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Last update March 03 2015
It's Sunday, February 1st, we are up early. Around 06:45 we are awakened by a band playing live, yes, in the morning... The sound echoes across the water.
Once on the land the annual Melbourne Maraton is found to be in progress, hence the music. This marathon is not just for runners, also do disabled veterans participate in specially designed racingbikes. These veterans practice all year for this event and we encourage these particular participants from the bridge. Broken in body, but not in spirit these guys (and some girls).
On the way back we stop at the park, enjoying the nature and tranquility. I'm looking for gators, but unfortunately all of them went to the warm parts of South Florida. Not to call them stupid ...
After more than a week at anchor in Dragon Point, Melbourne it is time to again move. We had a lovely time with Jim and Tammy and Toby and Sam, the old and new owners of SY Sweet Chariot last weeks. We motorsail to Vero Beach where our next appointment is waiting; Penny.
It's a cold day, with coffee and hot chocolate we keep warm. Dolphins are the only ones who care nothing about the cold weather. Everywhere on the ICW you see them, it always gives a happy feeling to see them. After a full day on the ICW, we find a protected anchorage spot in a creek between the mangroves. Anchoring is not allowed in Vero Beach, you are supposed to pick up a mooring or going into the marina, but we'll see.
After a good night's sleep, on February 4th we went with our dinghy from JoHo to the dock where we were 7 years ago. Here is Penny's store; 'A Bead Above'. Penny makes and restores jewelry. Even for the do-it-your-self she sels materials. A candy store for me and my sister-in-Iaw. Penny's shop had a big upgrade in those 7 years and we admire her works. We didn't see each other since December 2007 so we chat a lot and went to dinner in the evening. Thanks Penny for a great day, see you next time, maybe in the Netherlands!
After a day of rest on JoHo we started to move again. This will be a long day. The idea is to sail as fast as possible to West Pam Beach, to prepare the boat for the crossing to the Bahamas. It takes us two days, with a stop in Peck Lake. Despite the drawbridges we can still regularly sail or motorsail. Once in Lake Worth we drop anchor, here we stay a while. The routine starts, boat cleaning, chores, errands and boat refueling with fuel. Not to mention to look at the weather every day to see whether it is possible to sail to the Bahamas. The weather does not look good, there will be no south or southwest wind and with north we are not going into the Gulf Stream. So we stay, we have time.
Then, on Sunday, February 15th, we have an unexpected appointment with someone who we know from Aruba. He emailed us asking for an appointment.
In the Netherlands we already had some talks and now he probably has some projects in which we can help him. After the meeting we decide to proceed to Miami to negotiate.
Two days later we lifted the anchor and headed south. The sail stayed where it was, having 11 drawbridges with time frames the first day and 19! the second. The weather is good, nice and sunny and even pleasantly warm. We also see more sailboats going down towards Miami. 2 Days and 30 drawbridges later we finally arrive in Miami, this is the same route that we did with John's parents in 2007, we didn't remember the drawbridges....
Just before the sun goes down, we find an anchorspot at the Miami Yacht Club.
It is February 19th and very cold in Miami, it dropped to 6 degrees Celsius, 44 Fahrenheit. The Miami residents are not too happy, it is an extremely cold year.
We are on our way to our appointment. Mark picks us up to drive to the airport and pick up a rental car so we are mobile. Today we will discuss all the projects in the Carieb where he thinks he can use our help. The days that follow are devoted to negotiations and discussions.
On the weekend we look at docks where we could leave JoHo. We start in Fort Lauderdale and ended in Key Biscayne. The last one is not an option, too open in hurricanes. Fort Lauderdale would be an option. Late in the afternoon we go for a walk along the ICW with views of Miami downtown.
That Sunday we drive to Fort Myers to see Pat and Darnell again. We end up in a wings bar-restaurant where we stay until the end of the afternoon. We had a lot of fun with them. Hopefully we will meet again in late September with the rest of the group in the Dominican Republic for a yachties reunion.
The week goes fast. Every day we are busy with the Caribbean projects. The days are long, the nights short. On Thursday, February 26th, we return the car. As we see it, we can do much of the work on board JoHo. In the afternoon we decide to change anchorage. JoHo is relocated from the Yacht Club to Miami South Beach. It is crowded, but we found a perfect anchor spot.
We enjoy being outside, walking and looking around at things. We walk through South Beach, with its Art Deco district towards the beach. It is crowded with tourists.
We found the water a bit chilly, but the tourists that come from the cold North enjoy the -for them- warm seawater. Everywhere you find rescue points along the beach in bright colors and wild patterns.
Our beach walk ends with heads blown empty again and us knowing what to do. Life is good.
I finished a special photobook, about our travels 10 years JoHo's travel from 2001 to 2011.
Curious ? Then click the link.
And if you're interested in sailing the BAHAMAS, BERMUDA, MALDIVES, BONAIRE, SURINAME or ARUBA have a look at our books at SAILADVENTURES where the books are available online.
You can always mail us for more info on these cruising grounds or cruising in general, we'll gladly help you out.
JoHo is at anchor in Miami Beach, Florida, USA at 25°47,3' N - 80°08,8 W.
Our floating home and office is always ready for us to work for ourselves as writers and editors compiling cruising guides on our way.
Remember to live life to the max, it can be over before you know it. That's our motto.
John and Jolanda