Thursday, November 23, 2006

Saturday 18th November


After sleeping in a bit later today we decided to put the dink in the water and christen our new outboard motor. Along with Bob and Kathy we set off to explore the area to see if there was anywhere that we could dock the dink and use the facilities – we were after an internet connection and washing machine. We tried everywhere around us – yacht club, fuel dock, marina x 2 and the local restaurant to no avail – they simply didn’t cater for boats that were anchored out. As we zipped past the local restaurant, The Rusty Pelican, there was a couple getting married on the deck outside. Their backdrop, the city of Miami from the water, was lovely however I’m sure the noise from us zooming by as well as the planes going overhead would have been an annoyance. Our new outboard motor worked very well, which was a relief as we didn’t need that to give us any grief. In fact it worked so well that we even gave Bob a tow when his outboard conked out and wouldn’t start again ( he did get it going eventually).
We toured around the ex – marine park and I have to say it was a bit of a disgrace. The seating stand is still there but has been vandalized to the point that it is an eyesore. The area around the stand, where we assume the entrance used to be, has also been left to fall into disrepair – it looks like it has become the local dumping ground for trash. We were at a loss to understand why the local council hasn’t demolished the stand and cleared the debris away. The bay, where we understand water sport displays and shows were carried out, remains in good condition with a few boats anchored there. A local rowing club uses the bay to practice their sport and we spent the evening being entertained watching them race around the bay. I say rowing club as that is what their club house says however they were using an outrigger (or dragon boat) type of stroke rather than a rowing stroke so I’m not sure really what they would be classed as.
I spent most of the afternoon cooking as we had invited Bob and Kathy to eat with us. As soon as it was dark we had drinks, dinner and enjoyed the company of our friends accompanied in the background by fireworks which we are sure were set off in our honour! We discussed our plans for the next few days – ours are to remain here until we get a good weather window, whilst Sundancer are planning to try moving a bit further south. Bob and Kathy had phoned around the marinas further south and were horrified to find that most of them are already booked out until the new year and that the available ones are charging $32 per foot – I don’t imagine they will be staying in one of them.
Once we went to bed the party music from the shore cranked up again, at least it wasn’t quite so loud or quite as awful as last night and we did managed to sleep until Gerry got up at 04.30hrs and announced that we had dragged anchor. It was a quick scramble into track suits (it was quite cold out side!) and a mad rush to bring in the anchor, motor back to a suitable spot and re – anchor. This is how we know for certain that the party on shore was still going at 05.00hrs! Once we were happy that we weren’t going anywhere again we returned to bed to try and get a bit more sleep.



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