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January, 2011:

Sick at Sea

1-25-11 to 1-31-11
During the night of the 24th, I awakened ill, with a fever, excruciating stomach cramps, violent diarrhea, and my whole body reeked with pain. My first thought was the MRSA had gotten into my bloodstream, although the MRSA site on my leg had almost completely healed. Then, Gary and I wondered if I was suffering from food poisoning from the previous night’s dinner, but we both had eaten the same thing and he felt fine. Regardless, he realized I needed immediate medical care. He tried to find an urgent care clinic but instead found a doctor on Key Biscayne who would see me.
We managed to move White Swan to a mooring ball in Crandon Park Marina and Gary called a taxi to get us to the doctor’s office, which turned out to be by the Winn Dixie where we have shopped. The doctor’s initial diagnosis, without confirmation of pending lab results, was Salmonella, and he treated me accordingly, with an injection of penicillin and a prescription for antibiotic pills, Xifaxan, that I was to take for three days. These pills were to kill the bad bacteria in my gut. However, in so doing, they also killed the good bacteria in my gut. I was on a rigid diet and lots and lots of Pedialyte with electrolytes so I wouldn’t dehydrate.
I lost a couple day’s activity and Gary did most everything to sustain us, including cooking and laundry. After two days at Crandon Park Marina, we moved the boat down to No Name Harbor where Gary could get off the boat and get some exercise at Bill Baggs State Park. Then, we motored up to Hurricane Harbor to anchor for the night.

The next day, we motored the short distance back to No Name Harbor so we could tie up to the bulkhead and ride our bikes to the doctor’s office for my follow-up appointment. Feeling a little stronger, I felt I could ride the bike if we took our time. The doctor was pleased that I was better but concerned that I was not well. He wanted to wait until the lab results came back before any further treatment, which was a wise decision.

After spending the rest of the day at No Name Harbor, we motored back to Hurricane Harbor to once again spend a quiet night anchored there. The back and forth between the two anchorages became our routine for the next three days while we awaited lab results.

No Name (Busy Little) Harbor, on weekend

No Name Harbor's bulkhead on the weekend

On Saturday, the 29th, we decided to make the short trip to No Name Harbor early in the morning, thinking the bulkhead availability would be slim on the weekend. We were right, beyond our expectations. When we arrived there, the bulkhead was wide open and we got to choose our mooring spot. By the afternoon the small anchorage and the bulkhead was packed with boats. We counted 25 anchored boats and 25 boats moored to the bulkhead with more coming and going through the busy little harbor. It was fun and entertaining watching all the families and groups of people partying in a carnival type atmosphere.

Gary riding bike on wonderful bike trail at Bill Baggs State Park

I felt well enough to go on a bike ride with Gary, so we rode to the beach and sat for awhile before going back to the boat to motor back to our overnight anchorage. On the way back to Hurricane Harbor, Gary and I had a spat after I warned him about getting too close to a shallow area. After anchoring, I retreated to our berth, leaving a cold chill in my wake. I guess we were both on edge due to my illness and not knowing really what was wrong with me. We just needed a little space between us for awhile, which is an important issue with cruising couples. As personal as this entry is, we felt it important for people to realize the cruising lifestyle is not always as glamorous as it appears. There are good days and bad days for those of us who choose the cruising lifestyle, just as there is for landlubbers.

The next day the chill was still in the air as we motored back to No Name Harbor. I wanted to get off the boat for awhile myself, and decided I should walk a little to help build some strength back into my body. When we arrived, we found at least ten boats still moored to the bulkhead, having spent the night, despite the park’s regulation of no overnight mooring to the seawall. There was an open spot with easy access and we slipped into it.

No Name Harbor, just when we thought there was no more room...

No Name Harbor, pinned in at the seawall

I was unable to get away from the “head” long enough to go for a walk, but I enjoyed watching the boats and people. Gary walked, rode his bike to Winn Dixie, filled a water jug from the harbor’s restaurant (not a common practice for boaters), and also enjoyed the Latino families and friends having a great time visiting with each other, eating, and playing loud Latino music. We felt like we were in another country. The only English spoken were from the few transient boaters and greetings from the Hispanics as they passed by. Our impression was this: there are a lot of rich Hispanics in Miami and Key Biscayne with big power boats and they all go to No Name Harbor to party on the weekends. About the time we thought another boat couldn’t possibly moor to the bulkhead, another one would inch it’s way up to it and find a way to tie up. Gary counted over 50 boats and at one time there was a traffic jam. What a zoo! At 5:00 PM we were still blocked in at the bulkhead, but at 5:30 the boats started to clear out and we were able to push White Swan away from the seawall and motor back to our nice, quiet anchorage at Hurricane Harbor.


We motored to No Name Harbor, finding an empty bulkhead with the partiers gone, leaving the small harbor to it normalcy once again. We tied up for the day, allowing easy access to the land.

Our long awaited call from the doctor revealed a negative test for Salmonella. Concerned, because I was still not well, we decided to head for home the next day. Many of our friends at our home port of Telemar Bay Marina and Melbourne, offered to come and get me to drive me back home, and help Gary get the boat back, but due to the type of illness and not being able to leave the security of a nearby “head”, we choose to take White Swan home ourselves.

Our last night at Key Biscayne we anchored outside Hurricane Harbor, north of the entrance, since the wind was calm and the shallows gave protection from power boat wakes. The forecast for the next day was conducive to going outside, the ocean route, to head north. We had never gone out the Florida Channel around Key Biscayne before so we decided to follow that route instead of going through Government Cut to get to the ocean.

1-31-11 Our last sunset over Key Biscayne before heading home












South Beach, Miami

As instructed by the Coconut Grove trolley driver, we took the trolley to the metro station, where we purchased $5.00 day passes, which allowed us access to any city bus or metro for the whole day. We got on the metro headed toward downtown Miami and disembarked at Earlington Heights where we boarded the Airport Express bus #150 which took us to South Beach. (Piece of cake, when someone tells you exactly what to do and you don’t have to laboriously figure it out yourself.)
While we were traveling on the bus to South Beach, we talked to a couple from Indianapolis. They had been to South Beach before and were going there again today. They told us where we should get off the bus and a little about the area. We got off the bus at Lincoln Square and perused the overly crowded closed-off street presenting a plethora of shops, restaurants, bars, street venders and interesting people. An occasional fountain, in the middle of the boulevard, enhanced the area. If a person loves to shop and meander various boutiques, this would be a haven of enjoyment. As for us, we decided to head toward South Beach and see if it offered more to our liking than what Lincoln Square presented.


Jean at South Beach, Miami

South Beach impressed us as much as Lincoln Square.  Hotels, condos and townhouses line South Beach, providing accommodations for the numerous interesting people visiting there.  We prefer more quiet beaches, where the main attraction is the sun, sand and ocean, not the “interesting people”.

We were glad we went there to see it, but is it the kind of place we really enjoy? No. We rather enjoy more laid-back atmospheres offering a more relaxed pace. We’ll leave the partying places to the partying crowd who enjoy the hustle and bustle of that kind of lifestyle. (My goodness, we are showing our age.) After checking out the cost of parasailing, which we intend to do someday, we headed back to a bus stop to go back to Coconut Grove. We managed the excursion precisely as instructed and were proud of ourselves in doing so.

Gary watching the playoff games at Fat Tuesday sport's bar, Coconut Grove

We went to the sport’s bar we found yesterday in Coco Walk, and watched the first playoff game between Chicago and Green Bay. Then we went next door to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner. The table next to us accommodated a girl’s sailing team from Australia. It was interesting to hear their chatter regarding their day’s events. After dinner, we returned to the sport’s bar to watch the first half of the second playoff game between the NY Jets and the Steelers, before walking back to the marina.

Decorative peacocks adorned Coconut Grove

Another decorative peacock at Coconut Grove

While walking back to the marina we went by Peacock Park. We don’t know if “Peacock” is someone’s last name or why the park has it’s name. Apparently, there is some significance tied to peacocks and the district because we noticed colorful peacock statues, painted by various artists, located all around Coconut Grove. No street lights around Peacock Park made it a little challenging to see, but we felt fairly confident we were safe. While at Coco Walk, I noticed many young children running around, so I presumed the area must be pretty safe after dark. However, we wished we had brought a flashlight with us. We safely made it back to the marina’s dinghy dock, with another reminder to think ahead when leaving the boat for the day.

Dinner Key Marina, Coconut Grove, and The Barnacle

Gary and I did some stretches and exercised on the bow of White Swan before weighing anchor and heading west across Biscayne Bay to Dinner Key. Our friends, Tom and Pat Dennis told us about the marina there and we went to check it out. Their slip rentals are rather expensive, in our opinion, so we opted to rent a mooring ball for three days. The amenities of the marina were available to us since we rented a mooring ball. For those anchoring in the area, there is no access to the marina’s dinghy dock or any other amenities: laundry, water, pump out, WiFi, and boat shuttle from and to the marina, (no fuel). However boaters, if you choose to anchor in this area (along with all the grounded derelict boats) there is a boat ramp that can be used to land dinghies at a public park just a little south of the marina.
The young man in the marina office was very nice and informative, telling us about the marina and the nearby area. There are two restaurants on shore near the water, within easy walking distance north of the marina. We found the Chart House restaurant and right next to it, going back south, is a family and dog friendly diner with mostly outdoor seating. “Scotties” reminded us of some of the restaurants in the BVI (British Virgin Islands) and we chose to have lunch there. In BVI fashion, Gary enjoyed conch salad and fish chowder. On the other hand, I relished a good old fashioned hamburger.

Wondering if there was an easier way to get to these restaurants, we walked back to the marina, staying close to the water’s edge and found a path from Scotties going to the parking lot of the City Hall*, which is adjacent to Dinner Key Marina. It’s a much shorter walk taking this shortcut, rather than walking quite a distance west to get to the main street and then go north to get to the restaurants.

*The City Hall is located in a renovated Pan American clipper building. Back in the day, the area was a seaplane base first used for the Pan Am clippers that flew to the Caribbean and South America, and then it became home for the U.S. Coast Guard. We tried to enter the City Hall building, but it was locked to the public.

Coco Walk restaurants and vendors


We walked to the Coconut Grove district, which is southwest of the marina, and found many shops and cafes. The Coconut Grove area is actually part of the city of Miami but it has an ambiance uniquely it’s own, boasting of old Florida charm.

Olympic sailors sailing through the mooring field

The U.S. Sailing Center at Coconut Grove‘s Kennedy Park is one of the training sites for the U.S. Olympic sailing team. We are lucky enough to be here while young athletic sailors from various countries are here in training. Many sail boats of various sizes and from numerous countries, sail through the mooring field where we are moored on their way to Biscayne Bay for practice or regattas.

After exploring a small portion of the Coconut Grove area, we headed back to the boat, just in time to get caught in a rain shower. Fortunately, we brought our windbreakers with us and they offered some protection from the rain. As we were nearing the dinghy dock, Gary made the statement, “ I bet this rain ends about the same time we get to the boat.” He was right…



This morning, we both wanted a hot shower, so instead of starting up the motor to run the hot water heater on the boat, we opted to go to the marina shower house. While there, we did some laundry, and I took advantage of the extra space in the shower house and cut my hair, being careful to clean up my mess. Years ago, my hairdresser friend, Pam Kendall, taught me how to cut hair. The skill certainly comes in handy while living aboard White Swan, as we don’t have the nuisance of having to find a place to get our hair cut. Thanks, Pam!

Taking advantage of the marina’s boat shuttle, I took the laundry back to the boat (much easier than schlepping it on the dinghy), and Gary and I prepared for a day ashore, intending to explore Coconut Grove more thoroughly and have a picnic lunch in one of the parks.

Costing 25 cents a person, we boarded the Coconut Grove trolley and toured the district, familiarizing ourselves to the area. This was very beneficial in that without undue exertion, we located the Fresh Market grocery a short distance north of the Chart House, and we were able to see what was downtown in Coconut Grove. The trolley ends at the metro station, where normally all patrons disembark; but after explaining to the driver what we were doing, she not only allowed us to stay on the bus, but also explained how the bus and metro system operates in Miami. What a gift! She told us exactly what to do to get to South Beach from Coconut Grove, giving us the confidence we needed to go there tomorrow.

Cocoa Walk in Coconut Grove

After our trolley tour, we walked through Coco Walk, which is a uniquely designed open-air business area with artisan shops of art, jewelry, pottery, antiques, entertainment, etc. Instead of having our picnic in a park, we decided to sit by the square’s fountain to eat and people watch while basking in the ambience of the sites.

After finding a sport’s bar where we can return to watch the football playoff games, we continued our walking tour. Walking south, we found a sign, beside the sidewalk on the east side of the main street, indicating a tourist site, of Commodore Ralph Middleton Monroe’s home, The Barnacal (circa 1887). We followed a picturesque path through a hammock, leading us to The Barnacal, so named because the inside architectural design of the loft is shaped like a barnacle.

Commodore Munson's home which he mostly built from wreckage material

Most of the original acreage owned by the Commodore has been sold, but the grounds of The Barnacle were donated by the late owner’s family to the Florida State Park and is now impeccably maintained by volunteers who have a passion for preservation of such treasures. The two tour guides expressed personal sentiments to this grand old place, while they led us through the residence, yard, and boathouse. A few descendants of the Commodore still live in the area and occasionally stop by The Barnacle to talk to the caretakers, connecting the fragmented past to the present…thus, the loyalty of all who lovingly care for this “home” and it‘s history.

Rails used to haul out boats, with replic of "Egret" in background

The Commodore was a “wrecker” by trade, back in the day when channels through the Florida Keys were not marked as they are today, and navigation was tricky, to say the least. There was a gentleman’s rule that who ever arrived at a shipwreck first, had the rights to salvage. Therefore, it was out of the Commodore’s best interest to design fast moving boats so he could have the first right of salvage. He designed 56 boats throughout his lifetime, the favorite of which he christened “Egret“. Most of his home was made from wreckage salvage material. The Commodore’s brilliance is evident in not only the designs of his boats, but also in the architecture of his house and boathouse, built to withstand the ferocious hurricanes. Trial and error made him a master of both crafts. By the end of our tour, we were so impressed with the Commodore, we bought a book from the quaint gift shop entitled, The Commodore’s Story, The Early Days on Biscayne Bay by Ralph Middleton Munroe and Vincent Gilpin.

Inside Commodore Munson's boat house

After an enlightening time spent at The Barnacle, we walked to the Chart House to have a relaxing dinner while enjoying the view from our table by a window. Our spiritually adopted daughter, Kelly Ousley, would have been delighted to have been there with us for two reasons: one, she would have loved the view, and two, the Chart House is one of her favorite restaurants. This picture was taken with her in mind.

Before walking back to the marina, via our earlier found shortcut, Gary enjoyed pompano in banana rum sauce for his entrée while I had parmesan crusted snapper. Dinner at the Chart House cannot be complete without sharing their famous flourless chocolate lava cake, which has to be ordered when the entrée is ordered, as it is prepared upon request. Chocolate is the best way to end any day…















No Name Harbor and Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park

No Name Harbor…isn’t that a peculiar name? Wonder who thought of that name… someone with no imagination, apparently… my imagination wonders if a committee of people stalemated with a 50/50 vote on what to name the harbor, thus the name No Name Harbor. I think one side would have wanted it to be called Cape Florida Harbor and the other side, Bill Baggs Harbor; as Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park Harbor would have been too much verbiage. La de dah, it is what it is, as amusing as it may seem to some of us…Even though Ponce de Leon named this area “Cape of Florida” in 1513, the park is named after Bill Baggs, the editor of The Miami News from 1957 to 1969, who remained adamant in the quest to obtain the 510 acres at the tip of Key Biscayne from it’s owner Mrs. Elena Santeiro Garcia to be used as a natural park and nature reserve instead of the alternative, real estate development.

Moored to the seawall at No Name Harbor

No Name Harbor is the first harbor south of Hurricane Harbor on Key Biscayne. The channel to the entrance is well marked and you can see the walking trails of the park to starboard as you come down the channel. Cape Florida Lighthouse can be seen towering above the palm trees in the distance. The ambience of the Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park welcomes the seafarers and land lubbers alike. There is an extensive bulkhead where boaters can pump out there holding tanks for free, and also tie up for the day, making easy shore excursions, especially if you intend to ride your bikes on the lovely bike trails. The cost to moor your boat to the seawall is $2.00 for the day and boats cannot stay there overnight. The anchorage fee in No Name Harbor is $20.00. There are pay stations along the seawall and payment is by the honor system. Keeping your receipt allows access back into the park, if you choose to go outside the park for nearby shopping.

No Name Harbor, view from the outdoor shower and laundry

There is no fuel or water available to boaters in No Name Harbor.  There is a restaurant beside the anchorage and another restaurant in the park near the beach. There is a free outdoor “cold” shower at the restroom and laundry facility. Gary and I used the shower, wearing our swimsuits. The view from the shower of Biscayne Bay was phenomenal. Gary said, “Where else can you have this kind of view while taking a shower?” While we were leaving the shower, another couple came to use it and asked us if the water was still hot. We told them we guaranteed it was as hot as it was when we came. The laundry has one washer and one dryer, not always operational, according to the cruising guide.

Stiltsville on Biscayne Bay (7 houses look like dots in the distance)

Stiltsville Information Sign

We rode our bikes around the whole park. The walking trails were along the shoreline and the bike trails were further inside. No matter where we are, we prefer to be close to the water, so we used the walking trail instead of the bike trail, seeing bike tracks in the sand on the trail indicating others had done so as well. The first point of interest we came to on the trail was an informational sign regarding Stiltsville. The remaining seven houses, now owned by the park, can be seen in the distance on Biscayne Bay. These homes built on stilts, hover over the water miles away from the shore. It’s a strange sight to see. Hurricanes have wiped out many of the structures of Stiltsville. My comment to Gary was, “Why would they think hurricanes WOULDN’T wipe them out?” Yet, seven have somehow managed to stay erect since the years of Stiltsville’s conception in the 1930’s. When you look at the picture, the small dots in the distance are the houses.

Further on the trail, we found the piece de resistance of the park, the Cape Florida Lighthouse, circa 1825. The lighthouse suffered from disrepair until the State of Florida purchased it in 1966 and has since refurbished it to it’s original grandeur. There are a plethora of beautiful sights in the Bill Baggs Cape Florida Park , one of which we found coming from the beach side entrance to the lighthouse area. Delighting us beyond measure, we saw a stunning palm tree lined promenade, directing one’s captured attention to the lighthouse.

Cape Florida Lighthouse at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park

Palm tree lined promenade to Cape Florida Lighthouse


The trail from the lighthouse led us to the beach, where Gary enjoyed a swim before we had our picnic lunch. While we were eating, we noticed a couple taking pictures while holding a huge starfish. We joined them and took our turn at taking pictures of the pristine specimen. In all our scuba diving, we have never seen such a perfect starfish, or one as big as this one.

What a special experience!

Starfish at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park

Gary holding starfish

Making a complete loop around the park, we ended up back at No Name Harbor and went to the restaurant there to have a drink before unloading our picnic/beach items at White Swan. From there, we rode our bikes out of the park and 1 ½ miles to the Winn Dixie grocery store. (From the park entrance, it is three lights down, on the left, second floor.) As it turned out, it was the same Winn Dixie we had gone to when we moored at Crandon Park Marina last April. We were pleased to find out the trip is much shorter from No Name Harbor than it is from Crandon Park Marina. From now on, we will tie up at the seawall of No Name Harbor and go to the grocery store from there, instead of Crandon Park Marina. If you are a boater with no bicycle, there is a bus stop just outside the park entrance that can be used if you don’t want to walk the mile and a half. There also is a bus stop near the grocery store.

Manatee at No Name Harbor

On our way to the shower that afternoon, we noticed people taking pictures near the bulkhead. To our fascination we found they were taking pictures of a manatee feeding on the grasses growing on the pilings. When you see these docile mammals, you understand why they are commonly referred to as gentle giants. Manatees are on the endangered species list. Last winter, 2009/2010, it was reported 10 percent of the manatees in Florida died because the water was too cold. I remember our sadness when we heard the news, a mother sea cow and her baby were pulled out of the Indian River Lagoon near our marina, having died from the cold water. Also, some manatees are killed by boat propellers. Look closely at the picture and you will see a terrible scar on the top of the manatee. Though painfully damaged, this one was lucky.
By the time we left the seawall in the late afternoon, the anchorage was packed with boats. Even if we didn’t mind paying $20.00 to anchor, the harbor was too crowded to attempt a safe anchored night. We motored out of the harbor, past the entrance, and anchored near other anchored boats. However, the power boat wakes were more than what we wanted to tolerate after such a calm, peaceful day. So we motored the short way back to Hurricane Harbor and anchored in the harbor’s calm water just inside the entrance (away from the grating grated bridge) just before another beautiful sunset.

Sunset at Hurricane Harbor



Hurricane Harbor, Key Biscayne

We left Crandon Park Marina around noon and motored a short way to Hurricane Harbor. Gary and I want to check out the anchorages on Key Biscayne that we did not go to when we were here last April. We quickly realized when coming in the entrance to the harbor we needed to hug the northwest point, as it shoals quickly on the starboard side. The cruising guide usually alerts boaters of shoaling at entrances of anchorages, but none is given for this one. When we experience navigational hazards of this nature, we write a note on our charts and guides, lest we forget in the future.

We found Hurricane Harbor to be a well protected, albeit a rather small harbor, surrounded by ostentatious homes. At the far end of the harbor, where we anchored for the night, is a road with a bridge that apparently has metal grating. Grating is the operative word here, because when vehicles went over the bridge, the racket was very grating on one’s nerves (my nerves). Fortunately, the traffic was minimal by the time we turned the lights out for the night. If we come to this anchorage again, we will anchor at the other end, nearer the entrance. Even though there is a road at the end of the harbor, there is no where a dinghy can be tied up, enabling a shore excursion. There are no restaurants, or any other amenities for boaters at this anchorage. It’s just a nice calm place to anchor for the night.

Indolence vs. Industrious


The rainy day outside beckoned a lazy day inside. Rain showers fell throughout the day and the predicted thunderstorm came in the late afternoon and evening hours, ending late in the night.

We hoped for a break in the foul weather, so we could schlep our dirty clothes to the marina’s laundry via dinghy, but no break came and the task had to wait for another day. The only advantage of all the rain was Gary used Mother Nature’s fresh water to rinse the topside of the boat after he cleaned off the sea salt and bird droppings. While he cleaned outside, I tidied up the inside. Other than the small amount of cleaning, our only industrious feats for the day were preparing, eating, and washing the dishes for three meals. We decided we ate way two much for a day of inactivity. How many calories do you burn sitting and reading most of the day?


I got to do the laundry today. YEAH!!! Since the marina’s laundry only had one washer and one dryer, it took 5 hours to do 4 loads of laundry. No complaints…it was better than taking the city bus to a laundromat in Miami, which was the other option.

While I did the laundry, Gary cleaned out leaky lockers on White Swan, drained the fuel filter bowl, changed the prop, checked all the fluid levels, and played galley slave. He not only prepared and brought a lovely lunch for us to enjoy on a shaded bench by the laundry, he also made a delicious chicken stir-fry for dinner. He is actually quite the chef. He delights me with his culinary skills occasionally.

When we came to Crandon Park Marina our plans were to spend three nights, using one day to do the laundry and the other day we were going to take the bus to Miami and go to South Beach. Since it rained all day yesterday, delaying the laundry, we’ll hopefully get to South Beach on our way back through this area. You might be wondering why we would choose to do the laundry over a fun day in Miami. If you could have smelled the odoriferous aft berth where our dirty laundry is stowed, you would have quickly come to the same resolution.

The most joyous part of the day was not the sunset this evening, but rather the moon rise. A full moon, shining over the harbor before it was dark outside, sprayed a magical array of colors over the water. Words cannot truly describe the magnificence of the scene, nor can a picture, but in order to share it in the slightest way… Behold…

Moon over Crandon Park Marina at Key Biscayne



Frabjous Day



What an absolutely fabulous day we had today. It could not have been more perfect! After a peaceful night, we left our quiet anchorage around 8:30 this morning and had an enchanting sail on the crystal blue Atlantic Ocean. The weather was perfect, sunny and warm. The blue skies made the water appear even bluer. The wind was perfect for a 4-7 knot sail. The swells were light and allowed a perfect sailing experience all the way from Ft. Lauderdale to the Miami inlet, Government Cut. Glorious!

Glen Becker, a wonderful friend from Annapolis, Maryland, called us as we were getting close to Government Cut and told us about a webcam there that shows live videos of the beach and inlet. He posted a message on our website, telling readers about the webcam and the approximate time we should be seen on the video. His estimation of our time of arrival was dead on and he called us to let us know he saw White Swan and saw us take down the sails before entering the inlet. He said the resolution was not the best, but he knew it was us because he had been following us on SPOT. How cool is this technology??? What fun! Sharing our adventures with all of you, makes our living it even more exciting for us. Thank you, Glen, for your interest and posting the info on our website. (In case our readers have forgotten, Glen is the designer of our website.)

Aquamarine water of Key Biscayne with Miami as backdrop

Since it was a beautiful WEEKEND day, the port of Miami was bustling with every size of boat imaginable. We made our way through the congestion, across Biscayne Bay, and into Crandon Park Marina where we secured White Swan to a mooring ball. Tomorrow is suppose to bring thunderstorms and high winds, and relying on a mooring ball to hold us through a storm always give me a sense of security – a false sense of security, I’ve been told, as mooring balls have been known to break loose. Non-the-less, I’d still rather be in a boat slip or secured to a mooring ball than be on the hook (anchored) during a thunderstorm.
The day ended on as good of a note as it began…key of G for GREAT! There is no end to the delight we experience from the Florida Keys’ sunny, warm days; the beautiful aquamarine and indigo blue water; and all of the nature on land, sea and sky. The crescendo of these glorious days on the water are the sunsets. There can be no better view of God’s majestic artwork anywhere else in the world than the sunset we witnessed tonight over Biscayne Bay. Behold…

Sunset over Biscayne Bay as seen from the mooring field at Crandon Park Marina

See the Glenns live!


Here’s your chance to glimpse the good life! And by chance, I mean just that. There is a chance White Swan will be visible in the beach cam on Miami Beach. This is just north of Government Cut, the big man-made inlet you can easily pick out on any map.

I estimate they’ll be in the area between 1:30 and 1:45pm EST. About an hour from now.

If anyone happens to catch them, let us know by leaving a comment. And a screenshot would be cool, too!


2pm Update: We got them! They made great time and were there right at 1:30. I managed to be at the computer (and spoke to them both briefly) as they were headed into the cut. I have some video and I’ll post it here. (Once I learn how to edit video, that is. 🙂 )

4pm Update: Video! Enjoy


When we awakened this morning and saw the flat water of Lake Worth, we decided to venture “outside” the ICW and take the ocean route south to Ft. Lauderdale. We watched the tide tables and went out the inlet at low tide so we would have the current working with us rather than against us. The learning curve of our previous jaunts with ocean passages have taught us invaluable lessons, such as working with nature instead of against her, i.e., the tides, current, wind, weather and even the day of the week and time of day – boat traffic is heavier on weekends, and the big cruise ships fill the inlets in the evening hours and during the night.
From the north end of Lake Worth, where we have been the last 22 days, the Lake Worth Inlet is about an hour motor trip on White Swan.  By 9:30 AM we were out the inlet and heading south. The aquamarine water of the ocean presented 3 to 5 foot swells (waves) on our beam (side of the boat) as the wind was from the ENE (East/Northeast). Even though a catamaran doesn’t heel (lean to the side) like a monohull, there can be a whole lot o’ shakin’ goin’ on as we rock an’ rolled with the swells. It was hard to walk around the boat, so we mostly sat in the cockpit, with Gary at the helm (steering wheel) and I in my chair. An occasional trip to the head (bathroom), where Gary had to steady himself using the spread eagle position with hands up on the walls and feet spread apart, was the only time spent away from his helm’s chair. If the good captain is ever arrested (never!), he will be familiar with “assuming the position”. 

Goodyear Blimp over Ft Lauderdale

We motor-sailed 8 ½ hours to Ft. Lauderdale. The enjoyment of the day was seeing the beautiful water, of which we never tire. And after being “holed-up” for 22 days in one place, it felt good to be going somewhere again. By 5:10 PM we were securely anchored in Lake Sylvia and having a very happy hour relaxing before dinner. Lake Sylvia is a small lake near the Port Everglades Inlet. There is not much room for boats to swing around if the wind shifts directions, especially if there are a lot of boats anchored in this small, but well protected anchorage (this means there is land nearly all the way around the anchorage, protecting the anchored boats from wind). The lack of wind and few boats anchored here tonight will make for a very comfortable night.

Postscript:  This comment from our friend, Sanford Graves, was so delightful, I copied it and posted it here for all to read:  
Hey Gary,

After reading Jeans account of you relieving yourself while underway, I realized that you had missed the “notice to mariners” regarding such activity, to whit:

USCG Notice to Mariners – #0381965 -Instruction 4PN
Persuant to the allowance of females as crew aboard pleasure craft under 60 feet LOA and in regard to their duties with respect to the head, it is hereby ordered that all male personnel, including the ship’s Captain shall assume a seated position while performing a PPO exercise (personal pump-out). Male personnel may perform a PPO in the standing position in the following situations:
1. While the vessel is secured in a slip. This does not include seawalls.
2. While in dry dock after insuring that all seacocks are secured in the closed position.
3. While standing on the transom and facing aft in conditions under Force 2. Visual contact with the helm is strongly advised.
3. In the event of a ship’s fire, collision or imminant foundering, in which case an IPPO (involuntary personal pump out) may be unavoidable.

Hope this is helpful.

Sandy Graves
S/v Lily Pad

Boat People/Street People

We were eager to go ashore today since we stayed on the boat all day yesterday. The wind was fierce and it would have been a rough, wet dinghy ride to shore.  What a difference a day makes,  Today’s calm anchorage gave both of us the desire to ride our bikes back to the John D. MacArthur Beach State Park, so Gary loaded our bikes into the dinghy to accompany us to shore.  It’s always an exerting task getting the foldable bikes out of the sail locker at the bow of the boat, and awkwardly carrying them to the stern of the boat to load them onto the bouncing dinghy while balancing himself and not losing the bikes overboard.
 The first thing we wanted to do at the park, was go to the beach to see what the ocean looked like with the reported 14 to 17 mph ENE (East/Northeast) winds. Now that my leg is 99 percent healed, we’ve been checking the weather reports to see when we can “go outside” (i.e., the ocean, not the ICW) to resume our trip south, first to Ft. Lauderdale and then another hop out to go to Crandon Park Marina at Key Biscayne. If the weather looks favorable, we will leave Lake Worth tomorrow and head south as the wind is to be lighter, 10 to 15 mph, still ENE. That’s why we wanted to see the state of the ocean. Today, it looked rougher than what we would want to handle with White Swan. However, if the wind does lessen by tomorrow, as predicted, we should be okay. The worse that can happen is we go out the inlet to the ocean and turn around and come back in. There are sixteen bridges between Lake Worth and Ft. Lauderdale on the ICW and that is why boaters prefer to go outside if possible.  Also, tomorrow is Saturday, bringing with it an over abundance of power boaters traveling down the ICW mindlessly tormenting the sail boaters with their huge motors and even larger wakes. (That was a very generalized statement. Some power boaters show sympathy to the plight of the sailors by slowing down as they pass by, minimizing their wakes that toss the sailboats about.)

Gumbo Limbo Tree, aka Tourist Tree

The main reason we wanted to go back to the park was to walk the nature trails. There are two trails in the park, each winding through hammocks (raised areas of land, densely overgrown with various vegetation). Our self-guided tour introduced us to a variety of bushes and trees that were well marked and equally well described on a paper leaflet given to us at the Nature Center. A tree that always fascinates us is the Gumbo Limbo, commonly called the “tourist tree”. It has reddish bark that sloughs off like the tourists’ sunburned skin.

Boston ferns growing wild in hammock at John D. MacArthur Beach State Park


I have to give my mother credit for my love of nature. When I and my four siblings were youngsters, mother would take us on nature walks. It seemed she knew the name of every native plant and tree. Now, I wish I’d paid closer attention to her tutorage. At the time, I was more interested in tormenting my younger sister, and avoiding the torment of my three older brothers. Our poor mother…
After another wonderful day at the John D. MacArthur Beach State Park, we rode our bikes back to the dinghy landing and locked them to the road’s guardrail so we could walk on into town to go to the grocery store. White Swan is fully stocked with enough non-perishables to last three months, but since we are limited with refrigerator space, we are continually in need of fresh fruits, veggies and meat. Re-provisioning before leaving an anchorage after an extended stay, is a must. We have plenty of fuel and enough water to last a couple more days, so those tasks can wait.
We purchased more groceries than what would fit in our two backpacks, so Gary thought we should just push the grocery cart back to the dinghy landing. He decided he wanted to make one last trip to the French Café and Bakery to get some more fresh bread and pastries, so I was left with the cart. We agreed to meet back at the dinghy landing. I have a fresh perspective on ladies pushing grocery carts (outside the grocery store parking lots). Who would suspect the lady pushing the cart down the sidewalk beside the street in Palm Gardens Beach is none other than the wife of a once prominent optometrist? What was it my mother taught me eons of time ago, “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.”??? Also, something I learned while pushing that cart is, it’s not an easy thing to do…maneuvering it up and over curbs, through mulched landscape, loose gravel. The next time I see a poor lady pushing her cart on the streets of a city, my empathy for her will abound!!!