Thursday, February 24, 2011

Moons over Miami

After pulling out of Marathon we felt good getting some water under the keel.  Our first stop was shell key where we tied to a free mooring ball for a night. The view from the mooring was amazing and we waited with baited breath as the sun set hoping to see the ever illusive "Green Flash"  When you are a cruiser there is nothing better than a free safe stop and when you add a great view to it, it is cruisers gold.  The next morning we pushed on to Tarpon Basin where we ended up anchoring for 3 nights as we waited out the winds.  It was actually a great anchorage we had read on Active Captain that it was difficult to get good holding, so with Anna in the bow we took our time and scouted out a patch of sand with no grass and dropped the anchor.  That night as forecasted the winds howled but Blue held her ground and Anna and I enjoyed a day of reading, we joked that once again Blue has proven to be our cocoon of safety. We witnessed more than one boat drag and we felt bad for the crews having to scout out a new spot in the wind and rain.  The basin provided a free dingy dock in a park where you could throw out trash and get water.  About  mile down the road we walked to John Pennekamp state park.  Anna and I had planned to get a mooring ball there, but it offered no protection from a north east wind.  We had decided to change our plans so we were happy to walk around and check it out.  It provided the perfect day for us with a small aquarium, play park and all kinds of walking paths.  I think if we were to travel through again we would get a mooring ball there.  Finally the winds let up and we were Miami bound.  I have to say that we have been boating for over 9 months and this area of Florida has by far the worst boating etiquette. The jet skis and wakes were out of this world.  Luckily we only broke one item in a wake, to tell you the truth we should have known better and stowed things better before entering Miami harbor but still what is going on here?  Who are these people?  We arrived the day before the Miami Boat Show so that we could get into the first day and check all the good stuff out.  Being anchored between Miami and South Beach was amazing.  We got to see the city at night which coming from a small island is truly a thrill.  South Beach truly is the ultimate people watching stop.  We saw such a range of outfits and people that it became overwhelming.  We ate a belated Valentine dinner on Lincoln Avenue and just people watched.  Of course we took a stroll down memory lane and visited the hotel we had stayed at with the crew from GMI about 6 years ago.  The main attraction was the boat show.  It is just HUGE!!  Between the in water show, the brokerage show, strictly sail and the convention center there was an endless supply of products to check out.  The best part is just the energy of the show with boating enthusiasts from all over coming to talk and share what they know and hopefully buy what they need.  Believe it or not we left the show without a single purchase but we were tempted by many items.  Anna and I laughed thinking of what would happen if we had gone up to the financing booths.  Hi, I don't have a job, can you give me a loan?  The scary thing is four years ago it would have worked.  After two days of walking the booths and boats it was time for us to push on.  These 8 nights were our longest at anchor and we are very proud of what we have learned about conserving our resources.  Even though we are headed to a marina we figure we have enough food, water and holding tank space for 2 more nights.  Compared to the beginning of our trip we are really becoming boaters.  We even resorted to first rinsing our dishes in salt water then a soupy wash in fresh water.  None of this would have been possible without the purchase of our second Honda generator so that we can now run them in series and properly power up our batteries as well as run our hot water heater when we are at anchor.  Now we are off to our next stop, Ft Lauderdale here we come!

A beautiful evening at anchor in Tarpon Basin

Egrets at play in Pennekamp Park

This man made his own boat and was getting it ready for a sail to Mexico

This is Jewfish Creek a funny little areas with all kinds of boats. Notice the boat in the far right corner that is aground in the mangroves

More boats in Jewfish creek including this cute little house afloat

We heard this tiki hut in Jewfish Creek was a must stop but we were in a hurry to get to Miami so we skipped it.  I guess now we have an excuse to come back.

On of our friendly Pelicans playing under a bridge.  These birds really are everywhere

We passed this beautiful boat on our way into Miami.  This guy has a date with a beaver hair brush every year to keep that wood looking so nice.

Oh Wow!!!  Miami here we come. 

Of all the cities that we have seen from the water this is one of the more impressive

You never know what you are going to see on the waterways.  This is a moving bar A.K.A. Booze Cruise.

This is Government Cut where all the cruise ships come in and out.  We felt very small next to them

After anchoring off the Venetian Causeway we were treated to this view of Miami at Sunset

A stormy evening over Miami

We were anchored near this island with a great monument and a beach where you can hang out and swim.  If you anchor here we counted over 17 trash cans on the island so it is great boaters trash stop

Sunrise over Miami

This in water boat show was one part of the Miami Boat Show.  Of course I had to take this shot with the Nordic Tug for sale

Moon over the monument

Morgan, Ryann and Jaxon were lucky enough to be given these aliens at the Fusion booth at the show. 

Believe it or not Jack Daniels had a booth at the show and I could not resist the JD boat

Deadliest Catch star was on hand to take photos and was giving autographs.  Who wants and autograph from Russel, where is Sig?

This boat is incredibly fast

Who can resist the Gecko from Geico

Yamaha was well represented at the show.  The way these engines are going this could be life size in a few years.

A view left from the upper walkway of the Miami boat show in action

This is the view right which is less than a 1/6 of what you can see at this show

Mobey has found a new way to make sure we are going the right way.  He is now the captain of this vessel


  1. Pete and Anna- I just found your blog today through I enjoy your writing and youthful enthusiasm! My fiance' and I are living aboard our trawler in Stamford CT and hope to make the same trip soon. Keep up the good work, and stay safe!

  2. Finally Captain Mobey at the helm! Don't forget with the 2nd generator you can make lots of ICE cubes too. Truly a boaters friend.

    Andrew Sallyann and Tut