The Cruising Adventures of Joan & Ben Schuetz aboard  
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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 39: 1000 miles and counting
Saturday, 24 June 2000

Since leaving Fronteras, Guatemala we have come just about 1000 miles.  The 700 miles or so left to go to our home port in South Carolina have become surprisingly familiar territory.   This morning, here at Angelfish Creek just northeast of Key Largo,  we awakened to a lovely sunrise.   We remembered being anchored here last year when a violent squall hit loosing Francesca and two other sailboats all at once. Familiar-, yes, but sometimes just as challenging as the more exotic places we have been.

Back at Boot Key Harbor, Thursday night, Joe Mama night at Dockside, Joe performed “Freight Train” for us.  He was great.   I need to make a correction to Part 38 though.  The composers name was Alda Mae Cotten.  At the time she wrote “Freight Train” she was the housekeeper for the Seegers.  Sometime later, Pete Seeger performed the song at Carnegie Hall.  Joe said that he knew the Seegers, Carter family and even our favorites of those days, Ian and Sylvia Tyson.  When I asked him if he knew those folks Joe said, “yes, well- you know, if  you live long enough. . . “.  And that's the rest of the story.

I'm not real big on elevating entertainers or sports figures to hero status.  But some of those folks were real movers and shakers in the 60s.  At the time, some of them were thought to be pinkos,  trouble makers and ecology nuts.  I think history may have been kinder to them.  OK enuf.

Joan went to the grocery store in Marathon.  Gasp!  Sticker shock!  What we paid for groceries in Guatemala to last a month just filled a couple of bags here.  She did enjoy the magnitude and variety of the supermarket though.
The last night at Boot Key, Joan and I reminisced about the months and miles we had been.  During the last 3 years Marathon has been kind of the beginning and ending point for new explorations.  It's always sad when that part of a trip is over.  But we look forward to getting home, seeing family, friends and the job of sprucing Francesca up for the next trip.

On the way from Boot Key we, as almost always, monitor channel 16 VHF.  A sailboat made a call to an unknown motor vessel.  The motor vessel responded as “Knot Too Shabby”.  Holy Toledo and serendipity too.  Dave, Mary and Heide (their dachshund) from Fort Meyers had just passed through the Channel Five Bridge heading home from the Bahamas.  We were no more than 8 or 10 miles from them.   They are good friends whom we had met on our first trip to the Keys.   We had a really nice chat and brought each other up to date on our travels.

Today we will move up to Aventura, just a few miles south of Ft. Lauderdale, and our favorite “Waterways Marina”.  Mark and Mariam on “Delphys” will meet us there sometime Sunday and we will do the town or something.
Well, I know this is kind of short and hardly qualifies as a “Part”, but it is time for us to pull up the hook and move on.

Joan, Ben & Maggie