Friday, February 6, 2015

Back in Miami!

Two months on land in Delaware were great. We saw most of our family and wrapped up a final (we hope) "new house" issue. The holidays were lovely, they passed too quickly, but everything does these days. Winter weather threatened but ultimately spared us and before you knew it, the New Year came. We welcomed a new grandson on January 13 and once we met him on January 15, then hit the highway for Miami! 

Three days on the road- ouch. We will retract any complaints about the waterways- just get us out of the car! Our boat was a welcome sight and the first week here in Coconut Grove temps were in the 80s, and we had no complaints. After all, the weather is why we come here, first and foremost. Then there's the proximity to the Bahamas. We spent lazy days on Key Biscayne at the state park the first week, avoiding the South Beach crowds. 

But the fronts that have affected the weather up north are partly responsible for our drop in temps now, though we are not wearing jackets or shoveling snow. We had our first rain today, not bad for three weeks. Our biggest issue has been strong winds. Those winds kept us in our slip in 2012 until April and we hope not to have a repeat season. Some sailors have crossed over, some plan to on Monday, but we think we'll wait until the front cycle, every three days, breaks.  

So what do we do all day? Well, we allow for one maintenance task a day. The boat could be an all day project but we have learned to let go of a lot in favor of being outside. Susan is back to walking daily, and Coconut Grove is a good location to walk everywhere including for groceries. Since we have limited storage, we buy groceries every other day. Again, no complaints, we have a Fresh Market store just past the marina. Susan is quilting daily, too. Rick has a new travel guitar, a small Martin, and he has a rebuilt banjo arriving tomorrow. With these hobbies we have connected with other boaters, and then there always dinners out in the Grove and conversations on the dock to pass the days. 

There is a very active Cruisers Net at 9 AM each morning on our VHS radio. It's full of information and ways to connect with other cruisers in the marina and anchorage. They also share what's going on around town, things for boaters to do, networking of sorts. That's where we learned there was a new Dale Chihuly glass installation at the Fairchild Gardens so we got ourselves over there as quick as possible. Two weeks ago the Gardens hosted a Chocolate Festival, it was 80 degrees out and sunny, perfect for viewing the Chihuly glass. We opted not to bring our camera as it's just too hard to get good shots when there are crowds in the way. We just enjoyed the exhibit but quickly returned midweek to get some photographs. Fairchild offered a class on photographing Chihuly at night so we've signed up for mid -February, we can't wait. The Garden has hosted Chihuly work before but for this exhibit, all the work is new, though if you've seen his work before, it feels familiar. We never tire of Dale Chihuly or the Fairchild Gardens, complete with the butterfly house. 

Monday we drove down to the Biscayne National Park headquarters in Homestead for two purposes. First, there was an exhibit of art quilts focused on our changing planet. Second, we wanted to get a map of places to snorkel, sunken boats and reefs in Key Biscayne Bay. We got our map, some local advice, and enjoyed the free quilt exhibit. The snorkeling will also have to wait for winds to subside. 

This week we will spend two days at the Miami Boat show. A few classes have our interest and we want to see what's new in navigation systems. Promise will be five years old in May so we are curious about things we should replace or upgrade. Then there's always the thrill of new boats!