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.
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