Wednesday, April 11, 2007

January 29

January 29. Okay, a little recap. We’ve been in the South Beach section of Miami since Wednesday of last week. The anchorage is huge with literally miles of protected waters to anchor in. We have a prime spot right in by town and only a ten minute ride to the most secure dinghy landing. There’s also a good spot for walking the dogs at a small park adjacent to the local Miami Marine Patrol station.

The weather has been pretty good since we’ve been here. There were 2 separate fronts with 25 knot winds that came through but we were snug as bugs in our protected spot. The weather has been uncharacteristically cold for 2 days but that means mid sixty degree temperatures.

Ut oh, it’s the cops. We were sitting on the boat enjoying the sunshine on Saturday morning when a police patrol boat swept through the anchorage. The officers were stopping at random boats in the area and as fate would have it, we were second. Recently in Florida there’s been a lot of controversy as to how much authority the local municipal governments can have over cruisers as to where and for how long boaters can stay anchored in town. There is a legitimate problem with derelict boats being anchored and never moving allowing somebody to live there on an eyesore, I understand how the homeowners here with the million dollar homes don’t want Lil’ Abner’s boat in their sunset view. The laws however restrict all boats not just the problem boats. They’re here to hassle us.

Wrong. The 2 cops on board couldn’t have been nicer. They explained to us that the regulations here in South Beach are 7 days of anchoring in a calendar month. They check the anchorage every day, they knew we got here on Wednesday, they filled out a copy of the rules for us to sign, they dated it Saturday and made a point of telling us our 7 days started then, cool. They also repeatedly stressed that they were totally aware that the weather could restrict our ability to safely move from place to place. They want everyone to be safe and asked that if we were to be here longer just keep them informed as to why. Parts being delivered, awaiting mail, a weather window it didn’t matter, they just had to have the answers when they were asked why so and so is still anchored in Shaq’s backyard. They also told us because of our choice of location we would probably be good for quite awhile because we were closer to town and not really in anyone’s private island backyard.

Then we spent 10 minutes talking about places to go in town that wouldn’t break the bank. They cops were real helpful and really seemed interested in us enjoying our time here. Some of the places we’ve seen have been ridiculously priced. 9 dollar beers, gimme a break, the cops sent us to an outdoor mall that was about 8 blocks long. Some of the places were outrageously priced but nestled in among them was a place they suggested “Zeke’s”. 200 different beers, all 3 dollars apiece complete with 50 outdoor tables on the mall. It was freak watching heaven, boob jobs, lip jobs, dogs wearing dresses, tough guys and queers, something for everybody. We’re not in Kansas anymore Toto.

One night this week while I was walking the dogs a Nordic supermodel and her little white foo-foo dog approached and started to make small talk, that is until Tucker saw her little dog and tried to bite its face off. She was a lot more agile than I expected as she scooped up her little dog and trotted away. When I got back to the boat and told Christy about it I think she gave Tucker a dog treat.

I expected that the Miami area would have a Cuban influence. We were totally surprised as to the extent though. We we’re shocked at how many people speak Spanish here. The bridge keeper has a very thick accent, everyone in the supermarket and most of the people we meet in the street. Its really amazing. A lot of the traffic we hear on the VHF is in Spanish as well.

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