Miami Nice Revisited

Computer problems of unknown origin. I think I have them resolved and will try again. We are safe in Key Biscayne and went to the Miami Seaquarium today.

When we last left you we were hanging on a hook off Elliott Key Harbor and I was worried about the anchor holding. I should never have doubted the power of the Rocna but I did and wasted an entire night’s sleep on anchor watch. We have an application called Anchor Watch on the iPhone that would wake us if we drifted on a dragging anchor, but I would be in a panic if it went off and woke me from a dead sleep to face an eminent disaster. So I paced and ate and watched old TV shows. When I say old, I am talking Burns and Allen and Jack Benny here. I also watched the large yacht about 100 yards away that was lit up like a Christmas tree. We swung all around in the thunderstorms and wind but they sat like a rock. It was after the sun rose that I saw why.

It was a beautiful power cat riding on an anchor bridle. I dream of one day having something like this.

When Jan got up to make her coffee I left her in charge and tried to catch some sleep. After maybe an hour I was ready to get off the hook and move on to a solid dock. Last night had been a rock and roll event. When first we anchored the land blocked the wind and we seemed well protected. But around 0100 the wind shifted to the SSE and blew straight in on us and that brought the thunder and lightening. I don’t mind a good thunderstorm but that lightening on the water can make you jumpy. 

The anchor came up easy with a hunk of grey sand. I let it drag just beneath the surface of the water as Jan moved us out into Biscayne Bay. It swept the sand away. As we moved out there were more rain fronts in the distance but we dodged most of them. Miami was visible in the far distance like a jewel until rain moved in and blotted it out. Our original idea was to ease up to Boca Chica Key and tie up for the day and perhaps night, but the weather was looking so foul and forecasts were gloomy all week so we bypassed it and headed for Key Biscayne.

We had chosen Crandon Park Marina on Key Biscayne as our Miami stop. It was quite busy as we approached. A sailboat and trawler came in with us. This is the first marina that had required a check-in procedure. You must first tie up at the fuel dock, give them a copy of your state registration, insurance and USCG documentation and then pay in advance. Welcome back to the big city. We took on fuel because the price was low $3.89/gallon. Too bad we had filled up at Gilbert’s for $4.69/gallon!

Getting into our slip required threading a fine needle but Jan was up to the task. You had to first enter the slip area which was narrow and crowded. Then turn right between the lines of boats and go four slips down and into a slip that is only about two feet wider than the boat. In slick as a whistle. Jan chose this marina because it is right at the entrance to Key Biscayne. There is a lighthouse we will eventually tour and the Miami Seaquarium is just across the short bridge. Jan has many childhood memories of the area.

We broke out the bikes and headed for lunch at a little Cuban walk-up. Then on to Wells Fargo for a cash replenishment and then Winn Dixie. Now that is where we pushed the envelope a bit too far. Rain caught us after getting the groceries so there we sat waiting out the showers with our backpacks filled with milk and eggs. So finally the Admiral made a command decision and we rode the 3 miles back in the rain through the Nature Preserve. We were a bit moist when we got to Cbay.

Amazing what a good night’s rest can do. Up for a few chores and then off to the Miami Seaquarium. It is only about a half mile across the bridge.

Tomorrow you will get the full tour of the Seaquarium and the Lighthouse in a separate blog.

After the Seaquarium we went a block further toward town to revisit a small beach on the bay. This was where Jan learned to waterski and she showed me how it used to be. A trip down memory lane as it were.

A fine day and we are ready to close for the night. Here are the stars of a new TV series. We will call it Miami Nice.

Oh, I almost forgot. When we returned to the boat we were reminded why we do not own a sailboat. Our neighbors were doing a little repair work.