Commuted back and forth to the baot in Miami. At the February Miami boat show, we participated in the Offshoreonly.com fun run from Miami to Gilbert’s in Key Largo. In April, we scratched one eleven foot hammershark shark that was patrolling off Miami Beach.

Miami, February boat show activities

During the boat show festivities, we attended the Florida Powerboat Club party cohosted by Typhoon marine at the Clevlander as well as the Offshoreonly.com party at Club Touch. We were impressed with the Oleta River Park in North Miami and saw two dolphins leap clear of the water there while herding a big school of frothing bait fish.

The next day we participated in the Offshoreonly.com fun run from Miami to Gilbert’s in Key Largo. Good thing we left for Key Largo early, as we were one of the slowest boats as usual. The faster boats sped by us which is always cool to see and hear, and we had a quick bite to eat at Gilbert’s with the group. Then we made tracks for John Pennekamp Park, traversing the Adams Canal, blasted out of coral in Key Largo. Very neat to see the fossilized coral and a great white heron standing near every fisherman on the shore. Has to be seen to be believed, funny birds!

It was a bit of a maze through the mangroves to get to the park docks, thank goodness for the chart plotter! Met some pleasent sail boaters from Quebec, swapped tales and enjoyed the beautiful location. Jane spotted a gecko who posed for pictures. Next morning we buttoned up the boat just prior to a thunderstorm and hopped onto an enclosed glass bottom boat for a trip over the reefs.

Poured rain the whole time, but as we were inside, starring down at the reefs and fish, it did not bother us. Saw an osprey and many more herons/egrets on the way back, standing guard along the shores of the canal. It was still raining after the trip, so we grabbed some umbrellas from the boat and walked a mile or so to a restaurant outside the park. Had a great Cuban meal, but as the rain was still falling, we were resigned to staying another night in Key Largo. On the walk back, the rain stopped and we consulted with the friendly dock master and her TV weather channel satellite maps of the passing rain clouds.

By this time it was five o’clock and we had to decide whether to try to get back to Miami before it got dark. The Quebec sail boaters, after lambasting me for forgetting to wish Jane a happy Valentine's day, us said "you have the tool, use it!" So we did, making the fifty mile trip back to Miami by about 6:30 pm and pulling into our North Miami marina by about 7:30 pm. It is nice to have the speed when you need it, but it was no fun dealing with the no wake zones in Miami Harbor.

April Spring Break shark fishing trip

In April we went back to outfit the boat with live bait tanks, and do a dual fishing trip with Mark the Shark and his fifty foot Hatteras. Got two oval 14 gallon tanks into the box on the boat, but never got the pumps working right. Went fishing anyway, and although we were skunked, our partner Mark the Shark landed a 11 foot ten inch golden hammerhead shark. I knew I was going to get skunked on this trip because we spotted two huge mating sea turtles. As I was worried about my loud exhaust disturbing them, I stayed a respectful distance away. I suppose you could say it was the Lord's way of saying you are F...d!

Jane was on Mark’s boat and took lots of fantastic video footage of our boat screaming through the air, several feet above the water. Extremely cool! One day when I get around to it, many of those shots/videos will be posted on this site. The next day, the offshore seas were quite calm, so we ripped up the ocean coast from Miami to Fort Lauderdale in short order. About two hours docks to dock, tying up at Shooter’s restaurant to meet friends for lunch.

Enjoyed a long lunch, then headed back in the ocean for another quick trip back to Miami in the ocean. Made great time ripping across the waves as opposed to the slow pain of 5 knots on the ICW. We noticed a big blue hole in the sky above us, as we entered Haulover Inlet in Miami. Then the marine radio issued an urgent weather advisory that a tornado was about to hit Miami……oh, that was what the hole was! The clouds were starting to swirl in a big circle and the sky quickly darkened. "Quick Jane, break out the rain gear!" I said. "No, we don’t need it yet." She said. I repeated my demand, and then the first raindrops fell. It came down in buckets and we got thoroughly soaked, despite the rain gear. Worst of all, we were stuck behind a T-top equipped center console boat, and he was crawling his way back through the canal to minimize the rain on his passengers. We got an extra soaking for that.

Once we tied up at Spinnakers, a 36 foot + high performance boat pulled up with two wet guys, just in from Palm Beach. They had twin 700 Zuls in the boat and hit 112 MPH on the way up to Palm Beach that morning. Because the boat had twin steps and they were running with the waves at a 45 angle to the boat, the steps were catching on waves and twitching the rear of the boat slightly at the highest speeds. That got their attention. Oh yes, the speed and fun of stepped hull boats!

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