Our Kadey Krogen Trawler

Our Kadey Krogen Trawler

Friday, February 17, 2017

Fish Tails

Fish Tails
Before the fish tails we have to mention the wonderful folk at Bimini Sands Marina – especially our neighboring boaters Maya and Dieter with the wonder dog Kalypso. These two long time visitors to Bimini welcomed us by catching our lines, advising on the best places to eat or shop and escorting us on the local nature trail.  Boaters are the most gracious people, and these two are among the best.


Bimini Nature Trail with Dieter

Leaving Bimini we were again lucky to have a quiet night on the bank on our way into West Bay anchorage off New Providence.  Then another longish day into Highborne anchorage.  This stretch finally produced more than a nibble on Steve’s lines.  Last trip we caught fish coming off the bank but this time it was leaving the tongue of the ocean back onto the shallows behind the Exuma chain.  Of course, there were three strikes at once – even the teaser caught a fish, but only one managed to find its way on board. Still good eating.  Then there was the whale – Steve says the biggest thing he has ever had on – that one took most of his line and rig – snapping like thread.  Our next u-turn looked promising until we hauled it in – something with sharp teeth got most of that tuna! Then there was that sail fish that along with the cuda we set free......




Shark waiting for the fishermen to clean fish in Highborne


The fish tails end here but not so for Julia’s tail which she bruised hauling the anchor with her unique grace. We were headed into Highborne marina to wait out a cold front – when the said tail made abrupt contact with the deck – never dropping that anchor fortunately.  Since we did not explore this cay last trip, we thought the splurge would be worth it to see this island we had read about. The once rustic resort is now a first-class destination with a protected marina, pristine beaches and friendly Bahamian staff.   The storms did limit our enjoyment of the beaches but never fear – fun was had with other boaters also weather bound.  Not surprisingly there were also two fellow Krogen’s in the harbor – one that we weather Hermine with back last fall.  Sailboats, fast fishing boats, slow trawlers (like us) and a handful of mega yachts – just enjoying the winter, oh and waiting for the tailbone to recover….
Walking in the rain

Breakfast on the BANK


Friday, February 10, 2017

Microwave Gremlins

Microwave Gremlins
Sunrise on our way to Fort Pierce
The weather gods were kind giving us a calm stretch to jump outside from St Augustine into the Fort Pierce inlet for a nice rest in the Fort Pierce City Marina.  At the Krogen Rendezvous we won three free nights here which we extended a few more to enjoy Super Bowl weekend.  The town is a mixed bag in many ways with sparkling vintage and vintage-retro buildings next to open spaces hinting of failed redevelopment. Nevertheless, the place is hopping – there was a lively Friday Fest with food booths, music and great people watching, followed by the best Farmer’s Market in Florida on Saturday as well as a Pirate Fest also along the river. All this with a great Publix and other shopping a short bike ride down US1. Our stop was made even better with good friends on Hobo including us in their boater group happy hours…And then the historic Super Bowl Game!  Hopefully no one ever fears our cruiser life is tough.
                                  

                                  









From Fort Pierce, we stayed inside on the AICW to a handy spot just inside the Lake Worth Inlet. As we were getting ready to leave the next morning for an off shore run of 10+ hours into Miami, our Microwave Oven provided a few spectacular fireworks and gave its last gasp. So, on our offshore run we dialed up Amazon on the smart phone and ordered a replacement.  Of course, they no longer make the same white one as we had – which careful readers might remember we replace once already back on the loop in the fall of 2013 under mysterious circumstances. Now we just had to buy a stainless model.  We also ordered the install kit since no one could tell us if the newer model could use the kit we already had. A premium was paid so that the order would be OVERNITED to a very kind marina in Miami Beach.  (We were planning to anchor just inside the channel at Government Cut behind the exclusive Fisher Island where no mail delivery was possible.) With the usual Amazon efficiency, we got the order in before the deadline thinking at most we’d get a later start toward Bimini.  Well – in less than an hour we received a nice confirmation – the bracket would be there overnite as ordered but the microwave not until Wednesday before 8PM.  After long hours with various Amazon call center folks, Steve was told in rather rude terms that they would redirect the shipment but could not stop it. Not our typical Amazon experience. We also continued to receive the usual delivery text messages making us sure that the items were indeed going to be delivered not redirected.  After imposing on the marina to help us by accepting our delivery even though we were not guests in their facility, we opted to stick around and wait for the late delivery.

off shore North Miami Beach


View from our Miami Ancorage 
Night visitor



Reluctant to leave even with our cats



One more thing on the weather. We are often talking about weather since it dictates what and when we can travel. Our best crossing of the Gulf Stream would, naturally, have been on Wednesday while we were sitting in the scenic spot off Government Cut. The run to Bimini from there is only 7 to 8 hours for us and Thursday, although not ideal, looked possible.  The bad news is the next four days would not be ideal for anything but sitting tight.  On the bright side, we are now sitting comfortably in the Bimini Sands Marina legally checked in with our new microwave waiting for the next weather window to head across the Bahamas Bank and south. The next three months or so will find us wandering the islands with their clear clean waters.  Postings will depend on the random luck of finding WIFI although we will mostly have e-mail when near a cell tower.                               

                           

                           
                          

Princess and her nip underway
                         

Daddio keeping busy underway
                           



Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Must Stop – St Augustine
The brisk winter weather with a fierce north wind made a stop in St Augustine a convenient necessity.  (Travel on the Atlantic is unpleasant with strong winds – especially from the north, so we puttered inside down the St Johns River and on the ICW to St Augustine.)
                           St Johns River and ICW scenery.





Stopping here is not hardship – the city moorings are both handy to the historic old town and reasonably priced.  The local cruising community hosts a “net” each morning at 8 AM on the VHF radio to give visitors and residents the latest info on happenings and deals.  The cruiser lounge is also a genial meeting place where we reconnected with fellow Krogen owners Vicky and Matt.  We had spotted their boat as we turned onto the ICW from the St Johns but never got close enough to read their name.  While we spent a quiet night behind Pine Island in the Florida marshes, they came on into St Augustine. It is amazing how frequently we reconnect with fellow cruisers by accident! 
Although a tourist town, St Augustine has history and charm far beyond the kitschy veneer. A bounty of great restaurant options also helps make this an easy stop to enjoy.  On this trip, we spent a few hours in the Lightner Museum.  This beautiful tribute to late 19th and early 20th Century arts and crafts is housed in the old Alcazar Hotel which was built by Henry Flagler. Otto Lightner purchased it for his collections after the hotel closed and then gave it to the citizens of St Augustine.  Part of the building houses city offices and shops in addition to the museum which includes the former hotel’s casino, gym, roman baths, ballroom and swimming pool.  These grand spaces are perfect to display the opulent collections of porcelains, glassware, object d’art, furniture and various unique items.  We managed to visit during one of the demonstrations of the automated musical instruments. The curator displayed and entertained us with everything from a tiny music box amplified on a sounding board to a huge “orchestrium” which played from a punch card book.
                              

                                     

                            

                                     

                         
The Admiral was also fascinated by the button collection and the Victorian Village shop windows.  The Captain lingered over  the match boxes and liquor labels. The impressive ballroom overlooks the former swimming pool that is currently used as the Alcazar CafĂ© – where we also enjoyed a relaxing lunch.
                                  

                               

                                        

Beautifully maintained historic buildings abound in this city – we also stopped in to admire the cathedral as we wondered the streets. 
                                   

                              



                              
It is hard to believe that hurricane Matthew flooded this downtown last fall.  The resilience of the citizens is remarkable and reason enough to stop and spend a few tourist dollars in support of the local businesses. As a bonus we managed to visit during the magical season of lights!