After a restful night’s sleep at our Las Olas mooring, we are underway at 7 AM in order to make the 7:30 AM opening of the 17th Street Bridge. Once through this bridge, we steer Cutter Loose into the turning basin of Port Everglades. We are surrounded by giant cruise ships and container ships as we depart the ICW and turn east into the Atlantic Ocean. Port Everglades is a Class A inlet with protective jetties and an abundance of lighted buoys. This is a safe and easy inlet to navigate.
This morning, there is a 10 knot breeze out of the southeast which pushes against the ebb tide, creating chop in the channel. After making our turn to the south, we motorsail 20 miles south to the Port of Miami in 2 to 3 foot waves. The NOAA marine weather forecast for today is right on the mark, but Pat is not pleased with the motion of the ocean.
At 11 AM, we are abeam of Government Cut, another Class A inlet to the Port of Miami. Immediately inland of the entrance jetties is the Miami Beach Marina to the north. We decide to secure a slip here for a few days to explore this town.
The first order of business is to thoroughly remove the salt from the decks of Cutter Loose. Within a few hours, she is looking respectable. Although there is a partial breakwater to protect the marina from the wakes of passing motor vessels, the concrete barrier is no match for the high speed jet tour boats and go fast pleasure boats that rule these waters. Cutter Loose is rolling in her slip. There are no floating docks, which means that we must continually adjust docklines to compensate for the three foot tidal range.
Undaunted, we are off on foot to explore this retro beach destination. The claim to fame of Miami Beach is its art deco architecture, a style reminiscent of the 1930s and 1940s. A large historic district has been created to protect the boutique art deco hotels that line Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue. Many of the smaller art deco hotels in South Beach feature outdoor cafes on the front porch and sidewalk, a perfect vantage point for sipping mojitos and people watching. And there are plenty of people to watch, many of them twenty-somethings whose primary aim is to attract attention. This clientele is attracted to the music-thumping bars and night clubs on Ocean Drive. We tire of this scene and return to Cutter Loose around 9 PM, just as the action is shifting into first gear. Round midnight, South Beach will be the place to see and be seen.