Friday, December 20, 2013

Split the difference go to Coconut Grove

Here we are, in Dinner Key, right next to Coconut Grove, Miami, Florida.  We are waiting for a weather window for a crossing to the Bahamas. The longer we stay, the more we like it.

There is a Circulator Bus that you can ride for a quarter. The Coconut Grove Sailing Club has classes for the kids. Watching those little kids out in Biscayne Bay tacking the Optimists back and forth as the sun is setting is just a joy. The CocoWalk is just a few blocks away with restaurants, shops, etc. 

We got a recommendation for a burger restaurant called LoKal. But the waitress said the best thing on the menu was Chicken and Waffles.  They were incredible. The waffles were dusted in powdered sugar with a strong hint of cayenne pepper. The chicken was coated with a crispy, almost tempura batter. And, they recommend getting the side of sliced strawberries, bananas and fresh whipped cream to top it all off. Amazing. The burger was good too but paled in comparison.

Roux, waiting for Daddy to bring the car around.
There are a few minor negatives about our stay in Dinner Key. The dinghy dock is always crowded. You have to weasel your way in between a pile of rubber boats to find somewhere to tie up. Because of SeaClearly's size and draft, we are way out in the mooring field which makes for a long dinghy ride, sometimes in pretty choppy water.  That can make getting Roux in and out of the dinghy interesting. It is a team effort and everyone, including Roux, has to do their part. Coming down from the boat into the dinghy is not too bad since gravity is working for you. Going up requires Junie pushing, Roux climbing and me grabbing his life jacket handles and hoisting. He seems to understand that the timing is critical to the safety of all involved. So, when, in between bouncing, rolling waves, we say ‘Now, Roux’, he starts up or down the ramp even though it is tough on his old legs.

While there are several shops and restaurants close by, the only grocery within walking distance is a Fresh Market. Which is not a bad thing. But they are a little pricey and they don’t carry all of the bulk supplies we would look for to hang out in the Bahamas for months. They do, however, have great produce, fresh breads, rolls and muffins. And sushi.

Junie hung outside the Fresh Market with Roux while I shopped. She struck up a conversation with some people she met (can you imagine that?).  Faith and Joe are from Martha’s Vineyard and are down here visiting. By the time I got back, they were trading contact information and we had a list of places we need to visit on Cape Cod.  Great folks.  We will be waving at them when we sail in there sometime next summer.

Another very positive attribute in the area is Crook and Crook Marine Supply (motto: We don’t try to live up to our name). They have all sorts of marine supplies at OK prices. And, they were able to order a replacement circulator pump for our refrigeration and have it in the store the next day. They are right on the bus route. Nice.

For dinner tonight, we had shrimp. We had passed some small fishing boats in the marina on our ride to the dinghy dock. They don’t look exactly like North Carolina shrimpers so when Junie asked what they were fishing for, they said shrimp, she said we would love to buy some. Aaron, captain of Hat Trick, replied that he only had a wholesale license so he couldn't sell us any. But he would be happy to give us some! Turns out, they actually supply these as bait shrimp and they keep them alive. He dipped down into a big circulating tank and pulled up a net full of jumping, lively shrimp and dumped them into a bag. A very short time later, we were cleaning live shrimp (a little creepy) and had the freshest shrimp possible. Thanks Captain Aaron!
Captain Aaron of Hat Trick

Fresh as it gets!

It looks like our weather window is Monday. Several other boats also have the same plan as we do - be at the Gulf Stream at sunrise. That means leaving in the dark. Seems fitting since we arrived in the dark. If it goes as planned, we should see the conditions get milder as we travel and we should make Bimini by early afternoon. Then the wind starts back up again so we may have to sit for a few days. Looks like Bimini for Christmas!


  1. Ho, ho ,ho!!!!! merry christmas! I keep checking your blog to see if you are in the Bahamas!!! i hope so! Love the blog, and seems to me, not anywhere near what you all have for the love of sailing. We hope you have a wonderful Christmas. We miss you guys. How is your back, Junie????

    1. Merry Christmas! We are in Bimini for Christmas! I will update the blog later today with the story. We are missing you guys, too. Quite a different Christmas for us this year. We are planning to take Roux to the beach:)

  2. Merry Christmas!
    Joy, Bob and Madison, SV Arwen

    1. Thank you! Merry Christmas to you. Are you doing well? Where are you?