January 2, 2016
We were up at 2:00 and ready to leave at 3:00. Tarsie took the lead because our radar was not working. The lights from the residences were enough to illuminate our way through the anchorages and out the inlet. Joe headed almost straight out for a couple of miles. When we made the full turn south we hit about a 2 knot current against us. The Gulf Stream was in close pushing back on us. We rode it out for a while but if we kept it up we would never get to Miami before dark.
I told Joe we stayed in close two years ago and we had better luck there. I headed in to check it out and as soon as it shallowed up to less than 100 feet deep the current against us went away. We went in a little closer to about 50 feet deep and found a counter current pushing us in the right direction. We were getting about a one knot push and doing about 7 knots. The pressure was off and it began to look like we would make it to Miami before dark.
We ran along the shore enjoying the lighting along the beaches while it was dark. We had to dodge a few big freighters that were anchored off shore but they were well lit. The seas were quite flat all along the way except for the wake put out by the powerboats. As day broke we began to see more and more powerboats. They were putting out an unbelievable amount of wake. We were constantly being tossed around by their wake. It was quite annoying. The fishing boats were everywhere and there was so much chatter on the radio that we tuned way down so we did not have to listen to the constant noise.
When we lost the favorable current we would move in closer to shore to find it. We were now running in about 30 feet of water. The waters were full of fisherman but most of them were out in deeper water so they were not in our way.
The day was beginning to get quite warm. There was no wind to speak of so the only breeze was the breeze we created by our forward motion. We were plodding along Fort Lauderdale looking for some familiar sites when we got a text from the Szackmeisters asking us where we were. We told them we were outside of Fort Lauderdale. They sent us a text saying that they were on the beach in Fort Lauderdale and they thought they could see us! They texted us to turn to port. I turned to starboard to get closer to the beach and then to port. They texted us: We see you, we see you! That was cool.
We got to Miami at 13:30 about an hour before the tide was to head out. The ride in was the worst we ever experienced. There were huge boats running in creating monster waves with no care for the other boaters. We were constantly hanging on for our lives. I heard one sailor complaining to one of the big boats going by and the response was "Welcome to Miami, we don't give a s*** about you or our wake." How true, how true.
The government cut was closed so we had to go around the back side of the island terminal. We made our way around the back side and a huge freighter gave us a blast because we were right in his pathway. I had a Tour Boat right behind me and started moving over to give the freighter and his tugs some room when another one of those Idiots in the big boats decided to pass between us and the tugs. They were in too much of a hurry to pay attention to what they were doing. They had those working tugs rocking and rolling as they were trying to manage this huge freighter. Where are the Coast Guard when you need them?
We made it to the intercoastal canal where there were speed limits and things smoothed out quite a bit. The railroad bridge to the island was down so we had to wait on its opening for a short while. We let the southbound boats come through and then the northbound went through. I was the third northbound boat and another south bound boat showed up and refused to wait while I was going under the bridge. It was a game of chicken, which he lost and had to back out. How rude can you be?
Just before the next bascule bridge we turned right and went into the anchorage. We went up a ways between the canals and dropped the hook. There was a party going on nearby which was really too loud so we moved over to near the Miami Yacht Club and spent the night.
January 3, 2016
We did our morning chores and then headed over to South Beach. We took our dinghies down the channel to the dock at Publix and tied off. Then we headed over to Lincoln Street where there is shopping and the street is full of open shops. We were lucky, there was a farmer's market set up all along Lincoln Street. There was a great variety of foods and vegetables available to purchase.
We found the beach and walked the pathway along it until we got to the end of the Art Deco area around Fifth Street. We then crossed over and walked all along the restaurants in the Art Deco area looking for a good deal on meals and drinks. We ended up stopping at Kantina for lunch and were not disappointed.
We walked back down Lincoln street and bought some things to take back to the boat. We left the dock in our dinghy expecting Joe and Kathy to be right behind us. The sky was getting threatening and we wanted to be back to the boat before the sky fell out.
We turned around and went back to see Joe fighting with his motor. The motor would not start, so we took a hold of his painter and towed them about two miles back to our boats. It started to mist a bit on our way back but we managed to get back to our boats before the deluge started. We were lucky.
January 4, 2016
I worked in the engine room this morning and checked the following: put oil in the engine, tightened the alternator belt, changed the zinc in the generator, and checked the oil level in the hydraulic steering.
Joe suggested that we go down to Coconut Grove, so we headed over there after lunch. We walked across the Fifth Street Bridge to the People Mover Station which was about 1.5 miles away. We took the people mover from the Omni Center to the Central Station and then took the train south Coconut Grove.
There was a marine store just across from the train station which was pretty good. We picked up some snaps there for our canopy and a few fishing lures. We then walked another 1.5 miles to the Coconut Walk Mall (very small) where the ladies shopped. Joe and I found Duffy's and had a few beers before the ladies showed up for an early dinner. Duffy's treated us right with free appetizers, discount on the meals and half price beer. We started the reverse trip at around 17:00 and ended up back at the boat around 19:00.