Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Month of Workshops - March 2 - 22nd



March 2, 2014

We left Oleta State Park after an enjoyable overnight visit.  We pulled in here and dropped anchor pretty early this day for a couple of reasons.  First  it was Sunday and the boat traffic was seriously congested, compounded by 2nd) we were getting ready to pass Haulover Inlet during peak tidal flow and for this inlet in particular, that is bad timing.  It is best to pass inlets at slack tide and preferably without all the crazy weekend boaters.  So we  pulled off the ICW momentarily while checking the charts and found by going around the island directly to our west, we could slip easily into the Oleta State Park for the night hoping that Monday morning would find the boat traffic to be less congested and we could time the our passage to proper tide.  We were fortunate to find a good spot to drop anchor among all the weekenders, we fired up the grill for dinner and launched the kayak for paddling. It was a nice evening.


Moving north our next stop was John U. Lloyd State Park for a workshop scheduled for the 8th. There was a nice park right on the beach within walking distance and we had a nice day at the beach after the workshop.


Continuing on north, we next cruised into Lettuce Lake in Boynton Beach where our next workshop was scheduled for the 15th at Boynton Beach Harbor Marina.  We proceeded north again on Sunday the 16th stopping in West Palm Beach where the town was preparing for their annual Boat Show.



We were preparing to leave West Palm Beach when an actuator malfunctioned and Carter had to install a replacement before moving on.



We were almost to the St. Lucie Inlet and as I stated before, we have learned to pass inlets at slack tide and use the current to our advantage.  Since we arrived a couple hours early we decided to pull off at St. Lucie Inlet Preserve and State Park as they have a nice dock.  Although our Lowrance chart plotter clearly showed 5' of water all around the dock, it failed us again! About 100' short of the dock we ran aground.  Since the tide was going out rapidly at that point, we were quickly stuck on the hard sandy bottom and forced to stay in this spot until the tide rolled back in that evening at 9:00 pm.  We made use of the time by getting in the Whaler to take soundings of the area to be prepared to move into a spot for the night.  By 9:30 that night we were safely anchored close, but not too close to the ICW for an early morning departure past the inlet into Manatee Pocket where Carter found a prop shop to fix the prop on the whaler which had been damaged on an oyster bed a few days earlier.  We went up a little canal and while I stayed with Radar and the Whaler, Carter took a mile long hike to the prop shop where the guy fixed it on the spot. With 30 minutes to kill and a Super Walmart right next door, he was also able to get some important provisioning done, TP, batteries, and a quart of oil for Honda.





We got back just in time to make the tides at Stuart Inlet to continue up the St. Lucie River and a scheduled press conference with Rethink Energy Florida the next day. We even had a space at the city dock  at Stuart City Hall where we got to tie up to shore overnight for the second time in 5 months.





That was a very nice nice dock but with a northerly exposure, and unfortunately the winds whipping from the northeast had us bucking against the dock all night long. But the next day right after the press conference was actually over an Kim Ross was taking me to the grocery store for a few provisions we needed, CBS Channel 12 News showed up and Carter was on his own for the media relations. But they did a super nice story on the Archimedes that we were very happy with!

http://cbs12.com/news/top-stories/stories/solar-ship-sails-into-stuart-14269.shtml







That evening we moved over to Sunrise Marina just around the corner for one more workshop scheduled for the 22nd.


Just as a side note, we were tied to docks more in the past month than we have on this entire trip.  We normally drop the hook in anchorages or behind a spoils island just off the ICW.

It's time for this season to come to an end because as Captain Carter likes to say, "the Arc may run on nothing but sunshine but our finances do not".  It's time to go back to work in Tennessee and refill the coffers so we can return this fall for the final leg of the Little Cruise Aid for a Sustainable Florida.








Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Taking Pictures of People Taking Pictures of Us

It became evident to us from the very beginning that the Archimedes draws people's attention.  I'd like to dedicate this post to all those folks who stop what they are doing to get a quick picture of the Arc as we cruise past.  I took all of these pictures yesterday in a period of two hours of our passage from Oleta River State Park in North Miami to Dania Beach. It should be noted that this is probably only about 1/3rd of the people we "SAW" taking a picture. It's hard to catch the shot of them taking the picture and I missed way more than I got.

We get just as many or more "thumbs up" as we do people taking pictures!  It seems people get excited about a big solar boat. Check this out!



This picture was an accidental 2 for 1 shot!  I had no idea the lady on the balcony was even there!  I was taking a picture of the couple on the side of the waterway.


We see people come out onto their balcony to take a picture all the time. Sometimes they run back inside and come back with a couple more people and their camera.


Many folks passing by the waterway see us and stop  to take a photo.


My camera just missed catching this lady with her camera in position.


This man stopped his car to get out and get a shot!


I am lucky to catch anyone taking pictures from a moving boat.  But I did pretty good with this one.


These two came over specifically to take the picture and stopped us to ask questions.
Do you have an electric motor?
Yep!


This couple was waiting for the draw bridge to open when they spotted us.


We see this a lot too.  
Again, it's hard to catch them in the act of taking pictures!


This lady was on a water taxi. We often see multiple flashes from  ferry boats and I'm going catch that one day soon, I've decided to make hobby out of taking pictures of people taking pictures of us.

The Keys and Miami - Camera Dump

Pictures from the Keys and Miami.





Mallory Park in Key West has activities every evening at Sunset with lots of street performers and vendors.













Even performances from pigs!



This was right beside us at our anchorage beside Fleming Key. I thought to myself "this family has it all together!"  As it turns out this float belonged to one of the many party boats that you pay to get out on the water for fun!

 

We saw as many as 3 cruise ships in the harbor at one time.


The water in the Keys is absolutely the most beautiful and clearest water I have ever seen.  This picture shows sea grass 5' below the boat.  AMAZING! 

 

The Coast Guard stands at guard to the entrance of the harbor at Key West and sail boats abound as we departed via Hawks Channel in the Atlantic Ocean.


This is a military satellite that obviously has a protective cover.  It looks like an egg hatching.


This picture shows the never ending line of people waiting their turn to have their picture made at the southern most point of the United States.  We decided not to wait in line and I was disappointed not to have my picture taken here but...we did get a picture of the bouy as we were leaving Key West ... but from the ocean side!  It works for me.






This was a house on an island out in the Atlantic Ocean just off the coast of Key West.






Boaters must watch for crab pots so as not to get the lines tangled in the prop and/or rudder.  That could be disastrous.












 Saw this guy at Big Pine Key. Ouch!  Low tide.


Leaving Big Pine Key




I love this picture.  I think I could spend a couple of days here in Big Pine Key.









This happens to us a lot!  We have to be one of the most photographed boats out on the ICW!







Boot Key Harbor, Marathon






Sunset at Marathon



A picnic table set up at the end of a man made jetty out from a home at Grassy Key.





Just around the corner from this nice picnic setup we found this poor pelican!  This is the danger of not properly disposing of fishing line.  



















While anchored in Dolphin Cove, I was below in the salon when all of a sudden I heard something hitting the side of the boat under the water!  What on earth???  I ran upstairs and saw hundreds of fish attacking the the boat!




It turns out that certain kinds of fish like to hang out in the shadow of your boat which entices Amber Jacks (we think) to come for a feast!  It was a wild experience.






Sunset at Long Bight Key



Don't you hate it when this happens?
 Spotted this scene as we were arriving at Islamarada.
What a mess when the owner returns!


 Beautiful Lorilei Yacht Club
















Home of the Nautilimo!






As we were leaving Islamarada, we saw this ultralight racing some jet skis.  You can't see the jet skis but, they're there.



Upon arriving at John Pennakamp State Park we met up with the Spirit of John Pennakamp  heading out with a boat load of folks to view the coral reefs through the glass bottom of the boat.




Birds find a spot to rest just outside the channel into the park.














The water is still clear as evidenced by this sponge approximately 6' under the water.












Beautiful!

On our way to the grocery store we ran across this house.
Mmmmm  A dream house for sure.



The red flag is the USMC flag.
Semper Fi!

Next along this mangrove canal we came up on the KOA campground in Key Largo!
Nice!


Park your trailer just behind these tiki huts and launch your boat and enjoy this wonderland of water sports.


KOA pincic area


Picture post card pretty.


Yet another example of the pure water quality in the Keys.  In the picture below you can see the grass on the bottom of this mangrove canal along side a reflection of the mangroves above.  How cool is that?




 Can you distinguish the reflection in the water from the trees itself?


This is where I met Rocky Raccoon.  He was just as surprised to me as I was him.

Somewhere between Islamarada and Key Largo we ran across these toilet seats.  We would have liked to have met up with some locals to inquire as to the history.  I'm sure it would have been an interesting story.






Enough said!

And now for Miami...

We passed under the bridge after crossing Biscayne Bay...


and immediately turned right to get to the anchorage at Marine Stadium.  Carter actually attended a concert back in the early 70's here.  There was a floating stage and boats would raft up together in the harbor while landlubbers filled the stadium.  That place needs to be brought back to life.


This is a busy harbor/anchorage.

The Miami Sea Plane school used the entrance for take off and landing practice.

 Folks practiced their boating skills.


And kids learned the art of crewing.














Yes...some of my photos are a little crooked but keep in mind that I take pictures from a moving, rocking, rolling ship.  I'm lucky to get anything in focus...much less straight.










Ha!  A Pirate Ship!  
It seems that every large city has one!
This is the last picture I took the night before leaving and I think it turned out the be the best night shot I was able to get during the entire 2 weeks were in Miami.