Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Caesar Creek Anchorage - At anchor

Ann took this photo of the sunrise as we left Marathon
We left Marathon at first light, around 7:15 am after running Hoolie ashore. We headed out at our usual 7.3 kts but when we turned the corner to go east we immediately ran into a counter current of about a knot, knocking us down to 6.3 to 6.5 knots! The Gulf Stream is only 1 to 2 miles off the reef at the present but the counter current is in the opposite direction in Hawk Chanel. On top of that, we had a 15 to 18 kt wind exactly on the nose - so wind and waves and current were against us - what else is new? It was an 12 hour passage, long for us.

We had hoped to make it through the Caesar Creek passage into Biscayne Bay but with all three elements against us, it was too much. So we decided to anchor instead in Caesar's Creek. However, that was not without excitement. The waves were rolling in, the wind was blowing and the tide was at minimum (why can't we ever come into an inlet with high tide??). Caesar's Creek is supposed to be good at all tides but as I approached the entrance, I saw the bottom drop out of the depth sounder, 6.0 ft, 5.5 ft, 5.0 ft and then I stopped looking and gunned the engine. I felt the keel slide across the bar guarding the entrance and then we were in! We only draw 4' 9" but we slid a good 30 to 50 ft before the depth returned to 10 to 15 ft. I'm not sure what we would have done if we didn't make it since the entrance to the creek is about a mile away from shore - it's a long way in. On either side of the entrance and the passage in it shoals to 2 ft or less.

So now we're anchored peacefully but with a lot of current since the creek is one of the few openings between Biscayne Bay and the ocean - everything drains first one way then the other. On Thursday we plan on moving on to Marine Stadium across from Miami and await a calmer passage than the one we had today to Ft Lauderdale.