N 25 40.591′
W 80 09.753′
Note to self: avoid Coconut Grove Sailing Club during “bird season”. Within a few days of arriving in Miami our boat was covered in purple dyed bird poop and seeds. Apparently at this time of the year migrating birds eat a local fruit and then digest while sitting in the safety of the sailboat rigging at Coconut Groove Sailing club. The purple color poop stains decks and is difficult to remove with water. Local boaters try everything to keep the birds off (Mark assured me CDs are the most effective method). We saw the writing on the wall and rather than spending two weeks battling with the birds we moved to a mooring ball in the Dinner Key mooring field.
Mooring ball #147 is way out there. No birds but it is almost a mile from the dinghy dock and unprotected from the chop that builds during predominantly easterly breezes of December. There are many better places to anchor in Miami but since Mary was to be gone to Australia for most off our stay we favored the security of a well maintained mooring ball. During the ten days we stayed on the mooring ball Frankie and I primarily took a shuttle bat that runs every hour between the mooring field and the land form 8am to 5pm. If the weather was relatively calm we took a wet dinghy ride.
Mary arrived back from Australia late on Friday night. A 15-20kt north easterly breeze was blowing through the mooring field so we slept over night at a picnic table before taking the shuttle back out to our mooring ball. Mary slept all day Saturday and until mid-morning on Sunday.
We were so eager to leave the remote mooring ball by Sunday morning that I decided to take a shortcut through Biscayne Bay to Cesear Creek where the chart showed a channel with enough water to carry us through to the Hawk Channel. The Hawk Channel is a stretch of relatively protected water along the east side Florida Keys protected by a barrier reef.
As we traveled south through the skinny water of Biscayne Bay I started to doubt the decision. We were the only deep draft vessel travelling along the route and the only other sailboats we saw were shallow draft catamarans. We arrived at Cesear Creak at the perfect time, high tide, and felt like we were in good shape to cross from Biscayne Bay into the deep channel of Cesar Creek. We circled a little and talked about the best way to approach the creek (umm… rocky entrance or mud-sand entrance… mud-sand…) and then promptly ran aground twice. Not willing to risk a third attempt we headed back to Miami and anchored on the west side of Key Biscayne.
This morning we moved to the No Name Harbor, a perfectly protected harbor in Key Biscayne just northwest of Cape Florida. We plan to stay here until Ruby and Darla join us on Saturday before heading down the Hawk Channel to Key Largo.