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Swingin' on a Star
Ship's log for the circumnavigating Saint Francis 50 catamaran, "Swingin on a Star".
Cape Florida Light
11/20/2006, Key Biscayne

We toured the new "old light house" (modern rebuild) that was designed to keep the ships from crashing into Cape Florida. It seems the shoaling is so bad that they had to move the light a few miles off shore to provide real protection, turning the lighthouse into nothing more than a monument to the past. I have personally run aground in our dinghy in Biscayne Bay so I support this relocation. The light house provides a great view of Key Biscayne, Miami and the surrounding area.

Key Biscayne
11/19/2006, Atlantic Ocean just off of Key Biscayne

We caught a momma and baby Manatee grazing on the ocean side of Key Biscayne today. Eat your heart out Fred.

Key Biscayne
11/18/2006, Biscayne Bay

The Norther coming in is supposed to blow through Thanksgiving. Not only is it stacking up the Gulf Stream* to as high as 13 feet but it is also making it cold! We were not prepared for cold, at least not 40 degrees cold!! Hideko and I have been using all of the blankets on the boat, but I haven't convinced her to let Roq on the bed yet.

We moved to No Name Harbor this morning because it is the only place around here protected from the North wind. It's also nice to be able to row Roq ashore fast. There's a restaurant in the harbor with great fish. Our nightly fee went from $0 to $15 but after paying by the foot and getting beat up by the chop on the bay I'm happy with $15.

* For our non sailing friends, the Gulf Stream is a current running North up the coast of Florida carrying more water than all of the rivers in America combined. When the wind blows against it (i.e. a Norther, which in Florida is a winter storm coming from the North) the waves in the Gulf Stream get tall, and worse, steep. No fun to sail in.

Key Biscayne
11/16/2006, Key Biscayne

I missed the fist dolphin encounter when Randy and Roq went to the park at No Name harbor. The very next day as I was hanging out on the swim platform they came to visit me! I called Randy and we caught them on camera. I think it was a Momma, Papa and baby. They were jumping over each other and playing around the boat for an hour or so.

Key Biscayne
11/20/2006 | rick
it was a pleasure meeting and chatting with you aboard 'swinging on a star' at no name harbor. good luck on your voyage.

rick and rosie
10/15/2007 | Randy
Thanks you guys! Your Exuma tips came in handy!
No Name Harbor
11/15/2006, Key Biscayne

A suspicious Dog PFD hanging by the dinghy...

This is one of the spots Roq really likes. We don't anchor here because it is like a swimming pool with an inlet to Biscayne Bay. A few bugs, no view and a park service with it's hand out for $15 per night. Very sheltered though and there's a basic restaurant open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The park is pretty nice, with views of Stiltsville, the south point lighthouse and lots of fish (no fishing).

Key Biscayne
11/14/2006, Biscayne Bay

Winding through the shoal areas just south of Key Biscayne is Hawk's Channel, which leads down the Atlantic side of the Florida Keys. Just south of the Key Biscayne lighthouse in the middle of the water on some of these shoals you will find a small community built on stilts, all a mile or so from the closest land. A channel leading into the bay is like Main Street for these folks. We discovered the place on the way in to our current anchorage. The houses here were all threatened in 1999 when the local government wanted to remove them. It seems an activist group has petitioned congress to make the unique area a National Landmark. Stiltsville is in purgatory at present with their future undecided. I'm glad we got to see it before it is gone.

Key Biscayne

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