Sunday, January 24, 2010

As far North as we shall go, waiting out weather

I know I said I would update and let everyone know when we were planning on leaving Marathon, but sometimes things happen fast and I don't have the time to update the blog. So after staying less then a full week in Marathon we headed out to Rodriguez Key on the 19th of January. While in Marathon we met several cruisers, two of which we have been following for quiet some time now. They also have an O'day 40 and it was nice to see what they had done to theirs and I made a couple mental notes of things I would like to do to ours. The couple was John & Mary from s/v Marylee whose blog you will see posted under the blogs I follow. We also met Bruce & Dawn from s/v Lady Hawk who were moored next to us. They have done the Bahamas several times and actually gave us a good bit of information they have put together and printed up. Looks like some really good pointers and they introduced us to another couple that have since become our buddy boat. Jim & Ellie have s/v FinniRish, a 36 Catalina that have done the Bahamas before and were going the same route again this year.

Getting to Rodriguez Key was an easy days sail with winds on the nose so we motor sailed the whole way. The anchor was set shortly before sunset and it was early to bed as we would take off first thing the next morning for No Name Harbor in Miami. The plan was for Dirk & I to take off about 30 minutes before FinniRish as they are faster then us and would catch up to us in no time, and they did. They would go ahead and check out No Name for us to see how much room there was. They called back and stated that there was room for only one boat so we both elected to go around the corner and just anchor up inside the bay. The winds werent suppose to do much so we felt we would be fine. Anchor went down and we dinghed over to FinniRish for sundowners and chat before we called it another early evening. Dirk took this photo when we got back to the boat with the Miami skyline behind us. Notice how calm the water was.

The next day was calling for a rough day of sailing so we elected to stay put and relax a bit which we did. On Friday we took off for Fort Lauderdale a mere 25ish miles to travel. The winds were calling it to be 15 knts with seas 2 feet or less. We traveled Biscayne Bay under Rickenbacker Causeway following the intracoastal waterway then took the Lummus Island Cut between the Port of Miami and Fisher Island to the Atlantic.

PG" border=0> Here is FinniRish under the Rickenbacker Causeway

Port of Miami with the large container ships and tiny FinniRish on the right

Once we made our turn to head north we realized we would have stronger winds then predicted but they were still doable. Our main was already up and with an east wind we pulled out the jib. We were having gust that soon made the auto pilot tired I guess, as she would not hold her course and would round up into the wind when it got too strong. Soon we decided to hand steer which made me really appreciate the auto pilot. Man, can that take it out of you. We finally decided after trying to reef the jib that the winds were just too much so we just rolled it in and pushed the main out starboard as we had the wind on our port side. As we got closer to the entrance to Fort Lauderdale the winds were blowing a steady 30 knts which made for a tiring day. As we turned into the Bar Cut Channel we dropped the main and readied ourselves to navigate the tight waterway of fast moving mega yachts and water taxies. We had reserved a night at the Las Olas Marina along with FinniRish who had gotten there a bit before we did and they were there to help take our lines and get us in without too much drama. At the prices they were charging we felt like we had made it to the Bahamas already without the reward of it. After hosing the boat off of all the salt we set out to have a hot shower. The first of which I have had since leaving Key West over a week ago. Now,now, eeeewwwwww you say. I said hot shower, not shower. I did have regular showers in Marathon just non that were hot. The kind of shower that you know you have to wash your hair yet you dont want to have to stand under the water to do it, so you hop in and out as fast as possible. It got done but what I craved was a hot shower which I got finally here. I could actually turn the knob so the water was too hot to handle but as my skin turned red I soaked in every bit that I could and then some. We then all walked down the street and rewarded ourselves with food that someone else had cooked besides us. Las Olas does have a few mooring balls but only had one the day we came in. After looking at the weather it was determined that we wouldnt be going anywhere for perhaps a week and Dirk and I decided we just werent ready to part with that much money to this marina. The next morning Dirk awoke early and him and Jim rode out to the mooring field and we claimed a spot since they wont reserve you one by locking our dinghy to it till we had to check out. So now we are just across the way with all the marina luxuries for a whole lot cheaper price. It's still a lot to pay for a mooring ball but there isnt too many options around these parts.

Here is a photo taken from the cockpit on the mooring ball. The marina is on the other side of the bridge and to the right.

Tonight we will head back to the restaurant to watch the Saints and Vikings play. Since I'm from Louisiana I have to root for the Saints, although neither Dirk nor I are huge football fans but it is reason to get off the boat tonight. After looking at the weather it looks as if we may be stuck here about a week unless by some miracle there is a break in the weather. Not only do we want and need nice winds out of the right direction to get to West End, we also need a couple days once we are there in order to get across the banks so we don't get stuck paying for a marina we cant leave over there. Perhaps this will be the last post before we make the jump to West End or maybe I will get a wild hair once we get the heads up that its good to go and let you know we are on our way.

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