March 15, 2016 – Tuesday – Tarpon Basin to Marine Stadium Anchorage, Miami – 49.5 statue miles traveled

Tarpon Basin is truly a basin. You enter it via a narrow channel called Grouper Creek that bends around in a “C” type formation. When we exited the basin we went through Dusenbury Creek, again quite crooked. When in the basin it is difficult to determine where the entrance and exit is.

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Typical of channels (Creeks) entering and leaving Tarpon Basin.  Tide is about two feet here and we exited at low tide.  

We crossed Blackwater Sound and went under the large bridge that carries all of the traffic to the Keys from the mainland, via Jewfish Creek. This put us in Barnes Sound and then under a second bridge into Little Card Sound. All of our travels in the past three days have been right on the Everglades National Park boundary. The boundary seems to be right on the channel and sometimes this helps us avoid all of the crab traps as the crabbers are not allowed to put the traps in the park.

There is a large shallow region between Little Card Sound and Card Sound with a narrow channel running through it. Staying in the channel is a challenge as the tidal current runs across the channel continually pushing the boat to the side. After crossing Card Sound we went through Midnight Pass and into Biscayne Bay. This 30 mile long bay is partially protected from the Atlantic by more keys and partially open to the ocean. We had intentionally chosen this day to traverse the bay as the wind was blowing from the S and SW and it was just light. It was a beautiful crossing in Vicki water.

Biscayne Bay is very shallow, particularly in the southern end. The water was clear so it was easy to see the bottom as we went along. Since there was only about two feet of water under our keel it took some getting used to.

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Water depth in the south end of Biscayne Bay is very shallow.  We traveled with only about two feet under our keel much of the way.  The bottom is flat sand with very little vegetation or other life.  

By the time we reached the north end of the bay the wind had picked up to about 10 mph out of the south. With a 30 mile fetch it did build some waves on our stern but other waves were generated by the myriad boats going back and forth near Miami.

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Approaching Miami from the south on the north end of Biscayne Bay

We entered Miami Harbor under the Bay Bridge and immediately turned to starboard to enter Miami Marine Stadium Anchorage. This is an impressive anchorage looking right at downtown Miami. It is large enough for many boats and has a good holding bottom. We verified this as we had 10 mph winds most of our stay with the wind coming from the south and then shifting around overnight to the northwest.

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Our anchorage in Miami Marine Stadium looking directly at downtown

I launched the dinghy to explore and then go ashore at the Rickenbacker Marina to get ice for the cooler. The ice was $5 for an eight pound bag and I complained as the usual price is between $1 and $2. The gal said “What do you expect, this is Key Biscayne!” I guess if you are on Key Biscayne you should expect a rip off. (Actually it was on Virginia Key but it is connected to Key Biscayne by a bridge.)

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Miami at dusk from Marine Stadium Anchorage

We spent a very nice day until near sunset when a boat came in and anchored behind us with music being played so loud it could have been heard in Miami. It was nuts. We waved at them and yelled at them to no avail. After dark I shined the spotlight on them but this didn’t faze them. OK – we were going to have to live with it even though it was not just loud “music” but bizarrely loud music. We figured they would tone it down surely by 10:00 PM. Nope! This music went on all night long. At some point the sound level was reduced but we didn’t discover until morning that it was because they had moved the boat 0.4 miles away toward the mouth of the anchorage.

What do you do with that? There just seem to be some people who have no consideration (or perhaps recognition) of others and believe they are the only ones who matter. I considered shooting a flare gun at them, swimming over and drilling a hole in their boat bottom, taking the dinghy over and cutting their anchor line, ramming them with Sea To See or some-such as they clearly needed someone to put them out of their misery. I ultimately decided any of these actions, as satisfying as they might have been, would probably get me in trouble. Even more frustrating was that their choice of “music” was monotonous to the extreme and had a very heavy bass and percussion component.

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