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The Pennington Family Sailing Blog

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We are Neil, Crystal, Ella, Owen, Noah and Hudson Pennington.  This blog will document our travels aboard our Leopard 4500 Catamaran, LIMITLESS.

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First Stop...Key West!


The end of the road, is just our beginning...

We had a great time at Disney World, and arrived back to Limitless on Friday night, November 30. We spent Saturday morning finishing the last of the boat preparations and pushed off the dock early afternoon on Saturday, December 1st. Our first day was a short trip to Pelican Bay where we were going to stage and wait for weather to travel to Key West. We popped a bottle of champagne and toasted our first night officially cruising!

The weather looked to be favorable for a Tuesday passage, which would take approximately 22 hours. That night, we enjoyed hot dogs on the grill at all the kids request.

We spent Sunday and Monday working and homeschooling and getting the boat ready for the trip. Tuesday, we got underway on schedule at 1100 heading South. We had a lot of fog and overcast skies early that gave way to a beautiful, yet windy evening overnight.

Crystal and I alternated watch overnight while the other took naps. We arrived in Key West about 0930, Wednesday, December 5th. Overnight, we had dodged a few squalls as the cold front pushed through South Florida, and heavier winds came along with it. Overall, the boat and crew handled everything very well. We picked up a mooring ball in Garrison Bight and were settled around 1100. We spent some time cleaning up the boat and resting, before heading in to Key West Bight dinghy dock and going out in downtown Key West. We walked around for a bit before having dinner at First Flight, the southern most microbrewery in the continental United States. We headed back to the boat and were all asleep early, after our journey. Thursday, we all caught up on work and homeschool, and settled in the mooring field. Friday, we enjoyed a full tour day to see all Key West has to offer. After a short dinghy ride to Key West Bight, we walked a block to rent our bikes for the day.

Our first stop was the southern most point of the continental United States.

Afterwards, we had a nice lunch in a Cuban Café, before heading to the city Lighthouse, followed by a tour of the Ernest Hemmingway house. Knowing we would get an opportunity to visit the Hemmingway house, we had the whole family listen to an audio book of The Old Man and The Sea, prior to arriving. One of Crystal and my goals is to bring a lot of our kids education to life through our travels. This was a great way to introduce one of America's greatest authors.

The kids particularly enjoyed seeing all the cats in Hemmingway's house!

We rode on and explored Fort Zachary Taylor State Park, then on to Mallory Square.

We toured the Key West Shipwreck Museum, learning about the wreck salvage business in Key West and how it has influenced the city over past centuries. We climbed the tower that was the lookout for ship wrecks on the reefs in the past.

As it was clear Hudson had reach his touring limit, we returned the bikes and headed back to Key West Bight and the Harbor Walk. After an early dinner, we did get to experience the turtle races at Turtle Kraals.

Owen's turtle was the big winner, but his key, unfortunately, did not open the treasure chest for the grand prize...

After an exhausting day, it was good to get back on Limitless. Saturday, we were back to work and homeschool, and tackling the endless boat projects and fixing broken stuff for the next leg of our journey. With the next cold front approaching, Sunday appears to be a great weather window, shifting winds in our favor, to make our next hop to Marathon. Ella and I are making a quick trip back to Arkansas next week and upon return, we will all be preparing to make the trip across the gulf stream to the Bahamas. Our journey so far has had many ups and downs. We spend more time together now than we could have ever imagined and are learning to cope with different challenges as they present themselves. Life on a boat is tremendously hard in so many ways, but we are growing as a family and individuals.

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