Crossing Biscayne Bay is pretty unique, especially if you’ve never done it before. For one thing, the Bay is huge. It takes us a few hours to cross it in a sailboat. Another thing is that it’s very shallow. You can compare it to the Bahama Banks, only more shallow. For the first timer it’s a little disconcerting to travel for miles and miles with only two or 3 feet of water under the keel. And then there are the areas where it’s really shallow and the depth meter is showing a foot or foot and a half under you. It gets your attention real quick. Fortunately, those areas are small and quick to pass through. After you clear the Bay, the path leads you through mangrove cuts and various Sounds.
The reason we wanted to hole up in in Tarpon Basin is that we knew a wicked front was coming through and here in the Basin you have almost 360 degree protection from the wind, depending on where you drop the hook. When the front moved through last night, it was a little wild to say the least. The lightning was constant and the wind was a steady 35-40 knots. At one point a gust hit us that had to have been every bit of 50 knots and caused us to drag anchor about thirty feet before it reset. We had two anchor alarms set, but still got up every couple of hours or so to check things out. We did see one monohull that dragged his anchor and it didn’t reset. It was pouring rain and lightning and he was looking for another place to drop the hook. Not a fun situation to be in. All in all, we felt pretty safe.
The day before the front came through we were able to finish up the shopping list at Publix down the street. On the way there, we stopped in at a place called Hobo’s for their happy hour. A cruiser can never pass up a good happy hour! The place was awesome with 60 cent shrimp, steamed clams and wings. The wings had to be some of the best we have eaten.
It looks like tomorrow, Tuesday, we’ll start heading down the Keys again in preparation for our turn to go north up the Gulf Coast. We’re looking forward to meeting friends Tim, Jill, Jen and Bud around the Ten Thousand Island area and also looking forward to hooking up with our friends Pat and Doug.
Here’s a short video of the storm last night. About half way through watch for the lightning bolt…