The market, the canal and the fire boat

A day of discovery and oodles of photos.  Made some progress with our sail drive repairs. Russ posted on the Cruisers Forum and got a few good ideas; one panned out. He discovered that the expansion tanks (small bottles) have a one way air vent in the cap that keeps them from functioning as needed. These are not typically required and the bottles were chosen by our Yanmar distributor to meet an expansion need. Long story short, we are due back at Marathon Boat Yard on Monday where they will remove the engines and replace the lip seals on the sail drives. The lip seals have been leaking due to possible pressure build up. Once replaced and the expansion bottles working properly, all- she says hopefully- will be well.

After breakfast we walked in. First stop The Fresh Market. For the underprivileged, The Fresh Market is similar to Whole Foods, but without the café dining, the chocolate bar nor the huge selection of cheese. Last winter we saw that construction was beginning with signs stating “Opening Spring 2011”. Great- by the time we came back this fall, they’d be open for sure. Grocery stores in cities take some getting used to. In Miami Beach at least, they are situated right on the street like any other shop, only larger with a parking garage next door.

New Fresh Market as seen from Collins Canal

After lunch we headed up the Collins canal aiming to find a spot to tie up and walk over the beach on the ocean side. The canal, 18 ft wide and 3-4 ft deep was constructed- well we’re not sure- but prior to 1967- likely for an industrial use. It meets up with Indian Creek, continuing for several miles alongside A1A and toward North Miami Beach. We found a good spot near the road with a small dock of sorts, tied up (lock too) and walked two short blocks east where we came upon a boardwalk along the beach and plenty of easy beach access. We are, remember, in Florida where beach and water access abound, the bridges open promptly for boats and Publix and The Fresh Market have a strong presence.


Lounging Lizard

Along the way my camera had a good workout with all the birds and iguanas tucked in amongst the mangroves and a couple guys paddle boarding. Ok, that covers the market and the canal.

As we approached the anchorage, a Coast Guard utility boat (like an inflatable on steroids) was rafted next to a monohull near us. That boat had entered the anchorage as we headed off toward the canal a couple hours earlier. Umm, the boat flew a Canadian flag. Was that a clue? No. Next thing we see is the City of Miami Fire Boat arriving and realize this is an injury or illness situation.

Not a happy sight

With the Coast Guard so close and being near a city with many facilities, if something had to happen this was the place to get immediate assistance. We will never know the proverbial rest of the story; we only hope the ending is a good one.

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