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The Cruising Adventures of Joan & Ben Schuetz aboard  
Francesca
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      Part 1:  Caribbean Bound   |         Part 2: Southern ICW   |         Part 2A:  Preparing to cross the stream   |         Part 3: Cuban Delights   |         Part 4: Great Hospitality, Awful Beaurocracy   |         Part 4a: Interesting weather   |         Part 5: Lo siento (I'm sorry) no lobsters   |         Part 6: If you make plans, don't tell anyone   |         Part 7: At the western tip of Cuba   |         Part 8:  War Stories   |         Part 9:  Hanging out at Isla Mujeres, Mexico   |         Part 10: Isla Mujeres to Puerto Aventuras   |         Part 11: Bahia Ascension y Bahia del Espiritos Santos   |         Part 12: Oooh, the weather is so exciting. . . .   |         Part 13:  The illegal aliens beat it over the border   |         Part 14: San Pedro and Caye Caulker, Belize   |         Part 15: Bluefield Range (Belize)   |         Part 15A: Waiting for good weather at Bluefield Range   |         Part 16: Rio Dulce Bound   |         Part 17:  On the Rio   |         Part 18: A Spectacular Couple of Days   |         Part 19:  On to Lago Izabal   |         Part 20: More on Lago Izabal   |         Part 21: Rainbow on a full moon   |         Part 22: At the dock            |         Part 23:  It gets better & better & . . . .   |         Part 24: Antigua, Lake Atitlan, Chichicastenango   |         Part 25: Panajacel and Chichi   |         Part 26: Heide heads home   |         Part 27: Leaving river city for a while   |         Part 28: Back to Belize   |         Part 29: Time out for paradise   |         Part 30: Natures way   |         Part 31: Best of the best   |         Part 32: Jack's Cay No - Glover's Reef Si   |         Part 33:  A few days of ambling   |         Part 34: Treasures of a Lifetime   |         Part 35:  It's a better day today   |         Part 36:  The loss of a friend   |         Part 37:  Rite of passage   |         Part 38:  The last bit of open water   |         Part 39: 1000 miles and counting   |        Part 40:  Shoes-, me?

      Part 2: Southern ICW
Thursday, 4 November 1999

After four really nice days at the Waterways Marina at Aventura, Florida, we departed early in the morning to continue toward the Keys.  I think that Waterways Marina will go on our list as about the best Marina ever.  Slips there are for sale at about $1000 per foot which seems kind of cheap considering the location and the fact that, since it is completely surrounded by high rise condos, it is a great hurricane hole.    We will definitely visit there again.

Marge and Marv Heide arrived around 10:00 AM on Oct. 29th and we set out for the BOAT SHOW.  It was huge with a hundred or so megayachts and equipment manufacturers booths that went on forever.  At a preappointed place and time, we met up with the Harrells (“Knot Too Shabby”) and had a beer lunch with a hot dog on the side.  It made the long walk through the exhibits less stressful.

I wish to report that, much as we wanted to, we did not buy a MegaYacht.  Just couldn't quite get the payments in line with the much anticipated social security check.  There was a little problem with the down payment too.  Francesca is home, we love her, and we wouldn't know how to become snobs.

Cruising further south along the waterway, we were graced with a fresh warm breeze.  And after a few hours of negotiating the Miami Harbor and Biscayne Bay, we were finally in the land of the Keys.   That evening, we picked a spot to anchor in a sheltered area near Plantation Key.  It was new to us and was not noted in any of the guides as a select spot.  We found it to be perfect, with great holding and good protection from the expected N through NE winds.

Throughout the trip, we had very little traffic.  During a call to Sterling, our son said that the waterway in SC was frothy with snowbirds heading south.  Luckily we have been a few days ahead of them.

Arriving at Boot Key Harbor at Marathon, early in the afternoon of Nov. 1, we found things pretty much the same.  From the hurricanes of the summer there were a few new wrecks scattered about the harbor, but the derelicts that should have gone down were still setting perky.  I think they may have growth clear to the bottom and just can't sink.

The folks on the sail boat “Joy Bells”, whom we run across every trip, were back in the harbor after a six month cruise to the Bahamas.  Having spent the summer there, they managed to have a great time even with the problems of dodging and weathering hurricanes.   They are leaving again in a few weeks to go back.

Remember last year, the sailboat “Ghost” with whom we had some disagreement about running our generator.  Well, he lost his boat during “Floyd” while in the Bahamas.  He has replaced it with a Trawler and is no doubt finding out about the joys of running a generator.

We're continuing to make good progress on the few work items left before continuing our voyage.  This next week, I'll get four more batteries installed, order a few more spare parts, and do some minor fixup stuff.  The Heides also have a couple of weeks more work left to do before meeting up with us here in Marathon.

More.

Joan, Ben & Maggie