Longtime great friends, Fred and Gail, made the effort to fly from Philly to Miami and join Team Island Spirit for a 5 day visit filled with laughs, fun and sailing adventures. We have been sailing together since the early 80's and have taken several Caribbean sailing charter vacations together. With winter weather up north and with Island Spirit just arriving Miami, this was a perfect time to jump on board. We docked the boat at Dinner Key Marina for a late Friday night arrival, where we stayed up until midnight catching up. Then after a Sat morning walk around Dinner Key and the Grove, we departed for a day of sailing on Biscayne Bay in a perfect 15 knots of south wind. When the winds go south from a normal east wind, then a new front is coming and the weather can become serious.
|The Wallcast a top venue in Miami Beach|
We had been timing the arrival of this cold front which was forecast to be very strong, with winds of 30 to 40 knots from the west for Sun night and and Monday. This south wind and building southwest wind prevented us from sailing back to Miami Sunday a.m. from South Beach, where we really enjoyed the New World Symphony Wallcast. So, with this strong cold front arriving Sunday afternoon, we decided to run 15 nm north back up the waterway to the town of Hollywood, FL. Here we secured a dock for Sunday and Monday, keeping the boat safe, but more importantly, allowing us to get off the boat and walk to a very cool beachfront town.
|Hollywood, Florida, a dream beach town|
Once secured in Hollywood City Marina, we immediately walked east over the bridge and two blocks to the beach. This beach town is very nice with pavers for the boardwalk right on the sand level. Every day we would walk over to the beach in the late morning and then walk back to the boat for lunch and then walk back to the beach for an afternoon swim. This was a great way to spend our time while the front arrived and blew 30 knots. Over night when the front hit, we had thunder, lightening, downpours, and gusts to 40 knots. 12 miles away, a tornado struck with winds of 175 mph in Hialeah, Florida where many buildings were damaged.
|Sailing Biscayne Bay, close hauled, 40 degrees|
By Tuesday, the front had passed and we headed 15 nm back down the waterway through the city of Miami and back to the beauty of Biscayne Bay. There we set full sail with main, jib and staysail in 15 knots of WEST winds once again. Sailing Biscayne Bay is always a joy because the winds are usually 10-15 and the waves are usually 1 foot or less. Team Island Spirit won our first race of the 2017 racing season as we sailed close hauled next to an S2 who first crossed our bow and then we tacked behind and climbed windward of him and passed him. Fred and Hayden love to trim sails as we used to race together on a J-35 on Long Island Sound for about 7 years. Team Island Spirit was locked on autopilot wind vane steering and we simply sat back and watched her sail up and over this S2 who had a 135 jib against our 110 Mack Sail. We love our New Mack Sails, they look GREAT!
Here are two maps of our adventures. First, an overview of Fred and Gail arriving in MIA, then taking a car to Dinner Key Marina, then up to South Beach, then north to Hollywood, then south to Biscayne Bay. The next map shows us sailing up, down, across the the Bay, then back to Dinner Key where we dropped the hook and where I am writing this blog entry.
|The overview of where we went and how the 30+ knots of winds arrived.|
Here is a close up of our route around the Biscayne Bay area and then over to South Beach
|The Biscayne Bay focused area and Miami Beach|
|The Sailing World Cup Jan 27-29|
Now, to top off the visit, Fred and Gail were lucky enough to be here for the Miami World Cup Sailing Event where the best of the best from all over the world meet in Miami to determine Olympic qualifiers. We have Lasers, 420s, Finns and 49ers. As luck would have it, as we sailed back north on Tuesday we were able to place Island Spirit directly on the starting line for the Laser start. We counted 80+ boats. Freddie being a race committee chairman of many races took the helm and expertly drove Island Spirit around to the pin end, one boat length off the start at exactly the starting gun. Then we motored up the course along with these world class sailors right up to the weather mark. Next, we stood off the weather mark and watched as the leaders rounder the mark. Amazing way to watch the race. Fred knew exactly where to position Island Spirit as to stay out of the way, but yet be right next to the racers. Photo Boy got these great shots....
|The Men's Laser Class Start|
|The weather mark|
|Dinner Key Marina Office|
After chasing the World Cup sailing around the bay, we had to return to Dinner Key area, and drop an anchor because, sadly, it was time for Fred and Gail to return to the cold, cold north. So we dropped an anchor off all the moorings, about a mile offshore of Dinner Key, and we loaded up into the 10 foot AB dinghy and splashed our way into shore. There we dropped off their bags at the marina and then headed up into "The Grove" Coconut Grove where we walked the fun town and had dinner at the farm-to-table "LOKAL" resturant. Here we ordered alligator strips and great sandwiches. We walked back to Dinner Key to order an UBER and it was off to MIA for a flight back to Philly. This was a very fun visit and we packed in a lot of activities. Thank you Fred and Gail for coming down. It was really a great time!
Here are the best few photos of the 350 I shot!
|Fred the master sail trimmer|
|Hayden and Fred racing Island Spirit style :-)|
|Gail and Radeen racing Island Spirit style|
|The Projector at the Wall Cast, South Beach|
|The Wave Machine at the Beach, Margaritaville|
|Of Course we watched CAPTAIN RON on our 32" HD Samsung TV|
|Did I say Wave Machine!? Surfs UP!|
|The Beautiful Hollywood Beach|
|Gail and Radeen dressed for dinner out, Thank you Fred & Gail|
|Fred and Gail, our dear friends|
|Radeen and Gail at Le Tub, the 1959 local burger joint in Hollywood, FL|
Thank you, Fred and Gail for a great night out at a fun place.
|Required Selfie, Hayden, Radeen, Fred & Gail|
|Fred and Gail get a new Bentley|
|World Cup 49ers|
|Team Island Spirit racing with ease|
|Radeen racing, tough job|
|Heading into South Beach via the Collins Canal under the roadways.|
We enjoyed the concert with Bill of IP380 Tamarak
and Jim & Loretta of IP380 Plan Sea
|The Sat night Wallcast in South Beach, a MUST ATTEND event|
|The ICW as seen from atop the Hollywood Bridge|
|Radeen and Fred on the Hollywood walk|
|Hollywood pavers and beach walk, about 2-3 miles|
|The waves were big on Sunday|
|The girls in the ocean|
|A fine dinner of Moroccan Chicken Stew by Radeen.|
|Walking over the ICW to the Hollywood Beach|
|This is how you wash your 100 foot+ sailing yacht|
|Washing the bow, WOW|
|Brickell Point, always a photographic scene|
|Setting sail again on Biscayne Bay, beam reaching south|
|ZIP....there goes another 49er at 20 knots!|
|ahhhh, there goes Island Spirit at 6 knots|
|Gail is a great sailor, Radeen is a great helper|
|And what would a trip on Biscayne Bay be without a view of Stiltsville?|
|Yes, the WASZP sailboat can FLY, see this one up on foils...WHAT?|
(Photo credit to Radeen)
Biscayne Bay and Miami and Coconut Grove and Miami Beach and Biscayne Bay, all of this is a must see stop when sailing and cruising. We really enjoyed showing this to our good friends!