Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Miami Beach, then eastbound!

Today dawned calm and sunny, so we shed the mooring ball in Las Olas, fueled up at Lauderdale Marina and headed out Port Everglades on an ebb tide making 8 knots. The Atlantic had 1-2 foot swells and winds were 5-10 from the northwest. We made Government Cut into Miami after 3 hours of motoring, and headed for Dinner Key in Coconut Grove. The guidebook author described the anchorage there as “full of bum boats” and man he wasn’t kidding. Besides no room and shallow water, there wasn’t anything wrong with it that the correct application of high explosives couldn’t take care of. So we left, and backtracked under the Rickenbacker Causeway, and under 3 more bridges before heading east to Miami Beach next to the Venetian Causeway. This is an excellent anchorage, so we’re lucky that Dinner Key didn’t work out. All it cost us was an extra 2 hours of motoring. We’re on the north side of Belle Isle with the Collins Canal just around the corner. The Collins Canal is about 50 feet wide and cuts right through Miami Beach. It is a dinghy superhighway, passing under major roads with stores on both sides. Publics Supermarket is 7 minutes down the canal from us. I’ve never seen anything like it.

While Kathy and Rachel took care of schoolwork I headed for Publics and some minor shopping. There is a cable next to the canal across the street for locking up dinghies. After shopping I left the parking lot with a cart full of groceries. At the edge of the street, the front right wheel of the cart “broke” and I had to retreat out of traffic. The wheel had a plastic cover over it, rendering it unusable. So I did a wheelie with the front wheels in the air and crossed the street. Another dinghy driver said she’d never seen that done before. I replied that the front wheel broke and she responded that no, there is a security device that locks the wheel if you try to leave the parking lot with the cart. I had never heard of such a thing. What are the poor homeless folks going to do now?

Tonight is calm, cool, bugless, and beautiful with the surrounding lights of Miami. We’ll be here a few days provisioning for the jump to Bimini. The weather won’t be conducive for the trip until Sunday at the earliest anyway. The Gulf Stream reportedly has 6-12 foot seas due to the north winds of late. 5 foot seas are pretty uncomfortable, so you do the math!

After leaving Lantana, our last report, we lucked into a transient slip at the city marina in Delray Beach. Kathy calls it the best kept secret in Florida. It’s small, but has all the facilities we need, and only 50 bucks a night. In retrospect, we should have stayed there longer and done our provisioning there. But Miami Beach will work out.

Then we stayed in Lake Sylvia in Ft. Lauderdale since our old favorite, Las Olas was full. We were in the Lake for 2 nights before a mooring opened up at Las Olas, so we spent a night there before the weather settled down enough to head into the Atlantic. The Atlantic run was necessary for us due to the 55 foot Julia Tuttle bridge just coming into Miami on the ICW which we can’t fit under with our 63 foot mast.

Two other Hunter owners are among many of the sailors here preparing to “cross over”, including OB and Linda on their Passage 450 (same as ours) and David and his family (including a couple of girls about Rachel’s age!) on a 466 (the aft cockpit version of our boat). When the time comes we’ll be in good company.


Blogger Laura said...

Wow. Can't beleive it's time to go. Sounds like good company going with you. This crossing will be one adventure for your book. Rachel will then have to start on her journey through the Bahamas...in her pajamas! I could not bring up GW's blog. I tried several different versions. Good luck. We love you! Laura, John and boys

11:09 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Okay, I got GW's blog. Great pictures. YOU keep the photos coming.
xoxoxoxo, Laura

11:23 AM  

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