To the Keys. On our way.

Pétionville It’s Wednesday morning and we are anchored in No Name harbor, less than ten miles south of Miami.  This little harbor gives new meaning to “tight” anchoring.   The harbor is bordered on the south by bulkheads and on the north by mangroves but at only 1000’ long by 500’ wide, the harbor is a very small space to fit into.  And, imagine 25 boats, some 65’ long anchored “cheek to jowl” in that small a place. Yesterday when we arrived there was BARELY enough space for us to drop the hook and when we settled in we were less than a boat length from boats on either side.  We were particularly close to a large motor yacht and when we shifted to port and he to starboard in the wind, we could have passed a bit of Grey Poupon between the boats on a boat hook.  That’s pretty close and a bit too tight for us.   So, we moved, but only about 15’ and reset our hook.   A little better but not great.

Kawm Ḩamādah So, after that was done I jumped in the dink and introduced myself to a family on a nearby sailboat from Germany.  No, they didn’t sail from there but they do spend the winters here aboard with their three kids.  Nice group and their English was quite good.  Much better than my German as the only German that I know is what I heard on “Hogan’s Hero’s” when I was a kid, which is to say nothing at all.

flop Anyway, we had a nice talk and in particular we compared notes on the weather, which was going to be very different today than yesterday as the wind was forecasted to shift from the south to the NW and get quite strong.    Their plans were to take them to Ft Lauderdale, about 40 miles north of here. As luck would have it, after we talked, they decided that they would leave the harbor and sail north immediately to avoid being stuck here for days till the wind shifted to the south again.

Voila, I had more room to anchor so even before they cleared the harbor we upped our anchor again and moved into their spot.   There you go, enough room to spread out and all it took was “convincing” a boat with five Germans aboard to leave so I could move into their spot.

Well, that’s not exactly how I had planned it but it worked out.

So, now it’s early morning and the wind has indeed shifted from the south to the north but it’s still very light.  Later this morning it’s supposed to increase to the teens and then on Thursday into the high 20s so we had better get going.  I’d prefer not to sail in wind in the high 20s but that’s what we’ll do as the next shift will be to the south and going against that will be really unpleasant.

Besides, we really want to get to Marathon and spend some time relaxing so off we go.

I understand that this harbor tends to get really packed with boats waiting for favorable winds to head out to the Bahamas which is what seems to be the case right now.  I expect that most folks will stay here till the wind shifts back to the south and then there will be a mass exodus as opportunities to cross the Gulf Stream easily are not all that common.

I was particularly struck by one little oyster boat that is anchored near us.  Interestingly, she’s from Mystic CT.   Actually, Anne looks pretty familiar and I expect that I have seen her in the Mystic area in the past.  I’d love to learn more about her history.Of course, we had a lovely sunset but then you’ve probably seen a few of those posted here.  Too many?  Oh well, I like them so you’ll see many more I in coming posts. Well, it’s time to make the coffee and get going before the wind picks up too much.  Off we go to Key Largo and Marathon.  Wish us a good passage. 

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