On this, our first Christmas in the subtropics, we extend a hearty Merry Christmas to family, friends and other followers of this blog. It is emotionally difficult to be so many miles away from loved ones on Christmas Day. For those who have written or called, we are most appreciative of your efforts to reach out to us during this special time of year.
Cutter Loose is on the move today. We depart Miami Beach Marina and re-enter Government Cut towards the ICW, only to be hailed on VHF 16 by Miami Dade Marine Patrol with a stern warning to reverse direction. The main ship channel where all of the cruise boats are moored is closed today for security purposes. Apparently, there is a concern that terrorists may use the occasion of Christmas to stage an attack on thousands of defenseless visitors on holiday.
We obediently comply, making a 180 degree turn in Government Cut and retracing our steps toward the ocean inlet. We enter the alternative Lummus Channel and turning basin to the south. Lummus Channel houses the docks that service freighters and container ships. These lowly vessels pose a less attractive target to terrorists.
As we rejoin the ICW, Cutter Loose is within a few hundred yards of the waterfront promenade in the downtown area of Miami. The waterway leads south under the Rickenbacker Bridge and into Biscayne Bay. The Bay is a shallow lagoon bordered on the west by the south Florida mainland and on the east by a series of barrier islands.
Cutter Loose is anchored near Dinner Key Island Park. Immediately to our west is the village of Coconut Grove, the southernmost neighborhood in the City of Miami. From our placid anchorage, we enjoy an outstanding view of the Miami skyline. Tomorrow, we will dinghy ashore to explore Coconut Grove. But in the meantime, we settle in to enjoy the remainder of Christmas Day. Pat prepares an excellent Christmas dinner of pork tenderloin, yams, brussel sprouts and fresh bread while we listen to Christmas music on the stereo. It is a small but cozy celebration aboard Cutter Loose.