TOTAL MILES TRAVELED TODAY: 58 NM
DOCKED AT BIMINI BLUE WATER RESORT
$1.00/FOOT, NO POWER TODAY, $18.00 FOR WATER TO WASH BOATS=$71.00
SUNRISE IN COCONUT GROVE: 6:56 AM
SUNSET IN BIMINI: 5:27 PM
LOW: NOT SO MUCH
We awoke to darkness and whistling winds at 5:00 this morning but, after checking the passage forecast, it seemed that this was about as good as it was going to get for a week. By 5:30 we had cast off and by 6:30 it was 70 degrees and we were passing Key Biscayne. Right on track!
|JIGGLY PHOTO OF MIAMI AS WE LEFT IN THE EARLY MORNING DARKNESS|
Soon we were cruising through Stiltsville, a scattered community of homes built on stilts right in the waters of Biscayne National Park. They were originally erected to weasel around the laws that forbade gambling within one mile of the shore but now serve as charming retreats.
The Cape Florida Lighthouse built in 1825 bade us a safe journey as we passed. The original 65’ lighthouse was burned down in 1836 by attacking Seminole Indians then rebuilt in 1856 to its present height of 95’.
|CAPE FLORIDA LIGHTHOUSE|
On we went, leaving Miami and Key Biscayne in our wake.
Then came the wind and choppy sea. Guess it had been too long since we had crossed open waters because our preparation for rough seas was lacking. Stacked cases of water went crashing, shower doors swung open, chairs flew over and I sat on the floor. What a mess! Surprisingly, the tender towed just fine as it caromed off the waves.
By 1:30 we were heading into the crystalline water of enchanting Alice Town in North Bimini. Dan handled the tricky channel masterfully; turning in just the right places. The narrow course in the harbor was made yet leaner by the presence of a dredge working hard to keep the shoaling in control.
|DREDGING TO KEEP THE CHANNEL PASSABLE|
Bimini Blue Water Marina was a welcomed sight. With helping hands on the dock we were soon secured and scrubbing forcefully at the layers of accumulated salt that latched onto Quest during today’s tumultuous crossing. Next came the extensive inside "clean up" of the semi-disaster that occurred as we were bounced around. With these tasks completed we filled out the necessary paperwork (supplied by the marina), grabbed our passports and documentation then walked to the Bimini Customs and Immigration offices for check-in. A few minutes later and $300.00 shorter we were all checked in for 120 days and had our fishing license too. These nice folks are happy to see you and willing to make the process easy for visitors. Now we are “legal”! Dan removed the “Q” flag and hung Santa for some holiday cheer.
|HO! HO! HO!|
We took dinner tonight at The Anchorage. Although it has been a restaurant and guest house since 1967, it was built in the 1930s as the home of the Lerner family and the Big Game Fishing Company. I remember shopping at the Lerner stores growing up in southern California! Their Big Game Fishing Company was frequented by Ernest Hemingway and the house was featured in his novel, Island in the Sun. Sometime after we slipped into the Alice Town Harbor and dinner a humongous yacht anchored off the western shore. It was like a city just setting out there, all light up and swaying gently with the current. We tried to get a night photo but it just came out as a dot of light. It will be tomorrow mornings first outing.
Tonight’s moon just seemed to further the island’s welcome. Hope you all stepped out to enjoy the spectacular sight. Robert in Vermont said he took a moment to take in the beauty but it was just too frigid to spend much time enjoying it.
|THE FULL MOON WATCHED CAST ITS GLOW OVER US ALL|