Saturday, April 3, 2010

Easter Weekend in Lake Worth

An Easter bunny?
Easter on Peanut Island, FL
Today we were constantly reminded that it's Easter weekend. First we saw some cute kids on an Easter Egg Hunt in their gorgeously landscaped backyard on the ICW. Captain Pete thought he saw their Bunny Mom.

Today we even got to see "Easter weekend on Peanut Island" as we left the Palm Beach area and closed in on Peanut Island about halfway up Lake Worth. HUNDREDS of locals had poured onto its beaches, setting up tents and partying like it was Spring Break. Guess it is! Today is the day before Easter.

I felt like I was in the Easter parade, and I wasn't wearing my Easter bonnet. But it was both families frolicking in the water and young folks dancing on the boat decks. Alcohol seemed to be a factor at 5 p.m. as we proceeded north to the upper end of Lake Worth to anchor for the night.

No Privacy here!
We are now anchored safely (and quietly) in Lake Worth--again opposite Tiger's yacht, Privacy. His boat's name is again covered by canvas, as it was when we were last here in January. Looks like Tiger will need to pay a diver soon to get the barnacles off Privacy's bottom. For non-sailors, I am not making a critical comment. But barnacles and algae need to be scrubbed off a boat's bottom when it sits unused for a long time. No further explanation offered.

Why we like the Florida Intracoastal Waterway

Lots of fellow sailors choose to "go outside" into the ocean and bypass the Intracoastal Waterway in the more "congested" areas. But we chose to see this stretch of the ICW from Fort Lauderdale to Fort Pierce TWICE--on our way to the Keys and now home again! Why? Because it's like being immersed in "Architectural Digest" for a few days, wowing one home after another. You can even peer inside some of them.

I still don't know how all these folks made the $$$ to build and maintain these homes. True, some are modest and don't have "For Sale" signs in front of them. But some come complete with yard sculptures, infinity pools, more glass than I'd ever want to Windex, and mega-landscaping.

I get bored on long ocean legs, because I whine about "there's nothing to look at" and "it's too bouncy to read." So I'm in my glory when there's lots of "eye candy." And there's an abundance of that here.

Captain Pete is tired of hearing about Palladian windows, columns, and solar panels.
Typical homes in Fort Lauderdale

Last ocean leg

Key Biscayne Light
Weather forecast was favorable to get up at 0-dark-thirty yesterday morning and head out the Florida Channel from No Name Harbor to the Atlantic for our run up the coast, past Miami to Fort Lauderdale. Got to see Key Biscayne Lighthouse from another perspective, before I was "rockin' my soul in the bosom of Abraham" and went below for a nap. This first mate does not like 0-dark-thirty.

Captain enjoyed the ride more than the first mate too, especially since he got both sails up while motor-sailing. I prefer smaller waves than 3 footers. But it wasn't too late when we got to Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, so we kept going. No cruise ships again either to raise our blood pressure!

LOTS of "eye candy" again as we passed gorgeous mega-homes in Fort Lauderdale, all of which seemed to own a mega-yacht to keep on their docks. A few even seemed to strategically place their mega-yacht to block the view of a more modest home across the waterway.

We anchored in Pompano last night in Lettuce Lake, an ananchronism if I ever heard of one. There was no lettuce and no lake either. It was simply a wide spot in the Intracoastal and pretty open to the wakes from the boats passing by--until sunset.

Spring has arrived in Florida

We enjoyed a great motor-sail from Islamorada to Pumpkin Key in Card Sound. Very few boats were out today as we headed north through more narrow channels than I remembered on the way south.

Gotta remember now to keep those red marks on the left! No more "red right returning" as we head for home.

The Florida weather that we expected in February finally arrived, and we only shared the Pumpkin Key anchorage with two boats. It's a private island with lots of "No Trespassing" signs, so we took their advice. A quiet night with a beautiful sunset.

Ragged Key
The next day, we took a lunch stop at Ragged Key where Captain Pete rowed us into shore and on the return trip back to MicMac. Guess we all forget some basic things when on land for too long. But an outboard won't keep running with the gas vent closed. Mr. Dumass finally remembered as we got back onboard.

Ragged Key is an uninhabited very small key and we thought we had the place to ourselves. OOPS. It was Holy Thursday and school was out. Five boats with children soon arrived and our Robinson Crusoe experience and quiet lunch on land was soon over.

We pulled up the anchor and headed to No Name Harbor where we had stayed on our way south. It's only about 15 miles south of Miami, on Key Biscayne, but you feel like you're a world away from Miami. Lots of boats were anchored there, but most took off around sunset. We dinghied in to shore (outboard now working with gas vent open!) and ate dinner at The Boaters' Grill. Crabcakes were OK, but I miss Two Rivers' creation.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Back to Islamorada

The photo below shows Islamorada on February 3, when we left MicMac at the marina to fly north. Winds of 20-30 were forecast for the rest of that week. So it seemed like a good time to visit all the family--in Delaware, Philly, SC, and Boston.

One month later, it looked the same as we walked down the dock last night. The winds were still howling, with gusts more than 30 knots. Yegads.

Windy in Islamorada
My 91 year old Mom told us on the phone that Miami had experienced a tornado today as we were in the air, flying back here. Then we read today that a tornado had also touched down on Grand Bahama (the same line of storms, no doubt) and killed 3 people.

So we'll do "boat chores" today, restock the boat, and probably leave Islamorada tomorrow.

We had to give up on the idea of heading over to the Bahamas. We wouldn't get enough Bahama Mama time with this late arrival. We wouldn't get home until late June. So we'll experience the Bahamas vicariously through our linked blogs to fellow sailors, and maybe charter there before too long. But we're sure seeing a lot of the Keys.

So we'll aim for a leisurely trip home north to Virginia, which will most likely take 6 or 7 weeks. No life in the fast lane for MicMac.