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Travel Day 100 (WOW) to John Pennekamp State Park, Key Largo, FL 2/13/22

Rough Seas on our way to Key Largo - fun times....

30 knot winds

The sign says dangerous bend!

We were originally going to anchor out for 4 nights, but the weather was not cooperative. We decided to try to get to our next destination early and they were able to accommodate us. The travel day to John Pennekamp rivaled some of the worst weather days that we have encountered. This is called pleasure boating but some days you need to pick the best of the worst day to go and still feel comfortable. This boat is a great platform to travel on. The wind was howling and I actually saw over 30 knots several times. The waves were 3-4 feet at 3 second intervals. The rain was coming down hard at some points and because of the wind it was sideways. At one point we were in fog and had to turn on the lights and fog horn. I always felt safe but it is much better to travel on calm days when possible. The storm seemed to follow us along but we made the 24 NM run in 4 hours.

We were given a dock space on the floating dock and when we arrived there was a trimaran right in front of us so close that our bow pulpit and anchor were hanging over their cockpit. 😳 They left the next day. At the marina and their mooring field were several other loopers including Justin and Melanie on Sabot, another Manatee, whom we had met back on the rivers. They came to the marina by dinghy several times so we were able to see them and after their mooring line frayed and broke they were able to stay in the marina. We all went out to dinner to celebrate Mary and Chris's 34th wedding anniversary. We had a delicious meal at The Fish House which was a short walk from the marina.

Fortunately we did not see any crocodilians.

While we were there, Hal and I took a bike ride to Publix a few times, the marine thrift store ( interesting place), and of course an ice cream shop. I was able to walk around the park in the few trails that they had and we explored the campgrounds also. We met Nancy and Dave who were traveling from Ohio in their RV. People were very friendly who stopped by, as with all the marinas we have stayed in so far.

The gulf on the tender from Pennekamp .

The Straits of Florida, the ocean. Pretty cool being able to run from the Gulf to the Atlantic.

On Friday, Hal and I took a dinghy ride to the gulf through a channel that passed beautiful homes. The gulf was beautiful as always but windy on that side. Then we zipped over to the ocean in less than 30 minutes. We beached the boat for a few minutes there but it was a little rocky for our feet. The ocean was flat calm. It amazes us the difference from the Atlantic near Long Island.

Melanie on her paddle board, Laurie in the kayak.

A manatee in the marina.

Because the weather wasn't good, too much wind, the snorkel trips were cancelled. I had hoped to go out at least once. I did rent a kayak and went on a exploratory trip with Melanie. She was a on her paddle board. I didn't have Hal get mine out because it is a hassle for one day and my back was hurting me so I didn't chance it on the paddle board. Kayaking was really enjoyable. Going through all the mangroves we saw several species of fish and many manatees. In the marina harbor we saw manatees along with their calf and some dolphin fishing. The wildlife is just amazing here. Unfortunately we have not seen any turtles.

Moonlight post!

Again, due to weather we extended our stay and left on Saturday. Going through the Miami area on a Saturday, holiday weekend and boat show weekend was very interesting. More on that in the next post.

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