Thursday night was our first on anchor for a while – and we were royally entertained by the beautiful sunset and the night skyline of Miami…. Just bliss.
Friday morning we picked up anchor early and were making our way out towards the Hawk Channel as the sun was rising. We motored past the lighthouse on the end of Biscayne Cay and alongside the abandoned fishing camp – devastated by a hurricane – which is known locally as Stiltsville.
We entered the Hawk Channel and, yes of course, the wind has swung right on the nose and is stronger than forecast. So we resigned ourselves to another motoring day but at least the seas were reasonable – getting some protection from the offshore reef – and we enjoyed working our way through the easy-to-spot channel markers and a bit of crab pot dodging. There wasn’t much traffic around although we were hailed on the radio by a large catamaran who was full of Island Packet owners on a charter – heading back inside as they were finding the conditions too rough for them. We thought this was quite funny as we had found the conditions quite benign LOL.
We arrived at the entrance to the Key Largo Resorts – where the Marina del Mar is located – and it is low tide and around 4pm. We were told by the harbourmaster to wait until the Princess II – a huge glass bottomed boat – had left the channel as she takes up most of the space. That’s fine by us! So we circled and waited and, when Princess came through, we went in. A little nervous about the sandbar – especially as it was just after low tide – but made it in comfortably. Phew!
The canal is very narrow and we had to navigate around a blind bend called Crash Corner. Managed that and was waved to our slip by the dock master. The slip was very narrow with barely enough room to get in and Richard managed it perfectly – and I managed throwing ropes and catching pilings too. We are definitely getting better at these US-type marinas…..
Richard cleaned Morphie up after our 50 mile passage – and I did all the marina paperwork and phoned customs to inform them of our movement down the coast. All sorted, all legal, and we chatted to our new neighbours before cleaning up, eating dinner and then heading to Skippers, our new local, for a few drinks. Was a nice evening and great live music – including some Hendrix.
Saturday morning we had our complimentary breakfast – bagels, juice and coffee – and then wandered around the marina and its hotels. There is the Marina del Mar hotel itself, which is a bit shabby, with a Holiday Inn and a Courtyard by Marriott across the way. We enjoyed the sights of the pelicans and the egret waiting for the fishermen to return with their catch across the canal from Morphie.
As it was such a nice day, we spent a few hours at the Holiday Inn pool / Jacuzzi. Enjoyed it a lot although Richard couldn’t go in the water yet because of his leg…. The Holiday Inn definitely wins the best pool award
We returned to Morphie later in the afternoon where we just chilled – Richard taking advantage of the new marina address to order some more things, this time it was spare Barton blocks. We then had a quiet night on board in the cockpit listening to the music from Skippers.
Sunday morning and we got busy – Richard fitted the new stainless transom shower caps – don’t they look nice!!!
I did the laundry…. The laundry here is shabby and only two washers and two driers – and the laundry walls were being painted around me, then the hotel cleaners came in to eat their lunch so I retreated to Morphie to wait. Well…the driers were slow….and it took hours. Finally by around 3pm we were done – and, of course, the sun had gone in and it was getting colder. So no pool for us…shame! Later on we headed into Skippers for dinner….which was very popular…and we had to wait a while for a table. We enjoyed our dinner and the live musician before heading back for a relatively early night.
Monday morning – and it’s my birthday – so I opened my cards and other messages from family and friends. Then I phoned my mum as agreed for a chat and, for once, the line was clear and we had a lovely catch up.
Then Richard got busy fixing some lights, ordering more spares, and I scanned and sent off all the medical documents to our travel insurance company. The incidentals like drugs and taxis will be wiped out by the excess so we’ll not bother to claim for those – but at least they are picking up the hospital bill direct. We found it a very helpful and efficient service.
Later on Jim, ShaSha and Lois came by. They treated us to a leisurely long lunch at Skippers – and gave me a very nice bottle of wine as a pressie – and then we returned to Morphie so Lois could meet her. Had a lovely reunion – was great to see them again and we had many laughs. After they left we debated going out again but decided against it and had a chilled evening on board. And I mean chilled – it’s really cold here!!!! Blanket back on the bed again……sigh….
This morning – Tuesday – and we are waiting for the pump out boat to come by to empty our holding tank. We are also waiting for a message. Dan and Ruth – formerly of the Manta catamaran Evensong – are flying down from Wisconsin just to see us and we are eagerly awaiting their arrival. We haven’t seen them since August 2014 so looking forward to catching up. There are other reunions planned too – so watch this space!
Bye for now