Tuesday, February 4, 2014


A strange thing happened on our way to being full time, live aboard a sailboat, cruisers. We gave up sailing. Back in Carlyle, first in little Nomad and then in Kintala, sailing was what we did with the boat. There were usually only two possible destinations when we pulled out of our slip, Coles Creek or Nowhere in Particular. Often we would sail the perimeter of the lake (if the winds were right we might make more than one lap) and after a full day end up right back were we started. It might only have been a little lake in IL., but we were sailing on that lake; 2, 3, sometimes 4 days a week for six or seven months out of a year. The whole purpose of going to the lake was to go sailing.

Then we left there to go cruising. And in the 100 plus days since, covering more than 1100 nm, not a single day or a single mile was spent sailing just to go sailing. Not one ...

... until today.

We pulled out of the Dinner Key mooring field yesterday afternoon and headed for No Name Harbor. Once there we realized why it has no name, it really isn't big enough for one. Hang a name on it and there would still only be room for maybe 10 boats. It looked like a full house to us, even after learning to anchor in places like Back Creek. With the wind out of the ESE though, dropping a hook near the entrance, right out in Biscayne Bay, proved a good alternative. (It is also free as opposed to the $20 overnight charge for staying in the Place with No Name.) We had a good little sail, but it was still a day with a destination in mind.

There were lots of options for today. The boat always has projects lying in wait. The nearby shore has some interesting spots to explore. There are always books to read and blog posts to ponder, SKYPE to enjoy and family to keep up with. Instead we pulled up the hook, headed out into the Bay and just went sailing.

This is a pretty good place for that kind of thing. Like nealy everywhere we have been so far it is shallow. Only a few times today did we see more than 10 feet under the keel. But off to the east is open water as far as one can see. The shore to the west is a good couple of clicks away as well. The water is open and blue / green and, as we got further south, grew clearer and cleaner until we could see shadows on the bottom. The ESE wind blew a solid 15 with gusts to 20+. On just her jib Kintala settled into an easy 5+ knot reach, touching six on occasion. Deb started out on the helm then, half way to the turn-around let me drive for a while so she could click some pix. Except for the fact it's about 100 degrees warmer here than in the midwest, the water, and the room, it was much like a good day on Carlyle.

It was so much fun that I think this will get to be a habit. Sail to a place where the sailing is good. Then hang around that place and GO SAILING. Explore, get the feel of the place, learn one's way around. Biscayne and Chesapeake Bays, Long Island Sound, the Keys, Bahamas, ...

For the next couple of weeks we will be Biscayne Bay Sailors. There are plenty of anchorages to try, lots of open water to explore, things to visit. We aren't going anywhere because, for now, we are here. Maybe, one might say, taking a vacation from cruising, or finally cruising for real. Whichever it was, it was good enough to do some more.

Some other boats on Biscayne Bay


Unknown said...

Hello, you are right. One can sail for the reason to get somewhere, or you can sail and see where you will land. Nice with 3 Danish boats on the bay. There must be a race going on.
Best regards
Erik from Denmark.

G4DYR said...

Been following your blog for a while and good to follow your journey down the ICW and on.Obviously you both enjoy taking photos.
Would be nice is you put some video on YouTube as well.

Roy Page, Beloit Ohio

Mike Boyd said...

Traveling "the Ditch" certainly doesn't allow for much sailing opportunity. Glad you are finding some joy in just going out for a sail. Wish I could join you...don't like being stuck in a a marina on the ICW about 3 hours from any inlet.


Deb said...

@Piper - we rarely have the bandwidth to upload videos.

@Mike - soon!

Unknown said...

Somewhere along the way your blog did take a turn that felt suspiciously like "work". So glad that you found the center again! OMG, though, 10 feet of depth!! Wow, I'm used to seeing triple digit numbers on a depthfinder - that's going to take some getting used to for us! Enjoying your photos vicariously, fair winds to you!