Off to Miami

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Off to Miami!

Of course, a cruise ship passes us as we sail in.

We never leave Florida and go to the Bahamas without first spending time sailing Biscayne Bay and enjoying “The Grove” and Miami Beach! I have said many times that Biscayne Bay is the second-best sailing and cruising area on the entire USA East coast after Block Island Sound which to us is #1. So, after departing Stuart Florida, our first destination is always Miami. Many people pass right on by this dream sailing area on their race for Marathon Key or Key West.  We love boating around this area! Upon arrival at Government Cut we were met with a cruise ship heading out. But first our route…

Stuart to West Palm

We ran down the ICW inside on the waterway from Stuart to Peck Lake, to Hobe Sound to West Palm Beach where we always head south one bridge past the inlet and anchor between the bridges. West Palm Beach is a dream spot to anchor, except for the reversing current and some boat traffic. We spent a few days here and enjoyed the famous ROCCO TACOS. 

Queue Up to Depart for Miami

We left the town and moved up to the Lake Worth inlet where we anchored just inside the inlet and to the south. This spot is perfect for heading out the inlet at 0500, which is zero-dark-hundred. Being anchored here makes it so much easier to simply get up, brew some coffee and up anchor and set your main sail to a double reefed main and go. This Lake Worth Inlet is short and very easy to navigate. This was a first-time run of the inlet for our buddy boat, 35 JUST DUCKY and it was simple. Still very nerve-racking when you have never done this, but it was a great day.

0500 the view out the galley port

Before nightfall, Steve Job’s yacht motored on by with a route to the Bahamas as the weather was fantastic.  We were planning a direct run to Miami where we could wait for the next weather window to cross on the FULL MOON on March 7th, 2023.

Our Buddy Boat, 35 JUST DUCKY with Steve Job’s Yacht, Lake Worth Inlet

The OFFSHORE run to Miami

Heading out to sea at 0500 it is DARK, and there was no horizon except for the city lights to the shore to the west. That was comforting as we simply headed out the inlet and, at the 35-40 foot water depth past the jetty, we turned south and pointed towards south Florida.  Within an hour and a half,  0630 the sun rose and we had a spectacular day of motor sailing down the coast.

Sunrise is always a joy at sea. This one was great as well.

Hello South Florida

By keeping the beach to starboard and staying close in the 30-40 foot or less water depth, we avoided a south-flowing counter current to the north-flowing Gulfstream and picked up 1/2 a knot of speed closer to shore.

Motor Sailing because the winds were calm, 5-8 knots

Hello MIAMI Inlet, (Government Cut)

Arriving at the inlet we were early with the ebb tide coming out and the east winds blowing in so you know about wind against current. YUP, it was crazy rough going in. Then add to this the insane 50-60 foot sport fishing boats doing 30knots as they pass you on port then another on starboard and they hit your beam with their 4 foot waves, your boat is going midship cleat to midship cleat water to water. Plus all items below deck have now hit the cabin sole and your boat is trashed. Yup, welcome to Miami. Oh yes, add in a cruise ship and this is typical.

Cruise Ship coming out as we are going in

South Beach Hotels and condos as we navigate the inlet

Fishermans Channel to the left

You are not allowed to enter the main channel due to the cruise ships, so you have to turn into Fishermans Channel to the south. This takes you by all the container ships and their cranes busy loading and offloading the containers. Look at the size of these ships!!!!

Miami in the distance as we pass the container ship terminal
19 across and 10 high, that is ON TOP of the deck. There are more below the deck. These are tractor-trailer boxes, and containers. It is how all imports arrive in the USA!!! No, we do not own a single ship. We just allow them to use our many ports in USA. ????

Biscayne Bay Fun #1 BOCA CHITA

With our first anchorage off Virginia Cay and watching the Miami City lights come on, it was a very peaceful night. After a few yacht services at Crandon and a tour of Dinner Key, it was off to Boca Chita for a night. Linda and Mahlon wanted to see this island, part of Key Biscayne National Park and the beautiful building that is NOT a lighthouse. It is a simulated lighthouse built by Honeywell because he could.  Lucky for us a park ranger/tour guide was there and we all got to climb up the lighthouse and take a tour. We really enjoyed our time at Boca Chita.

Hayden, Radeen, Mahlon, Linda atop Boca Chita Lighthouse
Our two Island Packet 35s at the Boca Chita park

Our hero sails by, Jeffrey and family

While we were running south for Boca Chita, our dear friend Jeffrey Cardenas and his family were sailing south to Key West on their new catamaran! So, we all decided to meet up at Boca Chita and enjoy a bottle of bubbly to celebrate their new yacht. We followed Jeffrey for the past few years as he solo circumnavigated the globe on his Island Packet 460 named FLYING FISH! We first met him in person a year ago in St. Croix.  His blog is a fascinating and a wonderful read. Jeffry is the best of the best writers. Please see his worldwide stories here

Flying Fish Sail

Hayden, Jeffrey, Ginny, Radeen, Mahlon, Lilly and Linda. This is a lifetime photo here. What are the chances of this?

Good Bye Boca Chita, you are one special place

Sailing out of Boca Chita, I am reminded of the many, many fun times we have shared with great friends here. Thank you, Honeywell. Thank you, National Park Service.

Next….Miami Beach…OH NO!

From here, we sailed back up to Dinner Key where we enjoyed “THE GROVE” and then…..oh yes….then we moved over to Miami Beach. Well, that is the subject of the next post update, as I try to catch up on this blog……

Meanwhile, please see my menu link for all the great places to explore in the Biscayne Bay area.

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3 Replies to “Off to Miami”

  1. Wonderful and insightful description of people and places.
    Even though we have sailed these same waters many times your blogs make them fresh and interesting.
    Well done Just Ducky.

  2. I just wish you could have some fun It all sounds wonderful except for seeing smoke Continue your safe travels.

  3. After doing the same thing over and over, and blogging about it, it becomes real difficult to write about the adventure and make it fresh and new.

    Somehow you manage to accomplish that.

    Keep up the good work.

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