Boating on Biscayne Bay

Miami Travel Blog

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Roz and Baba Vora on our "cruise"

KABOOM!   A huge clap of thunder woke me at 5:30 AM ... not again!  All I could think of is: would wbe able to take our boat tour this morning?  The lightning flashed for another 30 minutes or so, the rain poured and the thunder eventually tapered off into the distance.  The storm moved on and the day dawned cloudy, but with little outlook of rain.

We left the house at 7:30 and joined the commute traffic on the I-95 freeway to the downtown Miami area.  The traffic could have been a nightmare, but it was comparatively light for the hour.  The drive was, however, quite long - probably 50 miles to our destination.

The Three Musketeers enjoy being on the Bay
  At least half of the ride was on surface streets and it was slow because of traffic signals.  Jag and Baba were joking about eating doughnuts.  Baba said he loves Dunkin' Donuts, a store that is trying to compete with Starbucks in the coffee field.  Just as we turned to go to Biscayne National Park, Jag spotted a Dunkin' Donuts store.  Baba hit the brakes and turned into the parking lot!  We ordered coffee, Jag and Baba got doughnuts and I had a croissant.  The young woman who waited on us asked me whether I wanted cream and sugar.  I did not realize she would be adding these to my coffee herself.  She added way too much sugar and it was truly dreadful.
Our tour boat - I call it "The Minnow"
  The coffee itself was not strong enough.  I do not patronize Starbucks because of their business practices, but their coffee is so much better - there is just no comparison.

We arrived at Biscayne National Park in due course, paid only $23 per person (the senior rate) and got ready for our 3-hour tour.  The boat looked like the "Minnow" from the old television show, "Gilligan's Island".  All we needed were Gilligan himself, the Captain, the movie star, Mary Ann, etc.  The boat has a glass bottom, but the panes did not look overly clear.  The ranger, a lovely young woman named Astrid, was a bit late, but we took off for our adventure on Biscayne Bay.

Lighthouse at Boca Chita Key
  There were only seven passengers all together.

The boat has a huge diesel engine and is very loud.  Astrid wore ear protection.  She is on a loud boat of one sort or another almost every day and must protect her hearing from the loud boat motors.  The ride is fast and I really like that.  We stopped to see some sponges living on the sea floor.  There used to be so much more, but humans (so what else is new?) have destroyed much of the habitat and harvested far too many of the creatures.  I frankly did not recognize the sponges and did not find that particularly interesting.

Because the sea was rather choppy, we were unable to go to the coral reef to view the beautiful fish and other sea life.  That was disappointing, but instead we went to Boca Chita Key (Spanish for little mouth).

Roz holds a small hermit crab
  A gentleman named Honeywell once owned this little island - the company he founded produces electronic equipment.  It is a pretty place, partially manicured and partially wild.  It was used for parties and fun by Honeywell and his guests. He built a small lighthouse, originally meant to direct him from his home in Miami Beach to Boca Chita.  It was never lit because of the dangers it posed to other navigation.  The view of the little island and the bay are very wonderful.  Off in the distance, much like the Emerald City of Oz, was Downtown Miami, its skyscrapers almost appearing to float on the water.

In all of the national parks it is illegal to remove anything, even the smallest pebble, from its correct place.

That is Miami about 30 miles away
  However the coconut palms on the island are not native to the area.  Any coconuts lying on the ground may be taken.  Jag and Bob happily gathered five ofthem.  They planned to open them at home and make some curry (I think).

All too soon it was time to head back to the dock at Park Headquarters.  Along the way I saw a little fish skipping along on top of the water.  I thought it was a flying fish, but Astrid told me it is called a ballyhoo.  Later, Baba spotted another and I, too, caught sight of it.  People on the starboard side were lucky enough to spot a large sea turtle under the water.  I was standing on the port side.  I saw a couple of schools of small fish in the amazingly-clear water as well as a single, large fish.  I am not educated enough on the subject to be able to identify the fish.

Gulls and terns near dock at Biscayne National Park
  Not long before reaching the dock, I saw something large, rounded and dark in the water.  It was most likely a turtle.  That made me very happy indeed.

We returned at 1 PM and I was as hungry as a bear.  Unfortunately there was no place to grab a meal.  With a gurgling tummy, at least for me, we began the long drive back home.  We stopped at a store so that I could purchase some new rechargeable batteries for my camera.  My old ones were the originals that came with the camera when it was purchased.  They have been holding their charge for only a couple of hours, then needed recharging.  It was impossible.  Jag wanted to try another kind of battery and was against my buying the new ones.  I stood my ground for once.

I ate some of that marvelous corned beef when we got home.

Ranger Astrid protects her ears from boat engine noise
  Jag and Baba had some tea and beef and then Jag began preparing to cook dinner for our friends, including wonderful no-knead bread, filet mignon, oven-fried potatoes and sauteed green beans.  I made the salad.  Great meal!  Jag really loves to cook.  Just before we sat down to eat, here came the clouds - black and threatening.  It suddenly began to pour.  All day there had been absolutely no breeze - now, the rain was being driven horizontally by the strong wind.  Even the birds were being blown sideways.  In typical form, the rain stopped as quickly as it had started.  But boy oh boy - the sky was really black.

We leave for Disney World tomorrow.  We have reached the southern-most portion of our journey.  We will now begin to head north and west.  We will certainly miss Baba and Pierrette.  They have been such welcoming hosts and friends.  By the way, I apologize for delaying posting the entries for the last few days.  As you have probably realized, I have been pooped out by the go-go-going of our visit to Miami.  I will upload photographs tomorrow.

 

 

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Roz and Baba Vora on our cruise
Roz and Baba Vora on our "cruise"
The Three Musketeers enjoy being o…
The Three Musketeers enjoy being …
Our tour boat - I call it The Min…
Our tour boat - I call it "The Mi…
Lighthouse at Boca Chita Key
Lighthouse at Boca Chita Key
Roz holds a small hermit crab
Roz holds a small hermit crab
That is Miami about 30 miles away
That is Miami about 30 miles away
Gulls and terns near dock at Bisca…
Gulls and terns near dock at Bisc…
Ranger Astrid protects her ears fr…
Ranger Astrid protects her ears f…
Roz listens to Ranger Astrid at Bi…
Roz listens to Ranger Astrid at B…
Captain of the boat on Biscayne Bay
Captain of the boat on Biscayne Bay
Passengers relax on the sightseein…
Passengers relax on the sightseei…
Cormorants line old dock at Boca C…
Cormorants line old dock at Boca …
Lovely islets seen from top of Boc…
Lovely islets seen from top of Bo…
Cormorants take off when the boat …
Cormorants take off when the boat…
Miami
photo by: ellieperla