We left our bouncy, breezy anchorage at Miami Beach and after motoring about an hour, entered a Biscayne Bay that was as smooth as glass. In our sweetwater lives, 7 feet of water pretty much freaks us out, unless we’re ready to drop an anchor. However, we rarely see anything over 8-9 feet in all of Biscayne Bay. And when the Bay is smooth as glass, my entertainment is looking over the side, watching what we’re passing over. There is a whole other world below.
We hoped to pick up a mooring at the Coconut Grove Sailing Club, a spot we visited twice last year and really enjoyed. However, their transient moorings were filled, so we picked up a mooring in the Dinner Key Mooring Field instead. We stayed at Dinner Key for three days, enjoying daily showers, taking walks around Coconut Grove, and shopping at the Fresh Market, just a couple of blocks from the launch dock. We are eating and drinking well!
Strong east winds were forecast for this week, and we considered moving into the more protected sailing club for a couple of days, since transient moorings had opened up. But we decided that the busyness and noise of the southern Miami area was beginning to get to us and that we would make our way to the more laid back Keys. We wanted to take more time this season making our way to Marathon, rather than rushing there in two long days. We plan to head back north on the Gulf side, and we don’t know when we’ll be traveling on this eastern coast again.
We motored into the wind to Elliott Key, a 7-mile long island that is part of the Biscayne Bay National Park. Elliott Key is almost entirely in its natural state. The island is an ancient coral reef that is now covered with sand and tropical hardwoods. There is a visitors’ center, but we were anchored a good distance from it, too long a motor with our small dinghy.
We anchored in crystal clear water. We motored our dinghy a half mile to a sandy beach and looked forward to doing a bit of hiking, some exploring. Unfortunately, we never found a real trail. Each one we found ended after a couple hundred feet. And oh, the trash. So sad. Say what you will about Michigan’s bottle deposit law, but at least our parks are pristine.
This evening we are anchored at Pumpkin Key, near Angelfish Creek. Today was a wonderful sailing day, it was a broad reach most of the way. We had dolphins visit us last evening at Elliott Key and we had dolphins near the boat here this evening. I can never get enough of these wonderful animals. They make everything seem okay with my world.