On The Move

We’re currently sitting¬†here in Lake Worth ( North Palm Beach ) thought it might be a good time to update the blog. We’ll just take it day by day and hopefully my short term memory will kick in! ūüôā

Miami to Fort Lauderdale….

We motor sailed all the way there averaging about 10 knots with the wind off the starboard quarter. The seas that day were really lumpy and just plain weird shaped. It was a quick trip though. Once inside we dropped sails and took a deep breath as we knew the land of a thousand bridges was ahead of us. Once again the anchorage at Middle River was too full for our comfort and Michele decided right then and there that Middle River would be crossed off the list of anchorages in Lauderdale. Not wanting to go back through the Los Olas¬†bridge to check out Lake Sylvia, which also has a reputation¬†for being crowed, we kept heading north. Ended up at Lake Santa Barbara which turned out to be¬†ok. Lot’s of small boat traffic but good holding. Not to sure about what’s ashore and how to access it, so we stayed put on the boat.

Lake Santa Barbara to Lantana…

Pulled the hook at 8:30 and arrived at Lantana at 1:30. Five hours to go 25 miles, not bad considering you have about a million bridges to go through. One good thing about all the bridges is that you really get in some good mental acrobatics. Let’s see, the next bridge is 1.9 miles away and opens in 12 minutes, at my current speed can I make the opening?¬†Will I be too early and have to maneuver and hold station in the wind and current, or will I be too¬†late and have to wait 30 minutes for the next opening? Between some bridges you may be¬†running at 3 knots in order to¬†arrive¬†right when she opens, at other times you running at 8 knots to make the opening. Then there are times when ya just have to wait. If we have to wait more then twenty minutes and if there is room we drop the hook and wait.

Lantana, as Michele came to find out when I dropped her off at the launch ramp to walk the dog, has some great things to offer. Markets, post office, a park and a library. The only problem is that there is no where to leave the dinghy. The sea wall is too rough to tie up to and so is the launch ramp. So, for now, Lantana remains just an overnighter.

Lantana to West¬†Palm Beach….A whole 9 miles…

We have passed by this anchorage several times now and kept right on going. However, with some extra days we had to burn, now was the time to check it out. There are three anchorages separated by two long docks. The north dock is suitable for boats 30 foot and up, the other dock due to the way the pilings are situated is suited for smaller boats. You can dock for free between the hours of 5am to midnight. At midnight the docks close and you have to leave. Leaving entails moving the boat to the anchorage and then in the morning moving back to the dock.

This turned out to be¬†a great place to visit. There is plenty of room for the dink and since the docks are floating, it’s easy to get on off the dink. Once in town there is a great little park and a main street with tons¬†of restaurants to chose¬†from. Talking to a fellow¬†cruiser,¬†he told us that we had just missed a great farmers market. So even though the ICW can get a little repetitious, there are plenty of great places¬†to discover. Most of them right in front of¬†you.:)

Lantana to Lake Worth…

This place almost feels like a second¬†home. Just a great place to drop the hook. The anchorage is very large with great holding. You may get the occasional wake from a local powerboat, but even when it’s storming the water here is still pretty comfy. There is a small beach¬†on which to land the dink and¬†a cable provided to¬†lock the dink to. Publix is right down the street and so is a West Marine. The thing that would make it perfect would be a laundermat! We’ll be here for a few days and then it’s northward to Merritt Island…

Until then…

El Camino in West Palm Beach. That’s the Flagler museum across the water.

Sloan’s Ice Cream in West Palm..So good…:)

The bathroom in Sloan’s Ice Cream. This was a little startling because when I went in I could see out as well. However, when you lock the door the glass turns milky and viola! Privacy….

The park area in West Palm….

One of our favorite draw bridges, the Ocean Blvd Bridge…

P1040312 P1040310Don’t cha know, ya just gotta have a ‘copter with your mega yacht!¬† ūüôā

 

 

Jungle Island…Miami

Had a fantastic day over at Jungle Island in Miami, down by the waterfront. It’s like a small zoo with the focus on exotic birds. As in hundreds of them. Many of them are out in the open and on perches so it’s really easy to interact with them. Michele must have spent 45 minutes playing with one black colored cockatoo. She would pass a leaf or a stick through the cage and he would pick it up and pass it back out. Even after we left and came back, he still remembered how to play the game. One open space called “Manu”, had free flying parrots of different species, free roaming marmosets and free roaming iguanas. You just walked in and enjoyed all that was happening around you. The shows were king of hokey and I had mixed feelings about the large cats having such a small space, but all in all, we enjoyed the place.

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Miami Boat Show

They say the two happiest days in a boaters life is when he first¬†buys a boat and then sells said boat. This kinda applies to the boat shows. The first day there’s excitement and anticipation in the air and you practically want to drag folks on your boat to explain why it’s the best design in the show. On the last day you’ve combed through so many people and answered so many questions¬†that you’re ready to stand on the back of the boat asking, ” Buying today? Nope? Next please. Buying today? Nope? Next please.” ūüôā¬†¬†Your voice starts to sound like it emanates from a gravel truck. But you know what? I wouldn’t change a thing. After all, you’re in a position to¬†help someone’s dream come to realization and how cool is¬†that? We had a great team this year as Tommy, Amy, Michael and Michele meshed together like a well oiled sellin’ machine. And this year Michele managed to stay dry! Remember, last year she fell in the water on the first day and injured herself. All in all, it was a great show and we’re looking forward to April when the Annapolis Spring Boat Show rolls into town.

looks like we’ll hang around the Miami area for a few more days before heading north. Today, Michele has planned a visit to Jungle Island, a small exotic zoo here that’s¬†close to where we are anchored. I still have to dive on the boat and do some bottom cleaning too. We managed to pick up an assortment of barnacles in Marathon. After that, some routine maintenance then we’ll meander north.

P1040189My beautiful sales assistant and better half..:)

P1040193Your’s truly….see how hard this is?? see the sweat on my brow?? ūüôā

P1040194Sail Away’s¬†cool owner and good friend Amy. She’s a pleasure to work for until the whip comes out! ūüėČ

P1040196Me, Tommy and Michael. Tommy and Mike brought Misto down from Annapolis in five days to make the show! Not sure why I look¬†four feet wide here…

P1040191Looking at the show from the stern…

P1040206 P1040210 P1040216Some shots of ” Misto”, the 44 foot Nautitech we had at the show and worked from…

P1040211Mike, talking with clients helping them with their dream…:)

Until then….

 

 

 

Back in Miami

Left Marathon on Sunday morning for the two day hop to Miami. Marathon is one of those places where you could spend the season there if you wish and many people do just that. The mooring balls are cheap at $300 a month and that include pump out¬†boats, large dinghy docks, work areas for projects,clean showers and laundry.¬†The¬†cruiser¬†net comes on the VHF every morning at 9 with announcements, questions and comments and my favorite part, buy, sell or trade. Grocery shopping is fairly easy with two stores within a mile walking distance. Once you have all the shopping done then a cab ride is only 5 bucks back to the marina. As a matter of fact, anywhere you want to go in Marathon is only five bucks! The cruisers¬†at Marathon¬†organize a lot of activities such as softball, dinghy trips, yoga, various seminars and jam nights at the tiki hut. It’s like a summer camp for adults! ūüôā We really enjoy hanging out with old and new friends there.

The first leg of the hop brought us to Key Largo where we dropped the hook for the night. We managed to get in some sailing before the wind died out and it was back to motoring the rest of the way. The only real concern was dodging all the crab pots. There were hundreds upon hundreds out there and you had to be¬†on your toes not to pick a line up in your prop. The nice thing was that the water was calm and the traps were easy to see. So calm and clear was the water that you could follow the line down from the float all the way to the trap. The sad thing was the amount of “ghost traps” we saw. A ghost trap is a trap where the line has been cut¬†and the trap is no longer being retrieved by the fishermen. The crabs still go in, but eventually starve to death. The problem is bad in the Chesapeake too, although I believe they have a program to try and¬†retrieve the ghost traps in the off season. They may do that here in Florida too, I just don’t know.

After Key Largo it was on to Miami. Again, light wind and on the nose, so no sailing. I managed to catch one fish and break up the day. It was the same type I caught¬†last year and still not sure what kind it is. Dropped the hook behind Palm and Hibiscus Islands just in time to watch all the cruise ships leave. It’s a cool sight to see as they glide by with thousands of excited people lining the decks. We’ll be here in Miami for five days or so working the Miami Boat Show onboard a new Nautitech 442. After that we may head back to Key Largo or, check this out.¬†I¬†put the bug in Michele’s ear that we could make Bimini in the same time it would take to make Key Largo. So, if a weather window¬†works out, there is a chance we may just hop back over to the Bahamas! It would only be Bimini, but hey, I could stand a little more lobster and conch salad! ūüôā We’ll see how the timing works out…

I forgot to mention that when we left Marathon and were in the Hawke Channel we received another dolphin visit. We spotted them a couple of hundred yards off the bow and sure enough the group tuned and started heading straight for us. At the last second they turned and lined up in front of the boat just inches from the bows! It happened too fast for pictures expect Michele snapped a few on her phone. It’s an incredible thing to watch and it seems so surreal. I really wish everyone could experience this!

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Just some of the crab pots we had to dodge. At times they were so thick you had to zig zag through them…

P1040172 P1040173In the top pic the water just blends in with the horizon…

P1040177There is a section on the way to Miami that is about five miles long and really shallow as you can see. The water speed is not working here probably because of a barnacle on the sensor. The  2 foot depth reading is the water under the keel, since we draw 4 feet the water here is 6 feet deep.

P1040181 P1040182One of the cuts we had to go through and the mangroves in the cut..

P1040184And the fish….:)

Until then..