Hello virtual crew members and fellow adventures!
The crew started the week in West Palm Beach and managed to cruise as far as Marathon in the Florida Keys. They made a stop in Ft Lauderdale to re-provision the boat. They stopped in Miami to pick up friends. Made a run to Key Largo and then on to Marathon where the high winds have them pinned down waiting on a weather window to move on to Key West.
The crew spent the day relaxing in West Palm Beach. But the highlight of the day was when the owner of the boat in the next slip over (Mrs. Chips), invited our crew over to tour his 54 foot Viking. The boat is in immaculate condition and the owner was a great host. Thanks for letting the crew visit your beautiful yacht.
The crew spent most of the day passing under bridges that had a clearance of greater than 18 feet, or waiting on one of seven bridges to open. The skipper was kept busy calculating the speed to travel to make the distance between bridges to make the next opening without too much delay. All-in-All, he was successful setting the speed and minimizing delays.
The skipper reviews the Coast Guard Local Notice to Mariners for the areas that the crew will be cruising. While reviewing this weeks’ Notice, the skipper noted a mention of the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach. The club is near the Southern BLVD Bridge in the above picture, and if the President is at the Club, the Coast Guard will be patrolling these waters.
While waiting for the Bridge to open, the Admiral googled up the property and schooled the skipper on what she learned. Per Wikipedia, the property was built out from 1924 to 1927 by the heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post. She built the property with a dream that it would someday be used by future presidents and foreign dignitaries as a winter retreat.
Following her death in 1973, the property was bequeathed to the nation. However, Nixon, Ford, and Carter declined to use the mansion. The property was returned to the estate in 1980. In 1985, Donald Trump bought the property and turned it into a member’s only club. As of 2017, the heiress’ dream has been fulfilled as President Trump has used the property to entertain foreign dignitaries.
One surprise as the run continued south were the houses. Ok, mansions along the waterway. Some of the homes were still 50’s 60’s vintage one story affairs.
Then there were some 70’s 80’s homes that were two story.
There were also the multi-million dollar mansions that have a Mediterranean look to them.
Lastly, there were even some very modern contemporary homes that lined the waterway.
What made this so unusual is that from the water you can see all these styles at any given time. There is no consistency in the vintage of the water front homes. A true smorgasbord of missed matched mansions.
The big status symbol must be a corner lot with a corner pool, though. Just about every corner either has a pool or one is being built. Unbelievable how much construction is going on along the waterway.
At about mile 1065 on the Atlantic ICW, the crew turned right and headed two miles up the New River to dock in downtown Ft Lauderdale for two nights before making the last jump to Miami on Wednesday.
One neat surprise for the day was seeing the PDQ “Magic” cruise by. The crew is from France. Our crew last saw them in Venice, Florida. Since then they have cruised south through the Keys and are now headed north.
A few pics of the River Walk area in downtown Ft Lauderdale.
The crew left Ft Lauderdale and headed south to Miami to meet up with some friends from Texas. The run south was a slow go again as the crew had to negotiate the many bridges and their timed openings.
However, it did get a tad exciting once they arrived at the marina. The dock master had assigned the crew to slip T-9 but the crew maneuvered thru the docks and could not find the dock. The skipper hailed the marina on the radio and tried calling by phone to no avail.
They did find docks A, B, and C. There was a man standing near the boat launch so the Admiral asked if he knew where the T-Dock was located. He answered that there was no T dock, but that the D-Dock was found by backing out of the marina and going around the point.
The crew backed out, went around the point and found the D-9 slip occupied already. The skipper noticed that D-15 was empty so he backed Still Waters II into the slip and the crew made her fast.
When the skipper walked up to the marina office to check-in they told him he was in the wrong place and he could not stay there. The look of disgust on his face as he mentioned that he tried to hail them on the radio and call them on the phone, and the office did not answer. He then pointed out the window and mentioned that he had pulled the boat all the way up into the marina where he was clearly visible to the staff and they did not come out and assist. The dock master came out of his office and told the young lady working the desk that the crew could stay in slip D-15 for the night.
A few hours later Dave and Martha, along with their son Mark, arrived at the boat to begin their week-long adventure on Still Waters II.
I will keep it short and invite Dave and Martha to share their perspective of the trip in a guest blog posting.
The crew made the run from Miami to Key Largo, the gateway to the Florida Keys. The wind was beginning to kick up and by the time the crew arrived to dock it was blowing in the high teens. Unfortunately for the skipper it was also a cross wind that made lining up and backing into the slip a bit of a challenge. As he began to back into the slip the wind would blow the vessel out of alignment with the posts and he would pull forward and try again.
After three tries, he finally found the right angle to approach the slip and get Still Waters II safely landed.
Looking at the weather, the winds were predicted to be in the high teens again tomorrow. The crew decided to wake early and see if they could make the 60-mile run to Marathon on Friday.
The crew shoved off the dock at 0645, and entered the bay to head towards Marathon. The winds were out of the northeast and predicted to be over 20 mph before 1500. The goal was to get tied up before the high winds arrived.
With the Northeast winds though, the crew had following seas and a smoother than expected ride. The bay was shallow and the crew was finding 5-foot water even in the channel which was slowing progress west. At the slow speed the crew would not make Marathon before the high winds. The skipper decided to cross from the bay into the Atlantic Ocean and run Hawks Channel where he could run 10 mph in 20-foot water.
Snaking thru Snake Creek to the Atlantic Ocean.
After crossing over, the crew found the waves less than 1 foot and again following seas. The crew arrived and got safely tied down just as a big storm passed over. Following the little 30 minute storm the winds indeed picked up to greater than 20 mph.
The blow is predicted to be 20-30 mph until Monday. The crew will stay here in Marathon until it is safe to move on to Key West.
Back by popular demand…………………….
The weather window keeps shifting, but when the window opens the crew will move to Key West. Looking out at the long range forecast, they may be there a while waiting for the next weather window for the return trip to the Miami area where they will prepare for their crossing to the Bahamas.