Wednesday, February 6, 2013

BUSTED!!! in Ft Lauderdale so we escaped to Miami

Time to catch up as time seems to fly by as we enjoy each and every day. Yes, you read it right. We were BUSTED by the Ft Lauderdale Police. We got pulled over for speeding on the way to check out an anchorage in the dinghy! My first mistake was trying to explain to the cop that I was just slowing down because the sign said so, then he insisted that I slowed because I saw him. Seeing his reaction it was time to play dumb newbie boater and ask him why the sign said water skiers can go 35 mph. "I am confused sir.". He then recited the exact words on the sign and explained that if Gayleen was to jump over and let me pull her on a rope behind the dinghy I could go 35 mph. If she's in the boat then I have to be putting along at a no wake speed. I just said thank you even though none of it makes sense. He was pretty cool given that we didn't have the registration with us either and he took more of an education approach and taught us about the signs and answered a lot of questions we had about motoring and anchoring always asking what else we wanted to know while he was there. He also brought us tied to him to the anchorage we wanted to check out and let us know the depth there. Now for the funny part ... here we are tied to a Police boat with its blue lights flashing and a sailboat comes cruising by and yells "Bruce!". It was our new friends Tom and Nancy that we left a few days earlier up in Palm Beach. Double BUSTED!! After a written warning and a good education from a nice Law Enforcement Officer we were on our way back to Pearl.

We spent several extra days in Ft Lauderdale to enjoy the beach as well as get some things I ordered online that I had delivered to my friend Brian's place in Boca Raton. Brian brought his brother Kevin for a visit on Pearl. They are both very nice people and we enjoyed the conversation and having them aboard. Before we moved to a mooring ball at the Las Olas Marina we did get to enjoy some more tourist shows next to our boat at our previous anchorage in Lake Sylvia. Check out this water powered jet pack.

The guys who ran the attraction had a lot of fun doing spins and pseudo flips but the tourists did everything they could to keep from doing faceplants and trying to get their feet out of the water. All I could picture was one of the tourists going face first into our hull.

Although the Las Olas Mooring balls were right next to the drawbridge and traffic it did provide a safe calm place 3 blocks from the ocean with lots to look at all day and evening.

There is never a dull moment when it comes to the boat and it's systems. In preparation for the trip to Miami I went down my checklist. When I got to checking the transmission fluid level I went to screw the dipstick back in and the plastic cap cracked. So much for leaving that day. Several phone calls and a 18 mile bike ride I was back with a new dipstick. I love bike riding but 16 miles on the first shot after sitting on a boat for several weeks was invigorating to say the least. At least I found this is a common problem with this dipstick so I didn't feel too bad. The supplier trained me on the proper twisting action and said I should be good for another 2 1/2 years with the new one.

Yesterday we said farewell to Ft Lauderdale and made our way south to Miami baby! I about threw Gayleen overboard because she kept asking where the Miami Dolphins were. Sometimes this boat just isn't big enough. Just before we went under the MacArthur Bridge in the Miami harbor a couple of Miami Dolphins popped up beside us and she was finally silenced.

Besides being a beautiful day we had some excitement. Just as we started motoring into the Miami channel there was a loud bang aboard Pearl. I thought it was down below but Gayleen thought it was above deck. Then Gayleen looked to the stern to see our dinghy bow hanging down precariously from the davits that support it. One of the shackles on the block and tackle that's used to raise it broke and if it wasn't for the spring line and breast line holding it up we would have had a more difficult situation at hand. I did a few monkey bar gymnastics with some rope on the davits and secured the bow enough so that we could make our way into the Miami Harbor. Fortunately there were no big boat wakes to contend with and we made it in with the dinghy intact..... Just another normal day in paradise.

We found a great little anchorage nestled between Hibiscus and Palm Islands not too far from Miami Beach or the mainland. I am always amazed at the crowd mentality when it comes to anchorages. There must be safety in numbers because everyone seems to anchor where all the other boats are crammed in and they miss the nicer hidden away spots or they drop anchor in very deep water. There is an internet site called Active Captain where people share their comments about various anchorages they were at. This has been one of the best resources for inside knowledge along with some great suggestions along the way from the previous owners of Pearl who seem to know all the best spots to anchor safely and go ashore for supplies.

If there is one piece of advice I would give anyone looking to do this type of an adventure it is to make sure you choose a boat that has a 5 foot draft. We find that the choices of anchorages when you are 5 feet or less is orders of magnitude greater. We have met many cruisers that are limited in where they can anchor because they draw 6 feet or more in depth.

For those of you that just loved my last anchorage video, here is another outstanding video tour of the place we call home at the moment.

After doing a few repairs we took the dinghy (slowly even in the water ski zone) for a ride to the Miami Beach side to do some exploring. As we ventured up the canal Gayleen saw these huge Iguanas just perched in a tree hanging over the canal..amazing! (sorry for the's kind of hard to drive a dinghy and take zoomed in pictures at the same time) See if you can find all three.

Lastly, adding to the category of just when I have seen it all, we passed by this boat today with a motorcycle on board. Don't get any ideas bikes allowed on Pearl so leave yours home when you come to visit.


  1. Bruce,

    I love your updates of your adventures on Pearl. Glad to to hear all is going (mostly) well. Please continue to post.

    1. Thanks Tim. I am doing my best to keep up. I am glad you find our adventure interesting. Each day brings new changes. We look forward to going back and reading the earlier posts as time goes on.


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