A Travellerspoint blog

Miami Beach

If We're so far South, How Come It's Still Cold?

We had planned to stay in Ft. Lauderdale another day, moving to another location to be ready to leave very early Saturday morning, with no bascule bridges to be raised. But, things went so well leaving that we decided to head straight to Miami, which we did. It was amazing! That which seemed to take five hours on Sunday with all the stress and all of the traffic today seemed to take five minutes with no problems and no traffic. Of course, the fact that it was 44 degrees early Friday morning may have affected most folks outlook about being on the water.

The stay in Ft. Lauderdale was three and a half days of R&R, not rest and recreation … repairing and replacing. The major repair target was the toilet which seemed to be working less well than before. This was the proverbial dirty job. There was calcium buildup on the hoses and the joker valve was pretty well shot, no joking matter. We have extras on the boat so, now, the toilet works very differently and, maybe, the way the way it was always supposed to do.

Ft. Lauderdale was nice, but a little disappointing. The river walk was scenic but there was a paucity of activity, only two restaurants and not much else. A lot of places seemed to have gone under during these hard times. Carol liked the area for walking, there were some stores in the area but I’m not sure that it rates a return engagement.

Not to harp on the big boats on the small New River, but this boat actually has a helicopter on deck.

So here we are again in Sunset Lake (N25 48.155, W080 08.455), a place that we much enjoyed last year. It’s crowded this year: 9 boats. From last year we knew that the Fortress anchor offered the best holding; so, on the way here we changed from the Manson to the Fortress. The easiest anchoring ever; it set immediately and stayed set.

Last year in Sunset Lake we learned that our electrical system wasn’t up to our cruising needs, and made changes in Marathon. At Cooley’s Landing in Ft. Lauderdale, we met a Canadian couple that had just returned from Sunset Lake and had discovered the same thing about their electrical system. Their answer was to head north, gradually, and to put the boat up for the season while they have repairs made. It was nice this year. Minutes after the anchor set, I turned on the wind generator and we had supplemental power.

Food is something that we haven’t discussed. Carol is, of course, the chief cook and mess officer. She does pretty well with limited resources. The refrigerator is small, maybe 4-cu. ft. or so; the freezer is about 2-cu. ft. with much of that space taken by 10-lb. bags of ice. The range had two gas burners; no oven but a microwave under the stove that Carol could use with the power inverter but has chosen not to do so. We actually have a fair amount of storage in the forward cabin which has become a pantry/closet/dumping ground.

The food is pretty good, but better at nourishing the body than nourishing the epicurean soul …. lots of rice and pasta, both of which store well dry and cook with salt water, a very available resource. In Ft. Lauderdale Carol came across some heirloom tomatoes, which she combined with goat cheese; salads were great for several days. She also found a bakery with really great bread. Small things make a big difference on the boat, at least at dinner time.

On the way south this trip, I finally located the Fountainebleau hotel on Miami Beach. It’s quite distinctive and I cannot believe that I missed it last year. It’s been there a lot of years, including when Carol and I dated on Miami Beach. It’s most famous moment, in my opinion, came in 1964 when James Bond kibitzed Auric Goldfinger's Gin game with a little help, of course, leading to the gold coated death of Jill Masterson.

All the time that we have been in Miami Beach these two banners, along with a couple of others have been flying overhead, north to south and then back again, for hours every day. It's interesting that the banners are about 5 times as long as the planes towing them. It seems an ironic anachronism that a marginal advertising medium, probably perfected before WWII, still has a place in the age of Twitter, iPhones and Facebook.

This has been a strange visit, not at all like last year's time here. We didn't work on the boat, per se, but there were other tasks, shopping and the IRS that seemed to absorb a lot of time. Carol got our taxes done here; we have no deductions so it seemed to take an inordinate amount of time even though Carol had most of the required paper work. We never even made it to the beach although we did score a great brunch on Sunday morning on the Lincoln Road mall. Carol also got, delayed Christmas present, a cheesecake from Epicure's which, being Carol, she shared with me. One full day, Tuesday, we spent on the boat waiting for a front to pass. There were gale warnings and winds of 25~40 knots, although at this mooring I doubt that they got much above 30 knots. Even so, all the boats, including us, were watching their anchors in case they lost purchase and dragged. The space is such that there is no margin for error in any direction .... into a sea wall east or west, or another boat north or south. All ended well although we did choose to re-anchor in the teeth of the storm.

We're leaving Sunset Lake tomorrow, Thursday 03/04, for Key West. We haven't worked out all of the trip details yet. We had wanted to stop in Marathon, FL, in Boot Key Harbor; the weather has been so bad for cruisers wanting to cross to the Bahamas that there is "no room at the inn" anywhere. So we'll probably bypass it and head straight to Key West.

Posted by sailziveli 16:24

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Glad to hear that things have smoothed out a bit (atleast you didnt mention any new injuries or mishaps)
Life in SC remains COLD...It is still snowing (since Sunday) but it is supposed to get quite warm this weekend--not a moment too soon. Otherwise, all is good! Smooth sailing!

by SCfriends

Cheers is still reading your blog with much enjoyment. It was great getting to know you both. Tomorrow we are moving on to Stuart and the moorings there. Three weeks in Vero was quite enough! Best wishes for calm winds and following seas!
S/V Cheers

by Palmeresau

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