Hmmmm……where did I last leave you? Beautiful, sunny Fort Lauderdale. Ya, not so beautiful, not so sunny…..some dirtbag stole my wheels! Yep! I made one last trip to the grocery store – a real nice Publix, a grocery store with a parking garage, a parking attendant, middle of the day, locked my bicycle up in the bike rack, right smack in front of the store, security camera watching everything. Ran around the store filling my allotted one bucket bag, less than a hour in and out. Walked out of the store schlepping my overstuffed bag and scratched my head. I have no hair now, I tend to forget you have to be more gentle when one scratches their head. Where’s my bike? I’m losing my mind! I ran up the parking attendant, ‘did you see someone take off on a bike?’ This got me a concerned look. I accosted some poor husband waiting to pick up his wife ‘did you see someone take off on a bike?’ I earned another ‘uh, oh this one’s crazy look’. I ran up to the kid sitting on the curb smoking a cigarette, ‘did you see someone take off on a bike?’ This unfortunate kid feared trouble was coming and gave me a ‘no mam’. Mam? We’ll get back to that one later. It turns out nobody saw a dirtbag cut the lock on my trusty foldable bicycle, my very necessary wheels, and ride off into the sunset. Well, shit! A blubbering telephone to Hoss ‘ya, gotta come get me! Some asshole stole my bike and my shopping bag weighs too much to walk back to the boat!’ A frustrating police report with a real nice police officer raised my opinion of Fort Lauderdale a smidgin, he told me ‘it’s a real nice bike, it’ll stick out, we’ll find it by evening!’ Ok, so it wasn’t true…..but it’s just what this gal needed to hear! Goodbye Origami, trusty I can take you anywhere folding bike…..you were a good soldier. This photo was taken in Ft Pierce provisioning for the winter – I have 70 beers on this stock run between the rack and the bucket bag! Try doing that without a bike! It’s funny…..the last two years we’ve travelled through seven third world countries, using our bikes numerous times in each country and never had a theft problem. Back in the US and my bike gets stolen! Makes ya wonder!
Bright and shiny the next morning we left Fort Lauderdale in our wake and on to Miami. Government Cut, the main inlet for Miami, is a heavily trafficked channel – cruise ships, tankers, cargo ships, car ferries, pleasure boaters, mega yachts, and some guy on a self propelled wake board…..it was crazy! We arrived a couple days early, plenty of time to see the sights.
Hello, South Beach! This was a Hoss request. You’ve seen South Beach on television, it’s the East coast version of Venice Beach, California. We wandered around checking out the crazies, it was mid week and there was still plenty to see. Hoss envisioned tanned, toned, g string wearing women roller blading, what we got is some tanned, hairy, lunatic on roller blades. Ok, not the same thing! Plenty of skimpy bikinis (strangely enough both men and women), muscly men working out, more eateries in a given mile, token old dude with his metal detector. Oh, and by the way watch where you step…..we quit counting the number of discarded condemns laying in the sand. Ok, you can have South Beach!
The big reason for venturing down to Miami – The Miami Boat Show! As I’ve mentioned this gal loves a Boat Show! Miami is the cream of the crop! What’s better? We got to sail our boat to the Boat Show! Oh, yea! Miami however is a funny town, plenty of anchorages to drop the hook but nowhere to dinghy ashore. Hmmmm! We met some interesting folks, other sailors, who did a little recon. It turns out if you slip the Hobie Cat rental guy a twenty, he’ll vouch for your boat for the day. So, that’s just what we did! It took some logistics – Hoss rowed us ashore (no motors allowed), we dragged the dinghy up the sand (amazing how light she is without the motor), cable locked her to a palm tree (our luck hasn’t been stellar lately), trudged through the parking lot, and jaywalked across the four lane highway. Hello, boat show! Ahhhh, the vendors! Ohhhh, the boats! We bought a Mantus anchor and bridle, a Garmin Chart Plotter, a Raymarine wind direction gauge, a Vesper AIS receiver/transmitter with integrated anchor alarm, two portable Icom vhf radios (sadly ours left over from the jet boat days just died), we each got spiffy new Gill foul weather gear, charts for Florida (surprising how hard these are to come across), it feels like I’m forgetting something. One thing for sure…..the credit card is groaning, we had better get back to work! We had high hopes of replacing my bicycle, but couldn’t find a comparable replacement – foldable, front and rear suspension, 7 speed, rear rack, aluminum, weigh less than 28 lbs – Origami really knows their stuff…..I guess I’ll be walking! Speaking of getting back to work…..we mentioned our new gig this summer, we’re off to Alaska again! Scott and Jody the owners of Pybus Point Lodge man a booth at the Miami Boat Show advertising fantastic, fishing adventures at their lodge in Alaska. We had a great time visiting with Scott and Jody, they answered all of my questions (I always have questions) and left us excited for our upcoming summer! Oh, what should I pack? My wheels are already turning!
A teeny, tiny weather window appeared for a East bound Gulf Stream crossing, back to the Bahamas! We hadn’t been to the Berry Islands yet, so that’s where we headed! We left Miami at 6pm after enjoying every minute of the Boat Show and arrived in Great Harbor at 3pm Saturday – 21 hours, not too shabby. Hoss was a fishing fool, he caught a whooping 15 Barracuda crossing the Great Bahama Bank. We don’t keep Barracuda, but every time he reeled that spinning line in, one of those sleek, sharp teeth suckers was snapping viciously at him! We lost 2 cedar plugs and one colorful, pretty lure; this fishing is hard work! Finally we brought in something edible – a Cero. Fish tacos tonight!
And Hoss got a hook stuck in his palm! Stuck as in – grab the rubbing alcohol, a razor blade, a pair of pliers, and pull this thing out kinda stuck!
A quick run into Great Harbor to top off the BTC data card – hello wifi and off to deserted anchorages and brilliant blue water! Just like this…..
This is our spot at Soldier Cay…..notice anything? Nobody else is here! Yea! If you look real close you can see laundry drying on the lifelines – it’s washing day! Speaking of laundry, I should probably head in and pull the clothes off the lines…..we’ll catch ya later!