Monday March 3, 2014
The sun was up, the engine was on, and we were ready to move ourselves from Dinner Key harbor, just south of Miami, up to Ft. Lauderdale, our last intended stop in the states. God I hope it’s the last stop. If we go any further north we’ll be backtracking on places we’ve already been last year. The Bahamas I can handle backtracking to. The rest of Florida…meh, not so much. Though I would love a few nights in St. Augustine if it happened to be the next port north. With an easy inlet to enter this time.
Once again I was behind the wheel for the few miles of ICW which would lead us back out to the cut an into the Atlantic. Between the two of us we’ve worked out a little system where I’m on watch or behind the wheel for situations that requires acute observation, since Matt is a little more easily distracted than I, and then I’m still on watch unless I’m sleeping. No really, it took me until our Mexico-Florida crossing to realize this. If I am awake, it is assumed I am keeping a watch out for boats. Add that to all the navigating, the cooking, and the cleaning, and I think I might have to come up with some more blue jobs for Matt to earn his keep on this boat. It’s a good thing he knows how to trim the sails a hell of a lot better than I do, or else this operation could be a one woman show. Did I also mention I’m the one to check us into all the countries and deal with the officials? Ohhhh, right. Now I remember the reasons I tend to get almost anything I ask for, including forcing my better half to places he doesn’t want to go, like Miami.
Where was this story leading? Oh, yeah. So I was behind the wheel trying to get us out of the inlet at Miami when I came to a fork in the road. By turning right it gave me a short cut, taking me by all the unloading docks for the tankers. If I went straight a little bit further, I’d be able to go down the main part of the inlet and past all the pretty cruise ships. Maybe it was because I had already seen the boring tankers on my way in, but I wanted to see the pretty cruise ships. Passing the Miami proper skyline and the Hard Rock Cafe, I cut the wheel to join into the inlet and was greeted by pretty blue flashing lights. I had no reason to believe they were for me and assumed it might be a police escort for one of the five cruise ships getting ready to depart. I kept on my path, happily trotting along and taking in the view of the cruise ships, closer than we’d ever been to them before. The police officers waived at me, and I waved back.
Wait a second, they weren’t waiving at me, they were waiving at me. But what had I done? Was this just a routine check?, because we were about ready to pull out our Coast Guard boarding document and call them on harassment if they tried, well, harassing us. Pulling up along side me I could just make out the words ‘Turn around’. Ummm, ok? Is there construction? Nope, it was me. I was breaking all the rules, the dirty little rebel that I am. Turns out there’s a law against passing through an area like that if there was more than one cruise ship in port. For security reasons. I picked a day when they had five. Even more embarrassing is that I’m sure they were trying to hail us on the radio, but one of us hadn’t turned the radio on along with all of the other instruments.
Along with instructions of how to exit via the ‘shortcut’ that I had taken in, I received lots of slow talking and a few pitiful looks. I’m sure as they saw this wide eyed girl behind the wheel (out of embarrassment and nothing else) and thought to themselves, ‘Poor little lass, she wanted to see what it felt like to be behind the wheel of ship, but has no idea what she’s doing. Let’s hope they get that boat back to dock where it belongs and she can spend her afternoon on it sipping margaritas instead of trying to drive it.’ Ok, maybe that’s not what they were thinking. But it is what their faces said.
It was fine. Soon enough we were out of the cut and on our way up the 20 miles to the Port Everglades inlet, which Matt had promised me was only 10. Maybe he had been glancing at Hannover? No biggie, it just allowed me more time of seclusion on the water, laying out on deck and reading a book while ridding myself of tan lines at the same time. It was another extremely calm day where the sails couldn’t even hold wind and we were reduced to motoring instead. Before I had even realized that a few hours had passed by, we were quickly surrounded by masses of fishing boats just outside of Fort Lauderdale and I once more took position behind the wheel to dodge them and their erratic patterns as they cut back and forth in front of us.
Holding the wheel until it was time to wait for our first lift bridge in about a year, I passed it over to Matt and let him do the dance of trying to maintain no forward motion as the currents moved along beneath us. He kept on the helm as I guided us just a little further up the ICW and to our new home of Lake Slyvia until we leave for the Bahamas. Lake would be a generous term for this spot, it’s more like and extravagant pond, but the multi-million dollar mansions surrounding us along with the glass calm waters to rest in for a few days definitely made up for the small size. It was anchors down at 4:00, and dinghy down at 4:30. Next stop was finding internet to alert friends we had arrived, and I think a cold beer is on the list too.
Sailing by Miami Proper.
Hard Rock Cafe Miami.
Tell me again, how fast can I get to Bimini?