"Dec 20, 2000 to March 10, 2001 on a Mooring" Key Biscayne Travelogue by grandmaR
Key Biscayne Travel Guide: 11 reviews and 86 photos
Because the marina in Miami Beach was so expensive, we had to find another place to stay. Our daughter had phoned around, and the marinas were either expensive, or they would not take live-aboards. We didn't want to anchor out and leave the boat for long periods, but we hated the Miami Beach marina. Plus everyone would have to clear out for the boat show.
We got a mooring at Rickenbacker and paid for the whole winter (which was cheaper) from the last 10 days of December through the end of March. Our daughter took us to the boat, and we left Miami Beach and motored down towards the big causeway bridge.
We go to pick up the mooring (which had no pendant on it), and I am to steer while Bob tries to catch it with a pole with a snap on the end. I am supposed to steer into the wind. But I can't do that - I do get him up to the mooring, and he catches it.
We get everything organized, and take the RIB into the marina dinghy dock (a gravel beach) and Bob takes the insurance papers up to the marina.
Then we took the dink back, and pulled the motor and ran it out of gas, and stowed them. Then we unfold the portabote. I get in the dink and I see our daughter coming over the causeway in the truck. Bob brings the stuff off the boat, and we row in, disassemble the dink and go to put it in the truck. It sticks out the end.
Since that day, the winds have been 20-25 knots gusting to 30 from the North, and there have been whitecaps in the anchorage. We did go down and look at the boat once, but were chicken to take the dinghy out.
December 27th we finally got back to it. We did some work on the boat, and on New Years Eve, Bob went to bed, but I got up at midnight and was able to watch 4 fireworks displays - Miami, Miami Beach, Key Biscayne and Coconut Grove.
The next day (January 1, 2001), we left the mooring and sailed out through shantytown, and then sailed down the keys to Coco Plum and Marathon
We found the harbor entrance into Miami about 2 am, and Bob steered in through the breakwater and then handed the helm over to me while he took down the sails and prepared to pick up the mooring. I steered along the south side of the harbor, and almost hit an unlighted green can - went on the wrong side of it. Fortunately it was high tide.
Then I turned down toward the Rickenbacker Causeway, and Bob said there were no more markers until the bridge. (He denies saying that.) But there were.
I was coming up to them one by one, but they weren't all lighted. Suddenly ahead of me I saw a reflection from our bow nav lights in a green marker on a big pole.
Opps. I swerved and missed it, but not by much. Waked Bob up for sure.
We turned in by the bridge and saw that there was a boat on a mooring ahead of us, but we picked up the mooring pendant without any incident - worked well. And we were able to turn stuff off by about 3:30 am.
I called Customs and signed in (on the cell phone) and she said we'd have to get a sticker. So we went to bed.
In the morning, we called our daughter to tell her where we were, and get directions from her as to where customs was and then got stuff together, put the portabote together and in the water, locked everything up and came in to shore.
There were no carts that weren't locked up. I don't know what the carts are for if they are not for people to use. After we carried the motor and food and laundry etc to the truck, then we tried to find the customs office. It was almost 11 am
It was somewhere on Dodge Island. But I knew they were closed from about 11:30 to 1. Finally found signs that said Customs, and then went to get something to eat. Every time we left somewhere, we had to go out and come back onto the island.
While Bob went to the bathroom a nail care vendor got a hold of me and polished one nail, but I didn't buy her kit.
We went back to where we thought customs was, but it was some type of catering operation. So back into the truck, and try the other side of the road. No luck. So I called again (it was just 1 pm and someone answered) and got more directions -turned out we had to go through the toll plaza like place that didn't take a toll.
To get there we had to go off the island and come back on again - this time we made it and got our sticker. I tried to call the 800# on the way to our daughter to complete the check-in, but I was told I wasn't authorized to make that call from my phone. I had to wait to complete check-in until I got to her house and could use a FL phone.
Later, I also mailed the forms back to the Bahamas to complete the checkout from there.
Stayed at our daughter's a couple of days and then went back to the boat.
She wasn't flying on Saturday, March 4th, so we made arrangements to pick them up at Crandon Park marina fuel dock (taking everyone out to the boat in the dinghy would have been a nightmare). Our SIL was still coming down from Orlando with his father and brother, so it was our daughter, our grandson (anxious to try out a new snorkeling wet suit), our granddaughter, Don (their friend from Okinawa, who is interested in sailing), Carol and her son Charlie (also with a snorkeling suit).
Don arrived first with a big bag which at first I thought was scuba gear even though I should have known what it was - our children's families gave Bob a folding bike for his birthday, which had it's own storage bag. Bob also thought it was scuba gear at first. What a surprise!!!
We had been thinking a little bit about bikes, but hadn't considered anything so fancy.
We did get to sail for a little bit - Don was real good with the boys letting them help steer, and then we anchored, and the boys and I went swimming. There was too much wind kicking up too much sediment to see much when snorkeling, but I think they had a good time.
Suddenly Don noticed a lobster pot going by - we were dragging the anchor. So we picked up and reset.
Our SIL and Dave (Carol's husband) came out in Dave's boat and rafted up to us. We insist that all on board our boat wear PFDs (life jackets) which Dave and our SIL think is a silly rule, so they are ostentatiously coming in wearing them.
All the guests got onto Dave's boat went back to the Crandon Park beach where our granddaughter could go in the water too, (and to pick up the cars they had left there, plus the truck at Rickenbacker), and Bob and I had a nice sail back to the mooring. That was Saturday.
We went to dinner at the Rusty Anchor (although we missed the early bird special), and I downloaded all my email at the pay phone.
Bob wanted to leave Monday. So we disassembled the portaboat on his birthday which was Sunday and stowed it. However, the weather kicked up and I persuaded him to wait.
Finally he went in Thursday morning and got our refund for the remainder of March, turned in the keys, and then took a nap. We left the mooring about 4-4:30 in the afternoon - we wanted to get out of the harbor while we could see- for the over night trip up to Riviera Beach (Lake Worth).
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