Thursday, February 4, 2010

It's a "beautiful day" in Key Biscayne

Yesterday was a perfect day too, weather and wind wise, to leave Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades inlet and motor sail out in the ocean down the coast to Port Miami. We looked for the new world’s largest cruise ship, the Oasis, but she was out cruising.

Miami skyline through the dodger
This was the first truly turquoise ocean waters we've seen on this trip. The ICW in Florida was quite blue and clear, but the ocean today was beautiful, with only 2-3 foot swells.

The Miami skyline was quite impressive, especially with the Goodyear blimp making a practice run over us for next Sunday’s Super Bowl. Toto, we’re not in Willieburg any more.

We were allowed to enter Government Cut without any consternation from the Coast Guard. Since 9/11, cruisers like us can't use this inlet if more than 2 huge cruise ships are in the harbor.

Five hours later, we entered Biscayne Bay and grabbed a Coconut Grove Sailing Club mooring. Their launch picked us up and we walked around the cutesy downtown and found a Fresh Market within walking distance.

Today we sailed across the bay to Key Biscayne, and anchored in No Name Harbor (really). Whoopee, I can finally post a sentence with the word “key” in it! This is the key (actually cay) where Nixon enjoyed some relaxation at his other White House. I believe it’s where the infamous Watergate planning began as well.

We have now travelled 1095 miles since October 11. As we leave the hustle and bustle of Miami behind, it’s time for Jimmy Buffett “changes in attitude.” The Keys are full of colorful history and persons, such as those in the lower Keys, the “Conchs,” who proclaimed their independence from the U.S. in 1982, declared war (over the Border Patrol stopping cars and causing roadblocks), then immediately surrendered, applying for foreign aid. The spirit of the Conch Republic remains, and quite a few anarchists love living here.

Cape Florida Lighthouse
No Name Harbor is a terrific anchorage, especially in an east wind. It's hard to believe we're only 15 minutes from downtown Miami. We dingied ashore, walked to the end of Key Biscayne, and explored the Bill Baggs Florida State Park, its Cape Florida lighthouse, and lighthouse keeper’s home. Pete again climbed to the top, while I played lighthouse keeper's wife.

Florida truly is a jungle in its natural state, sans condos. This area took a direct hit from Hurricane Andrew, and all the invasive Australian pines were toppled. So the state replaced all the fauna in this park with native plants.

Those are remaining Stiltsville houses!
There's this cool sight as you look out the inlet here. It's called "Stiltsville," and it reminds us of the softshell crab sheds built over the water in Tangier Island. Some fishermen did the same thing here many years ago. After Hurricane Andrew, only a few were left. That in itself is amazing.

Just spotted “Sheet Music,” a sailboat we last saw on Thanksgiving Day in Melbourne. Chuck and Kathy have already been down to Key West and are now on their way to the Bahamas. They have a blog too, so I’ve added a link to it. Blogging is not just something I do in lieu of boat drinks (I am ambidextrous), but a great way to check the whereabouts of fellow cruisers, in case we cross paths again. We also met Patty on Bum's Rest who also has a blog. They are cruising with Sheet Music to the Bahamas. I just had to stop and talk to her when I saw Williamstown, NJ, on their transom. I taught there for one year in 1974-75, as a newly wed!

No Name Harbor sunset
Enjoy the sunset from No Name Harbor. . .


  1. It was great to see you today. Enjoy your blog and we're now "followers." Hope to see you again soon.

  2. It was nice meeting you also. I'm following your blog,too. You do a nice job and I enjoyed reading it. I'm not a writer, but, I try my best at it.
    Here is