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The Perfect Sail…to Coconut Grove

It’s a rare moment when Captain Pat and I agree on sailing conditions. For example, 6′ seas are a tad large to me, while Captain Pat doesn’t bat an eye. Alternately, 10-15 knot winds is ideal for me, and generally not enough to move the boat for Captain Pat. We spend a LOT of energy negotiating and compromising. It’s all good.

Within minutes after the hydraulic repairman evaluated our steering troubles (the RAM’s are leaking again!)….we removed the dock lines, and departed the Las Olas Muncipal Marina in Ft. Lauderdale. After waiting for two drawbridges to open, we were in the main shipping channel, with what seemed to be hundreds of fishing boats. Destination….Miami – a short 20 mile ocean hop from Port Everglades.

Today’s weather of sunny skies, temperatures in the 70’s, a route less than 2 miles offshore, winds from the west at 10-15 knots, no rolling swells and at most 1 foot waves – were PERFECT sailing conditions….from both Captain Wuus (moi) and Captain Pat’s vantage points. The water color is a stunning turquoise blue here – and it’s easy to become mesmerized by the moment. Cat Maudy reacted with sailing speeds of 7-9 knots. In less than 2.5 hours – we were entering the channel at Port of Miami. (Want to see what the “Perfect Sail” looks like? Watch THIS VIDEO)

Looking back at a month of sailing, motoring, and waiting for weather in dreadfully frigid temperatures and sea state conditions more stressful than relaxing, the voyage south — was all worth it today. We had finally made it, intact, to Miami. And, we had the Perfect Sail for the final hop along the east coast of the US mainland.

Once inside the Port of Miami, we followed the ICW channel markers south, along Biscayne Bay to the mooring field at Dinner Key Marina. Dinner Key is located in Coconut Grove FL – south of Miami. At a rate of approx $10 per day, Dinner Key seemed to be one of the best cruising deals along the east coast. This rate includes:

– unlimited water taxi

– a pump out boat that comes to you – in the mooring field!
– showers
– dingy dock/landing

...and close proximity to grocery, boater stores, shopping, restaurants, nite life…and opportunities to exercise. The people are genuinely friendly and delightful. Could this be paradise?

But wait. There ARE alligators (and crocodiles?) here. The marina folks have spotted them. hmmm. This will surely impact my kayaking workouts. There will be no carefree, aimless wandering, explore the bay, kayak rides. Rather, I will learn to “sprint kayak” thru the mooring field….and stay far from the grassy waters closer to shore.

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