Mike and Kathy-warm and sunny
12/19/2008, Miami, Florida
December 19th ... Miami Beach, Fl
I was asleep at about 8pm last night so I was up and wide awake at 1am. It was warm so I sat in the cockpit for a while watching the city lights and traffic on the causeway. After a while I went back to bed and slept reasonably well for the rest of the night. The alarm woke us up at 6:30 to listen to the weather. There were no significant changes, so our crossing tomorrow is still on....
There is a cold front following us by about 24 hours so we'll see how we're settled and if necessary deploy a secondary anchor. It looks like wherever we end up ...probably Andros, we'll be there a few days before the seas subside.
After some coffee and a container of yogurt, I topped off our fuel tank from our jerry cans ( a total of 12 gallons from Vero Beach). I picked up Barry and we motored to one of the marinas for 10 gallons of fuel each...filling all our tankage.
About noon we picked up Barry and Susan for a trip to the Publix (the local grocery store in the south) where we picked up some eggs, bread and two nice rib-eyes. We made our last stop at an ATM and headed back. On our way we stopped to visit with "Peservance 2" laying out our plan for the crossing.
Back at the boat, I attempted to fix another leak in our hot water tank but won't know for a day or two if I was successful.
We read for a while and then took the dinghy back into Miami Beach to visit with Kevin and Lizz from "Cielo". It was a treat to see them again after more than a year. Our paths may cross again in the spring.
By the time we got back it was about dark. Secured the outboard on the stern rail and hoisted the dinghy for ocean travel....
We warmed up some ham for dinner instead of grilling the steaks that were originally on the menu. The grill is too close to the dinghy when it is up-we hope for no dinghy problems this year.
From now on we will be back in the remote blog updates...via the SSB ... if we can remember how it works, or whatever wifi is available in the Bahamas. We are suspending our phone and internet service for at least 3 months.
We must say we would like to stay here longer. It is a nice, big anchorage with easy access to town. You can dinghy right to the grocery store (Publix) and it feels safe. It is also a pretty anchorage which is not always true when you're in a city. Ah, well...
We're out of here at 7:30 a.m.
Mike and Kathy-warm and sunny
12/18/2008, Miami, Florida
December 18th... Lake Worth to Miami, FL
Ah yes... on the go again. I was up this morning at 3:56 am. "Night Hawk" was gone so we called Barry to check the conditions on the Ocean. Barry's report was positive, and Mike from "Valkyrie" chimed in to chide us for staying in bed way too long. (3:56... I don't think so) Anyway, we hauled the anchor and were out of there by about 4:30 am.
In the ocean we found some swells that were falling apart and winds that really couldn't make up their mind.... 8 knots to 18 but not consistant. We stayed close to shore and tried to find the Gulf Stream counter current. We weren't entirely successful, but did at times find a fair current in excess of 1 knot. We would catch a push and ride it for a few miles and then alter our depth to try to find another one.
We sailed all day on a beam reach that was rolly but reasonably fast ... most of the time above 6 knots. We caught one king mackerel, but threw him back. We had some mackerel one day that we didn't enjoy. We have since learned that they can be good if done correctly. We also had some dolphins playing around us for a short time.
In the afternoon we rolled up or head sail to allow "Perseverance 2" to catch up. But when they did, an hour or so later, our good wind had died and they passed us going away. We sail well between 15 and 20 knots, which we had been running with during the mid-day hours, but in the afternoon the wind went variable, down at times to about 7 knots, we slowed and eventually started the engine to protect against anchoring at dark.
The wind picked up again and we sailed into Miami with out any serious problems. The hot water heater seems to have another leak but that's a job for tomorrow.
We motored into the harbor and anchored in an area called the Venetian Causeway. There are several man-made islands here with very special older homes. There are boats everywhere. We need to replenish our the fuel that has been expended in the last three days and Kathy wants one more stop at the grocery store before we leave on Saturday morning..... hopefully.
The highlight of our day however, was a VHF call from "Cielo." We met Kevin and Lizz last year in Cape May, NJ and have attempted to keep up with their travels during the last year.... it will be fun to touch base with them tomorrow and get a first hand story of their travels...
Fishermen-an accident waiting to happen
Mike and Kathy-warm and sunny
12/18/2008, Peck Lake, Florida
December 17th.... Peck Lake to Lake Worth, FL
With a cup of coffee in hand, I dinghied over to "Night Hawk" to discuss a plan for the day. We only had about 20 miles to go so there was no huge rush. It was decided that we all needed a walk on the beach before heading out to deal with 7 bridge openings.
Peck Lake is separated from the ocean by a 50 yard dune that is covered with vegetation. You can't see the ocean from the anchorage, but you can hear the waves crashing on the shore. We walked down the beach a mile or so and then turned around. In one specific area there were about 50 small boats fishing with cast nets. They would throw their nets and then back up their boats as they hauled them in. It looked like an accident waiting to happen.
Whatever they were fishing for moved gradually to the north and the boats followed.
When we returned we got the boats ready for travel and headed out at about 10:30. The trip south through a few lakes, Hobe Sound and finally Lake Worth was uneventful. The bridges are a pain. Some open on request, but most here in South Florida are restricted to the hour and half hour so there is usually quite a bit of time spent treading water waiting for an opening.
Our anchor was down adjacent to the inlet at about 3:30 in the afternoon.
We spent the rest of our daylight hours preparing "Sapphire" for ocean travel, and had some chicken for supper.