March 23, 2011

Miami – Day 3

Filed under: travel — Frederick Noble @ 12:05 pm Share RSS

We take breakfast to the back yard again, watching the 92 cats chase each other around while enjoying grapefruit, bagels and coffee. Then we’re off to the yacht club (for once not the one on Euclid Avenue) to board my father’s boat.

Miami Yacht Club

I'm on a boat!

arrr
We pass some interesting boats, such as this tug boat converted into a fake pirate ship, and a row of cruise ships, each a skyscraper floating on the water.

cruisin'

Then it’s out onto Biscayne Bay with a lovely view of the city. Since there are no more cranes cluttering up the skyline they must be done building Miami!

Miami

Miami

cormorantsOut on the bay, cormorants lurk on every marker before diving for fish. I only spotted a single pelican this year. I don’t know where they’ve gone. Last time they were everywhere.

The weather was a bit calm for sailing but there was enough wind for a leisurely cruise out to sea. March is perfect in South Florida. The mosquitoes aren’t out in full force and it’s not too hot, though the news informed us that it is the most likely time to get sunburned. Something about the angle of the sun. We came prepared with SPF 5,000 or so. I barely got a tan.

sailing

I'm on a boat!Out at the mouth of the bay is Stiltsville, a collection of houses once privately owned but taken over by the Biscayne National Park. The original owners have recently taken them back and can rent them out, if I remember the twisted tale correctly. However, if they get more than 50% damaged by a hurricane or other disaster they cannot be rebuilt. There were once some two dozen structures out there. Now there are only a handful.

stiltsville

stiltsville

I'm on a boat!We tack around and pull in the sails so we can dock at one of the houses. The dock itself is a bit rickety, creaking with every wave. Between hurricanes and bird poop, it’s not the easiest structure to maintain.

(This and the other photo of me were taken by She Who Will Not Be Named.)

Stiltsville

Stiltsville Stiltsville

Stiltsville

Stiltsville

A large motorboat cruises past and the wake bangs our boat into the pier repeatedly, shaking the entire structure. For a minute there, we wonder if the whole thing is about to crumble into the sea but if the house has been through Andrew and other hurricanes a few waves and nudges from a sailboat probably shouldn’t worry us.

Stiltsville

The house has a foosball table inside, as well as a few cleaning supplies, a couple of charcoal grills and not much else, at lease as far as I could see through the window.

I'm on a boat!

We turn the boat back toward town, a slightly stiffer breeze speeding us homeward.

El Atlakat
After mooring the boat, we went for dinner at El Atlakat for Salvadoreña food. Pork papusas and seafood soup and beer – perfect post-sailing fare.
El Atlakat

Sunset Over Miami

Swing by the house for a shower and change, then we’re back in Little Haiti at Churchill’s, a dive bar that hosts punk nights on the weekends. The music was redundant, but the atmosphere enjoyable and the drinks affordable. Churchills

Churchills

The UkeThe music couldn’t hold our attention, however, so we cruised up Biscayne Boulevard in search of something different. A snotty doorman at a gay bar annoyed us so we pushed on to The Ukulele Club. Though it was closing time, they unlocked the door and let us order one beer. The few older folks in the place were in a jovial mood, singing and dancing to classic rock. But they close at 1AM, so don’t expect an all-nighter here.

Rather than drive all the way back downtown or out to South Beach, we called it a night, happy to have found some non-disco-oriented dives to add to my short list of enjoyable night life in Miami!

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