More of the same the past few weeks. This boat anchored in Hollywood next to me. Never saw a three masted swept mast boat before. Anyone know what it is called?
I decided to head south for a few days and explore Biscayne Bay, which is the large body of water just south of Miami:
I hesitated to do this because of the fixed bridge, the Julia Tuttle Causeway, which connects Miami to Miami Beach. This bridge is the lowest fixed point on the Intracoastal Waterway, at 56 feet. My mast is 50 feet with a 3 foot antenna, so 53 feet total. So in theory I should have 3 feet to spare. Nonetheless, I have been afraid to go under it. Here is the Julia Tuttle bridge.
But I thought I could go slow under it and back out if I hit something. So I inched forward with engine in neutral and autopilot on while I stood off to the side looking up. I swore the mast was going to hit the bridge but she slid under it untouched. Shaking and relieved I returned to the cockpit and guided her through. I was a wreck.
Here’s a short video of the passage and my anchorage near Virginia Key.
After that there were some great views of downtown Miami.
A nice sunset on Biscayne Bay.
Then back to Bahamas, with a trip to Berry Islands. The Berry Islands are quiet, with many small cays and harbors which can be quite shallow so vigilance is needed so as not to run aground. I decided to make it two 8 hour days by first sailing to the Abaco islands and spending the night at Burrows Cay. The next day I sailed to the Berrys.
Here’s a short video of the trip to Burrows Cay.
Once I got to Great Harbor Cay I had to fill up on diesel and water. Boy was it expensive. In the USA I can fill my tanks for about $50 and water is free. My water tanks hold about 70 gallons. At Great Harbor the fuel cost was $150 plus $25 for water. Ouch. That’s the disadvantage of living in the Caribbean. Everything has to be shipped in so things cost twice as much.
Norwegian Cruise Lines owns Great Stirrup Cay and have turned it into a private resort for their guests. During covid times it has been empty but the cruise ships still go there and dock for some reason. I never saw any people.
A nice sunset near Great Stirrup Cay.
A fisherman stopped buy and sold me $30 worth of conch. It was fantastic. I made cracked conch and conch fritters. Lasted me three days.
I made a stop at Great Harbor Cay near Rat Cay and kayaked around the anchorage one day. it was blissfully calm.
It didn’t last long though. the next few days were windy and rough seas. The small cays do not provide much protection so I was rolling around for a couple days. I finally got sick of it and returned to my Lucaya anchorage in Grand Bahama. The next day I was crossing the Gulf Stream again back to Florida.
#@*&%$>! Swearing Like a Sailor
I rarely use swear words. But I have used foul language more since I owned this boat than in the previous 59 years of my life combined. It has gotten worse over the past few months. I just get frustrated many times a day. Usually it begins with banging into something on the boat. If a big wave comes by I am thrown off balance and slam my elbow, knee, shoulder, head or foot into a bulkhead or other fixture. Then something usually breaks down on a daily basis. Recently my windlass stopped working. The windlass is the motor which raises the anchor. With it broken I must pull up the anchor by hand which is physically difficult.
Then some item need adjusting or replacing, such as my water pump belt which broke recently. Since everything in a boat is crammed into small spaces I have to bend down and wriggle into a very uncomfortable position while straining to loosen or tighten a bolt. Invariable I also bang my head or elbow on something, eliciting another curse.
Even something as simple as making coffee is challenging. Once I was pouring coffee into my cup and a big wave rocked the boat, sending my coffee all over the floor. @#$%^&*! was my response.
OK, enough complaining, You chose this life, deal with it.
Bike Touring Again
As I mentioned in a previous post, I have decided to put the boat “on the hard”, that is, dry dock, for a few months while I go to Denver to visit family and take a small bike tour. I need to get back into some kind of shape and take a break from sailing. I will put the boat in dry dock in Jacksonville, FL on May 21 then head to Denver shortly thereafter. I’ll keep blogging while on the bike trip of course.
Meanwhile I still have six weeks on the boat. Not sure where I will go yet. I am trying to get my covid vaccination here but it has been difficult. Stay tuned.