Miami Prep for Departure

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…Drop off Laundry…

Every time we have sailed to the Bahamas, now this the 6th year, we have left from Miami. Why would we stage here, people ask? The bottom line is because it is easy and close. There are plenty of anchorages for waiting for weather and there are grocery stores, hardware stores, car rentals, pubs, gas docks, water docks, dinghy docks, all to support our preparation to sail out to the the Bahamas. Every year, we bump into friends at the Coconut Grove Sailing Club and others who are also preparing to leave. This is a great place to stage up and get ready to sail out. Every thing you need is is within an easy walk of this harbor, and we love it here. Add to this, the end of January is always the World Cup Sailing Event where the best of the best from all over the world come to Miami to compete. Many times these races are qualifying races for the Olympics, so it is great meet and watch these world class sailors. This is a sailing event like no other.

The boat in prep for laundry day

So what are we doing?

Well, we have a punch list of final jobs and it always seems to be the same. Firs,t buy up all the food and booze we think we will need for the next 3-4 months. Fix the last items on the boat like: 1. replace the impeller. 2. tune the rigging. 3. fuel up and fill 4 diesel jugs and tie these on deck. 4. Watch the weather and be ready to sail out on any day the weather is good.

This is 8 Gallons/hr from the Spectra Ventura 200t watermaker

We also fired up the Spectra Ventura 200t Watermaker and turned salty Biscayne Bay water into pure drinking water. It is amazing how easy this machine is to run. Simply open the seawater intake, turn on the feed pump, dial up the pressure and out comes fresh drinking water while only using 8 amps of 12 volt power. WOW, that is really amazing. Yes, it is low production at 8 gallons per hours but then again we are running this off wind and solar power which is really cool. We plan to run the watermaker every day during mid day when we have extra solar power. If this all works as planned, then we can keep our water tank full via wind and solar, using about 7-10 gallons of water a day.

ACCO USA 5/16″ G4 Chain

Added to these common prep tasks, we have decided to replace our 250 feet of 5/16″ G4 HT USA ACCO anchor chain which is 16 years old. We beat it to death last year during a bad night on the Bahama Banks. So, we will use the rental car to load 250 pounds into the trunk. Then we will take it to the dinghy dock and haul it into the bow of our 10 foot AB dinghy. We will take it out to our boat, load it up and onto the deck via the windlass. Then we will offload the old 250 feet of old chain. This will be the final refit job of 2016-17 for Island Spirit. Island Spirit is almost like new and she is ready for a new Caribbean adventure. We are excited and we are ready to get sailing. We should be after nearly 3 months of refit work!

Here are a few photos of this week…

Anchored out with a sunrise on Biscayne Bay

Cappuccino Girl Radeen with her green eyes 

 LASER World Cup Sailing Miami

There they go down the launch ramp…120 boats in the the Laser Fleet

We spent a day in the Library working on the internet web servers

Taking laundry to the boat

5 loads of laundry from the drop off service

Sunset on anchor

Our IP 380 friend Bill of TAMARAK sails by
Perfect water made from Biscayne Bay saltwaer

Salinity tested out at 108 ppm

The machine, The Spectra Ventura 200t

Worlds Cup Sailors

The awards stand and jumbo tron

The winning team of the 49er fleet, the Brits

Radeen packing up the Lasers

Walking around Dinner Key area, amazing architecture

 …..So, here we are in the final prep for sailing out to the Bahamas and then onward to the Caribbean Sea. Who knows what is ahead, but we have been here before and we know that leaving is the hardest aspect of any voyage. We ARE leaving and we hope it is soon, very soon……

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