Saturday, February 23, 2013

Falling In Love With South Beach

It's not a long drive, depending on traffic and sightseers, to the paradise of South Beach. We keep returning for the view and the white powdered sand. This week is SoBe's Food and Wine Fest and the Today show took over the Lowes Hotel. Not being fans of large crowds who find the cocktails first, we have watched the events from a far. The weather has been spectacular and we are counting down the twenty nine lifeguard stations with delight. It is like going on a scavenger hunt. Rick drops me off, I start the march down the beach until one comes into view. By the time I have shot three or four stations, I meet Rick and we wander back for shots with different light.

In case you wonder, the stations are rarely "straight" as they are subject to the elements. The head lifeguard for the Miami group tells me that they repaint and decorate a few stations a year, so what we capture now may be different in the future. Though newer ones are movable, some stations are lost to hurricanes. Others have been replaced for safety reasons. Newer stations are all of one design so you'll recognize older stations as more shapely and unique, round or funky so to speak. We love them all. Stay tuned and find your favorite by the time we walk up to 86th. Street!

Art Deco on the Beach

When it's blowing no one wants to sit on the beach-
too bad, it was a gorgeous day!



Friday, February 15, 2013

Government Cut, South Beach, Miami Florida


This is your view to the left when you enter
 Government Cut at South Beach, Miami.

Fisher Island is accessable by ferry only.

Condos for the rich and famous,
 including Oprah Winfrey who owns two units,
 sit on a beautiful golf course.
In front of you is the Port of Miami and Government Cut,
the path to the cruise ships.

 To your right are the "towers," new Miami Modern constructions, full of luxury hotels. They are guarded by the first of So Be's famous lifeguard stations constructed after Hurricane Andrew. Each has a different theme and all are unique. This one sports a mirrored glass top and is called the Towers or the Jetty Station.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

More Lost Boats

We spent the day photographing beach sights on South Beach and Surfside, FL, but when we returned to the marina we were fascinated to see the end of the boat reclamation project, a photo op we hadn't planned on. The barge moved to the row of shrimp boats where the sunken ship lie on her side, leaking oil and the contents of a fisherman's life. Her demise was complete save the last bite from the crane and the clean up in the water when we arrived. The crew had to float the listing boat to take her. The City Manager told us they have taken all the floating boats they could tow in but there are fifteen sunken boats left in the anchorage and mooring they will work on tomorrow. It seems an incongrous task on such a beautiful sailing day.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Do Old Boats Go To Heaven?

Today was a bittersweet day for boaters in Miami. The state of Florida has a serious problem with derelict boats abandoned in anchorages, and others in mooring fields and marinas. What to do with them? Who pays the bill for whatever happens? How do we feel on both sides of the issue?

Personally, we don't feel safe anchoring near an obviously abandoned boat, one that lists or has no mast or has open windows. There is always the concern they are abandoned but occupied by squatters or vermin. Will they break loose and drift into us during the night? You have to wonder about the fate of the sailors who own them, is this a temporary "bad time" or not?

The state is adding more mooring fields in many towns, either directly or by grant. That puts "loose" boats on notice, and offers some level of security to all. It also generates needed revenue, helps control water quality issues from illegal dumping and removing the boats removes a hazard to navigation, whether or not the boats sink, which is only a matter of time. The revenue from mooring fees help pay for dingy docks and facilities for boaters like showers, laundry, pump outs, and wi - fi access. Some boaters welcome additional mooring opportunities, but there are times an anchorage is really peaceful and one hates not to have that option.

So where do old, abandoned boats go? When a boat is observed unattended for a long time, notice is posted on the boat and efforts are made to locate the owner through the registration. Then on an 80 degree, cloudless day like today, several boats are towed in to the city marina, and lined up for demolition in the teeth of a giant crane on a barge. Dumpsters line the parking lot of the launching ramp, and one by one, the boats lose their identity in dozens of loud crunches. They fill the row of dumpsters. A single outboard is retrieved; the masts are collected for salvage. The pleas of a sailor who states he just came home from the hospital, saying it was all he had, this pretty blue hull with rebuilt engine and personal possessions, lost to regulations and the missing authority. All gone in a few dozen chomps, a chain saw hack to a stubborn transom. No boat names to recall, no sailors to acknowledge, just a job to be done today.
I remain conflicted but I couldn't take my eyes off the event. Rick was so sad to see any boat meet this fate, he couldn't watch today. Do old boats go to heaven?

This boat couldn't wait for demolition.
She sunk in the waiting line a few weeks ago.

A containment boom traps the pollutants.

The best part of my morning walk,
seeing this little boat again in a new spot.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Haulover Beach 3, Miami

The lifeguards at Haulover Beach have a huge office
and this observation tower.
Guard stations come in blue as you move south on the beach.
But when you turn around and go north, clothing is optional.
It made getting the shots a challenge.


The outdoor showers are enclosed in this Miami Modern scupture.

Saturday, February 2, 2013