February 22, 2014

A Bohemian in Biscayne Bay

The night time skyline of Miami from my anchorage is majestic ...  

I'm amazed at just how many hundreds of boats are anchored here ..., for free... here, there, and everywhere around this mystical skyline.... It's a holistic community...  I enjoyed my overnight trip to Miami and my day there last week.... But after my one day in South Beach, I ended the evening with this skyline view before moving on to some of the finest sailing waters in the US.... Biscayne Bay National Park.

Biscayne Bay National Park is one of the best sailing areas in the US... It's a long open bay about 35 miles long and 8 miles wide of crystal clear water just south of Miami.  95% percent of the Biscayne Bay National Park is water with great reefs for snorkeling and fishing ... It is called it the entrance to the Florida Keys.  Since it's protected by small barrier islands, the water in the bay is relatively calm compared to the open sea just a few miles away... The sailing here is truely awesome.

Here's a link the the National Park site for more details http://www.nps.gov/bisc/naturescience/biscaynebay.htm

These are five of my favorite anchorages this past week marked in RED. The sailing here was so magical.... 5 and 6 knots of speed were common with minimal tweaking of the sails... Just set the sails and go.

This map above above  shows the boundaries of the park...
This a Googled image of Boca Chita key where I stayed one day and night... It just sits out there dangling in the breeze,

Im the blue dot... I like to call it the Blue Dot Hotel

The place was packed during the day but I had the whole place to myself once the sun went down and the powers boaters left.... Power boaters... Sigh.

Approaching the island called Boca Chita

A small beach with clear water at Boca Chita
Miami skyline about 20 miles to the north
"Dang!" Said the horticulture teacher.
Here's more shots from Boca Chita Key

Glory Days is resting up for her sail to Elliott Key tomorrow... She's such a righteous yacht!   (Ok, I know I need help, but there could be worse things)

Just sittin' on the dock of the bay playing some Otis Redding tunes
Yep, you can see the bottom at 20'

I Anchored at Elliott Key the following day... It was a short sail, less than 2 hours ...navigating the channel was a bit tricky, but doable..
Why not fly a kite during lunch?... It was a speedo day in Gods sunshine... Sorry, there will be no photos of that.
My new recipe... Mangos, strawberries, bananas, topped with Grand Mariner .. Add smoked salmon and Gouda cheese on the side....nice lunch... Good day for reading Proof of Heaven and staring at it all.

Glory Days... She's getting antsy for the trip to the Bahamas in a few days... Settle down girl...your day is coming... Miami skyline lingers forever.
Elliott Key was picturesque, but I was disappointed with the amount of litter that power boaters had left behind... It was quiet on a weekday for me, but I'm told it is common for 100 boats share these waters and beach on a weekend.... I'm glad I missed that.

After my stay at Elliott Key, I enjoyed a perfect 4 hour sail back to Dinner Key also known as Coconut Grove... I averaged between 5-6 knots the whole way on a broad reach and had to make zero sail changes or tacks... The auto pilot seems to be working perfectly... Let's hope she holds for the Bahama crossing coming up.

At Coconut Grove, I took care of some business like FINALLY jumping thru all the red tape to get my dinghy properly registered.... $67 bucks... Ouch... So now I really am barely legal. 

It was also a day for another stop at West Marine for Bahama Charts and a nice visit to the public library to download electronic Bahama charts for my INavx iPad chart plotter... It turned out to be a $300 day... DANG! I GOTTA GET OUTTA HERE!!

Priorities first.
Another busy day at the dinghy dock...all 225 mooring balls were taken, so I was fine to anchor nearby, two nights,for free .... Next, i loaded my bike and all my supplies into the dink and sailed back across the bay to No Name Harbor arriving there at dusk as seen below... I love this crazy bohemian lifestyle, taking every moment like a grain of sand, grinning at every challenge, laughing at every mishap ... Amazed at everything.

Back at No Name, it was a pleasure to rendevous with my old dock neighbor from Fernandina Marina , David Vollrath ... Here's a nice shot of his boat Swell Horizon, a daunting Spencer 44 ketch rig.  

We planned this rendevous, as I intend to follow his lead for the Bahama crossing in the next few days...since it's my first time crossing, I figure there's safety in numbers...he's a seasoned sailor, and I've learned so much from him already...
She's a beautiful vessel, Swell Horizon.

This is David and Tony (remember Tony?) yaking it up as we watched about a hundred different boats converge into our little No Name harbor on this gorgeous Saturday afternoon, George Washington's Birthday.  

Tony is sailing outta here tomorrow to catch a flight back to his home in Canada.  David's son will arrive Monday, and we will plan our crossing to the Bahamas... We may leave Tuesday, or possibly at midnight on Monday. 

 This works for me.

Glory Days is ready and so am I. 



Love to all,


  1. Safe travels and full sails - Thanks very much for sharing this all with those of us who'll follow in your wake (pun intended)

  2. Go Joe! Happy Sails to you! until we meet again...........

    and I love the song/poem posted Saturday....must be on next cd :) love, cuz Linda:)

  3. Godspeed, Joe Green!!!
    Love, Darlene