Finally made it to Miami. Left Ft. Lauderdale because the marina was booked for the boat parade. We had a fun and quiet sail. Caught a Gulf Stream counter current and were sailing along at 9 knots. You are limited on ingress at Government Cut if any cruise ships or large tankers are coming out of Miami. We skipped Government Cut and went to Key Biscayne. No large ships and an easier place to anchor. We anchored in Key Biscayne Bight, just outside hurricane harbor. Got ground tackle down and had dinner. Looked up and there was a boat parade starting and we had a front row seat. Large mega yachts and small motor boats and some sailboats went by. Music and scantily clad dancers were a big part of the parade. A fun time was had by all.
We are waiting and waiting for a weather window so we can cross the Gulf Stream and go to the Bahamas. The Gulf Stream is a river of water in the ocean that was described by Benjamin Franklin. The Gulf Stream flows south to north off of the east coast of North America. The Gulf Stream can be easy to cross with south or southwest winds. If winds are from the east, you have the wind on the bow of your boat as you head east. North winds produce so called 'square waves'. As the Gulf Stream is heading north and the winds are heading south the winds pick up the water and cause large waves. It is best to avoid all but the calmest of north winds. The trend the last week or so has been for low pressure systems to move off the east coast. Lots of blustery winds, and very short weather windows. As of today, it looks like Wednesday of next week is a good possible crossing day. We will keep checking!
One of the forecast lows was coming in with lots of wind. The anchorage was unprotected. We called Crandon Park Marina. They are a city run marina that has mooring balls. We got a mooring ball and settled in for the blow. The mangrove areas of Crandon Park are rookeries for many birds. It was neat to watch pelicans feed their young. We have seen cormorants, storks and terns. A no wake zone is strictly enforced to protect the birds and other wildlife. Aquatic friends are also abundant. Dolphins, manatee and a croc or two.
On the way into Crandon a fisherman in a small open boat flagged us down. He said his motor stopped and he had been out on the water for three hours without seeing another boat. He was in shallow water and with a 6 foot draft I was inching my way toward his boat. Matt grabbed his anchor rode and pulled the anchor up and attached it to our winch. I backed out and turned around before guy had a chance to say anything. He looked like he was starting to panic. We got him to the dock safely. A few more coins in the Karma bank for our good deed of the day.
We have discovered the wonderful bus system in Miami. For $2.00 you can travel all over the city. We went grocery shopping one day, out to dinner another and now we are at the library. Library's are such a great resource for a community. We can use the free wifi. Check out books and movies and just hang out and read books.
Christmas was a quiet celebration with folks we met at the marina. Glasses of wine were shared and toasts were made.