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a slow-go north

Weather is such an important part of our travel – more so that we probably realized. It can change quickly, forecasts can/will be inaccurate and it can escalate quickly. I write this sitting in Ft. Lauderdale – since Friday. We expected to only be here one night and work our way up the coast jumping in and out of good inlets to the ICW for anchorages. We’ve experienced several thunderstorms, rains, etc. We are planning on heading up the ICW instead of jumping out – even though the next 30 miles encompasses something like 17 bridges we have to have opened and narrow waterways . . . not fun travel at all. Tomorrow we will probably travel up about 15 miles (if the winds are not crazy) – passing through 10 or so bridges. The weather on the outside (Atlantic) is calling for northeast winds and growing seas. So not an option although we would like make it to Lake Worth – a 50 mile trip. So we wait . . . or take little jumps north.

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We left Marathon last week, a hard decision for us. We really enjoyed the keys and hope to spend some more time there soon. We hopped from Marathon, to Long Key (where we saw a sea turtle in the wild!!), to Rodriquez Key. Rodriquez Key was a beautiful anchorage right off of Key Largo. The water was so clear that we swam and snorkeled right off the boat! Nick ‘had’ to jump in and dive on the anchor to make sure it was set. We went to shore for dinner and had a great night. The next morning the weather was changing – looked like a good storm was blowing in. We decided to set out and it was a good decision. We motor-sailed (getting really good at this) up to Miami and anchored in No Name Harbor in Cape Florida. We made the best time yet (7 knots!!) for most of the day until the wind died completely. (Well- best time since being towed in by Tow Boat US . . . we made 7 knots then too!)

No Name Harbor was beautiful. This is a small harbor on Cape Florida. There is a light house at the point and the entire point is now a park. Turns out, the light house is the oldest remaining building in the county. It was restored in the 90’s and, funny coincidence, the bricks for the restoration were made in Tennessee! We settled in for the night and explored the park the next morning. With unsettled weather looming, we decided to make it a very short day – crossing Biscayne Bay and anchoring in Marine Stadium – right across from downtown. The anchorage does not offer many amenities, but the view is worth a thousand bucks at night!

We left early the next morning and joined the Atlantic via the Port of Miami. The ocean was so flat it was like we were on a lake! I had never imagined the ocean could be so calm. We could even see the bottom in 30 ft of water right off Miami Beach! I’m telling you this weather is weird!!! We made it into Ft. Lauderdale to the Los Olas Marina mooring field (the city marina) about an hour before a thunderstorm broke loose. We had made it to the marina lounge – settled in with internet access, showers, and tv. We ordered pizza and watched some shows – something we have not done in a while! Best thing was we did not get soaked in the rain!

So now we wait . . . we were waiting at first for the weather to improve to make the jump outside (in the Atlantic). It would make the next 50 miles so much easier. But north winds set in and as I described above things have not improved. We have had a great time meeting some folks here – including a couple returning to Savannah from the Bahamas. We will most likely continue in parallel with them for a good bit. Nick was able to visit the West Marine here (evidently this one is the mothership). He’s been twice. He also visited Sailorman Marine Emporium – he said it was awesome! It’s like salvage and anything you could think about marine store . . . we got out relatively unscathed.

Hopefully we will make some miles tomorrow getting north and seeing some more sites. Weather has been crazy for many that we have met, so hopefully we are getting this out of the way and the rest of our journey will be ‘easy’ weather. We continue to work on our patience. – stacy

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8 Comments Post a comment
  1. You’re doing well. Weather is everything, time is nothing (except as it relates to new weather)! Much as I like the exotic culture of Miami, we found the towns along the ICW tend to be ever more inviting and more friendly to cruisers (Ft. Pierce excepted) as you get further north on the East Side of Florida. Plan to spend some time at St. Augustine and especially Cumberland Island…even if you’ve been there before.

    Outside is quicker but the ICW is a great way to travel. Wish we were there with you.

    May 22, 2012
    • Thank you Rodger!! We are looking forward to moving out of the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale areas and getting north. We will be spending time with family in St. Augustine and can’t wait!! Also plan to spend lots of time at Cumberland Island . . . really looking forward to it!! Maybe we will find some more accommodating weather too …

      May 23, 2012
  2. Wendy Person #

    Can’t wait to see you in St. Augustine! Thanks for waiting for us!
    Wendy

    May 22, 2012
  3. Marcus White #

    Despite some of the trials and tribulations you all seem to be having the time of your lives. I look forward to reading the new posts and pray for you guys all of the time. Tell Nick I said hello. Safe travels!
    p.s. I am still a little jealous. 🙂

    May 23, 2012
    • Thank you Marcus!! Yes having a great time a learning a ton about or selves and life/travel/sailing in general. I will tell Nick hello! Thank you for all the prayers and please keep them coming!! – stacy

      May 29, 2012
  4. Brenda #

    Your pictures make me miss the Ft. Lauderdale area…….Loved going to the intercoastal and walking around and eating at the restaurants. I really miss the sunsets!!! Stay safe

    May 25, 2012
    • Good to hear from you Brenda! Yes the areas are beautiful . . . will look forward to the storms settling down so we can see those sunsets a bit better : ). Hope all is well with you guys!! – stacy

      May 29, 2012

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