We had two pleasant days of motoring and sometimes motorsailing on the ocean, arriving in Miami yesterday. The wind was never in a favorable direction to sail. The first day we stopped in Ft. Lauderdale and anchored in Lake Sylvia. It was an uneventful day until we entered the inlet, Port Everglades. Since the ocean was calm, we hadn’t put away many things. A catamaran is usually level enough that we rarely worry about something falling. However, we hadn’t counted on a large motoryacht speeding past us in the inlet. Not only didn’t they slow down, they came very close to us. The wake the yacht created violently rocked us causing numerous items to fall on the floor and our tomato and strawberry plants almost went overboard. We always get some wake from boats that insist on racing in and out of the inlets and expect it, but this one was extreme. We have never rocked this much even in very rough seas. The rudeness of the pontoon boat driver the previous day on the ICW was almost excusable and could be chalked up to ignorance, but anyone piloting a million dollar plus yacht should know boating etiquette and rules. Very obviously the captain didn’t care. Sadly, in both Ft. Lauderdale and Miami encountering rude boaters is more common than not. After we went under the 17th Street Causeway Bridge into the New River, we let Sailor out on the deck. He loved watching all of the sights and the wind blowing in his face.
Once we dropped the anchor in Lake Sylvia, one of only two anchorages in Ft. Lauderdale, we settled into a quiet afternoon…..until the waterskiers arrived. For some odd reason they are allowed in this very small “lake” and to my knowledge not anywhere else in the city. Of course this causes all anchored boats to rock. These three teenagers were terrible skiers and never went more than a few feet without falling, so they stopped and started many, many times. However, after our recent experience with the motor yacht, we hardly noticed their wake.
now that he has a few days of cruising experience, Sailor has settled into his favorite spots to ride out the waves. He seems to prefer the salon, but only if one of us is there with him. Day 3, from Ft. Lauderdale to Miami was a little less smooth and when we got onto Biscayne Bay it was quite rough. We had 24 kt winds the whole day, but they were from the south, so we were going right into them and couldn’t sail. Sailor seemed ready to stop. While we were getting the mooring ball attached in Dinner Key, we kept him inside the salon. When I came back to let him out, I saw him on the salon couch watching us out of the window. This puppy gets bolder and bolder every day but we are very pleased with his skills as a boat dog.
After a bit of tentativeness getting in and out of the dinghy, he now goes down the steep sugar scoop steps and hops into the dinghy with ease. He has his sea legs at high speeds in the dinghy as we crash through waves. We are using the word “OK” to let him know when to get out of the dinghy and he has learned to wait. However, even after only a few dinghy rides, he assumes he gets to go all the time and if one of us goes in the dinghy and he doesn’t get to go, the whimpering begins. So far we haven’t left him alone on the boat.
Now for the bad news. The watermaker wasn’t working when we left Stuart, but Mark thought he just needed to clean a thru-hull. He did that in Lake Sylvia, turned the watermaker on and it made a loud noise. After trying numerous possible fixes, he called a Spectra Watermaker service rep who first thought there was air in the raw water feed. We went on to Miami and after more diagnosis, we found out the watermaker will need a new pump. We are trying to get it delivered overnight from California. In the meantime, the weather conditions are no longer favorable for crossing to the Bahamas and our next good window is Tuesday. As the saying goes, “Everything on a boat is broken…….you just don’t know it yet.
We’ll make the best of our time here. There is a fantastic dog park within walking distance. Coconut Grove is very upscale, thus there is a Starbucks, many good restaurants and lots of boutique type shops. Within walking distance there are grocery stores, a West Marine and probably one of the best hardware stores we’ve very seen, Shell Lumber and Hardware. Hopefully we’ll only have a few more days to enjoy the area.