Now that our winter RVing season has come to a close and our bus is safely in storage in Texas – it’s time to get back to cruising!
First, the video version of this chapter (at about 15m long) with some cool time lapse video going down the Miami River taken with our new Garmin VIRB camera:
Delayed in Miami
We had been trying to coordinate with SeaLab Marina on our way back to Florida to arrange quickly wrapping up the last of the piddly little items on our project list that couldn’t be completed before the holidays.
This included checking out our generator, some general engine room maintenance and a quick haul out to put a zinc on our bow thruster and installing our new swim platform trim piece.
But most importantly we still needed a sea trial with our mechanic to ensure the propeller shaft was properly aligned with the transmission.
We had hoped to attend to these items in our first week back and then be swiftly on our way.
Ah, the best laid plans. Our project manager had been out ill, and the shop was in a bit of chaos without her. None of our items were attended to in that first week. And then the weather kicked up AND we were approaching Easter weekend (anticipating a lot of recreational boat traffic that we wanted to avoid).
We were a tad nervous returning to the water after so long, and really wanted ‘smooth sailing’ – so we opted to wait out Easter weekend for a better weather window.
The extra time in Miami was put to good use:
- We got spend some treasured time with our friends Nina & Paul before they flew off to France (and we even watched their plane fly off into a full moon off our rear deck – how cool is that?).
- We shared about Nomadic Friendships: When ‘Until Next Time’ Might Be A Long Time.
- We enjoyed exploring Coconut Grove, which was a short drive away.
- We attended to some boat projects since we were right next door to Hopkins Carter Marine Store – they were happy to deliver new 8D batteries to replace our mismatched engine starting batteries right into our battery chamber. And we did a lot of clean up on our electrical system, including getting the alternator charging the house batteries (which will soon be replaced with lithium!).
- We visited Raul Pla Jr. & Sr. over at Antenna World, for a tour of their antenna testing lab and an evening of geeking out on RF signals. They even presented a video private tour and antenna Q&A for our premium members over at MobileInternetInfo.com.
We also got our MINI Cooper moved up the coast to Ft. Pierce (our next stop) – with big huge thanks to our friends Ron & Kathie (fellow new Bayliner 4788 owners) who also checked in on Y-Not while we were out RVing.
Come Monday morning after Easter, SeaLab informed us they had to do an emergency lift for a boat taking on water – which was still lingering in their Travelift awaiting parts. This meant we couldn’t do a quick haul-out.
Tuesday morning – with the weather looking great for the week ahead – we basically said ‘SCREW IT’ and proceeded with our sea trial with the mechanic. We’d just take care of the swim platform and zinc later on, they were not worth continuing to wait.
The challenge with sea trial is that our mechanic doesn’t speak much English, and about the only Spanish we know is ‘mañana’, ‘banos’ and ‘cerveza’.
While in the shop we got around this with translation apps, hand signals, laughter and pointing to things. It worked well. Or, at least we think it did (we did end up with a working boat after all). But going out on the water where potential problems might be found – made us a little leery.
We put a call out on Facebook to see if we happened to have any Spanish speaking friends in the area who’d like to go on a boat ride.
Traveling Robert (a popular RVing YouTuber with a mesmerizing voice) immediately replied and offered to come along.
A perfect opportunity to get to know him and show him a perspective of his home town he’d not seen before. He created a beautiful video out of the voyage that we definitely recommend checking out.
With a mechanic and translator on board it was time shove off and leave our airplane soot-raining spot along the Miami River.
Up next, we had a 45-minute transit to Biscayne Bay where we could run up the engines – and we’d have to navigate tight channels and our very first requested bridge opening. After several months of not piloting our vessel, it was a bit intimidating – but we rocked it (well there was no actual rocking – it was a beautifully calm day.)
And Y-Not’s sea trial passed with flying colors.
Without much further ado, we dropped the guys off on the sea wall at the opening of the river so they could Uber back to the marina – and we continued on our merry way.
Free at last from Miami (not that we’re excited or anything)!!
Great Loop Log (4/3/2018)
- Distance: 370.6 nm
- Stops: 28
- Marina Nights: 241
- Anchored Nights: 19
- Bridges: 49
- Locks: 0
Other Travel Posts in this Great Loop Travel Series:
- The Keys:
- South to the Keys:
- The Great Loop: South to the Keys (Part 1) – Ft. Myers to Naples
- The Great Loop: South to the Keys (Part 2) – Naples to Marco Island
- The Great Loop: South to the Keys (Part 3) – Cruising Ten Thousand Islands
- The Great Loop: South to the Keys (Part 4) – Everglades National Park – Little Shark River & Cape Sable
- Sometimes Nomads Need to Grow Some Barnacles (Two Months in Fort Myers)
- Starting the Great Loop – First Adventure: Punta Gorda, FL to Fort Myers, FL
View all our Great Loop Posts
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We had a lovely cruise up the ICW from Miami – which will be the subject of our next travelogue. We got into Ft. Pierce last week ahead of some weather and will be attending the MTOA (Marine Trawler Owners Association) Rendezvous this coming week. We’ll be soaking up nautical knowledge and making new friends.
We took a monthly slip here (at just $10/ft, it was a ridiculously good deal) and we’re trying to attend to some additional boat projects before we head on in early May.
The plan is then to continue cruising up the ICW with an aim to make the southern Chesapeake by August.