Saturday, January 21, 2017

Dinner Key Marina, South Miami

Monday, January 16, 2017

With good memories in hand, we hauled up the anchor one last time in Oleta River Park and bid it a fond farewell.  Our plan for today is to transit the busy Miami area, and take a slip in Dinner Key Marina in South Miami.  Originally,  we were going to anchor in No Name Harbor in Bill Baggs State Park on Cape Florida, but the logistics of being sure we could get a final pumpout before leaving in the middle of the night convinced us to take a slip instead.  This way, we can pumpout when we get there, and then use the marina's facilities until we leave.  The extra trip across Biscane Bay will only add about an hour to our time.  The weather window is holding, and our target departure time is between midnight and 3 am Wed Night/Thurs morning.

Once again, we entered the queue of boats lining up for the first bridge of the day.  I noticed that the engine temp was back to normal (for reasons unknown), so it looked like we would have no trouble keeping up the 5 1/2 - 6 knot pace that is needed to stay "on the pattern" and make each bridge with a minimum amount of waiting.
Lining up for the Next Bridge
Along the way, we encountered numerous fleets of small, single-class boats, some part of a sailing school, others racing.
A Fleet of Lasers
 The run to South Miami was pretty short, and in no time we were entering the long narrow entrance channel to Dinner Key Marina.  Along the way in, we encountered an example of one of the "derelict boats" that we hear so much about, although I must admit, there have been fewer of them than I expected.  Perhaps hurricane Matthew cleared a lot of them out!
Derelict Boat Anchored Just Outside the Mooring Field
Dinner Key Marina is an interesting place.  It's run by the city of Miami, and has a lot of history behind it.  This huge 680 slip marina is located on the site of the old Pan American "Clipper" flying boat terminal.  The original art-deco terminal building still stands on the property, and is now the Miami City Hall.
The Old Pan Am Clipper Terminal
The property is immaculately landscaped, and has 7 large piers.  Unfortunately, we were way out on pier 1, which gets only limited protection from wind and waves due to the position of their breakwater.  I guess the transients get the "cheap seats"!
Beautiful, Palm-Lined Seawalls
We spent two days and most of 3 nights here, waiting for the weather window on Wed night/Thurs morning.
Our Last Sunset in the USA

 A little past midnight on Wed night, we retrieved our lines and quietly slipped away into the darkness like thieves in the night.  Next stop, Bimini!

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