End of a Long Trail
16 January 2013 | Coconut Grove, Miami Fl.
Sunny and hot and humid - Perfect.
Last winter I bought a Waterway Guide for the Intracostal at the Toronto Boat Show. It was minus 9 C and light snow.
I took the book home and read every page of it during the rest of the winter, using Google Earth as a guide to take me leaving the boat in Ft Pierce to Mile 1094 in Miami. Yesterday, January 15th at 1:30 PM we crossed off the last mile in the book and said to each other "We did it!"
After leaving the boat at Fort Pierce and flying back to Toronto for Christmas, we picked up the SUV and drove back down. The boat was just as we left it, although it was a bit of a worry as one can never be too sure. Thanks to Dave and Brenda Brand who drove up from Stuart to check on it for us. It is a boatyard and not a marina so we were a little bit unsure but as it turned out there are lots of Canadians who leave their boats there every year and there wasn't one I met who has ever had a problem.
Up until this point we had never seen a manatee. The marina has a small turning basin for boats that are docked there. We were tied up just a few docks north of the basin in which we discovered was a manatee haven. These gentle creatures were plentiful in this area eating their sea grass and growing to be up to 1600 lbs. They surface only for air or to bask in the sun. One afternoon I counted 14 lumps in the water just a few feet off our boat. At times we could feel them rubbing the boat ridding themselves of barnacles.
They love fresh water and hang around people washing their boats hoping for a mouthful from the hose. We were told it is best not to do it as they are a protected species and should be left to themselves.
Leroy has abandoned ship. We took him back home at Christmas and decided that the papers to get him into the Bahamas wasn't something we wanted to do after all especially since he has had all the required shots at home.
Dave Brand helped me bring the boat from Ft Pierce to Stuart on a beautiful afternoon which gave us time to talk more about the retired life he and Brenda are enjoying in their condo. Chrissie followed Brenda in the car to bring them both back to Stuart. They have encouraged us to participate in their lifestyle in addition to our sailing. A long story short, we ended up buying a beautiful two bedroom condo which we consider part of the whole package of adventure we are living.
Since then we have travelled the remaining portion of the Intracoastal Waterway, sailing through some of the most prime realestate in the country. From West Palm Beach through Ft. Lauderdale, Hollywood and Miami, it is a real experience to see the miles of multi million dollar properties all along the water on both sides. Even with all this display of mansions there are some that still stand out, such as the one owned by the owner of the Miami Dolphins which is for sale if anyone is interested.
We anchored in a small lake (Lake Sylvia) right in the centre of Ft Lauderdale downtown, very close to the beach strip. We stayed for two nights and wished we could have stayed longer.
We are leaving this afternoon to sail out to Cay Biscayne which will be our launch point for the Bimini Island where we will check into the Bahamas. We are hoping to leave to cross the Gulf Stream in the next day or so, which will be on the next blog.
The weather is beautiful and so is life !