Going to Miami

Valt & Sandy
Thu 24 Jan 2013 02:32
25.46.0N  80.05.W
Jan. 14
Leaving Stuart, we made it as far as West Palm Beach, some 38nm south on the ICW.  The outside route was too rough.  Of course, the inner route is much like a river.  Narrow, shallow in spots.  There is also more traffic and in some places we must follow a carefully marked path, connecting the dots between buoys.  It is much more tedious and requires a sharp eye.  Comparatively, running the outside is easy.  Our next stop was another 50 miles away in a cove near Florida International University.  It had been a long, tiring day.  We had to wait for bridge openings at 8 bridges.  Not counting the others we could fit under without opening.  Timing was everything. 
Next mission was to find diesel fuel.  It was more expensive here, and the price variations were big.  One guy wanted $4.04 plus 7% tax, the next wanted $4.80 plus tax.  We finally called a fuel bunkering service who met us as an abandoned dock and charged us $3.58 including tax.  Guess he had a lot less overhead.  We took on 388 gallons, wanting to be as full as possible before leaving for the Bahamas.  The fuel there is over $5.00. 
Fueling complete, we headed for one of our favorite anchorages in Miami:  just off the mansion of the guy who invented Viagra.  The house is lovely, and there are no wake signs.  From there we launched the dink and spent several days walking South Beach, shopping, and more.  We even rented a truck and drove into Miami to buy another solar panel.  A number of boaters we knew from the Bahamas were here, also awaiting a good weather day to travel.  We spent some time visiting and catching up.  The days grew warmer everyday, we enjoyed the sun. 
Watching the weather carefully, we decided Monday Jan. 21 would be the day to cross the Gulf Stream over to the Bahamas.  So we hoisted the dinghy, stocked it with extra gas and water, laid out the ditch bag and our float coats, battened the hatches and prepared for an early morning departure. 
It was time to go!