Updated: Aug 25, 2019
Riviera Beach, FL to Miami, FL //
Around 8am on December 16, we finally headed back out to the open waters of the North Atlantic Ocean. We were looking forward to setting our sails up and sail to Fort Lauderdale (at first) thinking we would anchor there in order to check out a few sailing shops. It was a beautiful sunny day, 75 degrees Fahrenheit. We ran the engine for a couple of hours after coming out of the Lake Worth Inlet to charge our batteries up. Afterwards, the winds were blowing in a gentle breeze from the NW so we put our sails up. Immediately after, Tom noticed a pod of dolphins nearing in and starting to swim along our wake at the front of the boat. The most magical sight ever. They kept swimming alongside us for a good half hour. We took that as a good sign of a good sail day and continued on.
Looking into arriving in Fort Lauderdale, we began getting discouraged about the lack of anchorages right around the inlet. There was a marina that offered moorings but they were first come-first serve, and our estimated time of arrival was getting later and later due to low and variable winds. Also, we must have hit part of the Gulf Stream current, or some other stray current, because we could not get above 4 knots under sail in some areas along the coast.
Given we would be coming in after sunset into Fort Lauderdale we decided to change our game plan and head straight to Miami thinking the city lights will keep our route, once inside the main channel, pretty well lit if we were to arrive in the wee hours of the early morning. In the end, we were happy with the decision as the winds became stronger and more favorable through the evening. We did have to keep a good eye out for mega yachts as well as large barges and cruises, but overall another great overnight (18 hour) sail.
We came in the main channel to Miami, Government Cut, shortly after midnight. Our suspicions paid off, we had great visibility as we cruised along the Port Terminal and hit the main harbor. From there, we had scouted an anchorage area near the Miami Yacht Club at Jungle Island as our best bet for staying put for a little while, avoiding the steeply priced marinas in the area. Anchoring at night was a little tricky (we kept dragging) but by 2am, we had found the perfect spot and felt our CQR anchor set in. We were exhausted but so excited to have reached a long desired destination since we began this trip. With Christmas, Cynthia’s birthday, and New Year’s approaching, we wanted to enjoy some down time, relish in the finally warm and tropical weather, and visit with some great friends that live nearby. Aside from this, we knew Miami would be an important stop for getting going on quite a number of projects to ready Sparidae for international waters sometime in January.