Sunday, February 5, 2012

Waiting for a Weather Window

Rick always says it's about the journey, not the destination. So . .  here we are in the Miami area, waiting for a weather window to make our crossing to the Bahamas. Anticipating about a month of wind we didn't want, we have hung around the Miami area, taking a mooring at Dinner Key with plans to make short trips from here, up and down the Keys.
Catch of the day from the back door
served with red bans and rice, planatains, and pie at the Sailor's Grill in No Name Harbor!
Cape Florida Light

In the middle of the inlet, these homes will not 
be replaced when when a storm finally wins.

Our first venture out onto Biscayne Bay was to Elliot Key via No Name Harbour and the houses on stilts, out to the Lighthouse. There is little in No Name Harbour except a great hurricane hole in which you can wait for a weather window with other cruisers. Run by the National Park service, it is a no frills service but you can get a great meal at the Cuban Fish Restaurant there. When you leave the harbor, hug the shore line out to the lighthouse.

No one was home.
All structures on Boca Chita key are made of fossil
embedded limestone mined in Florida.

Once we crossed the bay and headed to Elliot Key we encountered a surprise we were not prepared for: signs of civilization at Boca Chita Key! This scant half mile island was purchased by Mark Honeywell, (thermostats and heating,) in the 1930s for the purpose of entertaining his monied friends who wintered in Florida. He developed it with a dredged harbour, buildings, pool, ornamental lighthouse, picnic pavilion, and an elephant for parties. Before he could build his mansion, his wife succumbed to injuries she sustained on the island. He later donated the island to the National Park Service who maintains it for dockage, snorkeling and lighthouse tours (no other amenities are available, bring your own water and power.)  Rick was able to fly fish one evening and he's eager to get back there. 
Promise in the harbor at Boca Chita Key.

We don't travel with a schedule anymore and it's a good thing. Our generator failed again so we left Boca Chita and returned to Dinner Key, this time in the marina with electric, for our trip home and later, generator repairs. We will ride out a week of rain threats here and move down to the Keys with the next weather window. In the meantime, we are enjoying art deco Coconut Grove, the dock super Bowl Party (game to be projected on a sail) and watching that tan weather girl with the perfect weather smile hold our fate!