Hello virtual crew members and fellow adventures!
Eric here catching you up to date on the latest travels of Still Waters II. Click on this link to see the day- to-day travel log.
The crew spent the week making their way back to New River in downtown Ft. Lauderdale. They made anchor stops along the way at Snake River near Islamorada, Long Arsenicker Key in Card Sound, and Marine Stadium in Miami.
I have also added three new videos this week to the Still Waters II vimeo site.
The crew made an enjoyable run up to Islamorada. They did have to wait for high tide at 1000 to leave Bahia Honda State Park though. Even at high tide there was only 4 feet of water in the narrow channel to get to the Bay of Florida.
The crew decided to run the inside route today because the wind was blowing from the east. The run was mostly in 5-7 foot of emerald green water. When the crew looked over the side they could see the bottom.
These two divers were at a ship wreck in seven foot of water.
The crew also spotted a loggerhead turtle in the water today. Three dolphins entertained the crew swimming around the boat. Because of the clear water the crew could watch the dolphins under the water.
The run did have some narrow shallow water as can be seen by this shot.
Motoring through Steamboat Cut.
The crew dropped anchor in Snake Creek for the night.
The crew weighed anchor and continued the inside run north to Long Arsenicker Key.
While traveling through a small Mangrove pass they began to overtake a large boat. Before they overtook the boat though the skipper noticed a large manatee in the water. As they slowed and passed the manatee, the Admiral got a good look at him as he surfaced and stuck his head up out of the water to watch the crew pass by.
As the crew passed under the Over Seas Highway (US 1) at Key Largo, they were reminded that this was spring break for many. The steady stream of vehicles passing south over the bridge drove the point home. By the time the crew got close to the bridge, the highway was more of a southbound parking lot.
After passing under the bridge the crew entered Little Card Sound and then Card Sound as they made their way to tonight’s anchor spot. The wind was blowing in the high teens out of the north, so the skipper had found a place to tuck in out of the wind.
The winds were expected to blow in the mid-twenties during the night so the crew got as close to the land as safely possible. They anchored in 5 feet of water and enjoyed a calm night on the water out of the wind. The sunset at anchor.
After weighing anchor and getting out of the protection of the land mass, the crew discovered the winds were still blowing about 20 miles per hour out of the North. This made for 2-3 foot seas as the crew ventured forth through Biscayne Bay towards Miami.
The good news was as the crew approached Miami the waves began to diminish. The closer the crew got to Miami the more they encountered other boaters in the Bay.
There were a couple of people out parasailing.
After passing underneath the Rickenbacker Causeway Bridge, the crew turned right into the Miami Marine Stadium to anchor for the night. The area was once used to race boats but has since been abandoned. By the looks of construction at the stadium though it looks as if they may be trying to kick start the racing program again.
Wonderful view of downtown Miami from the anchorage.
Thursday, March 16, 2017
The Admiral wanted to stop at South Beach which was just around the corner from where the crew anchored. She found a writeup that said that South Beach was for the rich, famous, and youthful. I pointed out to the crew that they are not rich, famous, or youthful. The skipper found a marina that they could have pulled into though, but at $7 per foot and a negative Active Captain rating, they cruised on by and viewed South Beach from the water.
The crew continued north up the ICW to return to the New River in Ft Lauderdale. Many people choose to run on the outside in the Atlantic to avoid all the No Wake Zones and bridges. However, the wind was still out of the north at 15-20 mph. The Coast Guard also had a small craft advisory warning not to go outside because of 6-8 foot waves.
The crew believes that No Wake Zones and bridges are better than 6-8 foot seas. And heck, all the condos lining the waterway are impressive to look at also.
The skipper did well managing all the bridges and timing the openings until they got to the Diana Beach Bridge just south of Ft Lauderdale. The bridge opens on the hour and half hour. The crew arrived at the bridge at 1240 and prepared for the 20-minute wait.
At 1245, a Coast Guard Cutter hailed the bridge and requested an opening. I guess being in the Coast Guard does have some privileges. The bridge tender opened the bridge for the Coast Guard boat. The skipper asked permission to pass thru the bridge after the Coast Guard and the bridge tender granted permission. More Favor of God (FOG) on America’s Great Loop.
After passing through the bridge the crew entered the commercial area of the Port in Ft Lauderdale. There were three cruise ships docked in the area. Should be plenty of people enjoying the Riverwalk and St Patrick’s Day tomorrow.
The crew also passed a large boat with an interesting dinghy storage solution.
Friday – Sunday, March 17-19, 2017
The crew got the same spot on the New River that they had a few weeks back. They will hang out in downtown Ft. Lauderdale and meet up with some friends who have recently moved to Del Ray on Sunday.
In the meantime, the crew will sit and relax on Still Waters II and enjoy watching boats cruise up and down the New River. The water taxis that cruise by all day like to point out this condo to their quests.
If you check in before 1700 you get a free dinner. If you do not check out the next day, you also get a free breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This condo is the Broward County Jail.
This just happens to be one of the skipper’s favorite sayings: “Life is short, start with dessert first.”
Looks like the Bahamas will be put on hold for a while. The crew now plans to cruise up to Jacksonville, get a rental car, and head back to Texas for a grand kid fix.