From the lower end of Lake Worth we worked our way down thru Lauderdale and Miami to the Venetian Causeway and anchored in the same spot we had used going south. The leg reminded us why we hate bridges so much. They are all timed so that the fast and inconsiderate boats zoom past and those of a more leisurely pace, just manage to miss the opening. We think it is a plot to save the manatees; or at least give them a quick death by the speeders. We are more determined than ever to return via Fort Meyers on the west coast and Okeechobee.
In middle Biscayne Bay, we decided to put in a three day stay, Friday thru Sunday, to avoid an arriving cold front, watch the superbowl and most importantly, get Jean to the Miami airport for a flight north. What we hadn't counted on is the Miami Boat Show. It seems that those slip owners in the area, perform a mass exodus to the Biscayne marinas and anchorages while their slips draw big bucks from the show. Our savior was Dinner Key Marina which had just one (of over 500 slips) still available. We slid in just as the cold front came over. Wonderful area to explore with lots of trendy shops and a superb Fresh Foods grocery just around the corner. Jean left early Sunday to the airport and Bill settled in for some football.
On Monday, Bill moved on down to the now familiar Pumpkin Island anchorage just off the Angelfish Cut and Key Largo. This was where we have stayed before going south and crossing to the Bahamas. Determined to pick up mail in Islamorada, the trick Tuesday was to get close enough to the mail forwarding service to bike over. This was accomplished with an overnight slip at the Holiday Isles Marina just five miles away. Postman Seth and his beautiful dog Holly were waiting with a package of Christmas cards and overdue bills.
On Wednesday and Thursday, Bill stayed at anchor just off Boot Key, near Marathon as a cold and windy front moved thru the area. Again, this was the exact spot where we had weathered similar conditions on the early November trip into Boca Chica. And, it was here that he learned that Puxatonee Phil didn't see his shadow. Looks like more cold weather seems to be in store...even in sunny Florida.
Chapter III returned to Boca Chica on the afternoon of 6 February where we will stay put for a month to retrieve Jean from Miami International and then return the truck to Solomons. Jean will return with lots of pictures and stories of the four grandbabies in Arlington, and probably in need of sleep after helping with Wende and Lee's twins. The Navy marina is full of old friends and is the perfect place to get projects done.