Thursday, June 13, 2019

Biscayne Bay

June 13
Miami Sea Buoy

We arrived in Biscayne Bay and took a mooring ball outside Dinner Key Marina, located in the Coconut Grove neighborhood of Miami, at 1000 on Tuesday morning. We slipped our lines this morning at 0600 for our passage to Port Canaveral.

The passage from Key West was uneventful, other than the speed we achieved with the help of the Gulf Stream. There was no reasonable way to get the boat to go slower than 6 knots, so we arrived at Biscayne Inlet before sunrise, a narrow inlet I didn't want to navigate without good light. I stopped the engines about five miles from the inlet approach and let Intermezzo drift in flat seas to kill some time. The Gulf Stream still pushed us along at 3 knots!

The two days spent in Biscayne Bay passed quickly. Chris and Lisa toured the area while I mostly tended to the boat and got some business done. Chris got small Airbnb studio to get a break from the boat and enjoy some air conditioning. She and I enjoyed a nice, semi-fancy dinner out on Tuesday night.

I didn't do much exploring on shore, just some short walks in the vicinity of the marina. I'm in a bit of funk from being back in mainstream America with the boat, which feels like an expensive dependent. I had to do quite a bit of searching to find dockage in Port Canaveral and Charleston, wondering with some anxiety about what I would do if I couldn't find a place. Fortunately I found marinas that could accommodate me. The one in Charleston, where I will be leaving Intermezzo for a couple of weeks is pretty expensive, $600 per week. I paid $440 per month for my slip in San Francisco Bay, $800 per month for the slip in La Paz, in comparison. I think dockage is going to be an issue going forward as it seems few marinas can accommodate catamarans. I'll anchor out or take a mooring ball wherever I can, but am now prepared to have to plan ahead and expect high prices when I want or need a berth for Intermezzo.

Christine decided to continue her adventures on land, so its just Lisa and me sailing to Port Canaveral. Lisa invited a friend of hers from Charleston to join us for the passage there. Kathy is taking the train and then renting a car to meet us in Port Canaveral on Friday. We are all looking forward to touring the Cape Canaveral space center. The last time I was there I was probably less than 10 years old, same for Lisa and Kathy has never been.

It's very calm out, with light winds from the southeast this morning. It is suggested that these conditions will continue for most of our trip, though some northerly winds are suggested for the last bit. A bigger concern are the big thunderstorms in southern Florida and its coastal waters. These isolated storms can generate wind gusts of 45 mph, heavy rain and waterspouts, not to mention lightning. We'll keep a lookout for them, by eye in the day, by radar at night and avoid them if we can. If we can't, we'll batten down the hatches and ride it out. Fortunately they don't last long and Intermezzo can easily handle such conditions, as long as we get sails down quick enough.