Waiting for weather can be frustrating but it is a necessary evil for a trip that is safe and comfortable. Tomorrow, however, is the day we have been planning for a very long time. It is the day we actually start making our way down the Caribbean chain. It is the day we cross the Gulf Stream and head to Bimini, our first stop in the Bahamas.
Kirby, like Jake, has now discovered the dolphins that love to swim near our boat. Note Kirby, in the bottom right corner, wearing his life jacket.
As always, we enjoy the scenery along the way. This little tug boat was adorable.A pretty home with it’s own white sand beachThe lighthouse in Jupiter, FLThe view from our cockpit table one evening at Old Port Cove Marina.
We left our anchorage south of Melbourne on March 3rd and decided to head straight to a marina in North Palm Beach. It was windy and the predictions were no better for the next several days. AfterMath is tall and winds above 20 miles per hour make her a little hard to handle for docking and in currents. The predictions were for 20 – 30 mile per hour winds and we knew we would be happier and more comfortable if we waited it out. Old Port Cove Marina in North Palm Beach was a lovely marina where we found many other boats anxious to leave for the Bahamas, but waiting for the winds to calm. Finally, after spending a week there, it was time to leave. The predictions for tomorrow (Tuesday, March 15th) looked good.
There really are boats of all sizes and types on the ICWA brightly colored pair of buildings!The Palm Beach Boat Show was being set up and there were all kids of boats pulling in as we passed.From this point on, the homes just kept getting bigger and more spectacular.Entering Fort Lauderdale through one of the many bridgesOur lovely anchorage for the night.
Pulling out, bright and early yesterday, we traveled down the Intracoastal Waterway, through countless bridges. Timing the travel to the bridges that we needed opened was important. Openings are scheduled, not on demand, in this part of the ICW and missing an opening means circling for a long time. We needed eighteen openings, and some parts of the waterway were very busy with boat traffic and other parts were no wake zones. Besides John calculating what speed we needed to travel, we also fell in behind a couple of other boats that were making their way south and needed openings. All in all, though, we motored for 9 hours but I thought the scenery was incredibly interesting. The farther south we traveled, the bigger the homes were, and many of them had huge boats on their docks. Cities began to grow too and soon we were in Fort Lauderdale. We spent the night at a beautiful anchorage with only a couple of other boats, but we were surrounded by gorgeous homes, landscape lit and shining on the water.
I’m not sure why you need a golden headless angel on your porch, but maybe I’m missing something.Water taxis are everywhere in this area.Passing the cruise shipsThis lifeboat reminds me of that crazy Las Vegas ride that shoots people off the roof.A research vessel
I have no idea what this building is, but it looks like a mountain.This is one house! The homes were spectacular.Miami in the distance!
Passing MiamiNo Name Harbor on Key Biscayne
This morning we made our way further down the ICW. Passing through Hollywood, Florida, going past huge cruise ships, traveling through more bridges that needed opening, again being in awe of the homes, and finally traveling by water past Miami. The sun was shining, the breeze was blowing and it was a beautiful day. Once past Miami I felt as though we were heading off shore, but that won’t happen until tomorrow. To the east was Key Biscayne and in it there is a lovely park called No Name Harbor. It is here that boats congregate before heading to Key West or the Bahamas. The water is emerald green, it is well protected, and everyone is friendly. It is also very crowded, as, because of the winds over the past couple of weeks, many people have had their trips postponed. But tomorrow still looks like a great day.
We plan to leave at first light and to arrive mid-afternoon in South Bimini. We will be staying in a marina there for just one night to make our customs check in easier.
It has been 1100 miles now since we started the ICW in Virginia, and we both have really loved it. The scenery has been beautiful, the facilities are easy to find, and it has been an experience to be remembered. Now, we leave the United States again. Somehow Canada did not seem as out of the country as the rest of our trip. We still are planning to make it to Trinidad by summer to satisfy our insurance company, but we have so much to see along the way.
I hope to do a quick entry tomorrow to let everyone know we made the crossing safely. After that our Internet time will be very limited, but we find ways to post as often as possible so we can keep everyone updated about life on AfterMath.
Here is where we are today.