David's newly acquired Ta Chiao 54 berthed in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Stern photo of the Ta Chiao 54. Below decks looking up the steps to the cockpit. Below decks looking toward navigation room. Below decks looking toward crews bunks. Below decks galley and fore cabin. Below decks galley. Below decks looking toward the fore cabin. Below decks - crew top bunk. Below decks - captains quarters in the stern. Trip route - Ft. Lauderdale, Key West, Marco Island. Start of the trip. From the boat's berth in Ft. Lauderdale. Winding our way through the canals of Ft. Lauderdale to the Atlantic ocean.<br>This involved passing under three drawbridges. Chart of our trip through Key West and Hawk Channel to the Gulf of Mexico. Route into Key West. Chart of the pier where we docked at Key West. Chart of the channels and canals into David's dock at Marco Island. Getting the boat ready at the dock in Ft. Lauderdale. Beautiful bowsprit and dolphin striker on the bow. Mid section of the boat at dock in Ft. Lauderdale. Full view of the boat at dock in Ft. Lauderdale. Captain David and Ragan on the boat docked in Ft. Lauderdale. The canal where the boat was docked in Ft. Lauderdale. I couldn't resist a photo of this boat on the way out of Ft. Lauderdale. Opening the first drawbridge on the way out of Ft. Lauderdale. Passing through the first drawbridge in Ft. lauderdale. David and Lynn in the cockpit of the boat. David and Ragan on the bowsprit of the boat in Ft. Lauderdale. Some of the houses along the canals of Ft. Lauderdale. Opening the second drawbridge in Ft. Lauderdale. David and Ragan on the bowsprit - Ft. Lauderdale. Another boat following us through the second drawbridge in Ft. lauderdale. Ragan, David and Lynn on the bowsprit - Ft. lauderdale. Ragan, David and Lynn on the bowsprit - Ft. Lauderdale. Opening the third, biggest and last drawbridge for us in Ft. Lauderdale. Passing through the third drawbridge - the control tower on the upper left. Heading out into the Atlantic ocean from Ft. lauderdale. Looking back toward the port of Ft. Lauderdale. Sunny day and the condo's of Ft. Lauderdale. Setting sail down the coast of Florida. Setting sail with Ft. Lauderdale in the background. On the bowsprit with Ft. Lauderdale in the background. A beam reach with Ft. Lauderdale in the background. A dolphin surfacing in front of the boat. Dolphins playing off the front of the boat. Three dolphins playing under the bowsprit. A dolphin leading us under the bowsprit. Sunset and the start of an all night sail. Ragan plotting courses at night with his laptop. The cockpit at night  - Tim and Ragan on their watch. Early morning at sea.<br>You don't like to wake up to 16 inches of sea water in the bilges and the mechanic yelling that we're sinking! Well, we're not going to sink at least!  And nothing stops Lynn from her morning coffee! David and Jack the mechanic trying to figure why we took in so much water so fast.<br>Oh, and the motor won't run either! Passing a huge cruise ship in Key West.<br>Yes, we limped into port with worried looks on our faces. Passing Tank Island at Key West.  I just want to know who lives here! Arriving at Key West. Docked at the pier in Key West to assess our sea-worthiness status. Fileting the fish and feeding the pelicans in Key West. A hungry pelican waiting for a handout. Fileting the fish at Key West. Mac's Sea Garden at Key West. Our boat from the adjoining pier at Key West. Me grilling burgers on the back of the boat. Shortly after dinner the cabin filled with smoke from an electrical fire.<br>Ragan and David changing the starter and solenoid.<br>Let's see - so far we limped into port on only one tank of diesel with an intermittent engine!<br>We almost sank!<br>And now the boat almost burned up!<br>It's almost midnight.  Should we go on? What, me worry? It's midnight and David is ready to guide us out through the thinly buoyed shoals of Hawk Channel leaving Key West.<br>Note the looks of concern from the other crew members :) Ragan on the fore deck with the spotlight looking for unlit buoys marking Hawk Channel. 100 miles off the coast in the Gulf of Mexico with Ragan at the helm and pointing north for Marco island.<br>Life is good! David getting ready for manuvering the canals of Marco Island. Finally, our home canal on Marco Island. Ron, waiting for us at David's dock on Marco Island. After all this!  Our draft is too deep to get us the last 15 feet! Well, the tide is up a little and we manage to get the nose of the boat in. Ha!  Full tide and just the right position!  We are docked! Tim and Ragan tying the boat off at Marco Island.

February sailing off the coast of Florida, 2011