We arrived yesterday in North Miami. There's a nice bay between the Florida International University (Biscayne Bay Campus) and the Oleta River State Park. In cities as populated as Miami and Fort Lauderdale, almost all anchorages are crowded with boats and local marine traffic is high. It can be loud (music) and rocky (waves from disrespectful skippers). Instead of houses, our anchorage is surrounded by trees and a beautiful beach. Despite the loud music at 6:30 this morning from one boat, it seems a quiet place where we'll stay until maybe Wednesday. As I write, a police boat berated the loud music idiot; now, it's quiet again.
So far the forecast shows South winds on Thursday for our jump to the Bimini Islands, our entry to the Bahamas. We can clear Customs at Alice Town. We don't plan on staying there for long. We'll continue on to Nassau, Exumas, etc.
I forgot to mention that we were able to get our 5th covid shots at Jensen Beach - for free! We are grateful to the Florida State for allowing Canadians to get their shots.
Coming down the ICW, we crossed an average of 12 bridges per day. As most of all of them are just about 20 feet high when closed, we had to call to each of them for openings. Many bridges open every half hour so we had to wait. All this means that we couldn't go as far in a day as we used to. Not a problem, we enjoyed the leisurely trip looking at the mansions and huge boats along the way. Up to Miami, only houses were built by the shores; and as soon as we hit Miami suburbs 40-50+ storey highrises shoot up from the shores.
The waiting period from bridge to bridge allowed us to get to know a couple of boats (Adiamo & Leyla). Without planning it, we travelled together for 2 days. At the end of the first day, Adiamo dropped their anchor before us. We said goodbye thinking we wouldn't hear from them again. Leyla anchored with us. We invited them for happy hour, one of those happy hours that last until the late evening and has enough food to skip dinner. Leyla has a young skipper (Travis) from Virginia and a 20-ish year old friend (Amir) from Israel. Amir is expanding his horizons for a few months before returning to university. Amir, who has a German mother, spoke German with Frank. What a pleasant surprise! On the second day, Adiamo caught up with us.
The end of the season (April) will see us on the island of Grenada. We've booked a boat cradle with Spice Island Marine and an AirBnB condo nearby for the first week of April. The plan is to arrive late March, prepare the boat as much as we can at anchor, have it lifted up on the parking lot by April 3 and be home for Easter. As it is our first year, we'll have the marina do most of the work outside the boat (clean the keel off mussels/algea, secure the boat against hight winds, cover it against sun and rain, etc.). Again, this is the plan so far; we'll refine it as we get some tips from other cruisers over time.
We saw a gorgeous sunrise this morning. Life is good.