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Old 24-04-2011, 05:41   #1
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Miami Advice

Hi, new to this forum. Not quite sure how it works or if I'm posting in the right place...

I'm doing a delivery from Great Abaco, Bahamas to Fiji or Sydney via Miami.

I'm looking for recomendations re a visitors mooring in Miami. I'll be on a 46 ft cat. I'd like to be close to shops & chandlers for easy getting of supplies (without a car). We'll need a few days & then wait for a weather window. I don't know the US at all - what's a good supermarket chain for food? And where can I get 2nd hand jerry cans for water & fuel?

And any advice on the route north of Cuba - Old Bahama Passage - thru the Windward Passage. It'll be end July/ August!!!

And any thoughts on huricane bolt holes? Jamaica?

Any input appreciated.
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Old 24-04-2011, 06:06   #2
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Re: Miami Advice

Welcome aboard - I hope you get the help you're looking for!
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Old 24-04-2011, 06:10   #3
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Re: Miami Advice

I recommend the mooring at Dinner Key marina
You are near everything: Home Depot, West marine, food and groceries and even bars ans restaurants.
Lot of boating professional available also.
When will you be there?
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Old 24-04-2011, 06:12   #4
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Re: Miami Advice

Nearby you have West marine or Auto Parts , both on US1 for jerricans.
Fresh Food is at the marina (one block) for supplies
Drugstores are nearby
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Old 24-04-2011, 06:19   #5
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Re: Miami Advice

Lot of questions. Good local knowledge about Dinner Key above. It is possible to anchor near the charted monument off of Miami Beach, or near the yacht club on Watson Island; however, Ft. Lauderdale is a much better location to access marine supplies, etc., in my opinion. There is a mooring field in Ft. Lauderdale near the Las Olas Blvd. Bridge. It is run by the city and is reasonably close to marine stores, food, etc. However, if you just need a few things like food, water, fuel jugs, etc. I might suggest you head down to Marathon in the Keys and then on to Key West before jumping off towards Panama. Marathon has rental moorings, good marine supplies, lots of repair shops, a supermarket close to the water, etc. Everything is much easier to get and closer to the water in Marathon, though Ft. Lauderdale is the place if you need some sort of major equipment repair. Via the Keys would be my preferred route south to Panama, especially in July-August. Pass close to the western end of Cuba and then head straight for Providencia Island (part of Colombia), which is south of most hurricanes. This would allow you to duck into the Rio Dulce in Guatemala if a hurricane was coming. But, any route you take you are taking your chances in that season. The key will be to monitor the hurricane center frequently. The problem is that early season tropical systems pop up in the western Caribbean virtually overnight. We just dodged a system there in late May of 2006. It went over us as a tropical wave with maybe 40 knots and lots of rain, but then turned into a tropical storm the next day. Things develop fast down there.
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Old 24-04-2011, 06:27   #6
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Re: Miami Advice

Thanks for the input, I'll digest...
Re going west of Cuba - I understood that in the Caribean keeping as much easting as possible was the way to go otherwise wind on the nose?
Thanks
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Old 24-04-2011, 06:35   #7
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pirate Re: Miami Advice

I'd second the motion on Lauderdale/Marathon over Miami especially with no car.
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Old 24-04-2011, 06:39   #8
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Re: Miami Advice

Getting around the east end of Cuba requires a long slog against wind and current too, without places to stop unless you can coastal hop down Cuba. Yes, from there it is probably more off the wind to Panama, but you have a long way without much in the way of hurricane shelter. Jamaica is about it. You can wait in the Keys with good forecasting available constantly until you get either a bit of north or calm and then jump about 90 miles over close to the Cuban shore where you can work your way west without much current, or even sometimes a counter current. Again, stick very close to the western end of Cuba and you avoid the worst of the current. From there down to Providencia it probably will be a slog to windward, but you have the option of heading off the wind to Guatemala and the Rio if a tropical system brews up. Once you get south of about 10 degrees latitude you are out of the hurricane belt. Either route you are going to encounter numerous thunderstorms and squalls in that time frame, especially at night south of Cuba. There is a place in Panama called Portobello that claims to be the rainiest spot in the Western Hemisphere. We were anchored near there in July and it rained continuously for days--the type of rain where the dinghy filled every few hours and had to be bailed out and the deck drains couldn't clear it fast enough. From Key West to Panama is about 1100 miles. I should add that the route via the Bahamas down to the Windward Passage is a good one, but there are few hurricane holes in the Bahamas and they fill up fast. Maybe you just want to skip Florida and head south directly from the Bahamas.
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Old 24-04-2011, 08:07   #9
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Re: Miami Advice

We have always enjoyed the anchorage south of the monument at South Beach Miami. Anchor behind the homes, of the rich & famous. Then dinghy to the east side of the monument, and follow the creek to groceries.

Bus transportation is good, and you can get anywhere for a couple of dollars. We rented a car to get to the other side of town for Super Walmart for very inexpensive grocery shopping.

We went east of Cuba, and just followed the bank all the way down, and passed through the Jumientos at Shark Cut. We did it on a 46ft cat also, and going to weather to get to east of Cuba was a nice ride.

The Windward Passage was windless, and the Caribbean Sea had wind from the southwest, so we ended up in Cartegena. Cartegena is a good spot if you need boat work that's inexpensive. You can enter in the upper part of the bay next to the city where the small boat entrance is. It's well marked

Shelter Bay does have a great workshop if you need to do some of your own work, and it's free. We did this in May last year. Look for us in May this year to be in the Amador amchorage, left of the canal channel as you leave.........i2f
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Old 24-04-2011, 08:30   #10
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Re: Miami Advice

Yes Marathon is quite a good place
But Boot Key Harbour has very often a waiting list for the mooring when DKm has none right now.
And the OP question was: mooring in Miami.
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Old 24-04-2011, 08:36   #11
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Dinner Key Mooring Field only takes vessels up to 42 feet.
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Old 24-04-2011, 08:41   #12
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Re: Miami Advice

having lived and sailed in south florida for twenty five years i'm inclined to agree with the marathon route.

miami/ft lauderdale are big places and getting around can be a chore. traffic and crowds get old quickly. they have the advantage of having just about anything you might ever need but for ease of getting around and shopping i believe you would be happier in marathon. moorings are twenty bucks a night and the field is just about totally enclosed making for a quiet nights sleep.

most chandlerly stuff is available and grocery shopping is excellent (publix is the best supermarket chain). but mostly you won't have the hassle of crowds and traffic that you will experience in miami/ft lauderdale. there are a number of good local restaraunts with varying prices.

and if you would like to make a side trip to key west just to say you've been there, a bus runs marathon/key west for four dollars each way.
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