Hasta Luego, Miami. Hello, Bahamas!
Our last week in Miami was pretty chill. We finished some last minute errands, huge thanks to Flavia and Jay for their help and even loaning us their car for a couple days! Nothing like a fresh shower and some transportation. Saturday we spent the night anchored up outside the old abandoned Marine Stadium on Virginia Key. It was a must see living in Miami. The stadium seating faces the water. Years ago it was opened for water shows but now it’s “open” if you find a break in the fence. Everything is covered in grafitti, every seat, every inch of flooring. Paul once brought a skateboard to play around on the ramps someone has made there over the years. Apparently there are plans for the stadium to be renovated and reopened. Make sure you sneak in before you miss it’s current state. Sunday we watched the Super Bowl at the new Thompson Hotel in the 1930’s House with our friends Zach, Chelsea, Anya, Tim and Jorge. Couldn’t ask for a better set up…Katy Perry even made halftime interesting. We had a few friends over on the boat Tuesday. I took my first solo dinghy ride (headlamp and all) to pick up Chelsea and Lydia on the canal. Paul skirted through the canals with our friend Jorge who loved getting picked up on the water in his backyard. It was a beautiful night, wine, candles and of course, jambalaya.
Outside Marina Stadium, Virginia Key, Florida
Paul in the dinghy
Foxy and I at Flamingo Park. We used to walk this park daily when I lived here.
In Floridian Saloon Tuesday, February 3, 2015 Left to right: Chelsea, Jorge, Lynn, Lydia and Paul
Arriving to the boat at our anchorage in Venetian Isles. Photo Cred: Chelsea Hlavach (IG @chelseahlav)
Jorge and I on the dinghy
By Monday we had run out of water on the boat and had to put in our reserves. The first thing this effects is washing dishes, (later this will effect showers but while in Miami we have been showering on land). So this is where it starts – doing the dishes on the deck using salt water. You need a few buckets, (one with a rope for pulling up water, one for the wash, and one for the rinse) some soap, and a sponge. Voila! Clean dishes without effecting your water supply. If you’re like me, you don’t love doing dishes but get into a sort of meditative state when doing them, then deck-dish-washing is sublime. There’s something very gratifying about gathering your own water, getting some fresh air and some sun, all the while tackling a “chore”. Perception changes everything.
Dishes with a view. Biscayne Bay, Miami, Florida
Hola! Home Depot buckets work just fine.
Paul replaced the broken spring on the winch (davits that hold the dinghy out of water) and replaced the engine’s fuel filter. We were ready, more ready than ever. Now we had to wait another day and pay close attention to the weather. Looking ahead, we knew there was a small window to cross over to the Bahamas. The next window wasn’t expected for another few days and we were eager to take off. Rene, Paul’s good friend, would be off work and able to join us for the crossing which would allow me (a rookie sailor) to tuck away with Foxy and Paul would have a 1st mate that was actually useful:). 10pm Wednesday, after almost 2 weeks in Miami, we took off.
But first, a Whole Foods wine stop. My go-to for extremely cheap wine (Three Wishes $3.49/bottle).
Pulling up anchor in South Beach
The next 55 miles went something like this: dinner underway, champagne toast, I take a dramamine, Foxy takes cover, shit flies everywhere, entire boat comes undone, SV Floridian pushing through the gulf stream, engine stalls, engine stalls again, approaching Bimini, game-time decision to change fuel filter, success! just in time to get engine back for the rough passage entry and then, as if it had all been a crazy dream, a smooth landing to Bimini Blue Water docks. HELLO BIMINI! It was a very rough passage to say the least. These two guys should be so proud right now. I was useless just trying to get through it. They were in beast-mode, teamwork to the max, alert and tense for 12 hours, getting us here safe and sound. It’s incredible to me! I am simply amazed by their endurance and strength, both mental and physical. It takes everything you have to do what these boys did and they act like it’s no big thing. Humble badasses, Paul and Rene.
Paul crossing the Gulf Stream, Rene behind him driving, I’m down below
We landed! Thursday 2/5/15 mid-morning arrival to Bimini
Find the Florida flag on the right, that’s us.
First 24 hrs in Bimini has now passed. Naps, beach, running into old friends, meeting new friends, rum drinks, spaghetti and that Bahamas water (blue like Gatorade).
Captain Paul reflecting…in the Bahamas boi
Foxy letting all the Bahamian pooches know who’s in town.
First Mate Rene after a little surf sesh.
Realizing Paul’s great friends from last year’s trip are also in town…priceless. From left to right: Larry, Bill, Paul and Queen Terry.