As you may have guessed, we did not leave for the Bahamas this morning as planned. The winds in the ocean have finally changed direction, but haven’t died down to a comfortable or tolerable level (for me and Howard, that is).
Yesterday, we went to shore for a final (yes, final!) provisioning run. The shoreline on Key Biscayne is made up of private homes, condominium properties, and the local yacht club, so getting to shore with a dingy is limited. For 8.00, you can tie up to the wall at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park (a mouthful) and enter into Key Biscayne from there.
So, we loaded up the Aluminum Princess with ourselves, our two bikes, two bike baskets, three huge bags of trash, two backpacks and a soft sided cooler for cold items (also a partridge in a pear tree and the kitchen sink), I am soo upset with myself, for not taking a picture of this spectacle. Seriously, we looked like a band of gypsies coming ashore. I’m sure that the patrons of the waterfront restaurant were concerned when we tied up and started off-loading all off of that stuff. And, I’m sure that eyebrows were raised when they saw us go from trash can to trash can along the wall, stuffing our bags in and jamming the lid closed (they were smaller cans, our bags filled them right up…oops).
Once aboard our bikes, baskets in place and backpacks at the ready, we pedaled our way through the park and into Key Biscayne. HA! It was quickly clear that we were definitely not locals! I didn’t see another fold-up bike all day, and there seemed to be one Chevrolet for every 10 Lexus or Mercedes. The medians are immaculately manicured, and lined with palm trees that are lit from below in the evenings. We shared the sidewalks with runners and nannys with strollers.
Our first stop was Ace Hardware. Scott came out wondering how the little bag in his hand had come up to 50.00. On our way to Island Sporting Goods (turns out that duct tape and zip ties can’t fix everything..the flippers are toast), we past 7-11. There must have been at least 20 people inside in line for food; cheap eats, I guess. Scott got himself a new pair of flippers, and a big straw hat. I had to beg him to cut the tag off of it. It was bad enough that we were the island gypsies without him looking like Minnie Pearl. He finally humored me and cut the stupid thing off.
We then went to Winn Dixie with our “Oops, I forgot….” grocery list. It’s always hard to gauge how much is gonna fit in our backpacks and baskets, and how much cold space you have. I always expect that we’ll have to leave some of our food behind on the sidewalk, but it hasn’t happened yet. I was getting pretty hungry, but the line for prepared food was insanely long. Obviously, the local workers know where to save a buck. My idea of having lunch in town quickly abated. My stomach would have to growl it’s way back to the boat, and a lunch meat sandwich!
When we came out to the bikes, I ditched as much of the packaging as I could, lightening the load a bit. As usual, we made it all fit and left with both baskets full, as well as the milk crate strapped to the back of Scott’s bike. Each of us was wearing a backpack full of food and Scott had an umbrella that he’d bought sticking up off the back of his bike. Our gypsy look was complete.
We’ll finally make our crossing to Bimini tomorrow, leaving at 4am! Scott spent the day looking at weather and pacing in and around the boat. He’s so excited to finally go, after two weeks of waiting, I don’t know how he’ll get any sleep tonight.
The trip should take 7-10 hours, landing us there mid-day. This is our target time, so that the coral in the shallow waters is most visible for navigation. We plan to clear customs, load up on Scott’s favorite rum and purchase a sim card for internet data usage while we’re here, when we can find a good signal. After a night at the pier we’ll continue on, visiting the Berry Islands and Eleuthera over the next few weeks.
I plan to upload posts whenever we have good internet, so stay tuned for updates. As of our next post, Sea Life will be international (and so will Howard)!
“Shells Sink, Dreams Float. Life’s Good On Our Boat!”