MIAMI, Florida – Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) Mile Marker 1089
Here we are in Miami, South Beach about to start the American dream, well as soon as Simon gets the engine fixed anyway. Tudor Rose is anchored in a huge channel a far cry from the quiet secret bays of the Caribbean, surrounded by skyscrapers and huge apartment blocks. It felt very strange having come from dark starry Caribbean nights filled with the sounds of tree frogs to a sky floodlight by billions of dazzling bright city lights. The shear volume of luminosity made me think about the amount of energy used 24/7 to power them when many of the tiny islands hit by hurricane Irma and Maria are still without electricity.
Checking out the famous Miami beach was obviously up there on things to do, but we found it big commercial and impersonal, full expensive sunbeds and rough waves being on the Atlantic side. Miami Zoo on the other hand was not a disappointment, a long day and took 2 buses and a train to get there but well worth the trip. There were so many different animals there wasn’t enough time to see all of them, but the high light was getting to feed the giraffes by hand. Daisy absolutely loved it.
Unbeknown to us a huge Cuban community resides here so obviously indulging in Burritos & Tacos was a must. Now in the USA so much more is readily available; well stocked supermarkets, eateries, cafes, Starbucks, Walmart, MacDonald’s, WIFI we are taking full advantage… within the budget of course. I have never been so excited for washing day in all my life as we trudged ¾ of a mile to the ‘Laundromat’ to use the $3 dollar machines. The clothes came out pristine and smelling A-mazing, hand washing can officially go ‘suck my balls’ yippee!
Unfortunately one thing that stood out was the abundance of homeless people, probably drawn here by the warm temperature and shortage of rain so it didn’t bode well that this week had an unusual cold front taking everyone by surprise. We too were blissfully unaware having been roaming around in short shorts and a vest the last 2 days. When I woke up under the wafer thin cotton sheet, which had been perfect in the Caribbean I thought I might die of hyperthermia and more importantly find Daisy dead! Luckily kids are pretty robust and the following night she was wrapped up in several layers & a cardigan while Simon and I dragged out the duck down duvet. Commence the snuggles. With no heating on board I can only imagine what it might be like for those on the streets.
It was actually nice to not be sweating our tits off constantly (compared to the Caribbean) but there is one major drawn back, with the engine needing more repairs there is no hot water on board unless we boil a pan on the hob. Cold showers on the back of the boat in 10 degrees and the wind hitting you from every direction is a rather unpleasant experience, so there is a distinct lack of personal hygiene at the moment. Also I’m not sure the uptight authorities would appreciate us indecently exposing ourselves in public but we are managing to get away with it in the dark.
So what are we enjoying about the new location other than laundry…
Pavements: good quality well built walkways perfect for little feet & pushchairs.
Parks and playgrounds: which both DaisyPottermus and Scrump Dog are enjoying.
A Plethora of other dogs: flea treated, wormed, clean, friendly, non-stray dogs for Scrumpy to socialise with.
Dog friendliness: On the islands many locals treated Scrumpleton like he was vermin, now he can pretty much go anywhere we/he wants, shops, supermarkets, restaurants, the airport! All are very welcoming and he is getting more attention than Daisy. Some woman even had her dog in the gym with her, its insane.
And our dislikes…
Spending a lot of time walking epic distances to get things done and Endless traffic lights at every block and crossroads which take a lifetime to change, but other that that its all good.
ICW Mile Markers
Soon we will be entering the Intracoastal Waterway otherwise known as the ‘Ditch’. It officially starts at Norfolk, Virginia and each mile of it has a marker with Norfolk being mile 1 and Florida Keys mile 1224. We are starting at mile 1089 (Miami) and making our way north counting down to mile 1. This is our first experience of motor boating in a canal, as it’s too narrow to sail. Hearing horror stories of overhead high voltage cables, shifting unchartered sand bars, tide changes and 144 bridges to master many drawbridges with scheduled opening times, its going to be interesting!