Today was similar weather, but with a bit more east wind forecast. If we took the outside route again, we would have to go more than twice as far as yesterday before coming back in (at the Lake Worth Inlet). We didn't feel up to a long day of heavy seas, so we took the ICW route through 17 drawbridges to Lake Worth,
about 8 miles south of the inlet. Whew. At least we have now finished the worst bridge stretch of the trip back.
We are anchored along the edge of Lake Worth, expecting a quiet night, but there really wasn't much to choose from in the way of anchorages.
Up before sunrise, and out of our quiet anchorage, through the Port of Miami, and into the Atlantic. We hoisted the jib, close-reached out a couple of miles, and found the Gulf Stream. Our speed immediately jumped more than 2 knots, and we saw our first schools of flying fish. We sailed rapidly north, but the seas were quite large, and by the time we were approaching Fort Lauderdale, about 3 hours, we were worn out just holding on. So we picked up a mooring near the Las Olas Bridge, and relaxed and read for the afternoon.
Well... none of the movies around looked interesting to us, but we did pretty well with shore food. Friday night we ate at a small Italian restaurant, where everybody was speaking Italian, or at least Spantalian, and the food was wonderful. (The Captain was wearing an Alfa t-shirt under his collared shirt, and thought of flashing it, but chilled.) Saturday night we ate at a small French restaurant, where everybody was speaking French, or at least Spanrench, and the food was again wonderful. (It occured to the Captain that he really should get a Simca t-shirt.) So the Admiral is in culinary delight, and the Captain is burping.
Today we are going to head up Biscayne Bay a bit and anchor in a bay where the old Marine Stadium is located. This is close to the Miami inlet, and we hope to sail up the coast tomorrow - first to Fort Lauderdale, and then, if all goes well, to St. Lucie Inlet on Tuesday.
Approaching Coconut Grove from Biscayne Bay.
We arrived in late morning, after a short sail across the Bay, stopped at a fuel dock, and then tied up at Dinner Key Marina (right next to Miami City Hall). The clouds in the photo thickened and darkened, and we had off-and-on rain the rest of the day. We wanted to see the movie The Artist playing nearby, but the rain kept us in, and now it might be gone. Dinner at the local dive was a disappointment.
We got a mail delivery this morning, so we have been paying bills and trying to work on taxes. Still missing tax stuff, so a deadline extension is in our future... almost surely.
The Captain has some maintenance stuff to do: check fluids, belt tensions, and drain any water from the fuel filter bowl. The Admiral has some reprovisioning to do. Current plan is to leave the marina Sunday and, depending on the forecast, anchor near the inlet at Miami for an outside run to Fort Lauderdale Monday morning, or anchor along the ICW in north Miami for an inside run through the bridges. In either case, the pointy end will be facing north for the first time in a long while...
Cape Florida Lighthouse.
The wind moderated for the last couple of days, and we were able to pleasantly motor, and sometimes sail, up through the various sounds and canals/passes on the inland side of the Keys. Yesterday we spent considerable time with 12 - 15 inches between our keel and the bottom - thin water down here.
We came back to No Name Harbor, scene of the raucous President's Day party on the way down. Much quieter and more civilized this time. The harbor is part of a state park, and the Admiral went for an extended walk on nature trails down to the lighthouse in the picture.
Tomorrow we plan to sail across Biscayne Bay to Dinner Key Marina at Coconut Grove, where we also stayed earlier. Time for a movie or two, some shore food, mail collection, etc.
After two days of moderating east winds reported in our last post, we went right back to strong east winds. From Marathon we backtracked a couple of miles to go through the Seven Mile Bridge to the inside of the Keys where the wave action is much reduced. Yesterday, motoring into a stiff wind we anchored near Jewfish Hole at the west side of the Channel Five Bridge. The wind blew all night, with several periods of rain... the roughest night we have had in a long time.
This morning it was the same, and we continued for 10 miles and then decided to take a mooring in the lee of Shell Key. Most of this area is a park, and in some places they have put out some moorings for public use. Saves the trouble of anchoring, which can be tricky since the anchor needs to land in a sandy/muddy spot, not a grassy spot, to hold well.
We will continue to work our way east as energy and weather permit.