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Old 01-11-2015, 09:32 PM   #1
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Biscayne Bay

After a year of maintenance and upgrades it's time to let Moonstruck stretch her legs a little. We are planning on being to the boat by Wednesday, and be away headed for Biscayne Bay by the weekend. It is approximately 120 nm from Ft. Pierce Inlet to Government Cut at Miami Beach. If the weather cooperates it will be about a 5 hour offshore run. If not, it will be a bridge slugfest running inside. In that case a long day.

Provided there is room Belle Isle south will be our first anchorage. There is a dinghy dock, park, and dog playground. It is walking distance to Lincoln Road and even Ocean Drive. Next could be Marine Stadium or No Name Harbor. Then maybe Dinner Key at Coconut Grove. We want to spend 2 or 3 nights at Elliot Key.

On the way home we may pick up a mooring at the Los Olas field, or try the municipal docks on the New River. We will build it some flex in the trip. We definitely don't want to be near Elliot Key on the weekend.

I will try to post some pictures showing some wonderful cruising without going to foreign ports. Biscayne Bay is a jewel. I may even start a new blog page for the trip. Temperatures this time of year are usually perfect for sleeping.

This should give the new Sarca Excel a good workout. So, a report on that should be forth coming. I'm getting excited already.
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Old 01-11-2015, 09:40 PM   #2
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Don, Let me know if a slug fest occurs and your coming through Fort Lauderdale, would love to meet up talk boats.
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Old 01-11-2015, 09:56 PM   #3
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Don, Let me know if a slug fest occurs and your coming through Fort Lauderdale, would love to meet up talk boats.
Will do, Oliver. Maybe you can make it down to Miami for a day or 2.
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Old 01-11-2015, 10:00 PM   #4
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Will do, Oliver. Maybe you can make it down to Miami for a day or 2.

Maybe, have a good friend down there so that might be another excuse to go. My schedule is a little strapped and only available on weekends. Gonna see what I can do.
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Old 01-12-2015, 12:27 AM   #5
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Don, do you have my phone number? I'd love to finally meet you. I might even get Possum away from the dock to visit you.
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Old 01-12-2015, 05:36 AM   #6
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Moonstruck looking forward to the pictures have a great trip
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Old 01-12-2015, 07:06 AM   #7
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Don, wishing you a good trip. I'm envious, we're on the hard 20 miles south of Annapolis until the spring. But not all is lost, we'll take our 19' bow rider down the Hillsborough River sometime this month. The view of the Tampa skyline is almost as impressive as the Miami skyline from the anchorage at Marine Stadium. If I can get the time we'll also take our little bow rider up to Leesburgh and run the lakes and canals between the big lakes there. That's fun if you ever have a chance.

If the weather doesn't cooperate all is not lost. We spent 11 days at the Ft. Lauderdale muni marina on the New River. Last summer it was dirt cheap and the entertainment from watching the big yachts get towed up and down that narrow river was priceless. There is good entertainment and restaurants on the north side of the river within easy walking distance. We rode our bikes to the beach, but a bus runs the route.

We spent two nights at the anchorage at Miami Stadium. You of course can't get a better view of the Miami skyline from any place else, no matter how much you pay. We ate one night at Whiskey Joe's, a short dinghy ride.

We spent two nights at Crandon Park marina. Within walking distance of the Sea Aquarium. You can get Domino's pizza delivered to your slip. However we'll probably skip Crandon Park on our return trip this fall.

Elliott Key was Debbie's favorite anchorage along the entire ICW. We visited during the week so not much traffic. The gin clear water is hard to beat, but not really much to see right off the island. For me there were better anchorages on the Chesapeake.

And don't forget West Palm Beach. There is a free well maintained dock for day use only. However it's not enforced, we stayed 2 nights one at anchor right off the free dock and then after talking to a sailboater tied up for several nights, the second night at the dock. The downtown area is a short walk away with some lively entertainment and a great Mexican restaurant. I think a free trolley will take you to the beach, but we rode our bikes. Just watch the current, it can make it difficult to tie up as it runs perpendicular to the dock.
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Old 01-12-2015, 07:42 AM   #8
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Don, my experience concerning Belle Isle: The anchorage just north of the bridge connecting Belle Isle with Miami Beach (Belle Isle on Active Captain) was crowded last June. It looked like many long term boats and a few derelicts populated the anchorage.

We anchored at Sunset Lakes just north. There are upscale houses around this anchorage and it is the anchorage where one homeowner anchored 25 small plastic dinghies in front of his house to discourage boats from anchoring. But we found no problem finding a place to anchor here. However during the winter it may be a different story.

Tieing up along the Collins Canal can be difficult. Debbie hurt her knee getting off the dinghy up onto the sea wall. We ended up tieing the dink just south of the boat ramp next to the police station in the park. Not great, but Debbie got off the dink at the boat ramp and I tied off at the park. Lincoln mall is a 15 minute walk and the beach 20 minutes. There is a well stocked hardware store just north of the mall. You probably already know all this.

The first 4 pics are of the Sunset Lakes Anchorage. The last pic is the Belle Isle anchorage as we went by en-route to sunset lakes.
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Old 01-12-2015, 09:00 AM   #9
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Don, It looks like the winds are going to be north and then east so you may want to tuck into the south side between rivo alto an di lido islands. If the miami dade police show up late telling you about night dive training (home owners here think they own the water too) tell them that's funny CG Sector Miami isn't aware of this. Also there is a huge dredging project going on in the cut. You might need to radio the tug and have him push the barge over so you can safely pass. I'll be in savannah til Monday but if you a still around and need a lift to hop car's store send me a message. Marine stadium is literally in my back yard.


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Old 01-12-2015, 11:39 AM   #10
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Don, It looks like the winds are going to be north and then east so you may want to tuck into the south side between rivo alto an di lido islands. If the miami dade police show up late telling you about night dive training (home owners here think they own the water too) tell them that's funny CG Sector Miami isn't aware of this. Also there is a huge dredging project going on in the cut. You might need to radio the tug and have him push the barge over so you can safely pass. I'll be in savannah til Monday but if you a still around and need a lift to hop car's store send me a message. Marine stadium is literally in my back yard.


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Good info, thanks. Yeah I'm worried that the north wind will mess up my offshore run. Maybe if I hang in near the beach, it want be so bad.

I think Parks is going to bring some Cuban coffee to the boat. You guys live in a great boating area. That is except for holidays and weekends.
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Old 01-12-2015, 11:43 AM   #11
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Capt. Tim,

Yeah, the police dock is where we usually tie the dinghy. It may be psychological, but I think it is probably the safest place if there is one. Great photos. I will check out the anchorage.

I'm really glad that you have had such a successful cruise. Does your wife think I steered her wrong about the Chesapeake?
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Old 01-12-2015, 12:35 PM   #12
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Capt. Tim,

I'm really glad that you have had such a successful cruise. Does your wife think I steered her wrong about the Chesapeake?
No not at all. We both loved the Chesee. After 5 months she was a little anxious to get home. Me - if the weather stayed warm I would have stayed for a year!!
We still have a ton of places yet to visit. The eastern shore, Baltimore and Annapolis this time without the boat show. Can't wait.
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Old 01-12-2015, 05:07 PM   #13
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The marine forecast through Thursday looks very good with mostly 2'. A bit more nights later in the week. But tomorrow 2' with 4 second periods sounds perfect. We're a few thousand miles away at the moment but keep up on Fort Lauderdale conditions and weather.
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Old 01-14-2015, 02:32 PM   #14
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The Ft. Pierce weather buoy is reporting 5'0" seas at 4.8 second interval. That's too steep and close for a comfortable ride. We're waiting it out. We have definitely decided not to take the ICW. It's interesting the first few times, but then it just gets frustrating.

If the seas don't moderate, we may go up to Vero or down to Stuart. Not bad, but certainly not Biscayne Bay.

Is there a mooring ball available at Sunset Harbor?
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Old 01-14-2015, 05:49 PM   #15
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Sorry we will miss you....hitting Ft Pierce the 23rd for a month.

Let me know if you pass back through...
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Old 01-14-2015, 05:55 PM   #16
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Sorry we will miss you....hitting Ft Pierce the 23rd for a month.

Let me know if you pass back through...
Scott, we will be back by the end of the month. Moonstruck will still be next to Last Mango.
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Old 01-14-2015, 06:57 PM   #17
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Is there a mooring ball available at Sunset Harbor?
Don, Debbie and I stayed there 4 days waiting out weather to cross to West End 2 years ago. Nice place as I'm sure you know. Treat the admiral to a dinner at Sailors Return and I'm sure you'll be rewarded.

Just my opinion but for me Biscayne Bay is worth the hassle of the ICW.
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Old 01-14-2015, 08:31 PM   #18
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Don, Debbie and I stayed there 4 days waiting out weather to cross to West End 2 years ago. Nice place as I'm sure you know. Treat the admiral to a dinner at Sailors Return and I'm sure you'll be rewarded.

Just my opinion but for me Biscayne Bay is worth the hassle of the ICW.
Tim, you are right about Sailors Return. We have a special table on the terrace near the river walk we ask for. That way our dog Troy is welcomed. We will not get away until Sat or Sun, and certainly don't want to do the ICW on the weekend. We will have to see what offshore conditions are like Sat. Also, Lou is a little under the weather. Nothing serious, but you know how that goes.
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Old 01-14-2015, 09:53 PM   #19
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Don: I sure miss the crystal blue-green waters of Biscayne Bay. I should be enjoying those waters on our Florida loop in a few months. Just keep your eye out for those crazy idiots. I know we can depend on you keeping your common sense in tow......I mean, you are taking the Banana this time, no?
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Old 01-14-2015, 10:04 PM   #20
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Yeah, Larry, we are planning on towing the girls down. Last time I did it the seas were choppy, and it bounced off a few of their bikini tops. Poor things, they had to hold on so tightly they couldn't pull them back up. I tried to help them out by speeding up to smooth out the ride. It didn't seem to work, or did it? If you happen to see a 42 Sabre at about 26 knots pulling the girls on a banana, that will be me.
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