Bahamas - 2009

June 6 thru 10

June 18, 2009 Marsh Harbor to Treasure Cay

Another sweltering day began at 7 AM. We got things ready to leave today and head for Treasure Cay. There is a big Billfishing tournament (black marlin, white marlin, sailfish) going on there this week. We talked to Bernie and Barb yesterday and found out they were in Baker's Bay. Early this morning, via email, we read that they had moved from Baker's Bay to Treasure Cay yesterday, so I guess we'll run into them over there. We got some outboard gas and untied the lines at 9:45. We motored slowly at 9 knots the short 17.04 miles to Treasure Cay. The water was perfectly flat.

 
 
There wasn't a breeze to be found except the one we made for ourselves. The sky was blue with soft, white billowing cloudsthe kind that produces rain showers late in the afternoon. It amazes me how clearly you can see everything on the bottom under the crystal clear water.

 
 
I went on the bow pulpit to get a closer look and then sat on the forward bench seat to catch the breeze.

 
 
It was awesome! Before we left, we reviewed our weather websites, so we could make a determination about the best day to cross the Atlantic and return to Florida. I dread the thought of leaving, but all good things must come to an end and we don't want to be out too long during hurricane season. (When we were at Hope Town on Elbow Cay, we were the farthest south we had been planning to travel in the Abacos. Now we are working our way north to be at the closest point we can be, to jump off and head for the states.) As we were traveling towards Treasure Cay, we saw rain off in the distance over the island and we hoped it would move on before we got there. As we got closer, the rain began to fall lightly. It wouldn't last long. We called for a slip at the marina and they had one. We thought for sure they would be full with all the fishing boats for the tournament, but our good luck was holding out. We knew that Bernie and Barb were anchored in the harbor and we would call them on their handheld radio to let them know our whereabouts. We entered the harbor and Sitting Duck was anchored there.

We pulled into our slip and got tied up with some help from a dockhand waiting there. Bernie and Barb arrived shortly thereafter and the 4 of us went up to the office to register.

 
 
We walked around the grounds and saw the Tipsy Seagull Bar,

 
 
the pool,

 
 
and visited the gift shop. We continued to hear thunder and the skies became very dark. With rain pending, we quickly walked to the well-equipped grocery store and across the street to Cocoa Beach. It is a 3 mile crescent-shaped beach with powdery white sand.

 
 
The water is a beautiful aqua color that seems to go on forever. Today, however, there was a remarkably big contrast between the white sand, aqua water, and black threatening sky. The storm clouds filled the whole sky, thunder threatened, and the temperature dropped dramatically. The wind picked up and we saw white caps on the water. Luckily, Barb and I had gone down to the water before the bad weather set in.

 
 
We sat in the shelter at the beach bar for awhile.

 
 
and then decided to head back towards the marina before the rain started. We found a table at the marina after putting on our swimsuits and beating the rain. It rained slowly and steadily for a couple of hours, but I didn't care. I went swimming anyway. I was the only one in the pool for awhile and the water was very refreshing, but soon others joined me and I got my "grandma fix" with a cute little girl.

 
 
Bernie and Barb joined us after awhile. I showered, changed, and we went over to Sitting Duck for cocktails and snacks before the fishing boats returned. Around 5:00, the first fishing boats entered the harbor.

 
 
The stream of 42 boats continued, some flying flags designating which fish they caught.

 
 
Not every boat was lucky. The parade of boats was beautiful, one boat bigger and prettier than the next. We left Sitting Duck to get back to the marina to see the boats up close. The marina was a hubbub of activitycaptains parking their boats with ease, mates washing and wiping everything down, music blasting, and people partying.

 
 
It was quite a scene. Bob and I pulled up a chair and watched it all. After every boat came in, we headed back to the boat to relax, cool off, and have dinner. In this tournament, the majority of fish are caught and released, so there are really no fish to see unless a tuna, Wahoo, or dolphin are caught. There are prizes for the largest of each variety. Even the golf carts are fish rigged.

 
 
We were able to hook up cable TV for the first time in over a week. After dinner, we just relaxed until the sun set. Then we took a walk with Murphy to look at all the boats lit up in the marina.

 
 
It looked like Christmas with the boats lit up in lights.

 
 
Bob talked to a couple of captains and it was a beautiful night. There was heat lightning in the sky.

We turned in early. I'm sure we'll hear the fishing boats leaving early in the morning on the last day of the tournament.

June 19, 2009 - Treasure Cay to Great Sale Cay

The sportfishing boats left at 6:30 AM for their last day of fishing. We woke to turbulence in the marina and the boat was rocking. We got up shortly thereafter and did our morning chores to get ready to leave. We untied the lines at 9:40 and left the harbor. We experienced swells going through Whale Cay Channel and rain at Green Turtle Cay.

 
 
There were lots of boats anchored outside the harbor there. We entered a rain pocket and found it to be choppy, but the rain didn't last long. We were traveling north through the Sea of Abaco to Great Sale Cay and after we passed through the rain the water calmed down. There were storms all around us, it seemed. The wind picked up and cooled us off, but anywhere near the rain there were rougher sea conditions. It finally calmed off again near Great Abaco. Eventually, we ran right under a rain cloud and it poured, but at least there wasn't any thunder and lightning.

 
 
Visibility dropped off and another boat came very close to us, so we slowed our speed for awhile until things cleared up a little. Boats were traveling in all directions today, even with the unsettled weather. We got out from under the gray skies and rain showers near Foxtown. The skies were clear and we had blue sky and sunshine the rest of the way. The ride was smooth and glassy from here on out.

 
 
You could look forever and not see anything but water and sky. I saw a flying fish skirt across the top of the water. We passed over the sponging grounds and some "fish mud".

 
 
Fish mud is an area of cloudy water that is stirred up by a lot of fish. This area of "fish mud" was quite large, but we passed an even larger one near Great Sale Cay that seemed to be stirred up by dolphins that Bernie saw in the area. Sitting Duck left 30 minutes ahead of us, but we caught up to them traveling at 21.5 knots, or 24 mph. We took an anchorage near Sitting Duck and across from the only friendly shoreline we could find for Murphy.

 
 
Most of the shoreline is very unforgiving. It is very appropriate that we should start and end our visit to the Abacos in the same place Great Sale Cay. If you remember, the first entry to my blog when we reached the Bahamas, was from Great Sale Cay. We were there with a few other boats and LOTS of mosquitoes. We hope to outwit the mosquitoes tonight. At 2:00, we settled in and felt the heat, so we decided to go for a dinghy ride. On the charts is showed a nice sandy beach on the northwest side of the island. The beach was deserted, except for Bob and me.

 
 
We walked along the shore examining what the tide brought in. I found a sea biscuit which I had been looking for during the whole trip. It had a tiny crab living inside of it that wouldn't be there for very long. On the sand, there were hundreds of sponges and Bob found a really nice one with the branches of a sea plant entwined in it.

 
 
It will make a beautiful sculpture. I found some other cool shells and coral. In the sand, we noticed some animal tracks that could have been feral pigs. There were also many abandoned turtle nests. Can you see the divit?

 
 
We didn't explore the beach on our first visit there three weeks ago, but we're glad we checked it out today. After returning to the boat, Bob donned the snorkel gear and dove under the boat to check the condition of the zincs.

 
 
Everything looked good. The boat has been running flawlessly and we haven't had any problems. Later in the afternoon we sat in the shade on the caprail at the back of the boat, with our feet hanging over the side, having a cocktail, listening to some great tunes on the CD player. We had dinner and watched a DVD until 8:00 when Bob took Murphy to shore for the last time today.

 
 
We watched a beautiful sunset and heard someone on one of the boats blow their conch shell to announce the disappearance of the sun.

 
 
I have really learned to enjoy watching the cloud formations here in the Abacos. This is a prime example.

 
 
We went to bed at 9:00 so we could get up at 6:00 for an early start to make our crossing in calm seas. We had checked the weather and were confident that we had chosen a good day to cross. Around midnight, the wind increased causing the boat to bounce around. I could not sleep in our stateroom in the bow, so I moved to the couch. It was hot there, so I opened the door, put on the screen, and took a chance with the mosquitoes. It was not a very restful night for me, but at least the anchor held. Bob slept very well. Our trip today took us 82.24 miles in about 4 hours. We have had a great time in the Abacos!

June 20, 2009 Great Sale Cay to Florida

Around 6:00 AM we got up, had something to eat, and took Murphy to shore for his last trip. We hauled up the anchor at 7:30 and were on our way. It was the usual warm day with sunshine. The seas were 1-2' and it was a little bumpy, since the winds were out of the southwest on our beam (side). We reached the edge of the Little Bahama Bank and West End on Grand Bahama Island at 9:30. The water color changed from an aqua to a deep blue.

 
 
(West End is the closest point from the Abacos to the US in a direct line. Many boaters use West End as their starting and ending point.) Once we hit the Gulf Stream, it pushed us 4 degrees north and slowed our speed by a knot. (The Gulf Stream travels north along the coast of Florida and we were traveling at a diagonal to it going southwest to Ft. Lauderdale.) There were many boats traveling in both directions today. We saw a few flying fish and had to dodge a few crab traps. The Atlantic Ocean had 1' waves and the ride continued to be a little bumpy, but not uncomfortable. Sitting Duck left at the same time we did, but they cruise at a slower speed. We were maintaining a cruise speed 27 mph, so they would be about 90 minutes behind us. We were in constant radio contact and traveling the same course. We passed the time reading and doing crossword puzzles. When we were more than way across the Straits of Florida, the water turned to glass and our ride was much smoother.

 
 
The closer we got to Florida, the more boats we saw of all kindsfishing, traveling yachts, and even a cargo ship.

 
 
On the edge of the Gulf Stream, we encountered standing waves with whitecaps. As we passed out of the Gulf Stream, it calmed off again. What a strange phenomenon! We saw the Ft. Lauderdale skyline from off in the distance and we were excited to be here.

 
 
We entered the Port Everglades shipping entrance and it was a crazy place, with boats of every size-going every which way.

 
 
Once we hit the slow-no-wake zone, it got a little calmer and off to our left we saw the ICW channel that we would take to Miami.

 
 
Once we got underneath the bridge, we turned off into the New River and motored slowly down the winding channel.

 
 
There were beautiful homes lining both sides of the river, but it was narrow and we had to be cautious when going around the bends. We radioed ahead to the marina and got a spot along the Riverwalk in downtown Ft. Lauderdale for both boats. Bernie and Barb had stayed here on their trip down, so they wanted us to experience it. We pulled up to the wall and expected to have to tie ourselves up, but 2 men from the New River Marina came out of nowhere to help us dock. That was greatly appreciated after a long day! There we are as viewed through the bridge.

 
 
We traveled 138.2 miles today, arriving at 1:15. We got ourselves secured, settled in, and had a cool drink in the comfort of our AC. By then it was 2:10 and we waited for Sitting Duck to arrive. In the meantime, we watched the constant stream of boat traffic going down the river on a Saturday afternoon. There was everything from water taxis, to yachts, to kayakers.

 
 
We saw a fuel boat, an ice boat, a water ferry, and a couple of different tour boats among all the different personal boats, both big and small. This is the paddlewheeler tour boat, the Jungle Queen.

 
 
It was interesting to see all the big yachts come down the river. This is one coming through the bridge...barely.

 
 
This one was being towed through the narrow twists and turns of the river.

 
 
It was a wild and crazy place. Finally, Sitting Duck arrived after making a stop along the way to get their head pumped out. They took a spot on the wall ahead of us at 4:00 and got all secured. It was 92 degrees in Ft. Lauderdale today and we just wanted to relax and stay cool. We had some appetizers and drinks before treating ourselves to dinner out tonight at the Downtowner Saloon!

 
 
After dinner, Bob and I took Murphy for his evening walk along the Ft. Lauderdale Riverwalk.

 
 
We walked to the place where the street goes under the river. There used to be a bridge there. It was a major thoroughfare and the bridge needed rebuilding, so the city decided that instead of building a new bridge, they would build the street under the river. This is the spot where the street comes out on the other side.

 
 
On the way back, we passed a huge banyan tree that took up half the block.

 
 
The boat traffic continued into the evening. Eventually it ended and the river calmed down for the night. There is quite a strong current that runs in the river and at times it creates bumpy conditions for the boats tied to the wall. Along with the boat wakes, it can be quite interesting. We watched regular TV for the first time in 2 weeks and turned in at 9:00. We were both tired after a long day.

June 22, 2009 - Ft. Lauderdale

We had a good night's sleep and woke to a weather forecast of temperatures in the mid to upper 90's. The heat index would be 105. Yikes! We wanted to wash the boat, so we started early to beat the heat. The traffic on the river was light for a Sunday morning, but I think the heat was keeping people indoors. We finished washing the boat and were soaking wet down to our underwear. After cooling off and having some lunch, we decided to take a slow, shady walk along the riverfront to Las Olas Blvd, where there were lots of high end shops. Walking across the bridge

 
 
and along the waterfront, we saw our boat from across the way.

 
 
We stopped in the Briny Riverfront Restaurant to check out the menu for later tonight. We would come back for dinner later tonight. The restaurant was filled with all sorts of boating paraphenalia.

 
 
As Bob said, "Could they fit any more stuff on the ceiling?" It was interesting to look at all the old fishing and boating pictures on the walls and look at the cool fish in their 2 large fish tanks. In one tank, we saw a lionfish. If you remember that is the same fish they were spearfishing for in Green Turtle during their fishing contest. It was beautiful to watch it swimming in it's "natural" habitat.

 
 
There was also a Pufferfish in the tank. I have only seen them all puffed up when I've caught one on my line back home. It was neat to see it swimming around the tank in it's normal form.

 
 
As we were walking along, someone pointed out to us that a HUGE iguana was sunning itself on the ledge. We went to take a closer look. He was the male, we were told, and he was about 3' long. There is also a female and baby in the area, as well.

 
 
We continued on our walk to Las Olas Blvd. and began our window shopping.

 
 
We passed a historic hotel called the Riverside Hotel and Bar. It looked like a very interesting place.

 
 
Bob noticed an expensive Lambourgini parked along the curb as were many other exotic cars on this street.

 
 
Every now and then we would walk into a shop just to cool off in the AC and look around. Barb and I found a couple of summer sales and she was able to purchase a couple of nice things for herself. We spent about 2 hours walking along the boulevard and then we headed back towards the boats. We cooled off in the AC and watched some TV before going over to Sitting Duck for some wine before dinner. Bob and Bernie checked the charts for the next couple of anchorages on the back deck of Sitting Duck, while Barb and I chatted inside in the AC.

 
 
Bernie noticed the Goodyear Blimp flying overhead and we had to come out and take a look.

 
 
Later we walked over the bridge to the Briny Riverfront Restaurant and had a great dinner while we listened to some live music.

 
 
As we walked back along the waterfront, it was noticably quieter from the boat traffic today. The heat must have made all the difference. We said our "good nights" and retired to our separate boats.

 
 
It was a cooler evening with a nice breeze. As the sunset, the lights of the city came on and it was very pretty. We watched a little TV and saw a few boats moving around on the river. One was the "Hooter Lookout" yacht that came by all lit up, filled with people having a good time. The Smoker Family Park, adjacent to our boat, was lit up with lights in the trees and it was beautiful. We'll sleep well tonight.

June 22, 2009 - Ft. Lauderdale, New River

Our goal today was to try and stay cool. The forecast was for a high of 99 degrees with a heat index of 106. We wanted to take a dinghy ride down the river to see where the big yachts seemed to be going. We did a few chores on the boat and started some wash after breakfast. The 4 of us walked down to the marina office to pay our bill and we would make arrangements to stay another day. The traffic on the river was very busy for a Monday morning. A huge blue-hulled yacht was being guided down the river by 2 tugs.

 
 
It barely made it through the bridge.

 
 
The river taxi was busy taking people to work or other places around the city by water

 
 
and the Jungle Queen had already started its tours.

 
 
Around 10:00, Bernie and Barb said their goodbyes and pulled away from the wall.

 
 
They were headed to No Name Harbor in Biscayne Bay near Miami. That would be our next stop too, when we decide to leave here. They would continue to head for home in Cape Coral by the weekend. After they left, I did a Skype call with my sister and Bob checked around for the cheapest diesel prices. We packed a cooler and took the golf umbrella for our ride down the river. We slathered on the sunblock, grabbed our hats, and were on our way.

 
 
The first thing we saw was the baby green iguana sunning itself on the same seawall that we saw his dad on yesterday.

 
 
Farther down we saw his mother/father. We weren't sure.

 
 
We had to idle a lot of the way and it was HOT! We didn't know HOW hot until we got back and heard that Ft. Lauderdale had broken their all time hottest temperature record with 100 degrees today. Yikes!! We saw a lot of interesting things along the way including The Museum of Science and Industry,

 
 
an airplane that was converted into a boat,

 
 
and many docks that were for rent. I guess boat slips are in short supply.

 
 
We finally got to the Mega Yacht Marina and wandered our way around drooling at all the big yachts in for service.

 
 
Farther down the river, we discovered the site of Boat Liquidators.

 
 
Bob knew about this place because he regularly visits their website. He was amazed that we actually found out where they were located. We tied up the dinghy and got out to look at a few of the boats for auction.

 
 
The sun continued to beat down on us as we motored our way slowly back down the river. It was sweltering. We took our mind off of the heat by looking at all the huge homes along the river. One of them had 2 huge fake alligators on the seawall.

 
 
We got back to the boat around 2:30 and promised ourselves not to go out again until the sun went down.

 
 
We were so glad to be back at the boat and out of the sun. We didn't see many people out and about today.

We sat in the AC, finished the wash, watched some TV, and just stayed cool. We heard from Bernie and Barb later in the day. They had made it to No Name Harbor and were anchored there for the night. We had an early dinner and relaxed inside. We haven't decided whether we'll stay another day. A lot depends on the temperatures tomorrow. We'll get the weather report in the morning and then decide. We were both wiped out from being in the heat today and turned in early.

June 23, 2009- Ft. Lauderdale, New River

We were awakened by a thunderstorm moving through the area at 6:30 AM. There was lightning and serious thunder all around us. Murphy crawled into bed with us when it started and enjoyed the security of being there. We laid in bed for awhile because it never really got light until after 8:00. The weather forecast was for a serious line of thunderstorms moving across the state. We decided to stay here another day and just enjoy the time to chill out. We haven't had a rainy day in forever, so it will be a change for us. I'm sure we'll find something interesting to do.

 
 
It rained most of the morning, but it stopped around noon. We had lunch and then walked about 4-5 blocks away to the IMAX theater. We wanted to see Night At the Museum 2. We walked through the Riverfront Mall area to get there (that seems pretty defunct), but discovered that there was a movie theater there too. They were also playing the same movie, but at 1:30. We walked to the IMAX theater for the 12:35 showing of the movie, but when we got there the movie was all sold out. Oh well, we decided to go back and see the movie at the mall at 1:30. We were over an hour early for the show, so we decided to wait and have a beer at the Tarpon Bend Bar where they had $2.00 beers on Tuesdays. What luck! The bar was packed with professional people having lunch. The food from the kitchen looked delicious. I can see why so many people go there. When it was time, we walked back to the mall and went in to see the movie. By now, the sun was trying to peek out from behind the clouds, but more rain was still expected. We had our umbrella, just in case. After the movie, we walked the short distance back to the boat. Dark clouds were threatening, so we hurried back and prepared for rain. Around 4:00 we noticed an unusual tubular cloud forming over the ocean.

 
 
It started to rain lightly and then within minutes, the palm trees in the area started to bend, things started flying in the air, and the winds came with a fury. The weather channel clocked the winds at 69 mph. The boats really moved around in the river on their lines tied to the wall.

 
 
The wind blew strongly for about 30 minutes, then it calmed and the rain stopped. Just before dusk, the clouds broke up a little, but it didn't last long. The forecast was for a severe thunderstorm watch until 9:00 tonight. We had planned to have steaks on the grill, but with the rain we had to change the menu to spaghetti instead. We watched TV most of the night and waited for the rain to return. It did, around 7:00, and continued offf and on throughout the evening. The sun did pop out for a little bit right before sunset. The weather should be better for our departure tomorrow for Biscayne Bay's No Name Harbor where we will anchor. It has been an interesting weather day.

June 24, 2009 - Ft. Lauderdale to No Name Harbor

I was awakened in the night by Murphy who was clawing his way into our bed. I got up to see what the problem was. Apparently, there was a huge thunderstorm along the coast and he was sensing it. I could see the lightning and hear the rumbles of thunder off in the distance. I brought him into bed, but he was panting heavily and wouldn't settle down. I had to put him in the other stateroom so both of us could get some sleep. I must have finally fallen asleep. This morning the skies are blue, but there is still a thunderstorm threat in the forecast for the day. We will pull away from the wall today by 10:00 to go get a pumpout (we have to do it ourselves and get fuel from the Peterson fuel barge. We had breakfast and got things ready for our trip today to Biscayne Bay and No Name Harbor. We left at 9:15 and said goodbye to New River. We really enjoyed our visit there.

 
 
We idled down New River admiring the huge mansions and yachts parked in their backyards.

 
 
 
 
We stopped first at the Las Olas Marina for a pumpout since our holding tanks were full. This is a free do-it-yourself pumpout system, so after we got tied up, Bob went to get the hose and nozzle to do the job. He was already familiar with how to do it, so it was pretty easy once he found all the right equipment. That took about 30 minutes from docking to undocking and we were on our way to our second stop. We continued on the river where we saw a row of yachts sitting at Pier 66 and Bahia Mar Marinas.

 
 
Bob also spotted the "floating office" of Lazzara Yachts which we saw being towed over from Tampa last year. What a surprise to see it again!

 
 
We saw the huge blue-hulled sailing yacht that was tied up in Baker's Bay Marina at Great Guana Cay in the Abacos earlier in June. Some boats sure get around.

 
 
We made the turn into the ICW and went to our next stop at the Dania Cutoff for diesel fuel from the Peterson Fuel Barge.

 
 
We arrived at 11:00 and picked up 350 gallons in about 45 minutes. We passed Port Everglades, the second busiest cruise ship port in the world. There was a small ship called the Discovery bound for Grand Bahama Island docked there.

 
 
There was also a container ship waiting to be unloaded

 
 
and another ship loading up yachts to take to St. Johns in the BVI's.

 
 
We continued down the ICW and had to wait for a bridge opening, since the tide was up. While we waited the 22 minutes, I made us some sandwiches for lunch and we ate on the bridge. Driving down the ICW, we noticed the eastern shore had commercial and residential buildings. The western shore was wilderness/wildlife habitat or park land. The ICW was fairly quiet without much boat traffic to contend with. Near Hollywood and Hallandale, we started to see more high rise condos and hotels.

 
 
We entered Dumbfoundling Bay and Biscayne Creek before reaching the Golden Beach area and Sunny Isles. This is home to Motel Row, a long strip, densely built up on both sides, of hundreds of motels nestled side-by-side.

 
 
Passing by Baker's Haulover Inlet, we entered Upper Biscayne Bay and North Miami. The bay was a little choppy, but we still had a fairly smooth ride. The sky was partly cloudy and it was 90 degrees and humid. We had 4 bridges to clear before entering the larger body of Biscayne Bay. We could see the towering highrises of Miami Beach in the hazy distance.

 
 
As we got closer, the view became clearer. It was amazing to see so many beautiful and unusual looking buildings. A go-fast, "Miami Vice" boat took off out Government Cut, which is the main shipping channel.

 
 
The Port of Miami buildings along the docks were quite unusual looking, too. This is the commercial ship terminal where cruise ships come and go.

 
 
Pulling out of the Sealine Marina was a go-fast charter boat ride called "Thriller", that I would love to try one day. About 50 people were going to get the ride of a lifetime at top speed.

 
 
The Miami Marina was a busy place with lots of shops and restaurants within walking distance of the marina. There was even a Hard Rock Cafe right along the shore.

 
 
There was so much to see along the way. Bob spotted a helicopter sitting on a barge in the middle of the bay with a couple of engines on it.

 
 
The Miami River would be a beautiful ride in a smaller boat through the city. This 4 mile river flows out of the Everglades to divide the city. The river carries considerable commercial boat traffic and has a dozen bridges that cross it. Miami means "big water" and some deem the Miami River the most historic spot in all of southeast Florida. At the mouth of the river, were three settlements: an Indian village, a slave plantation, and an army fort.

 
 
There was a really cool statue of a man blowing a conch shell standing on the point in front of a condo complex.

 
 
We kept wondering where in Miami we would see the buildings and canals that are filmed in the CSI Miami show. We love watching that show just to see the scenery in Miami.

 
 
Crossing the open water of Biscayne Bay we had 1-2' waves as the wind picked up a little. The boat got a little bit of a saltwater bath as we made our turn into No Name Harbor on Key Biscayne. The Key was the site of Florida's first town, founded in 1839, and was also the headquarters for a band of renegades who lured ships onto the reefs and stole their cargo.

 
 
There were 4 boats already anchored there and 2 boats tied to the wall.

 
 
This harbor is part of the Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, with a restaurant and lighthouse. The Boater's Cafe offers light meals and take out. It has a mile of ocean beach and was set in a wilderness of tropical growth, which was devasted by Hurricane Andrew. It is slowly being restored. The Cape Florida lighthouse was built in 1825 and burned down by Indians in 1846. The structure was restored and is now relighted as a private aid to navigation. It can be seen from 7 miles out.

 
 
Boats can tie up to the wall during the day, but may not spend the night there. We anchored near the entrance, which was the only safe spot left in the basin.

 
 
The anchor grabbed right away, but we kept a close watch for awhile just to make sure. Bob took Murphy to shore after our 6 hour ride of 40.3 miles. There were a lot of slow-no-wake zones and bridges to wait for, that delayed our arrival and took much longer than we thought it would. We relaxed in the AC for awhile before dinner and waited for the winds to die off a little. We were also concerned about the unsettled weather that seems to be popping up later in the day and wanted to make sure everything would be alright in the anchorage for the night. We grilled steaks for dinner and watched some TV. We would check the weather in the morning to make sure the crossing of Hawk's Channel to Marathon in the Keys would be a smooth one. We took Murphy to shore right before dark and walked around a little to see what the restaurant was like. We got back to the boat and were able to sit out in the cockpit without mosquitoes. It was a cooler night with a breeze which we haven't had for many weeks. As the sun went down, the red sliver of a moon came up, sitting just above the lights of the Miami skyline.

 
 
The setting sun illuminated the clouds with orange, pink, and blue lights. It was gorgeous.

 
 
We went to bed early and were able to sleep with the hatch above the bed open and no fan. The cool breeze felt nice and was a rare occasion. We fell asleep easily and would sleep well.

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