Sunday, January 19, 2014

Fun in SoBe, Miami

South Point, South Beach, Miami
      Cold fronts have been plummeting south along the the eastern seaboard this winter causing wave pile ups in the range of 15 feet on occasion in the Gulf Stream and delaying crossings for many cruisers with their eyes on yonder horizons. A few have made the hop across this month only to experience postponements for several days and even weeks in Bimini and Nassau.

Latinas enjoying a day at SoBe
by Joe Boulay
     While enjoying the pleasures of South Beach anchored in the protected confines of Sunset Lake we have been monitoring weather router Chris Parker's Bahamas forecast each morning with hopes of hearing good news for an upcoming crossing. As of Saturday morning's forecast, it looks as though a favorable crossing may come round early this week on Monday or Tuesday. In anticipation of our departure we have been stocking Simple Life each day with provisions. I have been going through my favorite recipes and buying ingredients that I may not easily come by in the Bahamas. I've also printed numerous lobster, Mahi and grouper recipes and downloaded The Boat Galley Cookbook recommended by Hayden and Radeen Cochran's, Island Spirit blog. Joe has certainly been feeling the pressure, too. He's visited local dive shops in SoBe, buying dive gloves, nets and checking out a new handle for his Hawaiian sling. His previous sling is ten years old now and will probably fail after a few underwater extensions...If he spears it I will cook it. 

Ménage à Trois
by Joe Boulay

Jim and Bentley from Salty Paws
      Simple Life
has been anchored in Sunset Lake, Miami Beach for three weeks. It seems impossible since it feels as though we'd just arrived. I suppose as the saying goes, "Time flies when you're having fun." Our neighbors on boats in the lake are mostly cruising friends. Jim and Bentley on Salty Paws, Elaine and Lawrence from Elle and I and Jim and Laurie aboard Kismet. A couple of days ago we all met at a nearby vacant lot to secure our dinghies and walk into town for lunch at Fuji Japanese Buffet. Cruisers are a resourceful bunch when it comes to getting the most bang for the buck. The buffet was probably the best deal in town. A veritable feast of "all you can eat" sushi and other Japanese delights for $9.95! Being a sushi fan, Joe made good use of the reasonable price.

Joe and Michele
by Jim Austin
     With so many last minute departure chores looming Joe researched the local boater option for Simple Life's return to the States in the Spring. We'd spoken to Jim and Bentley and Jim and Laurie who recommended hopping the bus across the MacArthur Causeway to Miami then walking across another bridge the to the Port of Miami where the Homeland Security office is located. The authorities interviewed and fingerprinted us for documentation. This effort will facilitate our reentry upon return to any port on the eastern seaboard in the States.


Corvette on Ocean Drive South Beach
by Joe Boulay
     As of now after checking and rechecking grib files it looks like the weather window may be tomorrow. This morning it was time to leave Sunset Lake and South Beach to stage for an early morning Gulf Stream crossing from No Name Harbor on Key Biscayne. Our friends Jim and Laurie aboard Kismet an Island Packet 350 will also make the crossing along with at least twenty other Bahama bound cruisers. With any luck we'll be enjoying the islands sometime tomorrow afternoon. Where will we end up? That's a good question. The loose plan is to cross the Stream in daylight, possibly anchor out for awhile during the night on the Great Bahama Banks (it's shallow about 10 feet deep) then sail on to the Berry Islands or even Nassau. For now we'll leave South Beach with fond memories and  look forward to a wonderful winter sailing the waters of the Bahama Islands.