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Swingin' on a Star
Ship's log for the circumnavigating Saint Francis 50 catamaran, "Swingin on a Star".
Crazy Anchorage
11/24/2006, No Name Harbor

For the first couple of days in No Name harbor every time we saw a boat anchor close to us we would worry. After Thanksgiving weekend we gave up worrying. The anchorage was crowded last weekend but this weekend it is even worse. There are folks visiting for the long holiday, the usual weekenders and a yacht club gathering for a pot-luck as well. Some of the yachts that come in just turn around and leave when they see how packed it is. Others, determined, squeeze into spaces a mere spitting distance from the next boat. All's well when the breeze keeps everyone lined up but it gets scary when there's no wind and the boats begin to drift in different directions. I'm certain that many of the anchor scopes overlap.

[Power Boat Rant]
I hate to say it, but statistically the power boaters are in the greatest need of an upgrade in seamanship. Many of them blast through the anchorage (a no wake zone), anchor on top of other boats (although most of them tie up to the dock), blast stereos as if they were the only boat around, fish (no fishing posted), swim (no swimming posted), tie up to the dock overnight (no overnighting on the dock posted) and generally display a lack of regard for others. Some of the sailboats are in this category as well and there are some very well handled power boats, but by and large…

Key Biscayne
11/23/2006, No Name Harbor

This is our first Thanksgiving on the boat. It was a great test of just how much food our galley could prepare in one go. We BBQed turkey on the grill with candied Yams, we cooked stuffing, gravy, asparagus and fresh cranberry sauce on the stove top, and we cooked pumpkin pie in the oven. It was yummy and we were both stuffed at the end of the night with plenty of left overs for Roq.

Key Biscayne
11/21/2006, Miami

We decided to have our new anchor shipped in while we wait for the weather. It is an 88 pound Rocna from New Zealand and we're very excited to try it out. Our 66 pound Claw (which is basically a Chinese Bruce knock off) seems fine in the bottoms we've tested it in, but it trips in a 180 degree wind swap and doesn't necessarily reset right away. We watched it drag about 100 yards in Biscayne Bay after an on-shore/off-shore swap. I'm hoping the Rocna works a bit better in this situation. If not we always have the trusty FX37 stern anchor.

Key Biscayne
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

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