise.

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Thanks for following along.

‘Hamas: Treasure Cay and Marsh Harbor 2016_06_22

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We finally got tired of Green Turtle, not really, but everyone’s repairs where complete or stable, and it seemed like a plan.

During our time in Green turtle, Jack and Cheryl on Zig Zag stayed at Donnies Dock while the mixing elbow on their engine was repaired. While parts were on order, they couldn’t move. Tommy and Alicia on Saol Nua had to repair a leak in their fuel injector line, welding was attempted and failed. Parts were supposedly ordered, that failed. Finally JB Weld temporarily fixed the issue until they found parts in another place.

We split up for a few days, everyone ended up in Marsh Harbor. Vela went to Great Guana. Zig Zag stayed one more night in Green Turtle and then went straight to Marsh Harbor. And Saol Nua and us went to Treasure Cay to check out all the hoopla about their world famous beach.

First up though, was the crossing through Whale Cay Channel. We picked a great day, lots of boat traffic and one of the nicest passages we have ever had.

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Whale Cay Channel

I must say, they do have something to brag about…nice beach!

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Treasure Cay

Notice the color in the clouds, the water’s color is reflecting and giving them a beautiful hue.

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Swimming at Treasure Cay beach, Turquoise colored clouds.

We had fun fooling around in the telephone booth. Of course Nevan and Rylan needed to know what they were for first!

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Fun in the phone booth

The bougainvillea was blooming.

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Many shades of bougainvillea

We interrupt this retirement adventure to remember what it was like to relax with young children.

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The Kemery boys giving the Captain relaxing lessons.

Alicia, do you have at least one formal family photo? Of course, my big kid isn’t helping much.

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The Kemery Clan and Captain photo bomber

We anchored outside Treasure Cay’s harbor. We had a nice breeze and no bugs. It was also a nice spot for taking Nyah and Sky to shore to stretch and run.

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Look people, we have business to take care of…must everything be a photo shoot? Nyah and Sky patiently wait to get to shore.

Boaters version of the mini-van.

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Mini-van that floats

This is the way home.

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Nyah giving directions

Sunset Treasure Cay.

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Sunset Treasure Cay, Saol Nua

Saol Nua followed us to Marsh Harbor. We took pics of each other, I just can’t get the ones they took of us to open!

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Saol Nua

We went to Marsh Harbor mainly because after a month or so, it was time to stock up on a few things at the grocery. Not all that much, think everything you buy you get to carry back to the boat or pay for a taxi.  We carried. But we stocked up on a few things that we didn’t pack quite enough of. The Captain made sure the shopping list included a Jimmy Buffet song.

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Cheeseburger in Paradise

We anchored in the equivalent of an I-95 median. Day and night we were in the path of a ferry boat. If we had planned to stay longer, I guess we would have moved, but it was interesting watching the ferries come and go and check out the passengers

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Donnie XI

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Donnie XI

I thought these coconut palms were interesting. Street lights to ladders, they are quite versatile.

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Uses for coconut trees

Busy as Marsh Harbor is, they still do a nice sunset.

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