The last two days took us back to civilization. For 3 months we've been used to entering an anchorage with no boats or maybe just a few. Not over a 100.
CIVILIZATION - what's that?
Well it's finding a spot where you will not drag, not be too close to another boat. NOISE...people talking till wee hours of the AM, LOUD music, big parties. Get the picture.
Since Ocean Reef two days ago we've moved 65.5NM in 13.5hrs travel time. Allot happens in what seems like a long day as you travel.
Yesterday it was the Poker Run. Today it was sailboat races. A Maxi, several Benetau's and some others was the first race we encountered at the windward mark. The first spinnaker set witnessed was something we've all done at one time or another. Launch the chute sideways!! Too Funny.
Next race was Melges's?, maybe a 100 or so, in front of Miami. Very colorful.
But our favorite race was the Opti's where we anchored. As one little boy, 10ish, passed behind our stern yelling, "You tacked right on me!!!" Oh, it starts young.
Time does go fast when you sail though as there is so much more to do. We arrived at the north end of Biscayne Bay and stayed in the Bight near West Point on Key Biscayne. Charlie had read about the great anchorage and holding. Eileen saw that and more...a sand bar that is party central on the weekends. Upon approach all we saw were anchored boats. Big, small but mostly all expensive. The spot we picked seemed great. Boats came and went in the hours after we arrived in the early afternoon. We should have known something was up when the boat next to us left for a quieter spot.
A large motor yacht stopped right next to us, very close. It was crowded with people everywhere. A 2nd boat arrived with a DJ, party girls and a larger crowd. The party started and lasted for hours.
Now this is a celebration. When the chant went up DEFENSE DEFENSE DEFENSE, Charlie figured it was the SuperBowl champs Eagles. The men were big and muscular.
The party raged on until a couple hours past sunset. The music was LOUD!!!! The DJ pimp encouraging his 'hoes' on board. We've never heard language like this before. Now we didn't see any nudity but by the likes of the circle of people on the upper deck there was something going on.
You can't make this S--- UP! While it was fun in the beginning, we never thought it would end. When it finally did, the anchorage was quiet. By morning there were a half dozen boats left from the 100's when we arrived. This is what Charlie read about.
Wanting to take advantage of the weather and put some miles in we decided to go offshore Monday. We needed to avoid Government Cut. It closes when more then 2 cruise ships are there. We ended up traveling 39 miles leaving Key Biscayne to our north and going through a passage through Stiltsville until we got to the Ocean.
The tides going out and the wind and waves coming in (or was it the other way) makes for BIG waves close together. We didn't know what TARDIS looked like looking at the bow high in the air. Now we do. Once we turned to the north, the rollers now hit us on our starboard beam. And we rolled and rolled. We unfurled the jib and that helped some. But it wasn't until we were further up the coast and felt comfortable for Charlie to go forward to put up the main that things got better. Not great, just better.
Motor sailing seems to be what works best. We maintained a 5.5k average speed for the trip of 40 miles which included hauling anchor and dropping later. That's moving for US!
The plan was to jibe (chicken tack actually) at the outer marker into Port Everglades channel and then, once inside, use the ship turning basin to drop the main in fewer waves. NOT to happen. The boom topping lift somehow managed to wrap around the steaming light in front of the mast. REALLY?
A quick spare halyard to the boom, drop the sail and in we go. 6+ knots straight in to the cruise ship docked inside with the current. We cleared the 17th street bridge by 5' and anchored in Lake Sylvin with about 20 other boats. Nice spot so far. Another great fresh fish dinner from what we purchased in the keys.
We'll stay here tomorrow to go to Southport Oyster Bar HH and the grocery for more beverages. Which means we get to kayak around the large beautiful homes and mega yachts.
More soon as we travel further north for haul out March 12th.