Ride along with us on a QUICK trip from Stuart to Tarpon Springs! It has been a while since I have blogged, being very busy with deliveries for owners who were not interested in the trip’s details. We have a couple of upcoming trips where the owners would like a written record and so I will brush up on the discipline it takes to record events and hopefully not bore the reader out of his mind!
Repairs on the Indian Town bridge prevented us from taking My Dori III (a Carver C40) through the Okeechobee Waterway from the east coast of Florida to the west coast. Very BAD timing for that to be the case! The wind was blowing 35 from the east and was kicking up 6 footers in the Atlantic and so we were sentenced to taking the ICW south on a WEEKEND through Ft Lauderdale and Miami, something we try to avoid like the plague! But when an owner wants the boat moved quickly, you do what makes the most sense.
It was a pretty easy run from Stuart to Boynton Beach, where we re-fueled and docked for the night. The next morning we were moving at first light. The waterways were quiet as the sun rose, bleeding crimson and gold across the sky. Bridges opened on silent cogs and we were the only traffic moving for a while. Of course that changed once we reached Ft. Lauderdale; it was south Florida on the weekend! Jetskis buzzed like mosquitos, racing in dizzying circles to jump wakes and as the sun climbed high, we noticed more than one police boat with a jetski lashed to its side, while its rider became another DUI statistic in the back of the boat.
Kayaks played chicken with the parade of boats passing by, oblivious to the fate possible if they mistimed their transits by mere seconds. Peanut Island and Oleta State Park were barely visible for the hundreds of boats anchored around them. Music of every genre competed, blasting eardrum-puncturing beats and vocals across the water and the tomorrow’s dermatologists will be able to make payments on multi-millions dollar yachts due of the amount of skin that was bared to the noonday sun.
Waiting at the 11 foot high Venetian Causeway bridge in downtown Miami became a exercise in a captain’s ability to control a boat amidst a bottle neck of other vessels all vying to be first through once it opened. As the bridge span yawned open, each captain chose a spot and a tidy parade of vessels from jetskis up to 80 footers caravanned through. It’s a little tricky along this stretch because there are several bridges with little room between them. Our parade moved along at a nice clip until it became clear that the upcoming, very low railroad bridge had just closed. One little engine chugged busily across while we watched boats slam into reverse in front of us and like dominoes falling, each boat did it’s best to cease forward momentum without being rear-ended by the next boat. Fortunately, the bridge opened rather quickly and order was restored to the procession which exited Miami as quickly as was allowed by speed limits.
Once free of the Rickenbacker bridge the procession fanned out with the go-fast boats taking off and heading either south to the Keys or east to the Atlantic. We were among those headed to the Keys and My Dori III was happy to show what she could do in open water. It didn’t take long to reach Key Largo where we refueled and docked for the night at Gilbert’s Marina, happy to be done with boat traffic for the immediate future.
The next morning, we were up and out at daylight, navigating the ICW to Channel 5 and from there up the Florida Bay, around Capes Sable and Romano to Marco Island where we refueled at Rose Marina and kept on running to finish the day at Moss Marina in Ft Myers Beach as the sun was starting to throw long shadows across the water.
We finished the trip to Tarpon Springs by running in the Gulf to Venice for a quick fuel up at the Crow’s Nest Marina and refueling again at Port Tarpon Marina before finding our slip at Tarpon’s City Docks. It was a short and sweet run and as always, a bad day on the water is better than a good day almost anywhere else!
Thanks for riding along with us, here’s the video re-cap!