Coconut Grove, Miami.

Our flight back to FL was easy and we were so happy to get back on the boat. We spent one night in Ft. Lauderdale at Harbortown Marina and then plotted our course to Miami. We cruised down the ICW to historical Dinner Key harbor. It was great staying at Dinner Key, as it was a short walk to CocoWalk and all the cool shops and restaurants in Coconut Grove.  We fished, had some great school time and nice walks into town.

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Maintenance time: Boat hull cleaned by our brave Captain! Cruising in the rain. Oliver and Sophia fishing off the docks – a common sight now.

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Dinner Key Marina, Key Biscayne, FL. Dinner Key originally served as base of operations for Pan American Airway’s famed flying boats, the Clippers (basically the first-ever Sea Planes), and plenty of history has been retained in the area. The original Pan Am terminal building (next door to Dinner Key Marina) now serves as Miami City Hall.

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Watching the NASA launch was so exciting for us. We got up early for each launch, and did not miss a minute of it.

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Boat school was moved indoors while we had a few rainy days at Dinner Key. Nothing stops the kids from fishing, though.

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Moving to George’s was a treat – pool and luxury. CORTADO is happily docked a few feet from the house. “George-School” is what we call school in George’s dining room. Pool recess!

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The Etchells racing this weekend was phenomenal to watch!  Tony, Chris and Phil were a formidable team and though winning the regatta going into the last leg, of the last race, they had a bum wind-shift and finished 7th overall. It was quality competition and tough racing out there!  Sophia, Oliver and I watched the last day of racing aboard a gorgeous VICEM Yacht called GEM, a beautiful wooden boat. Our good friend Dusty is the Captain, and our friend Benny Quatro joined us as well. Best. Day. Ever. Out watching Tony’s races.

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Watching races in Biscayne Bay, the 2014 Piana Cup. EFYRA III finished 7th overall out of 45 teams.

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Sophia and Oliver painted Ceviche spoons with a Christmas message and hung them on the Tree at JAGUAR, a favorite restaurant in Coconut Grove. Along with about 15 friends, we had a nice dinner in memory of Etchells EFYRA III Teammate Billy Bennett who passed away this past summer.
Post dinner one night in Coconut Grove, we bumped into a familiar face – Alex Rodriguez. Oliver and Sophia had a nice chat with him. He had plenty of time for Tony and the kids and promised to wave at us the next time he plays at Fenway.  This, after Oliver told him that he is a RED SOX fan, but does like a couple of the Yankees.  We look forward to seeing A-Rod in uniform in 2015.
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Meeting Alex Rodriguez, checkered past and all, was still exciting for our young baseball fans.
School! School has been great this week, with the advantage of SPACE at George’s house. We can do so much more when we can spread out a little. We are steaming through our subjects. Recently we started studying famous Americans in US History, as well as the individual States.  Sophia and Oliver divided (by choosing from a hat) the 50 states and will give mini-presentations on 25 states each.   I will attach their first four states here. I sincerely hope we get to all 50! They are allotted only 24-48 hours (maximum) to complete their research, poster and prepare a mini-oral presentation. They are so enthusiastic about this project. Notice the flag artwork – it is outstanding.
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Sophia and Oliver’s first 2 presentations of 25 states each. We have two research books along with us and they fact-check on their computers as well.
We will stay in Miami for another week, while we have the engines serviced and make our plan for Christmas travel, including new Christmas guests soon to arrive on the boat!

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