Saturday, November 19, 2005

South Beach, Miami

South Beach, Miami
Originally uploaded by S/V Raft.
Picture attached: Art Deco architecture Movie Theatre

We really enjoyed Miami, at least South Beach. We had thought that Miami would just be a big dirty city, not friendly to cruisers, with minimum anchorages, and a place we would want to blast right through. However, we found it quite the opposite. After our perilous crossing under the Julia Tuttle Bridge, with a couple of feet to spare, we then had to sound our way past the Miami yacht club. Normally you would want to do this at a higher tide, as the chart indicates only 6 - 8' of water, and we draw 5+. But of course we wanted to go under Julia Tuttle at low tide, to safe the $500 of wind instruments on top of the mast. And we of course, are expert at ungroundings. AS we skirted the sunk boats, and boats washed up on the shores, all remenants of Wilma, we marvelled at how accurate our electronic charts are. Although the depth alarm, set at 8 feet, was screaming, we didn't touch at all, the least we saw was 6'2".

Boaters we had talked to in Fort Pierce and Lake Worth, recommended we anchor at the extreme east end of the waterway, near Collins Creek and we followed that advice. It was great to Stuart & Marilyn, from Union Jack, as we had been looking for them. We had heard they had been in Miami for Wilma, and didn't know how they had fared. Actually, they had gone to a marina in Lauderdale, and had some toerail damage, but otherwise they are all right.

From the anchorage, just a short dinghy ride away, is the neighbourhood of South Beach. It is an easy walk to the Atlantic beach, but on the way, you pass through a pedistrian mall chock full of upscale shops and restaurants. But what is really neat, is that a lot of the stores, and apartment buildings are built in the art deco style of the 50's??. Even the newer buildings and stores are built to mimic that style and fit in, no neon signs, etc. If you are tired of walking, there is a local ciruit bus that will take you all around the area for 25 cents. There are 2 Publix and an excellent chandelry at the Miami Marina which is on the bus route. The local people are trying to discourage long term liveaboards, and they have passed a new ordinance limiting anchoring to seven days, apparently bought a new police boat and hired officers to enforce it. wilma had delayed its implementation.

But it is not our intention to stay in Miami any longer than necessary. The weather reports have been very confusing. Yesterday, Friday, it seemed that Sunday would be a great long weather opportunity to cross and continue through the Bahamas. So we moved down to Key Biscayne to get ready. By the time we arrived Tropic Depression Gamma has raised its ugly head once more. This morning, Saturday, the reports continue to give mixed reviews, so we wait.

You will have to check out the next report to find out, if we are in the Bahamas or still hanging out in Miami.