Belle Isle, Miami, Florida
Date: Wednesday 17th December 2014
Position: 25: 47.269N 80:08.93W
Lake Sylvia was very sheltered with good holding, but it was a long way from anywhere. All of the land around the lake was private property with nowhere to tie up the dinghy and go ashore. In order to visit anywhere ashore we had first to leave the lake and then travel a fair distance through the ICW. We didn’t want to do this and attract the attention of the local police again. So we decided to move on to Miami.
On Saturday 13th December we left the sheltered inland waterways of Fort Lauderdale and headed southwards. It was wonderful to be back at sea, with the sails up, the sun shining and the wind blowing. We arrived off Miami just an hour or so before sunset and eventually found a very shallow anchorage just SE of Biscayne island.
Darkness fell soon after we had anchored when we heard the strangest of noises, in fact it was just like a big cat roaring. Fortunately we had a reasonable internet signal so I was able to Google map the area to find that just a few yards away from us shore side was a zoo.
The Miami skyline was pretty impressive from where we were anchored.
The next morning we moved a mile or so eastwards to a better anchorage close to Belle Isle. The anchorage was close to Miami Beach so we had an enjoyable few days visiting the local amenities and looking at the art deco buildings.
I met a strange bird on the beach.
Although we were having fun in Miami we were really just filling in time waiting for a weather window to cross the Gulf Stream to The Bahamas. From what I could see this would be somewhere around Sunday 21st December. Eileen really wanted to visit the area in the centre of Miami where all of the design studios and galleries are and I had sort of promised her that we could do this before we left.
On Wednesday 17th I phoned Chris Parker, the person who provides me with detailed weather forecasting to talk to him about our plans and see what he thought. He was in little doubt that we should not delay but depart immediately to cross the Gulf Stream. Oh Dear! it was clear that Eileen’s visit to Miami centre would have to wait for another time. I don’t think that she has forgiven me yet.
In order to get back to sea we would have to negotiate a couple of miles of very shallow water and then pass under a couple of lifting bridges. We also should top up with fuel at US prices rather than wait till the Bahamas where costs were approximately double. All of this would take a couple of hours and it was already early afternoon. So after passing through the last bridge we stopped for the night in Miami Municipal Marina so that we could make a departure early next morning.