Wednesday, February 18, 2009
I apologize for taking so long to get something posted of our adventures for the past two weeks.
We arrived in Miami on Wednesday, February 3 and stayed until Saturday, February 14. We had not planned to stay there so long, but we thought the boat show was the first weekend that we arrived and it did not begin until Thursday, February13th. So, we decided to stay and go to the show on Friday, February 13th. We stayed anchored at the same place for the entire 11 days because it was convenient to places we needed to go and we found many good places to see and visit while there.
Our first visit to the beach was quite different from going to the beach at home. Most guys, including Nelson would enjoy going to this beach as there was a lady sunning with nothing but her bathing suit bottom on. Thank goodness, she was the only one we saw.
Their beaches are so large and they have a very wide strand. Before the beach, is a row of many shops and outside dining. Then, you have a two way street with traffic everywhere. I would not want to drive there because people on skates, skateboards, or bicycle are running in and out of the cars trying to get down the street, and the people going to and from the beach are crossing the street constantly also. If you choose to sit on the beach, you have to rent chairs from the beach service. No, you do not bring your own chair. The water was a beautiful blue-green color and very clear. No, we did not go swimming.
Another day, we walked down the street until we came to a mall area which went for miles with shops and outside dinning up and down both sides and no thru traffic. People were everywhere. There were fountains, places to stop and rest and just interesting things and people to see everywhere. Nelson and I celebrated our 43 year of marriage on Feb. 11. We went to a neat place to eat down in the mall area at a neat place called, Maya with our friends Chris & Marie who are aboard the sailboat Spirit. It was a delicious meal for all of us. Nelson had a shrimp dish and I had grouper. We anchored in the same area as our friends Dean & Susan on Autumn Borne who we met in St Mary’s and then were on the same mooring ball with in Vero Beach. While there, we also ran into two other boats that we had met in other places. On our third day there, we got a pink slip from the police saying that we could not stay any longer than seven days anchored in Miami waters and we would have to leave by Feb. 15. Yes, we were going to leave the day before the 15th. Everyone anchored got the same notice. We were anchored right beside the police station on the water and used their boat ramp dock which was sometimes too high for Marie and me to climb on or off the dinghy when the tide was very low.
We did a lot of touring Miami by our dinghies. We went to the grocery store on the dinghy. For three days, we would get in the dinghy and just ride around. We saw the three places where the boats were docked for the boat show. One day, we found the motor trawlers. The next day, we found where the motor boats and trawlers were and also the sailboats. We could not get on them but we did get to see them real well. On Friday, we walked to the Convention Center to the vender part of the boat show. We were there all day. I was so tired of walking. We bought a few things but nothing big or exciting.
When we got back to the dinghy, the water was so low that I could not get back into the dinghy. I had to ask another motor boat who came in if I could get into their boat and then into our dinghy from their boat. They were nice and let Marie and I use their boat which was high to get back into our dinghy.
We pulled anchor on Friday morning for the first time in eleven days and set sails for South to the Florida Keys. We went out into the Ocean and had a wonderful all day sail with enough wind to sail but not make the waters rough. It was a beautiful day on the ocean waters and the weather was great. We stopped south of Rodriquez Key and for the night. The winds blew and the boat rocked and I got very little sleep. There was too much boat movement for me to feel comfortable. The next day, we pulled anchor and sailed all day and finally made it to Marathon Key late afternoon. The oceans were not calm and the sailing was not comfortable like the first day. Nelson and I both liked Friday’s sailing much better. We had to fight the waves and water coming across the boat all day. We were exhausted when we arrived, but glad to be there. What a trip! This was our longest time traveling on the ocean.