Tuesday, March 13, 2007

There Be Monsters There

Before we sail off the edge of the earth toward the Bahamas, we thought we'd let you know where we've been. We finally got out of Key West after 5 days. (If you promise not to tell anyone, we'll admit that we really enjoyed our "vacation" on a dock with showers, restaurants, cable tv, and air conditioning.) Actually, it was nice to get back to the "real" world and commune with nature a bit. (Not to suggest that there is anything "unnatural" about Key West, but one begins to think that even the well-timed sunsets are some kind of wierd theatrical performance!)
From the Bridge at Bahia Honda

So off we went to New Found Harbor and Bahia Honda to decompress before spending a few more days at Boot Key Harbor in Marathon.
They have sunsets at Bahia Honda too!
Then back to Marathon where we stocked up the larder to head north. We stopped at Lignumvitae Key State Park and learned a lot about the natural flora of Southern Florida before the massive dredging and filling operations which created acres and acres of land where there had been none and miles and miles of canals where there had been very shallow water or land before. EVERYONE has "waterfront property" in South Florida. If you don't, you just dig a 4 foot deep hole in your back yard (If you HAVE a back yard) and it fills right up with water. In many places along the Intracoastal Waterway, we can see easily across the land to the ocean from our flybridge which is about 10 feet above the water.
We drove through No Name Harbor and discovered it was pretty crowded, so we headed on to the Venetian Islands off Miami Beach where we had spent some time two years ago. We anchored off what the tour boats say was :
"One of Al Capone's two island homes -- the other was Alcatraz."

Miami Beach is a great spot: Quiet anchorage amidst phenomenal wealth (an empty building lot on manmade land goes for $6,000,000), easy access to all kinds of civilization by dinghy (including a steel cable alongside a canal across from a Publix Market to chain your dinghy to), a gourmet market called "Epicure" (the better cuts of meat and the seafood do not show prices -- if you have to ask, you can't afford it!), and all kinds of window shopping, to say nothing about the "eye candy" at South Beach during Spring Break! Rather than challenge Miami Beach's legally questionable 7-day anchoring limit, we headed north to an anchorage across from Bakers Haulover Inlet at Oleta State Park in North Miami. Again, easy dinghy access to civilization, but a very quiet anchorage surrounded by mangrove swamps. Also a nice swimming beach.

We were now listening to weather forecasts religiously, looking for a "window" in which to sail off the edge to the Abacos. We headed up to Fort Lauderdale, from which we hope to depart soon, with some friends (the Cummings on DUETTO), for West End. (We're looking for very little wind and NO wind from the north at all since it creates nasty seas in the northerly- flowing Gulf Stream.)

After studying the flora at Lignumvitae, we examined the fauna at Fort Lauderdale

God willin' and the creeks don't rise, our next post will be from the Abacos!

Questions or comments? Email us at: sesame@snet.net

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