S/V Panacea: May 30, 2004

Halleluiah and YEEEEEHAW! We have made it! We are in the Dry Tortugas!
The Dry Tortugas is a National Park that is located 70 miles WEST of Key
West, FL. The only access to it is by boat (or seaplane). This was our
original goal but we weren't sure if we would make it. If the wind and
sea conditions are not exactly right, we would have optioned for other

When we left Venice, we headed south. Saturday, we had to decide which
direction-- either Key WEst or the Dry Tortugas. Everything was ideal
for this trip so we came on. The anchorage is really crowded but we
found us a niche. In looking out over the anchorage at all of the
boats, it is full of fairly nice power and sail boats. Then there is one
boat, it looks like "The Beverly Hillbillies meet the Griswolds!" That
would be us.

We are hoping that tomorrow (Monday) most of the other boats will leave
as they should get back after Memorial Day but who knows. We are
supposed to meet S/V Chloe in Marathon about WEdnesday. This place is so
nice it will be hard to leave.

As always, there are more boat projects, Benny is having to rewire the
solar panels as we are not getting the electrical output we should be.
We have had water intrusion in MY clothes storage area and are not sure
why. We were on a port tack almost the entire day on Friday so we will
have to track down the source of the leak.

But even more importantly, we are planning on doing some snorkeling and
diving. We have heard that there are some really large Jewfish that
hang out in the anchorage so we plan to have a look. We have already
seen a tortuga (turtle) swim by the boat right after we got back in the
boat from a leisurely swim (and set the anchors). We have heard that
there is no finer sunset off of the back wall of Ft. Jefferson (located
on the largest island). We did have a couple tell us that they all
witnessed the Green Flash two nights ago at sunset. I was so glad to
hear that because that is the night I was almost positive I had seen it.

Anyway, there is a lot to do and we are looking forward to sitting still
for a few days. Hopefully we will have awesome weather for both the
stay and the return trip. It would be so awful if we could not make it
home. He he.

Hugs my friends,
Benny and Timber