The Search For Bright Waters

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Kicked Out of Miami

There may not be any laws about the length of time you can anchor outside of South Beach, Miami but the local police have there ways of letting you know it's time to leave.  Last Monday we were told to move our boat because we were too close to a channel even though we had been there a week without a problem.  It was night so we anchored just a little further west in between two islands with nice houses on them.  That was a mistake.

The cops came back and again told us we couldn't anchor there, this time very meanly and without giving a reason and said they were gonna hold the law to a T for us.  They didn't like that we spray painted our dinghy numbers on and would write us a ticket if they saw us in it. Both times they asked when we were leaving Miami.

So we got the dinghy numbers fixed and moved our boat to the other side of the bridge near other anchored boats and thought we were safe.  Well the same two cops found us Saturday night and boarded us and gave a full vessel check.  We passed everything except our anchor light wasn't on.

We usually always keep the anchor light on but when we got to this new anchorage it was far away from any channel and only one other boat out of 15 had there lights on.  We notice that for most of the anchorages we are at. So we asked another sailor and they said that the light didn't have to be on if you weren't in a channel.  Well that is wrong because we got a $90 ticket for not having our anchor light on.  And they again asked us when we were leaving.

It doesn't end there.  Sunday while taking the dinghy into town the same cop saw us and pulled us over for not having the dinghy numbers on both sides of the boat.  We didn't have our dinghy registration with us so he wrote us another $90 ticket.  He pointed out two more things wrong with our dinghy and said he was cutting us slack but he would write us another ticket the next time he sees us and we are non compliant, which could be for anything since there are a million rules we don't know.

We get the hint, if you can even call it that.

So now we are now very ready to leave!  We finally decided to look at the weather on our own and picked Monday to leave.  Then another sailor came up to us and said they were leaving Tuesday so we are going to join them.  So Tuesday is the day, weather permitting.  We told the police we were leaving Tuesday and i'm sure if we don't they will be back to write more tickets.

Besides that, we have had a great time here. And even made it into town at night finally where it is even more crowded than during the day.  Way too expensive for us tho.  We sat down at a piano bar and ordered a drink, $12 each!  The music was good and the bartender gave us a drink on the house so $30 for an hour wasn't horrible but we promptly got out of there.

That is another reason we need to get out of here asap.  With all the delicious restaurants within walking distance, South Beach is draining us of funds.

When we got back to our dinghy that night we found a soaking wet cat in it!  We gave it food and I wanted to keep it but it was mean and ran away which is probably for the best.  Our boat is crowded enough with two cats on board.

When we got our Bahama charts we also picked up the Bahama courtesy flag and a much delayed American flag.

Friday night another boat in our anchorage lost their dinghy.  They read our blog and follow us on facebook so they saw that we were right next to them and asked us for help.  We picked Chris up in our dinghy and headed down south looking for it hoping it hadn't already made it to the ocean!  We couldn't find it but the next day Chris found it tied up at the local dinghy dock.  We are glad someone is having good luck!

Monday we will clean and prep the boat and move to a new anchorage near the ocean inlet.  And Tuesday morning at the crack of dawn we will depart!

PS: Here is a gallery of our ICW trip from Maryland to Miami

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Our Miami Vacation

Miami has been a combination of Awe inspiring views and people, lots of sleeping in and relaxing, and pain in the butt repairs.

To get to town we take a 5 min dinghy ride down this canal.

We have to go under this cool lil bridges

The first thing we did was run to the beach!

Apparently they have a man-o-war problem down here.  There sting is worse than jelly fish.  They are full of air and pop when you step on them. Beware!

We finally got chain to keep our dinghy secure.  It makes us feel much better as we roam town.

For my sister Jessie!

We set up our solar shower with curtain.  That 5 gallon bag above had been sitting out in the sun all day and provides warm water.  We set it up at night to reduce our embarrassment.

We spent a day laying out at the beach.  It was pretty crowded.  I prefer just laying out on the bow of our boat.

Miami provides lots of scenic walking

The main strip, Lincoln Rd, is full of shops and restaurants.  The restaurants have outdoor seating so your just walking past ppl eating and hostesses. The people of Miami are very "people watching" worthy!

We accidently ran over one of our lines on the way down but luckily our prop guard cut it.  However there was still some line wrapped around the prop so I had to dive down and cut it off.

Our Miami sunset from our boat at anchor.  We love watching it each night.

When we dinghy to the grocery store we have to park at the dinghy lot where other cruisers are doing the same.  It can get kinda crowded.

Our cats being cats

We had to go to West Marine, which involved an hour walk, 15 min air tran, and 45 min metro ride.

The Miami Boat Show was going on

A doggy with its own dinghy

I finally replaced the on board VHF, pretty fancy!

MY favorite restaurant was Masters, an Italian all you can eat buffet for $8

We also fixed our stern propane grill and celebrated with pork chops and corn.

We found this mess on our anchor when pulling it up, it took away to cut away.

We still need Bahama Charts which we forgot to get at West Marine.  So we will have to take the 2 hour trek again tomorrow.  And then on the way back to our boat one day the dinghy bottomed out and the engine prop stopped working.  Great...

After rowing home, I took it apart and found it had a broken pin, the shear pin.  After calling around to find a replacement we found that our dinghy came with spare pins!  However the old pin that broke was stuck in the drive shaft so we had to find a machine shop.  After visiting a few hardware stores we stopped at an auto repair shop and for $20 a guy got the pin out for us.  Sweet, that could have been a lot harder.

As soon as we get our Bahama Charts we will leave asap!  So this will be our last blog in the US.  

See ya in the Bahamas!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Welcome to Miami

Sorry for the delay, my computer has been having internet troubles.  Hopefully everyone has seen the SPOT app on our side bar that shows we have been chilling in Miami the last week!

We finally left Melbourne Thursday in storm clouds.

Thursday we landed in Fort Pierce.  And Friday we anchored in Lake Worth.  We attempted to go ashore but landed on some locals back yard and got kicked out. Owell.

Later that night we were relaxing in the cockpit and saw that Nomy was sitting on the dinghys transom.  We are constantly calling for the cats to get off the dinghy cuz it wobbles a lot and is dangerous.  Yet they always go back.  Well Nomy finally learned first hand.  Just as we looked up and saw him the dinghy swung and Nom went plunging into the water!

Now Nomy has been on the boat as long as us and has never swam before plus hes kinda over weight and it was dark so we both immediately jumped up and looked for him as I grabbed the net pole.  I took a couple swings at him but he was too big to fit in the net and then I lost sight of him.  The next 30 seconds were so scary as we searched around the boat and could not find him or hear him.  We looked at each other with panic wondering if Nomy just drown.

And then we heard the swimming noise again and saw Nomy swimming near the bow.  Christine decided enough was enough and heroically dived into the water.  She grabbed Nomy and began swimming to our stern ladder.  He was hard to keep above water so I threw them a life preserver and soon Nom was back safe on the boat.  We dried him off and he was fine except for a lil more disgruntled than usual.

 Nala coming to see if her older brother is ok

Saturday we knew we were getting close as we began seeing all the cruise ships.  They are massive!

We went through some 50 mini sailboat race

Saturday and Sunday we went through 36 bridges, 33 of which needed to be opened at a certain time.  So began the hurry up and slow down routine to arrive at each bridge at the correct time.  We now hate bridges.

Saturday we anchored in Lake Lettuce.  One more day to go!

Sunday we rose eager to make it to Miami

Fort Lauderdale really is the Yachting Capital of the World.  We have never seen so many boats in one area.

Somebody proposing via airplane sign

When we entered Biscayne Bay we noticed the water was so beautifully blue and clear.  Here is a hot dog stand on the water that boats can pull up to.

We are so close to clear bright water!!!

Welcome to Miami!
ICW Mile Marker 1088

We anchored Sunday the 13th in an anchorage right next to South Beach, Miami Beach and immediately went to the beach!  It is quite the place.

We have been here 8 days now.  It is so nice that we weren't in much of a hurry to leave.  Plus we had a lot of errands and repairs to make.  We were also hoping to find some other cruisers to make the jump and for Bahama Charts.  But we have found neither.  So if your in Miami and getting ready to sail to Bimini let us know!

Miami Blog to come before we leave.

On some personal notes.  Today is my sister Jessie's birthday so HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

And we are very proud of Christine's sister Ashley!
Hooray! My (Christines) little sister Ashley took second place in nationals for ROTC (even against guys!) for shooting! It was a close second, with the guy having 1180 points and her having 1179. Hooray!! Here is the ROTC website and some pictures I took from her facebook.