Friday, January 2, 2009

No-Name Harbor - Bill Baggs State Park

It Was a Tight Anchorage But Doable....

No-Name-Harbor, Key Biscyne, FL - 12/31/2008 thru 1/3/2009:

Gigi’s Island sits in No-Name-Harbor, a small secluded anchorage inside Bill Baggs State Park on Key Biscayne. When we made the decision to “abort” the passage to Nassau for the second time we noticed a couple of boats exit the harbor and decided to stick our noses in for a look see. It was tight by Marsh Harbor standards but still doable since the harbor offers all round protections from wind, swell and (most importantly) boat wakes.

Cuban machismo, is definitely alive and well in Miami. Don’t get me wrong the Cuban people (Miami) are wonderful one-on-one and their food is superb. But put a Cuban behind the wheel of a car or and boat and common courtesy goes out the window. There is no such thing as a “slow” and courteous pass, and a full throttle run thru a packed anchorage throwing a huge wake only feet off your stern is to be expected. No-Name-Harbor offered limited potential for “speed” and “wakes” and was very appealing after getting our butts waked off for couple of days.

We had been at anchor a couple of hours when the “Miami Crazies” or should I say “Cuban Crazies” showed up and added another 50 or so boats to an already crowded anchorage (most would not stay the night - thank god). It was New Years Eve after all and it was quite a show. Cuban rap blaring off go-fast boats. Dark skinned beauties strutting around in more than skin tight everything. Boats of all size and shape. Then there was this one 30' something go fast boat that pulled up to the waste pump out station, pumped his tank, and commenced to provide us with a real show.

He pumped the wrong tank - his gas tank! Opps! The pump out goes directly to the Key Biscayne sewer system - we have a real problem here.

The Coast Guard showed up. The local police showed up. The park security showed up. The park rangers showed up. And everyone went thru him like the proverbial “dose of the clap.” I expect whole forests of paper were clear cut and god knows how many pens disposed of before this show was over. After about 4 hours of continuous writing and questioning the boat left with one of the US Coasties finest driving the boat and the owner and mate aboard as passengers. I don’t know what happened to them but whatever it was I’m bettin’ it wasn’t gonna’ be pretty.

Speaking of pretty, Bill Baggs State Park is a gorgeous place. The park is open from 8:00 am until “sundown” and they mean “sundown.” Look at the photo of the sign on the website. The park closed the day we were there at 5:41 PM (they are precise if nothing else). Bill Baggs is within a 1.5 miles walk of shopping. There is a nice Cuban restaurant with dingy tie-ups at the end of the harbor. There are miles of nature trails complete with “critters.” Then there is Cape Florida Light. Cape Florida Light was (according to the ranger) the first permanent structure in the Miami area. If you read last years news letter it will give you the storied history of the Light. The Light is open to the public and the view from the top is spectacular. Don’t forget to look at the photos to get the real “picture.”

We are hoping to get a “weather window” to Nassau either tomorrow morning (Saturday) or Sunday morning. ‘Tell then... .

Fairwinds and Rum Drinks,

Vic & Gigi

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