Posted by: bearcruzer | November 1, 2009

Not so Fast

Oct 24 – 25th

After our not so restful night we pressed on toward the western coast of south Florida.  The winds were still not in our favor and we ended up motoring with the wind directly on our nose for the entire day.   We anchored just south of Middle Cape in the Everglades National Park.  Michael turned in early and I stayed awake long enough to watch the sunset and beautiful rainbow that came down off the stern of the boat.   The winds and waves were calming and we enjoyed a restful night sleep.   The phrase “the calm before the storm” comes to mind.  In the morning we started the engine an attempted to put the boat in gear to pull up the anchor.  The boat didn’t budge.  We tried reverse, still nothing.  We pulled up our Sonic Drive and Michael leaned over the back to take a look at it.   !@#$%^&*!   There was no propeller.   The only thing we could figure is it had come off when we backed down on the anchor the night before.    We hadn’t moved, other than a slight change in position due to swing on the anchor rode.    We both got into our snorkel gear and spent the better part of the next hour diving in 8 feet of water trying to find the prop and nuts to hold it on but to no avail.  The Everglades as you know is the end point for the marshlands and the place where all the water comes out into the ocean along with plenty of silt and other debris.  It was like diving in pea soup.  We couldn’t see but about a foot in front of us and as soon as you touched bottom a cloud of silt would surround you.   We found a really old spare prop that was left on the boat but we had nothing to attach it with.    Plan B.  We looked on our charts and the closest civilization was behind us at a place called Flamingo.  Leave it to us to get stuck in one of the most remote locations on the west coast of Florida.  We decided the best course of action would be to lower our dingy off of the davits and strap her to the side of Dancing Dolphin and use her as a tug to push us the 14 miles to Flamingo.  Our Dingy and her 25 HP Tohatsu motor did a great job and pushed us back to Flamingo.  Enroute we looked up to see wood storks flying in a long straight line of 95 birds,  an amazing sight.    On the way I suggested we name our dingy “Mighty Mouse” as I sang “Here I come to Save the Daaaaaay!”  as she pushed us along at about 3 mph on a sea of glass with absolutely no wind.    Now we have a Cat and a Mouse.  We anchored at the entrance to the channel, not knowing what sort of amenities the marina offered, and took Mighty Mouse into the Small Marina.    We went to the Ranger Station in Flamingo and began to plead our case looking for any help they may be able to provide.    Unfortunately it was Sunday and their Maintenance personnel were not due in until the next day.   We began walking over to the small Marina Store.  On our way I spotted a couple of what appeared to be some “Ole Salts”.   We walked up and introduced ourselves to Capn’ Carl.  He is currently running the tour boats for the tourists that come to Flamingo.   He had traveled to Flamingo in his Trawler, Red Red Wine, with his Cat Baryshnikov , a beautiful long haired Siamese and a rescued bird.    We told him of our predicament and he told us that when they returned from their last tour of the day they would look to see if they had any spare parts that might work to attach our old spare prop.  If they couldn’t find what we needed that his boss would be traveling to Homestead the next day,  48 miles away to get parts for the tour boats.   We could possibly catch a ride with him.   We rode back to the boat and settled in for the evening, thankful we had our home intact and the possibility of a plan to resolve our situation.    The evening was quiet and the beauty of the Everglades surrounded us.   Watching the Roseate Spoonbills, Wood storks, & Osprey’s, and looking out on another incredible sunset,  we couldn’t help but think that if one must be stuck, why not be stuck in such a beautiful place.

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