Biscayne Bay Ramblings

Where we’ve been:

May 17th: Biscayne Bight (Scarface anchorage)
May 18th-20th: Elliot Key
May 21: Biscayne Bight
May 22: Sailed to Boca Chita, then back to Biscayne Bight
May 23: Biscayne Bight

Dirty, Dirty, Dirty

The boat is filthy! The constant rain has helped wash the salt off the decks, but the tramping in and out with wet feet has made the inside disgusting. The bi-peds onboard have been trying to mitigate the filth by wiping feet on mats, but the quadruped has been getting as dirty as possible and wiping the dirt on my light grey couches. He has quite the system of spreading the filth worked out and since it seems to give him such joy, who am I to stop him?

Hot, Hot, Hot

It’s hot in South Florida! Some beastly, cheap miser said we didn’t need a boat with A/C and we’d just open the windows. That’s mostly OKish, but at Elliot Key we had to put bug screens up due to a constant onslaught of murderous mosquitos, and the wind died= hot. The water is nice enough to swim in, so we’ve been swimming several times a day.

Mini-Retirement is Exhausting!

We’re back at Biscayne Bight and committed to not moving the boat today - because I’m exhausted! I used to judge other bloggers in my heart- why are they so behind on their blogs? They have no job! No commute! Well, retirement is very tiring - and internet is limited. Then there’s the lack of motivation to blog when you could be staring out the window instead. For instance, this morning I was out on deck thinking about writing a post when Matt pointed out a shark swimming by our hull. A very small (18 inches?) black tip shark! Shortly followed (I mean several hours of blank staring) by a spotted eagle ray leaping out of the water. Then there’s the tarpon fishing, and other boats, and people in their fancy houses. So much monitoring, so little time.

The Weather is Fickle

We’re in a bay and have access to weather reports, radar, etc. When we picked up my sister, the wind was so light we motored. We took her out to go sailing, put the sails up, and it was 20 knots of wind. Then 30. Then it started storming. Then the jib got caught on the mast when we tacked to turn back and a pillow decided to blow onto the swim step. It was a little nautical, but hey - my sister got the full experience! (We won’t mention how we got lost in the dinghy during our attempt to drop her off).

The next day, we took a friend out and it was flat calm. Nothing. 0 wind. We motor sailed, swam at Boca Chita, dropped the friend back off at No Name Harbor, did a pump out, watched with horror boats bumping into each other in the way too crowded harbor, and left to motor the mile to our standard Scarface anchorage (part of Scarface was filmed in a house on Key Biscayne). The wind (which, 30 minutes ago was 0) was now at 25 knots, and stayed at 25 knots (even though National Weather Service said it was 0-5 knots) all night. So I’ve given up on weather reports. If you don’t like the weather, wait a minute, it will change!

Things We Love

We love, love, love our paddle board. We have been using it every day! It’s fun, exercise, and gives us a chance to get more than 38 feet away from each other.
We LOVE single serve ice. My amazing sister gave us giant ice molds - cube and sphere. They take up very little space in the freezer, and each single cube lasts through several drinks! We’re also loving drinking out of real glass, like humans.


I finally, actually , lost my visor. It has made many attempts to escape a life it obviously loathed, but on my watch on the sail south it finally broke free from it’s indentured servitude to my head and decided to take its chances in the sea. I thought about doing a man overboard drill to retrieve it, but was just too lazy. I wonder how it finds it’s new life? Full of adventure, new fish friends? Or is it scared and lonely and realizing how good of a life it had between my head and its' perch on a luxury yacht? Was it the mold spots that finally caused its' final flight for freedom? Did it know and resent the fact that it wasn’t my favorite, but just a tool? Did my favorite say mean things to it and bully it during long dark nights?

I was checking the guest bathroom and noticed a trickle of orange from the ceiling to the floor. Very strange. Yep, it’s pee. Did I drink too much and have a mishap? The mystery was solved the next day when I noticed Hastings relieving himself (like a good boy) above the guest bathroom hatch. The hatch had been open, and viola. We’re planning on training him to pee above the guest bedroom hatch to give guests a special welcome. Hahaha!


Literally about 35 seconds after leaving my job, I had a little bit of a wobbly realizing that it was just Matt and me, me and Matt, no more than 38 feet away, 24/7. Going to work every day provided not only money and routine but social contact apart from each other. Now it’s just us! Who’s idea was this again? To break us out of our staring at each other in silence routine, my sister came for 24 hours. Yay! I showed her how to stare in amazement at the yachts on the sandbar, and how to use binoculars to admire people that live in glass houses, with all the lights on, and no blinds. I’m not sure that she was impressed. I was about to paddle over to one of the yacht parties to ask the ladies if they had their 37 selfie poses memorized, or if they were working from a spreadsheet when it was decided we’d go sailing. Boring! 

It had been 5 knots most of the day, and sure, there were dark clouds over Miami, but no storms were forecasted. We went out into 20 knot winds, which became 30 knot winds, and when we tacked to come home, the jib got tangled and we almost lost a pillow. Then the rain started. Very nautical! We eventually made it back to Scarface, admired sunset, had dinner, delighted in dolphins, supervised other people boating and other people walking around their glass houses. My sister slept outside (I’m not sure why I bother with sheets for the guest bed!).

The next day, a friend and his daughter joined us. It was flat calm on the bay and we motor sailed to Boca Chita and the Ragged Keys. We went swimming and wading, had lunch, exhausted the dog. Good times!

We’re Farmers!

We’re growing our own produce! OK, so if a political correspondent were to rate this statement, it would be “mostly false”. Possibly “pants on fire”. Our friend bought us sprouting lentils in a mason jar. It’s been a lot of work (I’ve looked at them once, and then eaten them), but hey, gotta have a retirement hobby!

No Rest for the Wicked

Sleeping at anchor has been an adjustment. We anchored out for 5 weeks last year (3 for summer holiday, 2 for Christmas holiday) and I must have blotted out sleep issues. Anyway, it’s either no wind and too hot to sleep, or it’s crazy windy and the boat is rocking and creaking and the anchor alarm is going off. So the first 4 nights I did not sleep well- however, the last two I’ve slept fine. I assume it’s just an adjustment thing. 

Coming up on the blog

I’m hoping to do Larks with Lucy Mondays, Matt’s Musing Wednesdays (he can tell us how hard it is to cook for two picky people) and the Sufferings of the Spaniel (Hastings) Fridays. Will Hastings be third person or first person? Not sure. I thought I could blog every day - you know, since I have no job and no appointments- but it’s been 5 days since my last post, so that’s a stretch. Who knew mini-retirement would be so busy! 

We are exactly 1 one week in to the Independence Experiment, and for all the bugs, boat creaking, heat and wind, we’re having the time of our lives. (Hastings is still thinking about it.) For the next few days, we’ll be at Biscayne Bight, Elliot Key, or Key Largo- then we’re headed back to North Palm Beach for the last few days of May to pick up mail and make a West Marine run. Then we are planning an offshore run to Charleston. I’m a little worried that the rest of the US doesn’t have crystal clear water, sharks, rays, dolphins, turtles, sandbars, and ladies posing on yachts. We’ll just have to suffer through it and plan on being back in Florida for November. What larks! 
Elliot Key beach
Independence at sunset, Elliot Key
Hastings thinks he is a cat! 
Scarface sandbar. We're happy, Hastings still isn't sure. 

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  1. I cannot wait for Hastings posts! I'm just exhausted reading about your exhausting life :-) Didn't your sister get bitten up sleeping outside?

    1. Elliot Key had a lot of bugs- but the anchorage off Key Biscayne has been bug free. We like sleeping on the trampoline nets- looking at the stars and the moon. There's been a breeze here, plus it's a very well-off area, so there must be an intensive bug extermination scheme. -Lucy

  2. I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds this all exhausting (at times) and well done Hastings! Sally never learnes to potty on the boat so you're starting off on the right paw!

    Stephanie @SV CAMBRIA

    1. Hastings knows he has to take care of himself, as we are basically useless. He knows we'd even forget to feed him if he didn't bark at the fridge every night at 6PM!

  3. It's been one week since my experience aboard the Independence and I find my land lubber life to be sadly lacking. Where are all the "bright young things" posing and posting in $300 bikinis??? Every now & then I glimpse neon orange out of the corner of my eye & I turn expectantly ready to judge the frivolity of the " bright young thing" but alas, its just an orange a Walmart! Oh well,I must keep going.

    1. It's tough, isn't it? And what are the glass house people up to? Has the pool guy gotten to have another party while the owners are away? Where are the bright ones during the week?


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